Feeling lost and confused? How to free yourself

Feeling lost and confused happens to everyone one or more times (usually more)  in their life. It’s an excruciating experience. Being directionless is mentally agonizing. This is because when you have no plan for your future because you’re unclear about your next steps, you’ll be paralyzed when it comes to taking action and making progress. You’ll feel and be totally stuck. So what do you do to gain some mental relief? How do you free yourself from feeling lost and confused? Read on…

Feeling lost and confused

Feeling lost and confused?

Feeling lost and confused? How to free yourself

Like a seasoned surfer that surfs the waves you need to do the same. You’d never see a surfer trying to surf against the wave, against the current? That would be illogical. It would be totally ridiculous.

So the first thing to do when you’re feeling lost and confused is allow yourself to feel that way. Don’t resist it. Just be in the space of being lost and confused. Do your best to stop trying to solve your problem. You will want to because people are inquisitive. Humans like to know WHY. We like to solve things, especially our problems. Though, when you find yourself trying to force yourself out of feeling lost you’ll make it worse.

The first thing to do is to get that you feel lost and confused right now. Know that it’ll will pass soon. Surrender to how you feel. Continue to engage in your regular life. Do your best to relieve your mental agony by pursuing activities you enjoy. Having some fun just for the sake of it is a good way to handle feeling lost and confused.

Consider what you used to do for fun when you were a kid. Paint? Sing? Dance? Play a sport? Pick one activity and go do it. It’ll connect you to you and may drum up some inspiration. It might even be the thing that frees you.

Feeling lost vs. feeling lost and confused and totally in the dark!

There are two types of feeling lost. Sometimes you find yourself feeling lost simply because you haven’t decided what your next actions are. Sometimes it takes simply considering your options and choosing your next action. When you start to take new actions you’ll feel better. You’ll gain traction.

But sometimes, it’s far worse. You feel lost and totally and utterly confused. No matter what you try to do you have no idea where you’re going in life. The more you try and solve the problem, the more you entertain ideas and mentally visualize possible futures, the less clear you feel. The experience is one of being completely in the dark or in a fog in your mind. You question everything. You question your future, your past, the actions your taking now. It feels like a full on existential crisis.

There’s a term for feeling lost and confused that many spiritual leaders use: “the dark night of the soul”. When you’re in a dark night period it’s suggested that it’s because you come out of a major period of personal transformation (many times it comes after a major personal failure or loss). It’s like you’re shedding a piece of who you used to be and a new, more advanced and full of wisdom you is going to emerge.

What this means, is the dark night stage you’re experiencing is a GOOD THING even if it doesn’t feel like it.

What to do about feeling lost and confused

Once again, the best way to get through it is to surrender and wait it out. It’ll pass. The sooner you surrender the faster you’ll speed the process. The faster you’ll get to feeling great again. And when you are feeling great you will be bursting with ideas and inspiration and power!

Surrendering doesn’t sound fun though, does it? Especially when it feels so excruciating when you don’t know what to do. Or if you are depressed. So how do you relieve the mental agony? Here are three tips…

Step 1: Believe in something bigger than yourself

Anytime you feel yourself being pulled down by the negative emotions you’re going through that’s when you have to dig deep and conjure up some major belief. Believe that this stage will pass like all other periods in your life. Emotions are transient. They don’t last forever even it feels like they will.

Believe that when the fog clears you’ll wake up one day with major inspiration. Believe that a more powerful you is emerging. If you’re able to grasp onto these beliefs it will help. If these beliefs don’t work for you think of some empowering ones to have. You might want to simply keep saying to yourself :”this will pass soon”.

Step 2: Be a tad more selfish than usual

Do what you got to do to feel better. That might mean sleeping in one day (or more than just one). It might mean having some alone time away from friends and family. It might mean sitting on the couch watching reality TV and eating some ice cream and crying. Allow yourself to feel the negative emotions. Don’t indulge them but feel them. Let yourself purge. Allow yourself to be imperfect. Let yourself be human.

It’s okay to fall off your “keeping it all together wagon” sometimes. Just don’t get stuck in it. DON’T pity yourself. DON’T be a negative tornado around other people. And communicate with the people you love. Tell them: “I’m feeling a bit directionless and uncertain right now I might need to have more alone time than I usually do so I can work through it”, or “I’m sorting out what’s next for me and it doesn’t feel great. If I’m being too negative please know I’m working through something and it’s not about you. I won’t feel bad if you need some space away from me right now”.

DO take positive actions – like going for a massage or taking a bath – to lesson the emotional sting. Go an get lost in an activity.

Step 3: Ask empowering questions

You’re in control of what you say to yourself and other people. Be aware of what you ask yourself. Most people in a dark night stage find themselves asking questions like:

  • “Why is this happening”
  • Why me?”
  • It’s all their fault”
  • Will this ever end?”
  • “Am I depressed”.

If you ask yourself a disempowering question you will get a disempowering answer. You’ll reinforce your negative swirl.

Instead, ask: What’s next for me?

A better question to ask is: “what’s next for me?”, “Universe (or whatever God you believe in), what would you have me do right now?”. Ask positive questions. And remember: The quality of your questions match the quality of the response you get.

If you’re feeling lost and confused, today take one action forward. Action is the fastest way out of feeling lost. Any action. Action equals new results and it will move you forward when you’re stuck. So, if you cling to any advice in this article let it be this: Take one new action.

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Feeling lost and lonely? Here’s what to do about it…

At one point in your life, you will find yourself feeling lost and lonely. You won’t know what to do and it will feel excruciatingly miserable. It feels terrible because happiness is linked to making progress. You feel great when you’re moving in a forward direction towards what you’d like to achieve in your life. When you’re not, it’s mentally agonizing. Feeling lonely, as well, only makes it worse.

And of course, feeling lost and lonely is usually a matched set. This is because no one wants to talk openly about it. It’s common to share about your triumphs when life is great. But, when life is directionless the inclination is to hide how you feel (and hide from people) until you sort it out.

If you’re suffering in silence and googling for clarity, this article will provide you some immediate relief.

Here’s a step by step method to your way back…

Surrender to how you feel

When you feel lost you can be damn sure you’ll do your best to think your way out of it.  You’ll immediately start asking yourself why you feel the way you do . You’ll come up with reasons to validate why. Then, you’ll start trying to figure out what you need to do to feel better and gain some traction in life.

But here’s the kicker about feeling lost: Sometimes you know WHY you feel the way you do. And, you’ll have some ideas of WHAT to do, but you can still feel foggy and unclear. You’ll still find yourself grappling and you will still feel confused and uncertain about what to do.

The first thing to do is accept where you’re at. Accept the uncomfortable feelings and thoughts your having. Surrender to this moment in your life. Stop fighting it. Stop trying to figure things out. Just do your best to BE with the way things are, without the need to fix it.

Relinquish control and get immediate peace

When you force change to occur, you’ll create resistance. If you have thoughts like “I shouldn’t feel this way” or “I need to do something about this” you are trying to force too much. Relinquish control and you’ll get some immediate peace.

The more you try and force yourself to feel better the worse you’ll make the situation. Anytime you try and force situations and emotions to change you’ll create resistance. This will extend your period of feeling lost. You don’t want to do this.

When you’re feeling lost and lonely, accepting where you’re at probably doesn’t inspire you too much.

But the best thing to do is say to yourself: “Where I’m at right now in my life is the perfect place for me to be. Clarity is soon to come.” Do your best to chill out and be in a state of wonder. Wonder what’s next to emerge in your life. Start to be inquisitive. Try on ideas and possible future pathways in your mind like you’re shopping for clothes that fit.

What you resist persists. So surrender and get that this is jus at period you’re in right now. It will pass as all stages and emotions do.

Don’t make rash decisions

You might feel like making some radical changes when you feel lost and alone, such as: Break up with a partner, quit a job, move across the country. Don’t do anything major. Carry on with your regular day-to-day life as best you can. Distract yourself from your negative thoughts. Refocus on new projects and other people. Your sense of feeling lost will fade. Clarity will come. Wait it out.

Decisions need to be made only when you feel good. When you make decisions when you’re in a negative state you’re reacting to life versus taking an active approach to life. Decisions made when you feel bad will never turn out well.

Share authentically

You’re innate ability to share is a gift. Sharing is a bridge out of the darkness of your mind. It builds connections with others. It creates an access from you to the world. Sharing helps inspiration, hope, belief and love to flow to you.

There’s strength in sharing authentically about how you feel with people you trust and love, and sometimes even strangers.  The catch is you won’t feel like sharing about the fact you’re feeling lost and lonely. Do it anyways! (You can still do something even if you don’t feel like it. It’s like getting out of bed on a Monday morning when you feel like sleeping in).

But if you’re brave enough to say to a few people “you know, I’ve been feeling a bit directionless at this point in my life”, you’ll likely get some immediate relief. You’ll likely see you’re not alone in your experience. You’ll see how people are willing to help. You may even get some inspiration. Perhaps a new opportunity will show up. Or, you’ll connect with someone on a deeper level.

Lastly, share authentically but also make sure you’re not sharing over and over with the same person or being super negative. Sharing about your struggle is different than bitching complaining. Don’t be an energy sucker for other people.

Take care of your physical health

Crappy food. No fresh air. No exercise. This will certainly NOT help.

Focus right now on taking care of your body, mind and spirit. Do what you need to do to feel good. Make sure you’re not overloading on sugar, caffeine, or fast food. Get outside. Move your body. Eat well. Nourish yourself.

This includes feeding your brain with positive information and knowledge. Listen to an audiobook that inspires you. Evaluate the content you take in daily. Weed out the crap.

Watch what you say!

Pay close attention to the language you use when you’re with others and what you say to yourself. Shift the jargon you use so it’s lighter and more objective. For instance if you keep saying to yourself and others: “I feel like shit. I don’t know what to do”, a slight change to: “I haven’t been feeling to best. I’m seeking inspiration” will take the sting off of the way you feel and help you’re focus shift. It will help you remain open to new possibilities during an uncomfortable time.

When you speaking negatively you train your brain to carve out and speed up more negative pathways. So take control of your language, make some slight changes. It will help you to start thinking more objectively and to be more open minded.

Feeling lonely? Go be around people

Loneliness is voluntary. When you feel alone, go be around people. Call someone. Go on the Internet and connect with someone. Simply putting yourself in an atmosphere of people — a shopping mall, a farmers market, a beach, a Starbucks — can help pull you out of your funk.

You also might have moments where you want to be alone. Go be in nature and think. Sit quietly. Take a bath and feel the warm water on your body. Do whatever you need to do to feel good.

Have more fun

Reconnect with your inner child. Play. Do something pointless and random that you like to do for no reason at all. Getting lost in fun will help you find yourself.

  • Try an adult coloring book.
  • Listen to a genre of music that’s new to you.
  • Borrow someone’s dog or cat for a weekend.
  • Eat food you never tried.
  • Seek out new people and experiences.
  • Do cartwheels in the park.
  • Go fishing.

Finally, here is the bottom line on feeling lost and lonely. It’s temporary, and therefore it will not last. You will find yourself and your passion again. You can give up feeling lonely and rejoin the world. Re-read this guide and apply the advice and you’ll get there sooner.

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What am I doing with my life? 4 Steps to clarity

When you find yourself asking the question: “What am I doing with my life?”, it’s a surefire sign you’re NOT HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU’RE CURRENTLY DOING. You’re not fulfilled with your current life and the direction your life is headed.

If you were happy and fully aligned with your current path, you wouldn’t question it.

So first, start by taking the hints you’re sending to yourself. You are the best one to know when what you’re doing with your life is misaligned with what you actually want.

No one is going to live your life for you. It’s your job to listen to your instincts and do what’s right for you even if other people don’t get it.

Now, the more important question to be asking is: What do you DO about it? Which is probably what brought you here.

The simplest answer is: TAKE ONE NEW ACTION.

New actions always equal new results. And from those new results you can assess whether you’re progressing in the direction you like. The only way to gain traction is to get out of your head and into the game of life.

The faster you get in action, the better. And I’ve made this simple as I’ve coached thousands of people stuck in  the “what am I doing with my life” funk.  Here’s the fastest way to break out of your funk and gain the clarity you need to move forward.

Not to mention, I’ve been in this funk myself a few times.

I used to be a very successful event planner with a swanky condo and a life that looked pretty fab. Inside I was dying. So unhappy. So disconnected from my true purpose.

And it took a lot of courage to change directions in spite of what my family and friends thought.

But on the other side of it all was FREEDOM. And true success. Because he’s the secret: When you follow what fulfills you, success is easily achieved.

So really, download this free audio training that you can do privately in front of your computer. It’ll give you some instant clarity and confidence (in as little as 10-15 minutes) so you can move forward.

Or read on for the four steps you can take today to get yourself feeling better fast.

First, you should know the underlying reasons you feel this way

You’re questioning your current life situation for one of two reasons:

  1. You don’t know how to get what you want so the path forward is unclear. This has you waffle about what to do. Quite often you’ll then question if you even want what you thought you wanted in the first place!
  2. You are in a career or relationship or environment that is authentically not connected to who you are and what you want to be and what to want to contribute to the world. The authentic you cries out.

And that, the “What am I doing with my life” problem is a good one to have

The best way to think of what’s going on is to consider that you have an internal elastic band built into you. When you get further away from what you want and value your elastic band stretches. This creates resistance. The “what am I doing with my life?” questioning is a sign resistance is occurring.

When you’re in line with what you deeply want your elastic band will move back into place and you’ll feel whole. You’ll feel at peace. So, now is your time to take stock of where you are going and to listen to your internal barometer. You can do that simply by downloading this free training session that’ll give you the clarity you need fast.

4 Steps -What to do to gain clarity and be confident about what to do next

Okay, so you’ve heard the signal, now what? You might find yourself seeking guidances friends or family, or a mentor, thoughts leader,  life coach or therapist first, but here’s the thing: You’re the only that can figure it out!

This is YOUR life and you are the only one who can make the decisions you need to make. What you really need is clarity. And you can bet, if you’re like most people you’ll struggle and look for it externally.

But, what is more effective is doing some internal work.

Step 1: Empty your head of all the noise

When you start to notice that you have a lot of “what am I doing with my life?” thoughts you will immediately start asking yourself WHY. People are inquisitive by nature. It’s part of being human and you will naturally go to a place of :”Why do I feel this way?”And then you’ll start to ask: “What should I do?”. 

Then, you’ll start entertaining a whole lot of thoughts about why and what. You’ll struggle with what to do next. And, you’ll look externally for answers to get clarity. This is a common trajectory. If you start doing this, you can bet you’ll get nowhere. You’ll find yourself going around in circles. At this point, some people start to make silly decisions that don’t move them in the right direction.

When there is a lot of mental chatter in your head, the clarity you seek remains elusive.

What you need is to get to place of nothing, so you can create something new. New ideas and new inspiration only emerges when you get your mind to a place of nothing. To have it be blank.

Really, take a moment to think about this. When you are feeling deep joy or happiness, what are you thinking about? Your mind is either blank or fixated on one object (like the blue sky outside). Mentally the space of your mind isn’t full, it’s empty. And in that space only then can new things show up.

Or think of it this way…An artist will have more ideas when confronted with a blank canvas versus looking at a painting they’ve been working with for months but haven’t gotten anywhere with. And sometimes just looking at a blank canvas will give them the inspiration of what they need to do with the old canvas. If they keep going back to the old canvas they will draw inspiration from what the filter in front of them without event noticing it.

Here’s a quick exercise you can download and do to gain that clarity your seeking.

How to get to nothing

So, when you are in a head space of “What should I do?“, just notice it, be aware of it, and then do whatever you need to do to stop thinking about anything.

Do something fun.

Do something physical, like go for a run or a walk.

Go be in nature.

Talk to other people and get out of your own head!

Go focus on a work project.

Listen to an audiobook.

Do whatever you need to do to forget everything you’ve been thinking about. That’s when the ideas will pour in.

This isn’t some woo-woo advice, it’s backed by neuroscience. You’re brain is always running on two modes of activity. When you’re not focused on any task or problem your brain goes into a mode of thinking called your Default Mode Network (DMN). This is where important connections take place and inspiration pours in.

So Step 1 is to do what you need to forget everything your thinking about. This might take trying a number of things. Go get lost in something. Get your mind to a blank canvas, and ideas will start to pop up. Or try this free audio visualization training now and the inspiration you need will come to you easily

Step 2: Listen and evaluate 

Listen to the ideas that start to pop into your mind.

Capture them by writing them down somewhere. Really. Writing your ideas down is important. It helps you develop them and see them in reality not just in your head.

Start to play with your ideas.

A great way to evaluate ideas you have is to imagine yourself in the near future doing what you think you might want to do. Mentally try on different things. When you visualize (daydream in other words) it activates the same circuits as if you were physically take those actions.. You can use visualization start to see what actions inspires you and excites you and lights you up.

There will be ideas that speak to you. Ideas that you get stuck on. Ideas that make you feel awesome just thinking about them. Those are the ideas to build on.

Try this free visualization training session to mentally try on what your future “perfect day” might look like

Step 3: Create a smart strategy

Once you have some ideas of where you might like to steer your life, the changes you need to make and the actions you need to take will show up. They’ll start to become obvious to you.

At this point play with your options. Share your ideas with other people. Crowdsource! Ask them for their thoughts and advice. It’s what I call “table-ing your ideas.”

Here are some questions to get you thinking: What should I do with my life…

  • What’s the big picture outcome I have for my life? 
  • Why is this important to me?
  • What can I do now to fulfill on this plan?
  • What current needs do I need to meet? (For instance you might want to completely change careers but you have bills to pay so you need to be able to manage these two things)
  • What are the obvious things I can do right away?

Zoom in from your big picture of what you want to achieve 3 months and 6 months out. Consider the actions you need to take to accomplish what you want.

The “What am I doing with my life” transformation exercise

One of the best ways to do this is:

  1. Simply draw a horizontal line on a piece of paper
  2. Write down what you want at the end of the line
  3. At the start of the line, write down where you’re starting from now
  4. Then, chart out the obvious actions you need to take

Pick the pathway that inspires you, the one that makes you feel confident and satisfied immediately, because you’ll be moving in the right direction but also fulfilling on what you need to do now to make a shift.

The question: “What should I do with my life?” will start to become answered.

Step 4: Take action

Once you know what to do, take one small action. This will give you relief. You’ll start to move your life in a new direction. You’ll begin to make progress versus staying stuck and feeling lost or hopeless.

Remember that action leads to progress and progress is good. Action will also create momentum. You’ll gain traction and keep moving forward.

As you progress remember that the thought “what am I do with my life?” is a signal. It’s a sign you need to stop, evaluate and gain clarity on what you need to do to proceed.

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early midlife crisis

Early midlife crisis? No, it’s called a quarter life crisis

early midlife crisisThe difference between a Quarter-Life Crisis and a Midlife Crisis

If you’ve ever experienced feelings of confusion, frustration, and uncertainty regarding your life, it may feel like an early midlife crisis. But if you are in your 20s or 30s, it’s called a quarter life crisis.

Many people are familiar with the term midlife crisis as it relates to people who want a life change after years of commitment.

But how does a midlife crisis differ from a quarter-life crisis? Let’s explore that.

Age of Crisis Occurrence

The first major difference between a quarter-life and mid-life crisis has to do with the age at which it occurs. The mid-life crisis typically occurs for people in their 40s and 50s, when they start noticing how they have physically and mentally changed since the first stage of their lives. A quarter-life crisis, on the other hand, happens between the ages of 20 and 40 as a person becomes aware of the uncertainty that lies ahead.

Causes of the Crises

The term “midlife crisis” has been around since the 1960s. In those days it was common for individuals to start their careers early, and stick with a job for a substantial amount of time. These workers were relatively satisfied with their lives until they reached a certain age. Then they came to see they were being replaced or pushed out by the younger generation. Increases in health problems and a loss of youthful vigor start to sink in for people in their 40s and 50s. These thoughts cause stress. And, they can directly motivate actions that signify a mid-life crisis.

Changes in career trends and the way people communicate have opened the door for the quarter-life crisis. This is perhaps why the millennials are the first generation to fully experience the quarter-life crisis on a widespread basis.

Young adults are now forced to make serious decisions about their lives at a younger age, and there is an increased pressure for success caused, in part, by a comparisons to others’ social media accounts.

The global marketplace is rapidly expanding and technology is speeding up every aspect of our lives. It can feel overwhelming for those attempting to design a life plan. It can be hard to overcome a quarter-life crisis, but the first step is to recognize the signs.

Midlife crisis vs quarter life crisis

Quarter-life and midlife crises are subjective, so people will react in different ways and experience different emotions depending on personality and circumstance.

A midlife crisis is characterized by realizations that life is fleeting, and feelings of dissatisfaction with the current state of things. Those with a mid-life crisis may act out by cheating on their spouse or purchasing items that make them feel reckless, such as expensive sports cars.

Many mid-lifers have increased concern for their health and take up new habits to get in better shape. Sufferers may make attempts to look and feel younger. They might seek out plastic surgery, new clothes, hair implants, or develop a sudden interest in nightlife.

Signs of a quarter life crisis

Alternatively, typical signs of the quarter-life crisis include attempts to buckle down and get serious about the next moves in your life.  Young adults feel pressure to be both sustainably happy and successful. This is perhaps due to the fear of getting stuck with a mid-life crisis down the road.

They could feel as though they have wasted time or money working toward something that is not satisfying or fulfilling their goals. Many people with a quarter-life crisis get trapped by the paradox of choice. They have so many options available, so choosing the right one seems nearly impossible.

Lastly, people experiencing a quarter life crisis may feel regretful about the time they’ve spent having fun. They may have also developed a desire to make a real impact on the world.

Whatever the causes and signs of the crisis, it can be comforting to know you are not alone. It’s perfectly normal to have feelings of uncertainty as a young adult or fears of fleeting youth later on. If you are experiencing the signs of a quarter-life crisis, take the quarter life crisis quiz. Or read more about what a quarter life crisis might look and feel like, and what to do about it.