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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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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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