Life is sometimes a maze where we feel lost, going around in circles… Is this your case?

You don’t know which direction to go?

You feel like you’re enduring your daily life, held hostage by an existence that doesn’t really correspond to you?

Rest assured, it’s normal. At 20, 30, or even 50, many of us are fumbling to find our way.

I myself went through long periods of doubt, wondering what my purpose was. My studies didn’t motivate me, and I quickly dropped out to enter professional life. But it didn’t make things better! The activities I was doing didn’t bring me joy. I felt out of step, a spectator of my own existence. Until the day I decided to take back the reins and go in search of my ikigai, my reason for being.

Today, after a long journey of exploration, I live a life aligned with who I am, between entrepreneurship and a perpetual family world tour. And I can tell you it was worth it!

So if you too aspire to a more fulfilling and meaningful life, this article is for you. I’m going to unveil 5 steps to help you see more clearly and find your way. With very concrete advice to take action.

Excited about the idea of re-enchanting your life? Let’s go for a transformative inner journey, step by step!


Step 1: Accept yourself and make peace with your doubts

When we feel lost, our first reflex is often to judge ourselves harshly. “I’ll never make it”, “I’m a failure!”, “Everyone is moving forward except me”… Does this sound familiar?

However, this negativity only reinforces our confusion and paralysis. That’s why the first essential step is to learn to accept yourself, doubts included.

In concrete terms, how do you do this? Here are 2 powerful exercises that have worked for me:

  • Every evening, write down 3 things from your day for which you are grateful. An exchanged smile, a pleasant journey, a tasty meal… Focus on the positive. Tip: if you have difficulty finding 3, don’t lose this positive routine. Note at least one positive thing.
  • Transform your inner dialogue. Instead of criticizing yourself, talk to yourself like a caring friend. “It’s okay to have doubts,” “I’m doing my best,” “My mistakes make me progress.” Be your own best ally!

By regularly practicing these exercises, you will change the way you look at yourself. Your doubts will still be there, but they will stop paralyzing you. You can see them as a compass, a signal that it’s time to adjust your trajectory.

Rather than wallowing, you’ll be in a constructive dynamic, you’ll be able to explore new paths (we’ll get to that in the next steps!).

Accepting yourself means giving yourself permission to move at your own pace, without comparing yourself to others. It means trusting yourself and letting go. So, starting today, be kind to yourself. You are exactly where you need to be.

Step 1, check! 👊

Travel to better know you

Step 2: Explore and multiply inspiring experiences

Now that you accept yourself better, it’s time to open your horizons wide. Because to find your way, there’s nothing like exploring new territories!

How many times have I heard “I don’t know what I really like”… No wonder, when our daily life often boils down to a metro-work-video-sleep routine.

To reconnect with your deep desires, you need to stimulate them. In concrete terms, here are 3 ways to multiply inspiring experiences:

  • Try a new activity every week (or month). Thai cooking, pottery, ultimate frisbee… Let your curiosity guide you, without seeking a result. This last point is important: don’t put pressure on yourself, don’t try to break records: at this stage, you are there to appreciate, not to burden your shoulders with new trials. The goal? To discover new sensations and facets of yourself.
  • Interact with inspiring people, outside of your usual circle. Participate in meetups, conferences, workshops, around themes that appeal to you. Talk to the participants, ask questions. Beautiful encounters and revelations await!
  • Travel, even close to home. Walk in a new neighborhood, take a random train, go for a hike… Change your air and point of view. As Proust said:

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

These experiences will spark something in you. A smile while preparing sushi, an inspiring conversation, a project that makes you vibrate… Little by little, you will discover new passions and aspirations.

So don’t be afraid to venture into the unknown! Dare to step off the beaten path. It’s by exploring the world that we end up getting to know ourselves better.

Of course, you won’t like everything you try. Some activities will bore you, some projects will fall through. That’s okay! The goal is not to succeed, but to learn a little more about yourself each time.

Each experience, whether successful or not, is a step towards your path. So stay open and keep exploring!

Align with your values

Step 3: Learn to know yourself, between values and talents

By dint of exploring, you have collected valuable clues about what drives you. It’s time to sort them out, to get a clearer picture of your deep aspirations.

I remember, when I was lost, making dozens of lists of my passions and skills. But I was missing the essential: my values. What gives meaning to my existence.

Your values are your lighthouses in the night. The foundations of your personality. Creativity, freedom, justice, autonomy… When you act in accordance with them, you feel in tune with yourself.

To identify your values, here are 2 effective exercises:

  • List your 3 best memories. For each one, note the emotions felt (joy, pride, serenity…) and what you were doing. Spot what stands out: creating, sharing, defending a cause… Your values are hidden in those moments.
  • Imagine your ideal day in 10 years. Visualize the details: your activities, the people around you, the environment… What do you feel? What needs are met? There too, your values guide this vision.

In light of these two exercises, choose your 5 key values. Refine their definition. Rank them in order of importance. Print them out. These are the foundations of your fulfilling future.

Now, on to your talents! What are your strengths, your unique skills? No need to be the best of the best, just look for what comes naturally to you.

For this, nothing beats the eyes of others. Ask your loved ones what they think your 3 greatest talents are. You’ll be stunned by their insight!

Note the talents that come up often. Those that resonate with you. Communication, listening, rigor… Combine them with your values. You’re holding the common thread of your ikigai!

Last step to refine this convergence: list the subjects that fascinate you. Those you could talk about for hours. The projects that are close to your heart too.

The intersection of your values, talents and passions: this is your field of possibilities! Your life mission lies in this space.

You can reflect on it for weeks, even months. Let these discoveries about yourself settle in. Listen to your inner voice. Your reason for being will eventually emerge, more and more clearly.

You now have the tools to chart your course! But you still have one crucial step to take: taking action to transform theory into lived experience.

Prototype your life

Step 4: Prototype and test aligned activities

You’ve got it, you have a clearer idea of your aspirations. Well done, that’s a big step forward! But it would be a shame to stop at theory. Time for practice!

Because it’s by testing “for real” that you will validate your hypotheses. Like an entrepreneur who creates a prototype of his product to test it with his target customers. Except here, the product to design is your life!

In concrete terms, how do you prototype your aspirations? By engaging in projects and activities that resonate with your values and talents. Here are 3 ideas:

  • Launch a side-project that you’re passionate about, in parallel with your main activity. A blog, a YouTube channel, an association… Spend 2 hours a week on it, and observe your energy level.
  • Test a new job, without giving up everything. Shadow a pro, offer your services as a freelancer, find an internship. You’ll validate if this path really suits you.
  • Get involved in a cause that is close to your heart. As a volunteer in an association, by signing a petition, by participating in a collective project. Measure your fulfillment and your impact.

The idea is to test, without pressure. Move at your own pace, in iterative mode. If a project bores you after a month, move on to the next one. Build on your learnings with each try.

Launching yourself into the unknown like this means daring to step out of the box. Not always easy, fears die hard! Fear of failure, fear of disappointing, fear of what others think…

Here are 2 mantras that help me overcome my brakes:

  • Life is too short to live someone else’s script. You deserve to make your dreams come true! Better to have remorse than regrets.
  • Everything is experience. There is no failure, only lessons to bounce back better. Audacity always pays off in the end!

And remember, there are people around you. Your loved ones, mentors, a caring community… Plenty of people will be happy to support you in your quest. Myself first!

So go for it with a smile, in Kaizen mode (small steps). Your ikigai is within reach!

Toward your dreams

Step 5: Commit to your path with determination

That’s it, through exploration and testing, your raison d’ĂȘtre has been revealed! An obviousness, an intimate conviction. This flame that has been lit within you and only asks to grow.

It’s a wonderful revelation… and unsettling. Because once your ikigaĂŻ is identified comes the fateful question: “And now what do I do?”.

The temptation is great to take refuge in your comfort zone. To tell yourself “I have time, I’ll see later”. To doubt your legitimacy too, this famous impostor syndrome.

It’s normal to be afraid. Your path is still young, fragile. It will have to assert itself, prove itself. Find its place in this world. Like a child learning to walk!

More than ever, it’s time to mobilize your determination. To hold on, despite the obstacles and doubting voices (especially your own!).

Here are 3 keys to strengthen your perseverance and feed your inner flame:

  • Start with a symbolic small step. Set the tone by changing your LinkedIn profile, launching a new project… Engage, without a safety net! Your ikigai deserves this founding act.
  • Create your rituals. 1 hour of practice in the morning, 1 weekly challenge, 1 monthly check-in on your progress… Your routines will be your best allies, through the ups and downs. My favorite: daily visualization of my life dream!
  • Build a virtuous circle. Loved ones who believe in you, mentors to guide you, a community of enthusiasts… Surround yourself with people who pull you up and inspire you. Together, we go further!

Move at your own pace, but stay the course. Celebrate your victories, learn from your failures. Your new life takes shape step by step!

And in moments of doubt, come back to your “why”. This deep reason that gives meaning to your efforts. Keep your eyes on this horizon that makes you vibrate, and let it guide each of your steps.

An important point: once you have found your path, absolutely do not count on motivation, but on discipline. When things get complicated – and they always do – it’s easy to get demotivated. In those moments, only discipline allows you to continue each day in the right direction. Otherwise, you will only change destination as soon as the first hopes have passed: in these cases, our steps lead nowhere…

I can promise you from experience: there is nothing more gratifying than being aligned with yourself and fully embodying your ikigai. This feeling of fulfillment, of contributing to a better world… It’s a joyful inner revolution! And this better world, contrary to Western belief about ikigai, can be very small! It can be defending a cause like making your loved ones happy, or even feeling in tune with yourself.

So go for it with an open heart, and savor every moment of this wonderful journey.

Welcome to your new life! Do you want Jimili to accompany you on this journey? Download it quickly for your iOS or Android device.

Patrice Khal
Patrice Khal

Coach and trainer since 2018, co-founder of Jimili, I have been passionate about personal and professional development for many years!
I am thus the author of the French book “21 laws of the Free Spirit”.