We are always going somewhere — to another meeting, to a coffee date, to a happy hour, to a birthday party, to a presentation, to a conference. Just going, going… gone.
In a world where there always seems to be a new destination, why are so many people feeling lost? Why do some people just feel like no matter what they do or what they accomplish they are just never where they want to be? Why with all the technology, Siri, and GPS, do we still find ourselves feeling lost?
1. You spend your time with people who are also lost and have no intention of finding their way.
We all go through phases where we are just living day to day, paycheck to paycheck, or moment to moment. It’s natural, this phase may have been during college for you, after college, when all your friends started getting married, when your marriage ended, when your kids left home, whenever it was this phase is totally normal sometimes. I like to think of it as the Pause Phase.
But what about those people who seem to be on permanent pause? Are you surrounding yourself with people who are happy with the bare minimum? People who don’t have the same ambition as you? People whose lives may be a hot mess and they are fine with it that way? People who constantly complain about how things aren’t getting better but aren’t making moves to make things better?
If so, that may be why you feel lost. You can’t move forward with anchors that hold you down. These types of people have decided they can’t go anywhere or do anything, so even if they love you they can’t really understand or support the fact that you want to go somewhere and do something. Surround yourself with people who inspire you. People who make you want to try new things and people who understand life is about making a difference and finding your happiness.
2. You don’t take time to take care of yourself.
If you stop by McDonalds every night on the way home from work, only get off the couch to refill your wine class and smoke a pack of cigarettes a day you aren’t taking care of your best asset, YOU!
Your body and mind are intertwined. I don’t have to go into detail about the effects a bad lifestyle can have on you physically and mentally because we’ve all heard it before. If you aren’t doing whatever you can to feel your best physically every day you are standing in the pool with a weight around your ankle holding you back.
I’m not saying you can’t eat a burger or have a glass of wine. I’m saying you need to find balance. If you are planning on creating that e-course or going to your first 6.a.m. yoga class don’t stay out the night before tossing back beers until 2 a.m.
If you are trying to reach a goal it might take some long nights or early mornings but your body needs rest and so does your brain.
Listen to your body’s cues and signals. Your body will tell you what you need if you put down the remote and listen.
3. You focus too much energy on what other people think or how your actions make other people feel instead of how they make you feel.
No matter who the person is, no one should dictate your happiness. If you spend every second of the day analyzing the things you want to say, you aren’t being true to yourself and that’s like drinking emotional poison.
Yes we want people to like us and we want to make our loved ones happy but what about your happiness?
This doesn’t mean you should just be an asshole and say mean things that are uncalled for because it’s how you feel.
It means you should stand up for yourself and remember your feelings and emotions are valid. You’re allowed to feel. No matter how much you focus on other people’s feelings or how happy you make them you will still have to deal with your own feelings.
So if you disagree, say so. If someone has wronged you, let them know. If people can’t handle you standing up for your emotional rights then you don’t need them.
4. You say yes to everything, so you never know what you actually want to do.
This is something that a lot of ambitious people make the mistake of doing. They don’t want to miss out on a potentially good opportunity or burn any bridges, so they accept every invitation they get. Professional or social, this is hazardous to finding your path.
I’ve done it myself, when I started my business and blog I said yes to every collaboration opportunity, yes to every guest post (even the free ones) and it made my own goals suffer. It distracted me from the big picture.
Yes, you have to pay your dues but you need to determine, is there any long-term value for your life? Is it something you really want to be a part of? Does it drive your passion? Does it lead you towards where you want to be? Is it worth the time? Do you have the time? We all get 24 hours a day, use them wisely. Don’t give your time to things that don’t enrich your life mentally, personally, physically or professionally.
No is not a dirty word.
5. You are scared of things you can’t control.
Be aware, take precaution but don’t hold back. You could get hit by a car tomorrow but does that mean never leave the house? NO. Does it mean to play in traffic? No. It means look both ways before crossing the street but cross that street.
Things in life are unpredictable and often out of our control all you can do is give 100% and be open to change. Changes will happen. Heartbreak will happen. Sometimes everything will seem perfect and then the other shoe will drop and everything will feel like hell. Those moments strengthen us and make us who we are meant to be.
Don’t focus on the areas you can’t control, master the things you can. Plan for the outcomes you can’t control. No one goes to the beach expecting to drown. You can’t live your life like that or you’ll never get in the water. That’s what lifeguards are for. It’s better to face a fear and fall on your face than to just let the fear control you.
6. You don’t know who you are and aren’t doing anything to find out.
You’ve been told for so long what’s “normal” what’s “expected of you” what “you should be” doing. But what is your normal? What makes you happy? What excites you? What do you expect from yourself? What do you want to be doing?
If you can, I suggest just spending 1 hour once a week doing something you enjoy. Make your favorite dish. Go sit down at a restaurant by yourself with a notepad and write yourself a letter. Try meditation. See what comes out when you aren’t thinking about it, when you aren’t worried about someone else reading it. Who are you?
So did you just have a “this is me” moment? What has been blocking your direction? How do you deal with toxic or restricting relationships?