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4 Big Reasons Why People Feel Lost In Life

4 Big Reasons Why People Feel Lost In Life

Why is it that some people seem to have their life in order; seem to know who they are; seem sure of where they are going, while so many others feel lost and alone in this world? Maybe you are one of those people who feels lost. Maybe you question whether there is any meaning or purpose in life, or just aren’t exactly sure what you are doing with your life.

It’s easy to think others have it all figured because of their glossy outer appearance, until you walk a mile in their shoes. Just about everyone feels lost at some point in their lives. It’s inevitable. It does not matter how wealthy or poor you are, life can seem pretty humdrum and pointless sometimes. That’s because nobody is born with an instruction manual for life. We’re all trying to make sense of life as we go along.

And just because everyone feels lost sometimes, doesn’t necessarily make it a pleasant experience. The sad thing, though, is that there’s no quick and easy way to figure out your life and fix the feeling of being lost. However, as with many things in life, a little extra understanding and compassion can help you navigate through these negative feelings as if unfazed.

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Here are some BIG reasons why people feel lost in life (and what you can do about it).

1. They have a distorted sense of self

People who feel lost in life don’t like themselves very much. They tend to have a distorted sense of self that hinders them from appreciating their own beauty, intelligence and worth. They often don’t accept one simple truth—that who they are is enough. All they seem to see is how inferior, unworthy or insignificant they are, and how nothing they do is good enough.

When you see yourself as inferior and feel less than worthy, you’ll be depressed, sad and unhappy. You’ll feel lost. That’s why you need to see yourself in your true perspective. You are special – a valued member of the human family. Just because you are different or unique in some way, doesn’t make you any less valued. Your capacity for love, happiness and success is equal to any other person’s.

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Spend more time with yourself to figure out who you really are inside, and what makes you happy. Then pursue those things that make you truly excited. You owe it to yourself to be happy. Believe in yourself and your own potential because if you don’t believe in yourself no one else will.

Any feeling of insignificance, disconnection, loneliness are simply illusions because you are nothing but significant, connected, loved and could not be alone if you tried. Be happy for who you are. All your strengths, quirks and imperfections, that’s what makes you special and lovable.

2. They try to measure up to other people’s expectations

People who feel lost in life live their lives based on what other people think to be true for them. They live their lives in accordance to what other people say is right for them. And so they craft their lives following the ideals, thoughts and beliefs handed down to them by their parents, teachers, friends and even the ever opportunistic media. When they find themselves trying to measure up to the fantasies and other hyped standards like beauty, power, and masculinity and, of course, fall far short, it’s depressing. They feel lost and wonder: “If that’s what ‘success’ looks like, then what am I?”

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It’s silly trying to live up to other people’s standards. You will never get there. You will strive and strive and still fall short. Why put yourself under such unnecessary pressure to conform? You don’t have to conform to get on in this life. You can live true to yourself and be truly happy and contented in life. You are your own person. Live up to your own expectations. Only you know yourself better, which means only you can set realistic expectations of yourself.

Stop comparing yourself to others—just stop. Only look to others for inspiration and not for self-fulfilment – and shut off anyone who tries to impose their own values on you. You are an adult. Decide for yourself what matters to you and stop being afraid of not living up to other people’s expectations. Let go of the myths of perfection. Be free to live your life as you want to live it. It is your life after all, isn’t it?

3. They hold on to ingrained fears and biases from old programming

People who feel lost and disconnected in life hold on (often unconsciously) to ingrained fears and negative biases based on old programming. They think, and this holds them back: “The world is doomed”, “It’s not safe”, “Nothing works for me”, “I always fail”, “My future or my family’s isn’t guaranteed.” Of course, it isn’t guaranteed! Nobody’s future is guaranteed. And we all fail. Nobody gets it right 100 percent of the times. If you have never failed, it means you have never tried.

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These and many other self defeating things people tell themselves are based on fear, not reality. You need to shift your perspective and attitude. Realize failure is only a discovery of one way that does not work. It’s an opportunity to try again more intelligently. So don’t be afraid to fail. It doesn’t matter what happened when you were growing up or how many times you “failed” in the past, get up and try again. The past doesn’t have to hinder your future.

Thomas A. Edison tried and “failed” over 10,000 times before he got his breakthrough and invented the light bulb. Start doing your best and let bygones be bygones. Live in the present, learn from the past and chart the way forward for the life you desire – the life you deserve. It’s not going to be easy to create the life you want, but it’s going to be worth it in the end.

4. They live within their comfort zones

People who feel lost in life live within their comfort zones. For example, millions of people in this world who suffer sickening boredom at work may be doing it to themselves. They are bored, frustrated and feel trapped in their jobs because that’s what their choices have caused them to be. They’re stuck in ruts they’ve dug for themselves, while trying to avoid taking risks and making mistakes.

Like the tiny, soft bodied creatures that build coral reefs, some habits start off small and flexible, and end up becoming massive barriers of rock all around your life. Inside the reefs, the water feels warm, quiet and friendly. Outside you think it’s going to be rough and violent. There may be sharks. But if you’re to grow and develop in any direction from where you are today, you have to go outside that reef of habits that mark the boundaries of your comfort zone. There’s no other way.

Get out there and do things your friends wouldn’t guess you would do. Push yourself to learn new, demanding skills and experience new palaces. Living outside your comfort zone is exciting and great fun. It brings back the taste, zest and satisfaction for life. As Sadhguru said, “The most beautiful moments in life are moments when you are expressing your joy, not when you are seeking [or even protecting] it.”

More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

As playwright Wilson Mizner supposedly said all the way back in the 1930s,

“Be kind to everyone on the way up; you will meet the same people on the way down.”

The adage is the perfect prototype for relationship building in 2020, although we may want to expand Mizner’s definition of “kind” to include being helpful, respectful, grateful, and above all, crediting your colleagues along the way.

5 Ways to Switch on Your Relationship Building Magnetism

Relationship building does not come easily to all. Today’s computer culture makes us more insular and less likely to reach out—not to mention our new work-from-home situation in which we are only able to interact virtually. Still, relationship building remains an important part of career engagement and success, and it gets better with practice.

Here are five ways you can strengthen your relationships:

1. Advocate for Other’s Ideas

Take the initiative to speak up in support of other team members’ good ideas. Doing so lets others know that the team’s success takes precedence over your needs for personal success. Get behind any colleague’s innovative approach or clever solution and offer whatever help you can give to see it through. Teammates will value your vote of confidence and your support.

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2. Show Compassion

If you learn that someone whom you work with has encountered difficult times, reach out. If it’s not someone you know well, a hand-written card expressing your sympathy and hopes for better times ahead could be an initial gesture. If it’s someone with whom you interact regularly, the act could involve offering to take on some of the person’s work to provide a needed reprieve or even bringing in a home-cooked dish as a way to offer comfort. The show of compassion will not go unnoticed, and your relationship building will have found a foothold.

3. Communicate Regularly

Make an effort to share any information with team members that will help them do their jobs more effectively. Keeping people in the loop says a lot about your consideration for what others need to deliver their best results.

Try to discover the preferred mode of communication for each team member. Some people are fine relying on emails; others like to have a phone conversation. And once we can finally return to working together in offices, you may determine that face-to-face updates may be most advantageous for some members.

4. Ask for Feedback

Showing your willingness to reach out for advice and guidance will make a positive impression on your boss. When you make it clear that you welcome and can accept pointers, you display candor and trust in what opinions your superior has to offer. Your proclivity towards considering ways of improving your performance and strengthening any working interactions will signal your strong relationship skills.

If you are in a work environment where you are asked to give feedback, be generous and compassionate. That does not mean being wishy-washy. Try always to give the type of feedback that you wouldn’t mind receiving.

5. Give Credit Where It’s Due

Be the worker who remembers to credit staffers with their contributions. It’s a surprisingly rare talent to credit others, but when you do so, they will remember to credit you, and the collective credit your team will accrue will be well worth the effort.

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How Does Relationship Building Build Careers?

Once you have strengthened and deepened your relationships, here are some of the great benefits:

Work Doesn’t Feel So Much Like Work

According to a Gallup poll, when you have a best friend at work, you are more likely to feel engaged with your job. Work is more fun when you have positive, productive relationships with your colleagues. Instead of spending time and energy overcoming difficult personalities, you can spend time enjoying the camaraderie with colleagues as you work congenially on projects together. When your coworkers are your friends, time goes by quickly and challenges don’t weigh as heavily.

You Can Find Good Help

It’s easier to ask for assistance when you have a good working relationship with a colleague. And with office tasks changing at the speed of technology, chances are that you are going to need some help acclimating—especially now that work has gone remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much of relationship building rests on your genuine expressions of appreciation toward others. Showing gratitude for another’s help or for their willingness to put in the extra effort will let them know you value them.

Mentors Come Out of the Woodwork

Mentors are proven to advance your professional and career development. A mentor can help you navigate how to approach your work and keep you apprised of industry trends. They have a plethora of experience to draw from that can be invaluable when advising you on achieving career success and advancement.

Mentors flock to those who are skilled at relationship building. So, work on your relationships and keep your eyes peeled for a worthy mentor.

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You Pull Together as a Team

Great teamwork starts with having an “abundance mentality” rather than a scarcity mentality. Too often, workers view all projects through a scarcity mentality lens. This leads to office strife as coworkers compete for their piece of the pie. But in an abundance mentality mode, you focus on the strengths that others bring rather than the possibility that they are potential competitors.

Instead, you can commit relationship building efforts to ensure a positive work environment rather than an adversarial one. When you let others know that you intend to support their efforts and contribute to their success, they will respond in kind. Go, team!

Your Network Expands and So Does Your Paycheck

Expand your relationship building scope beyond your coworkers to include customers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders. Your extra efforts can lead to extra sales, a more rewarding career, and even speedy professional advancement. And don’t overlook the importance of building warm relationships with assistants, receptionists, or even interns.

Take care to build bridges, not just to your boss and your boss’s boss but with those that work under you as well. You may find that someone who you wouldn’t expect will put in a good word for you with your supervisor.

Building and maintaining good working relationships with everyone you come in contact with can pay off in unforeseen ways. You never know when that underling will turn out to be the company’s “golden child.” Six years from now you may be turning to them for a job. If you have built up a good, trusting work relationship with others along your way, you will more likely be considered for positions that any of these people may be looking to fill.

Your Job Won’t Stress You Out

Study shows that some 83 percent of American workers experience work-related stress.[1] Granted, some of that stress is now likely caused by the new pandemic-triggered workplace adjustments, yet bosses and management, in general, are reportedly the predominant source of stress for more than one-third of workers.

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Having meaningful connections among coworkers is the best way to make work less stressful. Whether it is having others whom to commiserate with, bounce ideas off, or bring out your best performance, friendships strengthen the group’s esprit de corps and lower the stress level of your job.

Your Career Shines Bright

Who would you feel better about approaching to provide a recommendation or ask for promotion: a cold, aloof boss with whom you have only an impersonal relationship or one that knows you as a person and with whom you have built a warm, trusting relationship?

Your career advancement will always excel when you have a mutual bond of friendship and appreciation with those who can recommend you. Consider the plug you could receive from a supervisor who knows you as a friend versus one who remains detached and only notices you in terms of your ability to meet deadlines or attain goals.

When people fully know your skills, strengths, personality, and aspirations, you have promoters who will sing your praises with any opportunity for advancement.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it is “who you know” not “what you know.” When you build relationships, you build a pipeline of colleagues, work partners, team members, current bosses, and former bosses who want to help you—who want to see you succeed.

At its core, every business is a people business. Making a point to take the small but meaningful actions that build the foundation of a good relationship can be instrumental in cultivating better relationships at work.

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Featured photo credit: Adam Winger via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The American Institute of Stress: 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

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