It’s not unusual at one stage or another in life to feel lost or like we’ve lost our identity. It can happen at times of overwhelming change, or at times when we are just sailing along with no purpose or awareness of ourselves or our mission in life. We can feel confused, unsure, unclear, disoriented, and just down.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our every day routine that we become robots performing one habit after another, automatically. We do things because we have to, or because we feel we have to. We learn to tick along, and we tick along, day after day, not knowing where we’re headed or why… until one day something clicks inside us, and we realize there’s no clarity or direction in our life; we feel lost and confused.
It’s so easy to forget that we have a brain; that we are creative beings that need more than oxygen, water and food to live. We also need to know we matter, and what matters to us, we need a sense of direction, a mission, a purpose, a goal… something bigger than our ego. These things are the fire that keeps our engine roaring and moving forward.
If you feel lost right now it doesn’t mean you’re lost. If you can tell me where you are reading this from right now, then you’re not lost.
You might feel lost, but realize that those feelings are just a reflection of what and how you’ve been thinking lately
Often, when we feel lost we also feel overwhelmed, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed when we think about a whole bunch of things at the same time, all jumbled up inside our head. What can help is:
#REALIZE WHO YOU ARE#
Often we identify ourselves by what we do professionally. We say things like “I’m an accountant”, “I’m a stay at home mum”, “I’m unemployed”… labels like these can sometimes narrow our mind and our world. That’s not who we are, that’s what we do, sometimes, or a lot of the time. But the truth is that we’re also men and women. You’re someone’s son or daughter. You’re a brother, a sister, a cousin, an uncle or auntie, a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, friend, colleague… you’re so many things to so many people; that’s who you are, and how important you are. If you were to ask the people in your life how you’re doing in your role towards them, what would they say? This simple exercise will help you get a sense of who you are and put things into perspective.
#WHAT MATTERS MATTERS#
Have you ever stopped to think about what’s important to you in life? What matters the most to you? Our personal values are broad preferences concerning appropriate courses of action, or outcomes. They reflect our sense of right and wrong, or what should be. They are the foundations upon which our integrity and morals are based, and give us a sense of identity. For some people the most important thing in life is money, for others it’s family, for others health goes above everything else.
Values provide an internal reference for what is good, beneficial, important, useful, beautiful, desirable, constructive… and they generate behaviour. They help us understand and solve common human problems, and put things into perspective in our lives. Whatever you do, as long as it’s in accordance with your values, you’ll be just fine.
How often do you look in the mirror and proactively look for what you like about yourself? If you’re like most people you probably do the opposite. We either avoid the mirror, or we actively look for what we don’t like, or what we think is not good enough. Then we feel bad. We do that day after day and then we wonder why we feel down on ourselves and our confidence is on the floor. People pay us compliments and we’re sure they’re lying or just saying it cos they have to… we dress head to toe in black to hide from others and then wonder why no one pays us any attention.
If you want to feel like you count, you matter and you’re important, you must match your behaviour to your thoughts, starting with you looking in the mirror and looking for all the things you love about you today, tomorrow, the day after, and the day after…
#THE LOVES IN YOUR LIFE#
It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane. Some days it seems all we do is work, eat, sleep, and that’s if we get to eat, or sleep! Our lives and our heads are full of things we must get done, things we have to do, and things we should do. It seems that we’re on “go-go-go” mode until we reach a milestone, such as a holiday, and we get to finally relax for a few days and appreciate the finer things in life.
How often do we stop to think about what it is we love about our lives, and how we can do more of the things we love to do more of the time? Amongst the “must do”s and “have to”s make sure you stick in a few “because I love to”s.
#A HIGHER PURPOSE#
What are you here for? Not why, but what for? What’s your purpose, apart from waking up in the morning and making it to tonight. What’s your mission; what do you want to leave behind when you’re gone, apart from a handful of ash? If you feel lost in life it’s because you don’t know where you’re going, and I’m not talking about next week’s party, or next year’s holidays.
What can help us find our way is getting out of our own heads and into the world, and finding what really makes us tick; something that’s bigger than us and our egos, our reason not just for living, but for living life to the full. And it could be that you want to be the best accountant you can possibly be and help as many people with your work as possible, or it could be that you want to raise a wonderful family, but if you’re gonna do it, do it with pride and joy, and savour every second of it.
Have you ever felt lost in life, and what did you do to find your way back?