The Toxicity of “Purpose”

A woman looks out a misty window gazing at rain drops.
A woman sits on the floor, her back against the wall. Her hands cover her face as she sits in the shadows.

I once met an ex-pastor’s wife who felt she had no purpose in life and just wanted life to be, “Over with.”

She had been through a lifetime of abuse, and then she had served in ministry for years, only to experience more abuse. She was exhausted, broke, and alone. She felt like she had nothing to offer the world, and she didn’t know why she was even alive.

Her story is not unique. Many people struggle with a sense of purpose in life. Feeling like we’re not good enough, or that we don’t have anything to contribute and going through the motions while putting on brave faces. 

But what if the problem isn’t with us … or you? What if the problem is with the way the word “purpose” is perceived?

The pursuit of “purpose” can be toxic when undertaken carelessly or thoughtlessly. It can make us feel like we have to be doing something great, or that we have to be achieving something significant. It can make us feel like we’re not good enough if we’re not constantly making a profound difference in the world.


But what if our purpose is simply to be? What if our purpose is to love and be loved? What if our purpose is to experience the beauty of the world around us?

When you free yourself from the burden of having to have a purpose, you can finally start to live. You can start to enjoy the simple things in life. You can start to connect with yourself and with others and find meaning in each day.

If you’re struggling with a sense of purpose, I encourage you to let go of the pressure. Let go of the need to be doing something great. Your purpose is to have a loving relationship with your Creator.

Hidden beliefs and toxic perceptions of “purpose” has more to do with the approval of man. To impress, or to have meaning. Beware of feeling burdened and stressed over embracing your “purpose” or “calling.” Whenever you are struggling with anxiety regarding your worth, then you are ensnared in the works of the flesh. The hidden motivation is narcissistic in nature in order to gain the approval of man and to take a ‘bow’ over your “accomplishments.”


In fact, we actually over-complicate things without noticing – so that we can take credit for what we did.

Think about it …

This is done subconsciously. That’s why it is so hard and heavy for us while we struggle to fulfill our elusive “purpose” or “calling.”

Life doesn’t have to be so hard! In order to walk in authenticity and authority, release the right to take credit or worry whether you are impressing others. Embrace who you are, and how you are. Allow God to direct you naturally and joyously. KNOW Who your source is! He created you as a unique individual, filled with gifts, talents, and skills that you enjoy and love to flow in. Why would He ask you to do something that you aren’t good at or enjoy? Why would it be tempting to believe that God wants you to be something that you are not?


If you feel pressure to be seen or prove that you have worth, or value – then it is from the wrong side of things.

How to Find Your Purpose

If you’re ready to start finding your purpose, here are a few tips:

  • Start by asking yourself what you love to do. What are you passionate about? What brings you joy?
  • Think about your strengths and talents. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing?
  • Consider your values. What’s important to you? What do you believe in?
  • Look for opportunities to use your strengths and talents to serve others. What can you do to make a difference in the world?
  • Be patient and persistent. It may take some time to find your authenticity. Don’t give up! Continue exploring and experimenting until you find something that feels right for you.

Remember, your purpose is not something that’s given to you. It’s something that you create. 

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