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Published on December 18, 2020

What Is Wrong With Me? 3 Ways to Figure Out Life Again

What Is Wrong With Me? 3 Ways to Figure Out Life Again

If you have felt that the last 8 months felt like living inside an episode of Black Mirror, you are not alone. The year 2020 has felt like getting punched in the face, over and over again. The amount of pressure that each human is under had been magnified in unimaginable ways. Most people might ask, “What is wrong with me?”

While the ongoing pandemic ravages the globe and political turmoil are felt across nations, it’s not hard to see why you may be feeling lost, confused, or out of place in life. The extent to which the Covid-19 Global Pandemic has affected your mental health, emotional stability, and overall confidence cannot be underscored enough. The United States is an excellent case study of the deleterious effects this pandemic has had on the mental health of most people.

From January to September 2020, the United States experienced a consistent uptick in adults reporting feelings of depression and/or anxiety. As a result, the US saw a 62% increase in depression screenings and a 92% increase in anxiety screenings.[1] Unless you have been hiding in a cave without tv or internet and have everyone you love with you, COVID-19 has impacted your daily life in some negative way.

Life has completely changed forever. But that doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. It makes sense that you are trying to figure out a new way to navigate through this uncertain landscape.

Here are the 3 things you need to remember that will help you start figuring out life in this new post-corona reality.

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1. Feeling Lost Is Normal

You’ve lost your way. While it may feel completely overwhelming, it isn’t novel. Millions, perhaps each of the billions of people on the planet, have lost their way at some point during their lifetime. Feeling lost doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you.

Admitting that you do not feel right will help you realize that you are unclear about:

  • what you should do next,
  • if you are on the right track,
  • f you should stay the course,
  • if you made the choices that led you to this moment,
  • and why you want to continue or discontinue this course of action.

When you find that you are questioning yourself about fundamental things in your life, then that is a good indication that something is up, and you should inquire further.

Once you have made this critical admission with yourself, don’t rush to generate answers. Give yourself some time to sit with the question. It’s easier said than done. However, the data that comes from intentional reflection on these important questions is more valuable than gold.

Understand that this process of intentional reflection may take some time. You will have to be very gentle with yourself. Know that there will be times when the process may feel uncomfortable ad hard. Remember to give yourself a lot of grace throughout the process, especially when you feel like giving up.

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The fact that you have lost your way is an indication that you have arrived at an important moment in your life. You are aware that things feel out of alignment, and you want to do something about it. Ultimately, taking the steps to find yourself offers you an opportunity to learn more about yourself.[2]

2. Stop Clinging and Let Go

The chaos of feeling lost can be intoxicating. Escaping its grip is not easy, but the process is simple. Stop clinging to the discomfort, sadness, and uncertainty and let go. In other words, don’t be afraid to surrender. You must let go of the things that you cannot control externally if you are to find yourself again.

Letting go of the things you cannot control is one of the most difficult things a person can do. Each lived experience is not only a memory but is also an archived recollection of your individual perception of an event.

In those moments of awareness that no one has control over external forces, everyone reacts differently. Some internalize it feeling as though they must protect themselves from external forces by trying to control as much as they can. Others detach from it, adopting the mentality that they can only control themselves and their behavior. They may be able to influence external forces, but they accept that they can not control them. The second group has adopted more of a surrender approach.

There can be no freedom without surrender. Regardless of what you believe—whether there’s really something wrong with you or not—we can agree that when you permit yourself to surrender to the “greater plan” or “go with the flow,” it makes your load a little lighter.[3] You worry a little less, you breathe a little deeper, your patience grows a pinch, and you feel more grounded in the knowledge that you have stopped clinging to the hope of an outcome that is out of your control.

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Surrendering can be the most powerful tool you have to find yourself because it will free you from the shackles of other people’s opinions. You will no longer be restrained by the external influences that once forced you to fight against yourself, constantly exhausting yourself energetically. You can embrace the process of learning the truth of who you are right now with compassion and unconditional self-love.

3. Rest Is Essential

The hard work of getting found is exhausting. Rest is essential to your ability to think clearly, face the hard truths you discover, and take really good care of yourself along the way. Whenever you feel like there is something wrong with you, rest is the important medicine you take daily to help you operate at the highest level.

When we think of rest, most of us think of sleep. Whether you nap during the day, occasionally rest your eyes or are very disciplined about getting your 6-8 hours nightly, there is no denying that sleep is one the most effective forms of rest. However, it’s not the only form.

Rest can take many other forms. Rest can be meditation, relaxation, going to nature, laying down without sleeping, turning off all TV/radios for a few hours, listening to non-verbal music, taking a day of silence, or going to be in a secluded environment.

It can also be a massage, pedicure, time coloring, or watching your favorite show. Rest allows you to turn your brain off and come back to the center while reconnecting with yourself. Intentionally resting will give you time to reflect on the new information you are learning about yourself as you find yourself.

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If you have some resistance to the idea of rest, that’s understandable. Depending on where in the world you live, rest can either be seen as an essential part of every day like it is in many European countries or as a luxury for the lazy. Regardless of what society tells you, rest is essential to your personal revolution.

Final Thoughts

Feeling lost is par for the course, especially in this ever-changing post-pandemic world we are living in where each day feels more and more like a lost episode of the twilight zone just released from the archives. The quicker you realize that there is nothing wrong with you feeling lost, the quicker you can start to do the work of learning about yourself in the “right now.”

Surrendering to a “higher power” or “the flow” can be really helpful as you move through this challenging work. Clinging to past ideas of who you thought you were or what you thought you had to do will only make the process of learning yourself now—today—more difficult. Letting go will give you the freedom to worry less and be present more for journey of finding yourself.

Finally, rest, rest, rest! Don’t take the intellectual knowing of what this experience should look like for granted. Taking the time to intentionally find yourself is exhausting. Sleep, eat well, be kind and patient with yourself, and protect your energy.

When you are connected with yourself, you are proactively finding yourself daily. Each time you allow yourself to intentionally reflect, you are detached from what you cant control while prioritizing connection with yourself and rest—you win. Its hard to get lost when you are taking the time to really know yourself.

Remember that there would be no “Amazing Grace” if the composer was not first lost and went on the journey to become found.

More Tips on How To Figure Out Your Life

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Awilda Rivera

Success Coach - Author - Speaker - Yogi - Advisor

6 Challenges in Life You Must Overcome to Become a Better Person How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now 4 Types of Negative Self-Talk to Stop Right Now How to Gain Self-Knowledge and Live up to Your Potential What Is Wrong With Me? 3 Ways to Figure Out Life Again

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Last Updated on April 8, 2021

How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person

How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person

Some mornings, you may feel that there’s something deeper you could be a part of. You feel the pull towards something, but you can’t exactly pin it down—it eludes you and frustrates you. You’re not really sure how to find purpose in life.

You might have heard stories from writers or musicians who have felt their calling their entire lives; the Mozarts of the world who have pursued their passions from the moment they were out of the womb. Deep down you wish you had this “knowing” to pull you forward.

Frankly, you do: all it takes is a little digging to uncover the truth when you start asking how to find my purpose.

Think of uncovering your passion like the work of a master sculptor, slowly chipping away the stone to reveal the masterpiece underneath. Your life’s purpose is this masterpiece, simply lurking beneath the surface, waiting to be released.

Successful people know that the fastest way to learn how to find your purpose is through the art of introspection: diving into the deeper essence of who you are to pull out the pieces to assemble the purpose puzzle.

Think of your life’s purpose as a golden thread; for some, that thread comes in the form of a certain career or profession, while for others it looks like a way of being or expression.

Here are some of the simple steps you’ll need to take if you want to learn how to find purpose in life.

Why Do You Want This?

Ultimately, you’re trying to improve your life and live with meaning by finding your purpose. You want more zest, more flavor, more fullness. In the strictest sense, you want to become a better person. You want to wake up in the morning excited, jumping out of bed with a thirst for life that you haven’t felt since you were a child.

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Your purpose can be the driving force behind this. If you feel lost, your sense of purpose can be your connection to something larger, something that will allow you to truly make a difference[1].

Finding Purpose – Student Health & Counseling Center

    Still, your “why” might be different. Before we even leave solid ground, you need this as your anchor, just in case things get a little foggy. To find it, just answer this question:

    Why do you want to find your purpose in life?

    Write down or remember whatever comes up. It might be some of the above reasons, or it might be something entirely different. Whatever it is, hold it close.

    What You’ll Need to Find Your Purpose

    Before any great quest (physical or mental), you want to make sure your tools and supplies are in working order. For this quest the tools are simple: You’ll need a pen and piece of paper, a working memory, and the drive to uncover what you set out to find.

    Before we go, there are a few things you’ll need to embrace beforehand. Think of these items as the underlying code of conduct for your quest.

    1. I welcome the hard work and tiresome effort it will take to unearth my life’s great work.
    2. I know my purpose might not be directly obvious, but I will put in the time to find it.
    3. I believe finding my purpose is entirely possible.
    4. I know that finding my life’s purpose may lead to some big (positive) changes.
    5. I know that finding my life’s purpose will leave me with the power to shape my own destiny.

    Once you’ve let the above affirmations settle, you’re ready to set sail. Your tools are sharpened, and your mind is prepped as you’re thinking how to find my purpose.

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    If you’re someone who procrastinates, just getting started may be difficult. If that’s the case, check out Lifehack’s free guide: End Distraction And Find Your Focus. It will help you focus your attention on the next steps, which will ultimately lead you to your purpose.

    1. Facing Your Inner Dialogue

    When you first begin to dive into your thoughts and desires, there will be an initial resistance, a pervading fear of the unknown[2].

    The first inner dragon you might face will likely be your internal beliefs. They might try to stop you in your tracks or tell you you’re crazy for trying to find your purpose in the first place. They might say harsh things, like “You don’t deserve to have a purpose” or “You’ll never find what you’re looking for.”

    To combat your inner dialogue, you have to first realize it’s happening. When you start to actually pay attention to the thoughts as they’re spiraling, they lose their power. They get their power by operating below the surface, so when you shine a spotlight of awareness upon them, they lose their control over you.

    Once you’re familiar with these inner dragons, it will be easier to slay them.

    Next, you’ll have to take action to correct your inner dialogue if you really want to learn how to find purpose in life.

    Try this on for size: When you’ve come across a belief that is threatening to stop your journey, take a breath, look it square in the eye, and then act anyway.

    This will teach you to develop your courage muscle, and this heart-centered courage will give you something to lean on throughout your uncertain quest. This will ultimately improve your mental health overall.

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    2. Questions for the Great Dig

    Now that you know why you’re doing this and how to overcome any hurdle, you’re ready for the challenges you’ll inevitably face. Your preparation is done, so now it’s time to look at what your soul is trying to tell you.

    You can check out this TED Talk by Noeline Kirabo to learn about some questions that will help you discover your passion and purpose:

    Now, get ready to dive deep. Keep in mind that we’re going to analyze common threads in your life and the deep desires you currently have to give you a one-two punch when learning how to find purpose in life.

    Step 1: The Soul-Baring Questions

    • If you had all the money in the world, how would you spend your time?
    • What would your perfect day look like? Describe every detail.
    • What activities set your soul on fire?

    Don’t be afraid to dive deep with these questions, and write down whatever comes to mind.

    Make sure you create some space to ponder these questions. Nothing is too outlandish, so do your best to turn off your mental filter. The best answers will come when you can turn off your self-judgement.

    Once you have these answers in hand, we’re going to take a little stroll back into your memory to dig up some more answers and learn how to find purpose in life.

    When you’re a child, your life experience is more freeing, playful, and alive. Your whims direct your life, and you’re more plugged in to a deeper current. At this stage in your life, the outside world hasn’t shaped your dreams yet, and you have direct access to your passions and purpose.

    We all had things we loved to do as kids but ended up giving them up for the sake of practicality. What we’re going to do here is take a stroll through your memory banks and try to gain some glimpses of this childhood wisdom.

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    Step 2: Connect With Your Inner Child

    • What brought you immense joy as a kid?
    • What were you doing when you lost track of time?
    • What did your parents have to drag you away from?
    • What did you love deep down before the world told you to get practical?

    Once again, keep your mind in an open place when finding your purpose. If you’re having trouble, it may help to look at a picture of yourself when you were younger, or grab an old stuffed animal or other item that sends you back into the memory banks.

    3. Weaving Your Golden Thread

    Now that you’ve pulled yourself away from social media long enough to brave the depths of your thoughts, you’re ready to do the hard work of learning how to find purpose in life and defining yours. The last stretch of the journey is to string all the bits of randomness together and find the common themes.

    Your job now is to take a hard look at all your answers and see if you can pull out any common ideas that are in both lists.

    Maybe you’ve wanted to be a writer since you were a child, and committing words to a page every day really sets your soul on fire. There’s a good chance that writing may be involved in your life’s purpose.

    Maybe you’ve always been fascinated by the stars and the cosmos, and you’ve always had a deep connection to spending time outdoors. You could combine this into an excursion where you lead groups of people into the wild to stargaze and contemplate their place in the universe.

    Let your creativity reign as you’re working on finding your purpose, and don’t fret if you can’t make a connection right away. Sometimes, it helps to sleep on it and let your subconscious work on the solution for you.

    You can also check out this Lifehack Fast Track Class for a little extra push as you work on learning how to find your purpose:

    If you’ve done the work, then you’re on your way to finding your life’s purpose. When it’s there, you’ll feel it deep down in your bones.

    The Bottom Line

    Learning how to find purpose in life is a lifelong journey, but once your purpose has been discovered, you’ll find that your life opens itself up in ways you never thought possible. You will experience new depths of opportunity, and your eyes will be opened to all the possibilities around you. First, you must simply turn toward your thoughts and jump in.

    More on How to Find Your Purpose

    Featured photo credit: Katerina Kerdi via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Western Oregon University: Finding Purpose
    [2] Journal of Anxiety Disorders: Fear of the unknown: One fear to rule them all?

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