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EP15: Discover Your Life Purpose

Why am I here? It can feel like a big question, especially at times when your life is lacking in direction. If you need help unlocking your strengths, skills, and passion so you can find your calling, you’re in luck! With a background in the music industry, Coach Nancy has worked with business people, artists, and creatives for over 10 years. She is an expert in helping people explore their visions, discover their life’s purpose, and create meaningful lives. In this episode, Nancy sheds light on how to simplify the quest for purpose and talks about how we can spread joy to others simply by connecting with our own deep sense of calling.

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Victoria: We’ve all had times in our life where we have wondered, gosh, what’s it all for? Is this really what life’s about? Or the big million-dollar question: why am I here? Times where we feel that we have had or feel that we’ve got no direction or low to little meaning in our lives. And these are some of the deep questions and even the whole definition around life’s purpose.

And to help me to try and answer these and some more of these questions is my guest coach today, Nancy. Nancy has worked many years working with business people, artists and creatives in their lives and careers. And she’s become an expert on helping people discover this enigma called one’s life’s purpose and how to create meaningful lives in today’s show.

We’ll be exploring what it really does mean to live a life with purpose and meaning, and the dramatic changes you can make in your life when you actually do unlock yours. So, hello again, Nancy and great to have you here today.

Nancy: Thank you so much for having me.

Victoria: So, this is a really fascinating topic as well. life’s purpose. What is my life purpose? What am I here for? How do I discover what I’m here for? How do I create meaning in my world? And it is a fantastic space to explore with you because. I know a lot of your work when clients book you and come and work with you, it is part of you is unlocking their sense of who they are and their strengths and their skills and their passion, and how to leave more of it in their lives, which I do believe can be directly linked to one’s life’s purpose.

I probably also refer to it as a different terminology along the lines of your calling without getting all spiritual woo in this call. There’s lots of different definitive definitions and variations of one life’s purpose. And I’d love to hear from you… what are some of the challenges when clients come to you that they have a block around the undefined space in their life? And their calling along the lines of, ‘how do I discover my life’s calling or how to give my life meaning’ because – are they different?

Nancy: Good question… this is a big conversation.

Victoria: It is. Are you ready?

Nancy: …One we’ve been having for quite a few years and it’s interesting because I also don’t, I guess I don’t relate to it as purpose anymore. I probably did once, but I think calling resonates with me as well, but I think, what I find that we’ve done is we’ve really overcomplicated what it means to have purpose.

Because for me, at the end of the day, all of us really want to feel the same. Human beings would love to feel happiness, joy, peace of mind, all of these things. And. Really, that means for me, that purpose or our calling is just, life is meant to feel good. Because purpose and calling can feel like, really heavy – ‘I need to discover my gifts. Or, I need to discover: what am I here for? Why am I special?’

And it can take you down a kind of a road of, am I worthy though? Or am I, you know, it can become quite a mountain to climb. Whereas if we simplify it and go, well, what if life was just meant to feel good? And then I can move forward from that point, which really helped me.

Victoria: Let’s just go there for a minute. There are parts of life that just suck. There are parts of life that are incredibly challenging, very painful. And sometimes you just get life that just throws you a bucket of lemons and life doesn’t feel good in those moments. So I hear you when you say, ultimately, we all want the same thing. But do we really all want the same thing? And I’m probably throwing a spanner in the works on this conversation right now…

Nancy: That’s okay.

Victoria: Because we’re all so unique. And given the that topic today is around how to discover or get more connected with your life’s calling or your life’s purpose.

I mean, yes. Yes, that is ultimately about encouraging those feelings of our lives actually feel better. So there’s… I just wanted to explore that a little more with you in terms of, do we all want the same thing?

Nancy: Well, I think we ultimately want something because we want that particular thing to make us feel a certain way. Which for me, when we start to think about our purpose or calling, it’s a lot of the time when I would ask myself and my clients, when do you feel the best?

When do you feel like you’re connected to your purpose? Or when do you feel connected?

Victoria: So I’d love to, if you could share some of their insights or their answers would be amazing, obviously not disclosing names…

Nancy: No, of course. So most of my clients who are artists, for example, feel they’re on purpose or they’re connected to their calling when they’re in the studio. For example, writing music, when they’re sharing a moment with someone that they love. So I know sometimes we’re looking for this one purpose.

This is the part where I find it a little bit, um, like it can become complicated because we’re looking for something that we can’t really find. So when we bring it back to a simpler place of feeling good, when we’re actually feeling the most connected, that can really help us. So it’s really probably more a tip than…

Victoria: This is a very interesting conversation. A lot of people think that our life’s calling is somehow segmented differently and it’s parked in a different part of who we are. But there’s many of us who, many people out there who have created, again, I’m probably going to segue into a different conversation now, but who have created careers out of tapping into their deep life calling.

They know what their life calling is. And I’d love just to unpack that a little in terms of some of the conversations. A lot of the conversations that I’ve had over 20 years is when you know what lights you up – going back to your question with your clients – what makes you feel really good? What are the ingredients that you’re operating from?

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: And for many people, there is a double-ended bliss when you can create what you do in the world and what you love to do, where you know that you’re sharing and you know, that you’re making impact.

And you can then create a business or stay in the career path of activating your life’s calling every day. Then that keeps you fully embodied in your unique journey with whatever that is for you.

Nancy: True. And I guess I, I think the best way to unpack this as for me to look at my experience because my life’s purpose only really became present when I started to really ask myself the question, what do you actually love doing? And where do you, where do I feel the most pooled? Where do I spend my spare time looking at things on the internet or who are my friends?

Who do I look up to? That helped me a lot. What are they doing?

Victoria: I always find that it’s interesting before COVID when you could, when you caught up with people and you’d go into their lounge room or you’re going to their office, or you’d observe how they fill their home environment and how they surrounded their environment with objects or books or different things, and you would get a very instant summary of where this person’s passion lives.

In the expression that we are living internally as well as then, how that translates to our external world. Like you can literally go into someone’s lounge room or an office and look at their top bookshelf and know exactly what they’re so excited about and focused on. Which is what you just said around where we spend our time.

You can easily as a first step, if you’re unsure around what your calling is or where you want to make impact in the world? That’s probably two questions. There is our life’s calling deeply directed and connected to making impact and creating impact in our world. I know that this is a larger conversation for philosophy for me, it is about knowing what your strengths are, but ultimately being of service and making the world a better place in whatever capacity, whether it’s poetry, whether it’s getting up on stage and singing and sharing your gifts or through coaching or creating businesses that, inspire yourself and others, then that for me, embodies… you’re actually in sync with your life’s calling.

Nancy: Yes. And I think also in saying that it always expands. Like you might start off with a very small chunk of a very small piece of the pie, but I, especially for an entrepreneur, we have to stretch our minds. It’s it happens. We become very involved with growth by default because you have to, and I think, one of the questions I always ask myself and my clients is why do you want to do this?

What’s your, why? Because in your, why you’ll find a lot of your purpose, your calling. There’ll be something in there and you can journal that out.

Victoria: So that leads me to my question, when clients have come to you, what’s the number one tool that you help clients understand their ‘why’? Where do clients start in starting to unpack what their ‘why’ is?

Nancy: That’s a good question. I think, depending on where they’re at in their life, everyone’s very different, but if I ask someone what it is that they really, really see for themselves… so a lot of the work I do again is through visualization and meditation, and I do this with my clients on Zoom, so that when you, and it’s got to do with the work through NLP as well, when you actually remove yourself from your life right now and actually feel, I can I ask them to visualize themselves in the future. So we work backwards.

It’s like a compelling future conversation because we all have a certain amount of decades left. And when you start to look at time as a, um, something that just pops every half an hour, there goes more time. You know, I start to talk to them about time being of the essence and creating a compelling future.

And if you have 30 more years left to do something that feels really powerful and has impact to you, or if I gave you a microphone to talk to the world in an hour’s time, what would you tell them? What would your message be? And then, that message always changes my clients. Sometimes I worked with them for a year.

We start here and then of course… It changes, but it does come back to being of service to some form of one community or another.

Victoria: That’s very interesting. And I do believe our life’s calling it evolves. As you said, as we also evolve as human beings. And the deeper way rates within ourselves on our own exploration and being brave and digging deep and giving ourselves permission to step out into the unknown a little bit and see what we’re capable of, that also powerfully impacts our ability to connect with the possibility of knowing what our life’s calling is.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: And it can be challenging. And, I’m curious, when clients work with you, what are some of the decisions or the challenges or the excuses that they come to you with that have held them back from discovering their life’s calling?

Nancy: Look, I would say a lot of the excuses start with, well it’s all fear-based really, but it comes down to believing in themselves. So, "I just don’t think I could do that, or I wouldn’t be worth that". And I think a lot about how I’ve gotten to this point too. And I’ve, I have invested in myself and that’s a decision to make because you know, you might buy a coaching program or go and seek that thing that’s going to help you pull you out of where you are.

But a lot of the time we might not have the money to spend, or we may not have the time to spend. So we make that an excuse. Time and money is always a pretty big excuse. So I have to help people work through those limitations.

Victoria: What are some of the signs of when clients come to you that they are suffering from an identity crisis around their life calling? I can only refer to my years in the space as a coach, and I know I use the word identity crisis because, often, when people don’t know what their true North is, they can easily become distracted with other’s values and other’s dreams that belong to other people rather than really giving themselves permission to explore what their own true North is.

Nancy: Yeah, I agree. Also we humans are all to some degree traumatized. We’ve all got our own story and we’ve all had some trauma along the way, and to actually work through some of that trauma… and that’s why we get distracted because to actually believe in yourself, back yourself and then go out and immerse yourself into a calling, that might sound crazy.

Or, that takes attitude and discipline and, you know, habits that we might need to learn because we’re not used to it. And I know I had to, I was very much a people pleaser if everyone else was okay, I was okay. I never knew how to look after myself because I didn’t even know really what that looked like. And I, and now that I look back on it, I go, that’s why I had those jobs.

It makes sense to me now why I did what I did for that many years to make sure everyone was okay. But it’s about reversing that.

Victoria: Just on that. I’m reflecting on my own personal journey, I guess when I look back over my years from childhood teenage-hood in my twenties and thirties, I think the universe again, without getting too spiritually centred here, but I think life will always give you the opportunity to upskill and if you are awake and you are conscious if you look back. One of the exercises that I’ve done with many clients over the years is being able to give them an exercise where they do a career transgression.

And I’ll just unpack that for a moment. So they actually go back through a timeline of all the different careers and things that they’ve done in their world. And where they’ve put their energies and focused and observing and pulling out the themes that ultimately have served them to then prepare them for their life’s calling.

But if you’re asleep at the wheel, you’ll miss it. You’ll miss the cues.

Nancy: That’s right.

Victoria: But it’s a really simple exercise to sit down with a pen and paper and jot down all the career highlights that you’ve had in your journey and the themes that have stood out and where you have shone. Where you have felt inspired and where you have felt alive and totally in the zone and in flow.

Okay. Exactly where you are meant to be. I’m not saying that’s not without hard work along the way and challenges in those career moments, but essentially it’s being able to pull out the themes and the ingredients and the environments that allowed you to shine and be tapped into that inspirational part of who you are.

And then it’s sitting down and then packing it together, like a cake.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: And there’s an incredible process. It just helps clients start to join the dots, to help them understand or get to a place of their ‘why’ and their life’s calling. And do you have anything along those lines of tips or tools of how you help clients get to that point?

Nancy: One of the tools that I use that’s been really powerful is – there’s two things really –and it’s about identifying again, I talked about this earlier, but talking about what you just mentioned about being really lit up and what do you really want? So you might have a column that says ‘what I don’t want’.

And then on the next column, you’ll have ‘what I do want’. And interestingly, a lot of the time we’ll write down what we don’t want first, because it’s so natural for us to think that way. And then on the column, on the right-hand side, which is ‘what I do want’, you’ll write the opposite thing. So it kind of sparks… if we were to think in opposites, sometimes as the most simple way of feeling and thinking, you would find that if you don’t want to be poor, you’d like to be wealthy. If you don’t want to be something you want to be this.

So it’s, it starts to allow you to see what you’d really want. And then the second thing I do is another journaling-type exercise, where you’ve got two columns. And in the left-hand side, you put your goal up at the top. Of what it is you’re trying to establish and the left-hand side, it’s ‘why I can’t’. And on the right-hand side, it’s ‘how I will’, or ‘who do I need to be’?

So it’s kind of – there’s two different things – but it makes you realise if I wanted to achieve something by the end of today, or start to look at something, I write down how I could do it. What are things I could do just to start to tap into that thinking process?

Victoria: There’s always, there’s always a way through, discovering what your life’s calling with and your life’s purpose. And I often, I’m often curious in conversations. I have that if we all tapped into our life calling, I’m curious in terms of how it would have such a greater impact across the globe. I know it’s another potentially another conversation, but it’s so connected to what we’re talking about and, people essentially, I mean, you said this at the beginning, you know, we’re all suffering from some element of trauma somewhere in our world.

And I don’t want that to sound all heavy, but it’s their stories and their judgements that hold us back, ultimately from taking those next steps forward. But in, in saying that, I would love everyone to be able to start to tap in, to finding deep joy within their own lives and how that can then contribute to making the world a better place, because you know what? There is no time right now that is a more perfect time.

To start to do that in a reflection and that inner journey and discovery of who am I, what am I capable of if I actually give myself permission to think and create and dream and make a difference in not only your life, but thinking outside further afield, how you can actually create greater impact and bring song and joy to other people’s lives by sharing your own deep sense of calling, with whatever that is.

Nancy: And it’s a transformation. Like I said, a lot of the clients I work with share themselves really honestly, with their transformation online and, through their music or with their clients, if they’re coaches. But one of the things that I always say is the bigger, the goal or the bigger, the dream don’t think that when you hit that dream life is just like "Ta-da!" and that’s it – it’s all happy.

So for me, it’s really about, yes, we all have a purpose, but it’s really, like I said, in the beginning, it’s about – how do I make sure I feel good along the way, because just when I get to that world to her or that whatever dream it is that you have, you really want to make sure that today being present feels good.

And I know it throws us lemons. Life does throw us lemons and it’s okay to sit and feel really terrible for it. Not beat yourself up, which we all do.

Victoria: I think that is a really important point and that is. To give you so permission to recognize how you’re feeling in that moment and not distract yourself, not to cover it up, not to binge-watch on Netflix, because you don’t want to look at something. And the ability to be able to sit with a potential feeling, to then look at the little gold nuggets that potentially then can come out of it.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: To alchemize those situations. But again, I have a saying, I know I’ve said this before in other podcasts, but ultimately in alchemizing your mess to help it then become a message for others, then the journey has been worthwhile. Through your own story. You can powerfully create the story of others and help shift the journey of others and make potentially that road a little lighter.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: And it’s one of the reasons why Hello Coach was created. It’s to create… part of my own story has always been around creating something truly powerful and magnificent and beautiful that helps others on their journey by sharing and creating an extraordinary platform of incredible coaches to share their voice, to share their message because you and our coaches are all living on purpose.

Nancy: Mm.

Victoria: Yeah, fully tapped into your life’s calling, which is why I think part of my journey was creating that platform to allow that to come to fruition, to allow your voices, to be heard, to help others on their journey.

Nancy: Yeah, it’s a beautiful ripple effect.

Victoria: That isn’t, it we’re all capable of it. Like all of us.

Nancy: Yeah.

Victoria: It’s not just an exclusive club, that you’ve got a sign-up for everyone has the capacity to tap in and explore what that means for them. And every idea doesn’t have to be grand big ideas. It can be small ideas that have, significant impact in your own work environment and your family environment, home environment.

And essentially, when you’re connected to your life calling you’re deeply connected and you have this deep sense of knowing who you are.

Nancy: That’s true. Yeah. And it does feel different. You get to show up differently in the world. And I think, you know, some of the benefits. that I’ve had from stepping into my calling is yes, I’ve had to grow and really look at myself, but I’ve also had to do things like put boundaries in place and do things that I wouldn’t have ever done.

I would have probably just floated along. And, but this has made me really look at different things I’ve needed to do as well to make sure I get to do my life’s purpose.

Victoria: It’s such a beautiful place to end. Thank you so much, Nance. It’s like, it’s a conversation that, I mean, all of these topics that we’re covering, uh, they’re all so incredibly important, but I know being, knowing who we are as human beings and as souls on the journey is, I do believe, makes the difference between having a rich life.

And I don’t necessarily mean just financial, it’s just creating a depth of richness within our own souls to then be able to stand solid and know who you are, and go after what it is that you want to create in your world. So thank you.

Nancy: I love it.

Victoria: Thank you so much for today’s conversation. There is so many wonderful insights and tips on how being able to start to unpack your journey.

So if you would like to unpack that journey, you can certainly find Nancy on our platform and you can get the full details of that at the end of our podcast transcript. So thank you again for joining us today, Nancy, and definitely look forward to having you back again.

Nancy: Thank you. Thanks so much.

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