Stop Panicking Over Your Purpose

How many of us have felt panic because we’re middle-aged (give or take) and don’t know what our purpose is?  We feel like we’re wasting our time or worse, we feel like failures.  This was me for DECADES.  I watched enviously as friends talked about their passions. I grew green when someone exclaimed, “I’m so grateful to know what I’m meant to do!” Sure, I was happy for them. But with every success story I heard, I became more panicked about my own place in the world.  Why are we so hung up on this need to know what we’re meant to do? To tackle this question, I started to do some research and self-discovery work.

Each time I embarked on a new path, friends and family would exchange glances as if to say “here she goes again, following a pipe dream.”

For years I would flit from one interest to another.  One month I’d be revved up about getting my Reiki certification and the next, I had put it all on a shelf, like an expensive doll that was only for show.  This happened over and over and I started to beat myself up. “Carol, you’re spending your time and good money on classes, workshops, books and certification programs that you don’t use. What is your problem?”  Each time I embarked on a new path, friends and family would exchange glances as if to say “here she goes again, following a pipe dream.” I probably imagined that last part, but I felt a sense of embarrassment over the fact that I “couldn’t get it together.”

It wasn’t until years later that it all made sense. All this hopping from one subject to another actually had a Divine purpose.  As I looked back at my life, all the dots connected perfectly.  I would meet someone who recommended a book, then through the book, I became aware of a course, through the course I would meet someone who turned me on to a workshop. On and on it went.  Over time I started racking up new skills, knowledge, certifications, and more importantly new human connections.

Everything I was doing had been for my highest good and was unfolding perfectly and in Divine Timing.

When I left corporate after 22 years, unbeknownst to me, I had a treasure trove of tools. When the inspiration hit to become a coach, I was suddenly struck by all the resources I had at my disposal.  Years of studying and educating myself on various topics was now paying off.  My Higher Self knew that all of these tools would help me…when the time was right.  I wasn’t ready 10 years ago.  I had more to learn, more life experiences to live through.

If you’re feeling panicked about your purpose, stop and get curious!  Follow the energy, that fire that lights you up. If the fire dims down the road, don’t worry about it. Don’t analyze it.  If the desire to learn something new is coming through you, know there’s a reason for it.  It might not reveal itself right away, but trust that no time is wasted.


Carol Campos
Carol Campos
Like many, I struggled for years wondering what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I had been working in the corporate world for over 20 years, most recently in a leadership role with a Fortune 5 company. Although I was consistently recognized and promoted throughout my career, I somehow knew that I was meant to do something different. I felt stuck in a life that didn’t fit, yet I had created it. What was my purpose? I had no idea. Finally, I left my corporate job and made the leap into the unknown. After doing months of self-discovery work (actually, play!), reconnecting to my higher wisdom, and re-remembering who I was at my core, I realized I didn’t have to fix myself. I also realized that I didn’t have to worry about “finding my purpose.” What I found was that I’m multi-passionate and didn’t want to be boxed into one thing. I didn’t HAVE to be boxed into one thing. I started a podcast and a blog where I explored the human experience—including my own beautiful, messy, but perfect road. This blog later became my column on BizCatalyst 360°. I became a mentor and a wayshower for others. I became a consultant to help improve company culture and improve client relationships. These are things I couldn’t have imagined a few years ago. But as often is the case, the Universe had an even bigger plan for me than I had for myself. My Soul knew what I would be doing long before I did, and I’m grateful that I followed the Divine map that was laid out before me! I love traveling, exploring new cultures, being in nature, and helping people on their own paths. I hold a B.A. in Communications from Hofstra University. I live in Massachusetts with my rambunctious and hilarious cats, Petey, and Emmett.

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  1. Carol, this is such wonderful insight: “If the desire to learn something new is coming through you, know there’s a reason for it. It might not reveal itself right away, but trust that no time is wasted.”. Every dot is connected and every chapter is a season. It’s easier to see on the other side… harder when in the midst of unknowing. The lesson here for me is trusting the process, trusting my heart and trusting my light will shine brightly. #learningeveryday!

    • Beautifully stated, Carolyn! I agree–every dot is connected (I call these Divine Breadcrumbs). Trusting the process has been the most challenging thing for me. But I’m in a good place now and realize that the more I hand over the reigns to the Universe, the better things go!

  2. I’m utterly grateful to know I’m not alone on this stop, start, go forward, wait, go around, look over there interdisciplinary gathering of life experiences from countless workshops, conferences, trainings, quirky yet synchronistic conversations with complete strangers and so much more. My life looks more like a web than any kind of straight line. As you so beautifully point out-all of this lead you to this intersection of who you’ve become right now. Those nudges that came from your soul and heart -you know see as delicious divine breadcrumbs–and I’ve also learned that life is about enjoying the eating of every one of those crumbs. We don’t arrive, we keep becoming until we leave in the middle of the movie. Maybe after I die someone else will be able to do an “It’s a Wonderful Life -the Laura Staley Version” and see the pivot moments, the reframing, the wandering, the suicidal moments, the healings and transformations—I think I’m still wondering, savoring, and becoming… Thank you so much for the permission to be lifelong learners, wanderers, free spirits! “No time is ever wasted.” Not Ever. Love this!

    • Good Lord do I love a Laura Staley comment! I often wish I could watch a movie of my life and see in detail how every interaction contributed to who I am now. Of course there are certain interactions and experiences that stand out. But I’m sure there are tiny, seemingly insignificant ones as well. I think the image of a web is spot on! Thanks so much for the kind feedback. So glad to be on this journey with you! 🙂

  3. Dear Carol,
    Wonderfully enlightening.
    I believe we are all here for a purpose and have to walk around a maze of potential obstacles until we appear in the daylight; sun shining in our formally hidden inspiration and hold of ups and downs.

    You mentioned ‘Divine’. I believe there is no such thing as ‘coincidence’. How many times have we thought without the seemingly Divine Intervention or Divine Influence? As if something greater than ourselves was orchestrating our lives. The Divine Breadcrumb says a lot more than just the title. It suggests there is something out there awaiting our presence, yet we have to travel along a winding road of experiences, negativity until we exit the maze and the sun does indeed shine upon us. Wonderful article, Carol. Wonderful.

    • I agree, Simon. There are no coincidences. Everything is here for our good. Thanks so much for the kind comments and your support of The Divine Breadcrumb. It’s so appreciated!