Knowing that you’re feeling lost is a good thing. It means you’re in the homestretch. Congratulations are in order, because you are further along than most.
When you’ve lost a sense of who you are, it’s similar to the grieving process when you lose a loved one. The first stage of grief is denial, the stage most stay in their entire lives. Then there is anger and frustration, when you start to recognize that you are just going through the motions instead of being who you want to be. Then you bargain with yourself, thinking that something will come along, won’t it? Sure it will. But what if it doesn’t? No, it will. But then there’s depression, where you think, “Nothing will change, because I’m not doing anything about it.”
And now here we are: acceptance. You have accepted that you’ve lost touch with who you are, and you’re ready to find yourself.
Why Do You Feel Lost?
There are several reasons why you can be saying to yourself, “I am lost”. You might feel like you are drifting along looking at yourself from a helpless lens while your body just does what you’ve trained it to do. Excitements are few, challenges are sparse, and the routine has taken over.
Falling out of touch with yourself happens when you buy into other ideas of what you are supposed to be or should be doing. This can happen whether those ideas come from friends, family, society, or even yourself. When you follow what you think you are supposed to be doing rather than what you want to be doing, it’s a path that leads to losing yourself. If you want to do something, but don’t because of someone else’s expectations, you are not living your own life. You lost yourself, and only your true self can lead you to a path of happiness, passion, validation, and independence.
Picture walking aimlessly into unfamiliar woods. The longer you continue walking in that direction, the more lost you become. That is what the path of not being your truest, happiest, and most authentic self is like. Simply recognizing and admitting that you are lost is extremely difficult. You overcame that. You did, not us. We’re here to help you with the next step: finding yourself so you can get out of those woods.
The idea of finding yourself simply means accessing your confidence, natural and potential abilities, sense of self-worth, self-reliance, and independence. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Easier said than done.” But that’s true for anything (except for maybe onomatopoeia)
Finding yourself doesn’t mean understanding where you are currently; it’s figuring out who you are and where you can go. So, let’s start by discussing how you can find yourself by figuring out how you got where you are.
Why is it Important to Find Yourself?
Self-help expert Gretchen Rubin, author of the “New York Times” best seller Better Than Before, Happier at Home, may have put it best: “What I do for my work is exactly what I would do if nobody paid me.”
When you are finding yourself, you find what makes you truly happy, not just “happy enough.” You are here because your heart isn’t singing, and we’re here to give your heart the music it’s been looking for. Finding yourself opens up your potential to truly accomplish anything you set your mind to.
You may have heard the saying, “You made your bed, so now you have to lie in it.” What happens if you lift a bed and bring it out to the curb? Would it be a lot of work? Sure. But now that the bed (your life) is in the past, it’s time to make a new one, and it can be anything you want it to be. Other people won’t understand or won’t care to understand why you’re making a new bed. They’ll wonder what was wrong with your old bed. This is a mentality that causes us to lose our sense of self in the first place. What we’ve learned, society’s expectations, and the path that seemed to be paved for us at birth all create an avalanche that pushes you along and sweeps you up until you don’t know who you are anymore.
“What is the meaning of life?” It’s an age-old question with a timeless answer: to be happy. Being happy can only be accomplished by finding yourself, and here’s how.
Where Do I Start?
A good first step to finding yourself when you’re feeling lost in life is to make a timeline of your life. Not only is it fun, but it is extremely beneficial. List your past achievements, your regrets, and moments that stick out as momentous, both positive and negative. List every major life event you can think of. For the negatives, consider what you gained from the experiences. For the positives, consider what felt good about them and what resulted from them.
Now make a list of your goals and dreams. It can be quite specific, like becoming a pilot, or very general, like simply wanting to feel more satisfied in your daily life. This will be useful as a reference point going forward, as well as something you can pull from when talking to a mentor or life coach.
This first initial exercise is essential for us to see what we look like on paper. A new perspective is what this is all about, and you will be surprised in the revelations that a timeline of life events can bring to the surface.
People who have found themselves will be able to make a list quickly and easily, and might even put it on their fridge with pride. That type of person is doing what they want and what they love, and feels passion in accomplishing both their long-term goals and their daily duties.
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