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.
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.
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?”
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.
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.”