Accessing Passion is Tricky Business

Passion has been a buzzword in the field of coaching for a long time, yet very rarely does a client show up at my door brimming with passion, ready to put it into action. A direct question about passion is often met with a blank stare from my clients who struggle to find something, anything that lights them up.

Most of us feel overwhelmed when asked about our passion. We may also feel stuck, trapped or anxious. Our creative brain can literally freeze and shut down due to the complexity of the passion question. It just feels too big to answer. Moreover, most people think there is something wrong with them if they do not know what they are passionate about or what their purpose is.

So how do we turn our creative brain back on and find some possibilities for a passion-filled life? Here are four ways to start:

  1. Ask your former self: Clues from the past can be very helpful in finding a passion. Think about a time when you were successful or felt a sense of accomplishment in the past. You can go all the way back to childhood to find an accomplishment that may have been buried for a very long time. What you were doing? Who was with you? Where were you?
  2. Be curios and mindful: How you spend your free time? What do you like to read? What topics do you most like to discuss? What do you watch? What are you always drawn to doing, saying or thinking? Find those threads and interests that draw you in, and let your mind wander as you explore new things.
  3. Find areas were you are a natural contributor: What are you considered an expert on? What do people always ask you to help them with?
  4. Take action on your passion! Passion grows from doing something that you love and we often don’t know what our passion is until we are doing it. Even taking small baby steps in an area of interest will help you identify what you are passionate about.

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I will admit, it’s thrilling to help the rare client who has great passion put that energy into action. However, I am here for the rest of us who benefit from becoming curious about ourselves; exploring strengths, interests, skills, values and personality to find that sweet spot of passion deep down inside.

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