09/17/2014 05:19 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2014

3 Questions to Ask Yourself to Find Your Life Purpose

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A recent study suggests people who live their purpose live longer and are more healthy and happy.

According to the new research, people with a sense of purpose had a 15 percent lower risk of death, compared with those who said they were more or less aimless. And it didn't seem to matter when people found their direction. It could be in their 20s, 50s or 70s.

I know first hand about the struggle and deep desire to find our life's purpose.

Several years ago, I was depressed in corporate, suffering from eating disorders and addicted to drugs, I felt stuck and trapped by my own circumstances. Finding my life purpose was the farthest possibility for me. I was in unhealthy situations but I couldn't break free. I knew the situations were bad for me, but I was paralyzed by fear.

For years, I would stay in unhealthy situation hoping things would turn around. But the person being punished was me. It wasn't until I tried these steps that things transformed. By putting my trust into faith and knowing that I did have a purpose, even if I didn't know (at the time) what it was, helped pull me into happiness and health.

Fear can paralyze us and keep us stuck.

But we always have the power to get out of fear by taking action. You can get unstuck and move forward and find your purpose by taking action steps forward.

Today in my life coaching practicing, many clients express feelings of entrapment.
Many folks focus on what isn't working and how they don't know what their purpose is, which blocks them from moving forward.

Don't let fear paralyze you or keep you stuck. You deserve to be happy and to life your purpose and a passion-filled life. People ask me how I found my purpose. It was a steady focus forward and many little steps that led to my big picture.

I asked three powerful questions that led to my awakening and inner shift.

We often stay in unhealthy situations because we are unclear of our future. The path is blurry or we don't know what we want. To combat this fear, and discover your purpose, ask yourself these three questions.

1. Who Am I?
You have a unique set of skills, talents and strengths that belong only to you. You have the potential to live a life where you utilize all of your natural abilities. By connecting with your values, you will learn who you are.

2. What Do I Want?
You may not know what you want right now, but taking small steps and following your heart's nudges will guide you to clarity. Each action step you take will pull you forward. You can also return to your childhood and think about what you loved to do as a kid. Maybe you loved to write poetry or use your imagination. This might mean you value expressing yourself creatively.

3. How Can I Get There?
Take action steps each day to help pull you toward you goal. Instead of focusing on arriving, be in the journey and let the process unfold.

When you align with your truth and answer all of these questions, you will realize you have the power to leave any unhealthy situation.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

If you're struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.