The 9 reasons why we resist our life purpose


If so many of us want to find our life purpose and bring meaning to our lives, why do so many of us resist actually living our purpose?

Despite “what is my purpose?” being one of life’s big questions, answering it is actually the easy part. Our purpose is usually there in plain sight and we just need some help to see the wood from the trees.

In fact, after 15 years as a coach, I would say that the majority of people who ask that question actually know the answer deep down. They might not know exactly, but they know the ball park.

Living your purpose, not just knowing it

The bigger issue really arises when it comes to living your purpose. Living your life purpose is:

  • the call back to your most authentic self
  • one of the quickest way to experience meaning and fulfilment.
  • your deepest reason for being.

You would think then that everyone would be clamouring to uncover their purpose and live a better life.

Yet so many of us actually resist it.

In so many ways it doesn’t make sense, yet we are the ones who get in our way and make it much harder than it needs to by.

Why on earth do we get in our own way?

Here are some of the reasons why. Do any of these resonate with you?

  • We can’t see how to do it. - The gap between where we are and where our purpose seems to be calling us can seem vast. Because the first question we tend to ask is “HOW?” and the answer is not always immediately obvious, we back away because it just seems risky and impractical.
  • It is not what we think it should be. - Our purpose is quite simple and straight forward, but our ego can get hold of it and think it should be much bigger and grander. So, we back away and either ignore it or let our ego make up some grandiose story or what our purpose should be.
  • It requires change. - We like our comfortable lives, don’t we (I certainly do!)?! Following your purpose usually requires you to look deep and make changes to your life. This can be anything from uncomfortable to down right excruciating (at the time). If we are honest, very few of us truly like change.
  • It is not practical - Your life purpose is not a job description. It doesn’t always follow that you are going to be able to make a living and pay your bills from following your calling. In the face the demands on our time, our money, our attention and our energy, following your purpose may just not seem practical.
  • We won’t fit in any more. - From the early age, we are socialised by family, friends, school, work and everywhere else to fit in, conform and play by the rules. Though not as sinister as it sounds, it does mean that often we care way too much about what other people think and we get scared that we won’t fit in any more. We fear that people will not love or approve of us.
  • We will be alone. - Linked to the fear above, we worry that people (especially loved ones) won’t understand us anymore, they won’t “get us”. The fear then is that this will separate us from others and lead to isolation and loneliness.
  • Our standards are way too high. - This is where perfectionism kicks in and we get paralysed by our own high standards. We often know what needs to be done but we some how think we are not good enough to do it or we can’t do it as well as we should be able to do…after all, it is our life purpose! We think there is only one way to do our life purpose and we have to get it right!
  • It is not easy. - Living your life purpose requires you to dig deep and look long and hard at your life…and see where you are out of alignment. It also compels you to look at where you need to grow and maybe make some tough decisions (all in the name of being true to yourself). So, it is not necessarily always a joy ride.
  • It seems too big. - “OMIGOD, this is just way too much! I can’t do that. I will NEVER be able to do that!”. In truth, you are a magnificently powerful person, but you may not have realised that yet. So faced with the entirety of your life purpose, you may freak out a bit. That’s ok. Our life purpose tends to be revealed in stages to us, exactly right for where we are in life right now.

It's scary!

All of the above are basically just a way of saying that we actually get scared when confronted with our life purpose.

You might think with all of these things in the way, “why on earth would I want to follow my Life Purpose?”. Well in the end, that is a bit like asking, “why on earth would I want to be me?”. Your purpose is at the core of your being, your essential self. It is not always an easy journey but it is the most vital and life-affirming thing you can do.

It may also be that it is just too damn scary not to live your purpose...

In the end, the best thing to do is to not resist your purpose, but to turn your sail into the wind, pull up your anchor and go for the best ride of your life.


Leave a comment below and tell us if any of these resonate for you.  Why do you resist your purpose?