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? 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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