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Last Updated on December 1, 2020

How to Find Yourself When You’re Feeling Lost in Life

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How to Find Yourself When You’re Feeling Lost in Life

Do you feel like you’re wandering through life with no sense of direction? Are you wondering how to find yourself?

Whether you’ve lost yourself in a relationship, a career, a bad habit, or simply feel lost in life in general, you are not alone. All of us feel lost at some point in our lives.

Just because you don’t have it all figured out doesn’t mean that you’re a failure or that you are incapable of finding your true self through the good and the bad. It just means that you are moving through a messy and beautiful process of transformation.

In February of 2017, my entire life was turned upside down. Literally.

A bad motorcycle accident left me with a brain injury. I had “lost” myself 10 years earlier when I fractured my back in a car accident. Doctors told me that I had a traumatic brain injury (TBI)[1]—a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury. They didn’t know if I would be able to walk again.

But I survived, rehabilitated myself, and kept moving forward with my life. I guess you could say that my “bounce-back-ability” was strong.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do the deep inner work to heal the post traumatic stress that the accident caused.

The thing about trauma is that it likes to store itself in your body. If you don’t deal with it, it comes back to slap you in the face when you experience an emotion or event that triggers the pain you once felt.

For years, I had tried my best to create distance from the emotions, thoughts, and bodily symptoms that I experienced from my first accident. I wanted to avoid my emotional pain at all costs, so I threw myself back into work and life.

What I didn’t realize is that ignoring bad memories actually makes them worse. Research shows that sometimes when we experience trauma, all of our energy and mental resources turn toward stuffing the memories down into the basement of our awareness. We attempt to avoid reminders and “move on” with life.[2]

I had survived, and I thought that was enough for me. However, this proved to be wrong. Ultimately, I realized that I had to lose myself in order to find myself again.

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How did I do it? Through movement, which became my medicine and my therapy.

Because trauma is stored in the body, releasing it must involve the body. By connecting with my body intelligence, I have become more mindful of what my mind, body and soul needs on a daily basis.

I’ve learned how to become a master of my emotions (which is still a work in progress), and even more importantly, I listen to what I need and protect my boundaries.

Losing myself allowed me to get back in touch with my body and come home to myself. I believe that all of us have the power to transform our mess into our message. It starts with embracing vulnerability and having the courage to show up and be seen, even when you have no control over the outcome.

Life is lived in the mess. If you aren’t in the arena, getting your butt kicked from time to time, you’re not living.

In my experience, if you want to discover who you truly are, you have to be okay with getting lost. Here are 4 ways that you can heal your inner world and find yourself when you feel lost in life:

1. Unplug to Connect to Yourself

In a society where we are constantly engaged with multiple forms of technology, it’s easy to feel disconnected from yourself.

Modern technology allows us to connect to anyone in the world whenever we want. It has become a tool through which we can obtain endless amounts of knowledge in a second. Unfortunately, it has also caused us to become more disconnected from ourselves, one another, and life in general.

Computer and communication technology gives us “virtual” reality which means “almost like or very similar to, but not quite the same as.”[3] In this way, technology has become an escape from the realities of life.

Have you ever done a digital detox for one day, one week, or even one month? Do you feel anxious thinking about it?

Unplugging isn’t just about disconnecting from the digital world. Rather, it’s about spending time on your mental health and focusing on what is important to YOU

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I encourage you to make it a daily practice of switching off mentally and emotionally from all forms of technology, even if it’s just for one hour. Remove all distractions and pay attention to your environment and others.

This will help you find the quietness that you need in order to go inward in a way that nourishes your mind, body, and soul.

2. Take Big Risks

Get real with yourself: are you playing it too safe right now? Any time that I’ve stayed within the boundaries of my comfort zone for too long, I find myself feeling bored and uninspired.

The biggest reason that so many people are unhappy is that they choose mediocrity over risk. They go with the safe and practical route because they don’t want to shake the boat.

The status quo is a much safer option. In fact, by nature, we seek it out. This idea is supported by advances in brain imaging technology which now verifies that we are wired to be risk averse.[4]

Unfortunately, playing it safe gets you nowhere. In my experience, this is the quickest way to feel lost in life, and it’s not the way to learn how to find yourself.

If life were always predictable, you would never change. Hence, you would never grow.

Change is the only constant in life. If you aren’t willing to ride the change train, you will get left behind. Being uncomfortable is the only way that we learn who we are and who we are not. That’s how we become the best versions of ourselves.

Take a look at these 10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear.

3. Tune out the Noise and Dream Big

There will always be someone who doesn’t agree with your path in life. No matter what you do or say, there will be opinions and judgments. It’s up to you whether or not you get plugged into them.

People get into trouble when they start allowing other people to dictate the direction of their lives. If you want to learn how to find yourself, don’t let anybody tell you that the things you desire in life are too extravagant or unreachable. Staying true to who you are involves staying in your own lane and defining your own self-worth.

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In the words of the late great, Steve Jobs:

“Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

When we begin to suppress our dreams, we take the first step into being comfortable with less than what we really want in life.

Don’t be afraid to take a risk and dream big. The only person that is holding you back is you, so get out of your own way.

Even the most successful in this world were ridiculed for their lofty goals and dreams. Did that stop them? No, and it’s not going to stop you either.

4. Challenge Your Internal Narrative

If you want to change your life and create a healthy relationship with yourself, you’ve got to start challenging your internal narrative. If you are constantly saying, “I’m lost” or “I’m unfixable,” that is exactly what you will continue attracting into your life.

Your inner talk correlates with your brain’s “default mode network” (DMN)[5]. The DMN is the root of your ceaseless “story of me.” It’s the part of you that’s always worrying about what might happen and what others might be thinking.

When you feel lost in life, it can be easy to get stuck in a mindset where you allow yourself to be comfortable with things that don’t make you fulfilled. If you fall into the trap of identifying as “lost” for too long, you might find yourself accepting this reality.

What does your inner voice sound like? If it’s negative, the good news is that you can reprogram disempowering belief systems that have kept you stuck in one place as you learn how to find yourself[6].

How to Practise Positive Self-Talk in Order to Find Yourself

    I encourage you to recite daily affirmations to remind yourself that your position in life is not permanent. With regards to reducing negative thoughts, affirmations have been shown to help with the tendency to linger on negative experiences for too long.[7]

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    When you are able to replace negative internal messages with more positive ones, you can create a more empowering narrative about who you are and what you can accomplish.

    Try to repeat the following phrase after you wake up tomorrow morning:

    “I am not lost. I am on a journey of transformation.”

    If this doesn’t resonate with you, make up your own affirmation and repeat it throughout the day whenever you feel lost.

    This article will inspire you: How to Break Free from Negative Thinking for Good

    Final Thoughts

    No matter how hard life gets, remember that losing yourself doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It means re-evaluating what is important to you.

    It’s an opportunity to start a new chapter in your epic life and create whatever you want. As Henry David Thoreau said:

    “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”

    More to Help You Get Back on Track

    Featured photo credit: Judeus Samson via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Ashley Elizabeth

    Resilience Mastery Coach and Motivational Speaker

    How Successful Women Shake Up and Redefine the Workplace 4 Signs You Have a Victim Mentality (And How to Break out of It) How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide) What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward? 5 Reasons Why Keeping a Mood Journal Is Good For Your Mental Health

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2021

    Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning

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    Feel That Life Is Meaningless? Here’s How to Find Meaning

    Have you ever felt like you’re unable to feel anything? You know exactly what this feeling is if you’ve been through it. The feeling of a meaningless life is unexplainable.

    A meaningless life may not look bad. In fact, there’s likely nothing obviously wrong. You may be living in your dream house with the love of your life. Your well-paid job in the company that you dreamt of is doing great, too. However, you feel like a part of your heart and soul are missing.

    If you feel like nothing is right, you may be living a meaningless life. But don’t you worry, because you’re in the right place to find the perfect solution for you and your unique life.

    What Is a Meaningless Life?

    Let’s start by helping you put a finger on your issue. Is it actually a meaningless life or just a rough slump?

    Be clear on one thing: no human’s life is ever truly meaningless. Basically, your life can never lose its meaning and purpose. If you’re living in this world, there is some reason deep down. The only issue is that you have lost the vision to identify it. Your perspective is too blurred to figure out what you are in this world for.

    A meaningless life may mean you’re going through an existential crisis. You could be borderline depressed. The feeling of emptiness may prevail all other emotions. However, you can be sure that, despite all of this, there’s still meaning to your existence.

    All you have to do is push through to find it.

    If you feel that you’re living a meaningless life, negativity will surround you like wildfire. However, you’ve got to keep your head high so that you can look ahead and find an answer. You have to strive to find your life’s meaning to continue to live a life of high motivation.

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    Before you move on with the rest of the process, make sure to first imprint this in your mind. Only then will you be able to guide your thought process in the right direction.

    Is There Any Meaning to Life?

    Life, in its literal term, means to exist and reproduce. The reproduction not only includes the creation of humans like yourself, but also of thoughts, ideologies, and philosophies.

    A person who is living a meaningless life has a very different view of what life is supposed to be. That is where the issue arises. To understand the meaning of life without any misconceptions, one should look at the philosophy behind this concept.

    Like most branches of research, philosophy has numerous diverging answers to answer what the meaning of life is[1]. Here’s a quick summary of what I consider the most suitable understanding.

    It all starts from a human’s expectations and, ultimately, reactions. Every individual expects something from the world and, in return, has to react to the expectations of others. Generally, this idea is surrounded by wanting goodness. To achieve that, a person has to do good deeds as well.

    This cycle continues. But, of course, it is very complex. A lot of factors contribute to this cycle, such as selfishness, a different point of view of what’s good, emotions, likes and dislikes, etc.

    The point of this entire concept in philosophy is that, ultimately, the process of growth and reproduction comes to an end for every human. There’s no escaping that. Therefore, the goal is to live life in a way that, when the individual’s growth comes to an end, something good is still left behind for the cycle to continue.

    Where Does the Good Come From?

    This is the point where the differences come in. People with different beliefs opt for varying methods to reach the same goal.

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    There are four main schools of thought in philosophy in this regard, and they all offer different advice on how to move past living a meaningless life[2].

    1. God

    One school believes that God is the center of everything we do. Hence, goodness is anything that goes in line with the religion that you believe in.

    2. The Soul

    The other school of thought centers their actions on the soul. For them, anything that satisfies and calms your inner self is the path you should follow, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.

    3. Objectivists

    The objectivists say that everything in the world is defined; the good and bad are certain, so no one should go beyond the set boundaries.

    4. Subjectivists

    The subjectivists, on the other hand, believe that since every individual’s cognition varies, the meaning of every single thing in the world is different. No two individuals can have a similar thought process.

    All in all, life comes down to one thing only: goodness. That is what life should be, and that is what you should leave behind. How you achieve it depends on which school of thought you agree with. Whatever you believe in is ultimately what the meaning of your life is.

    How to Stop Living a Meaningless Life

    Now you know that there is a meaning to your life, without question. You also have an idea of what this meaning is. You’ve got to figure out what you consider “good” and build your life around it.

    Regardless of which school of thought you agree with or what you have decided your life’s meaning to be, the process to implement will be a bit hard. To make it easier, here are some universal tips.

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    1. Unlearn What You’ve Been Told All Your Life

    Do not be distracted by what you’ve learned in your life until now. The truth is, you could have been told something for 30 years of your life only to find out that it was all baseless.

    The only thing in life that is definite is that there are no rules. We didn’t come into this world with a rule book or defined meaning. Every individual was given the ability to make choices in their life. So, take hold of yours, learn your right and wrong from scratch, and make sure nothing is detracting you from the real meaning of your life. Don’t be afraid if you learn something that goes against your lifelong motto if it gets you away from living a meaningless life.

    2. Know That You Matter

    This has been said a couple of times by now but, honestly, the more you emphasize this fact, the easier it will be for you.

    The fact that you’re alive, living in this world, and taking another breath to take means that you matter. Your life purpose is yet to be fulfilled, so you’ve still got to make some impact in this world.

    You are the one person that has to change the world, even if it is something as small as changing the life of one tiny creature. Keep this in mind at all times.

    3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

    If your life’s meaning was somewhere inside the circle that you stay in, you would’ve found it by now. Isn’t it obvious that what you’re looking for is out of your comfort zone? Then, what’s keeping you from stepping out?

    Don’t hesitate to step out. The short-term discomfort will help you find the long-term purpose of life, which will give you a lifetime of relaxation and a constant way out of a meaningless life.

    4. Follow Your Heart

    Whether you’re choosing which school of thought to follow or opting between what good to go after, never ignore your heart. Your intuition is your heart’s way of guiding you. Don’t let it take over, but also don’t forget to take it into consideration.

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    5. Do Not Let Go of Your Passion

    You know that one thing in life that you just cannot give up no matter hard you try? Stop trying to get rid of it. You’re passionate about something for a reason. It is a step for you to reach your life’s meaning.

    6. Be More Mindful

    The big things in life tend to take over the tiny details. These little things are signs to help you decode and find answers. Meditate if you have a hard time focusing, but always try your best to pay attention to the little experiences that you usually don’t notice.

    Conclusion

    If you’re a person who is going through the dilemma of living a meaningless life, try to use these tips to help you seek out your unique meaning. Although your life seems meaningless, rest assured that it’s not.

    The ball is now in your court. You’re the one who has to do the rest of the work. Use the tips to help you find the true meaning of your life, and then stick to it. Get on with step 1 from today without losing any motivation at all.

    All the work that you’ll put in the process now will help you achieve a life of happiness and peace worth living.

    More Tips on Living With Meaning

    Featured photo credit: Frida Aguilar Estrada via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Philosophy Now: What is Life?
    [2] Philosophy Now: What is The Meaning Of Life?

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