6 Tips For Feeling Lost In Life
In my life I have encountered many periods where I find myself feeling lost. I recall applying to colleges as a high school senior and feeling left behind when my parents couldn’t afford to send me to my dream schools.
I still remember that feeling of worthlessness and pain when my first boyfriend broke my heart. Graduating with a degree in psychology and entering the real world with no aspirations in that field did not do much to help me either.
In these darker times, I realize that my lack of motivation and loss of enjoyment is impacting my ability to continue to succeed. Thus, I find that life starts to feel like it keeps getting worse for me. While I never failed a class in college, my desire to attend class and study was so low that I often skipped. Some classes I skipped entire semesters of (luckily still passing). When my boyfriend broke my heart, I didn’t leave bed for a week and lost six pounds (I’m sorry to my freshman year roommate for all the crying and wailing in the shower – he wasn’t the one anyway).
Where Does Hopelessness Come From?
Many of my hopeless and horrified feelings come from my childhood and home life (no surprises there). I had a great family growing up, but financially we were left wanting. When the going gets tough for me, I get scared that my life will crumble and I have no safety net. I fear that I will end up living a life like that forever.
6 Tips To Get Back On Track With Your Life
Now, I have recently started struggling with where I want to be in life in terms of my career. I am taking this time remind myself, and others in my position, to follow some essential steps to success and happiness. Here is some advice that I routinely find myself following, in no particular order:
- Stop and Look At Your Feet: I know, I know – this one sounds silly and is eyeroll worthy. When the world feels like it is spinning around you, it is easy to get lost with where you are and where you are going. Take a moment to breathe and look at your feet – look at where you are and realize you are there for a reason. From there, you can start thinking about how you want to change your life for the better. If you hate your job, but don’t know where to go, just sit back and look at where you are standing. How did you get to that spot? How have you gotten that far? What do you want to do? Taking a moment to come back to reality can be extremely helpful for decision making and problem solving.
- Take a Moment to Write a List of What You are Grateful For – When your life problems are so overwhelming that you are struggling to find the good, it can help to sit down and think. Take a piece of paper and jot down a list of 10 things you are grateful for in your life. When I am in my worst times, this is extremely helpful. Even when my life feels like it is falling into shambles (which happens fairly often due to my anxiety), writing a list of the ways I am fortunate helps to relax and ground myself. These things don’t have to be huge or major. Sometimes my list consists of the fact that I am alive, I am breathing, and I woke up another day.
- Understand That Your Life is Not Your Peers Life – Sometimes the feeling of being lost comes from comparing yourself to those around you. Whether you see your friends getting huge raises and finding success in a career they love while you are unhappy with your job, or everyone is married while your still single, you have to understand that life has a different plan for all of us. While I am not a huge proponent of fate, and I would never suggest putting your full trust in it, I do believe that there is a bigger plan out there for all of us. We just have to find it. Understand that you are not less of a person or less successful in life just because your peers seem to be accelerating past you – I promise you that they also have their own stresses and confusions with life, and concerning your anxieties with their successes is not going to do anyone any good.
- Be Honest With Yourself – The only way that you can start seeing any improvement in your life is to identify what is causing the issue. In situations where you truly have no control to improve, try to find alternative ways that you can make your life better. But often times the root cause of feeling lost in life is oneself. You cannot start improving your life if you don’t bring your own shortcomings to the table.
- Take Action – Once you’ve identified where the root cause of your issue is, it is time to take some action. For me, that begins with moving out of the apartment that I hate and starting this blog in hopes to help others, myself, and friends/family. For you, it may be transitioning into another career, or accepting your life circumstances and taking measures to move on or improve. Either way, you can’t expect for things to get better if you don’t start moving.
- Talk to Someone – This one can often be very hard, but it is very rewarding. It is hard to be honest and critical with yourself. It is also hard to deal with pain, sadness, loneliness, fear, anxiety, and dread by yourself. This is something I struggle to do myself. I often bottle up my pain and anxiety until it comes to a head where I cannot handle it anymore and I explode. When I do start talking to those who are close to me, I realize what a great support system I have. If you don’t have a support system, you can always use free online peer counseling (something I did when I was lonely and lost) or, if you can afford it, speak to a counselor. The feedback is very helpful for finding a solution to your issues, and it also helps relieve some of the stress you’ve been feeling.
Understand That You Are Not Alone
My life is by no means perfect, believe me. My struggle with anxiety makes my life more difficult in ways many of my friends don’t seem to understand. However, when I do come down from my meltdowns or stages of depression, I find that I have more motivation than ever when I follow these steps. My favorite step is definitely finding someone to talk to – socializing while expressing my struggles helps me feel better about the fact that even if I fail, I am not alone.
Let’s keep this going. As someone who still struggles with anxiety and moments of feeling lost, what are some tips you suggest for getting out of a funk?