Do you feel like others are more focused on what they want to accomplish while you’re drifting along in life? Are those around you driving at full speed towards their purpose while you feel lost? The good news is you’re the author of your story.
You can steer the car in the direction you choose, take the helm into the vastness of the sea, or even pave the way where there are no roads. The path is endless, and it’s all down to how much you want to write your story.
Stop questioning life and start taking control of what you have lost. Here are three insights to get back on track when you’re in the passenger seat and hungry to take the wheel.
1. Why Are You Questioning Life?
The need to second-guess the decisions of your life, both great and small, comes from a greater need to be in control. Each day can be a continuous struggle when you’re trying to micromanage every minute. You can put the ideas of others under a microscope, or you can walk away, surrendering to the idea that refusing to overthink can liberate you.
According to psychology professor Tim Wilson,
“Distracting people for a few minutes produces better decisions.”
If backing away from a complex situation sounds foreign to you, not to mention overwhelming, it’s okay to start small. Maybe go with your first instinct the next time you’re out for lunch with a friend. Maybe you can start putting less thought into which grocery store you will visit after work. 
Letting go of control can open your life to new experiences. Maybe you’ve always gone to the discount store, but you’re missing out on a recent delivery of fresh-caught grouper at the more expensive store. The pressure of always getting things right can keep you in bondage to a vicious cycle of negative thinking. Keeping an open mind allows you to relax and enjoy yourself.
When it comes to connecting with others, peace of mind follows when you embrace new experiences rather than battling for control. We often miss the nonverbal cues or the backstory that might help us avoid making assumptions about others. Are your relationships filled with tension?
Perhaps you’re trying too hard to make everyone else happy. When you’re constantly worried about saying and doing the right things, logic goes out the window. Instead of letting your imagination run wild with all the scenarios that could go wrong, take your power back, and focus on what’s right in front of you.
Rather than obsessing over which movie to pick, it’s okay to let the other person choose. Or next time you’re going to dinner, toss a coin to decide. As you learn to stop overanalyzing, you’ll be able to march on with confidence now that you have a clear head.
2. Why Are You Questioning Yourself?
If you’re asking yourself, “why am I questioning everything in my life?” know that you’re not alone. So many of us fail to live in the moment only to be stuck in what has been or what could be.
When you notice that you are fixated on the future, it can be hard to be present in the here and now. Perhaps you find yourself continually questioning situations in your life that seem out of your control.
Failure can leave you asking:
- What’s wrong with me?
- Why am I like this?
- Why do others do things differently?
- Why haven’t I achieved what I want?
- Why do I question life?
If so, take a moment and consider that maybe there’s a larger plan for your life. We have all felt the sting that comes when we’re not picked for the team. The next time you endure a setback, think about the unknowns.
- Were there circumstances behind the scenes that affected the decision-making process?
- Is there an upside to your disappointment?
You didn’t get what you wanted, but perhaps you can complete a project or consider a new career direction. The important thing is to let your imagination fly.
What’s next? Don’t limit your opportunities by shying away from new possibilities. It’s best to embrace these moments. Use your setbacks as a guiding light to prepare for your next adventure.
You can become your own greatest obstacle when you compare yourself to others. When you witness those around you making strides towards their goals, it’s natural to think about how you fall short.
Perhaps your friend group is settling down and starting families, or they seem to be moving up in their careers. It’s easy to feel like you’re the oddball when everyone around you seems to be getting what they desire.
Instead of becoming overwhelmed and letting bitterness take root, take a moment to process your thoughts. Are you feeling isolated because you truly want to be in a relationship or only because you see all your friends are in one?
Instead of beating yourself up, use these moments to help put your life into perspective as you charge toward your destiny. Your path is an individual, unique experience.
3. Why Are You Questioning Your Purpose?
Have you ever given time to think about your true passion? When you’re not confident in where you are in life, you may ask yourself:
- Who am I to myself, my friends, or my family?
- What is my purpose, and what am I doing to get there?
- What drives me, and what wakes me up in the morning?
Questioning your existence only pulls you into a downward spiral. Everyone experiences failure and disappointments, but those who know how to get back up making the difference.
When you know what you want in life, you can think about the steps you need to take to get there. It’s easier to do things when you know where you’re going. Do you have the tools to make your aspirations a reality?
Not every “tool” in the box is obvious. You need to invest your time and money. You will also need support and connection from other people in your life.
Plenty of people have dreams in life that they want to achieve. What most people lack is not the resources or the help from others but the commitment and motivation to start going. Ask yourself these questions:
- Can you dedicate hours each day to working on your goal?
- Can you find mentors who can help you get there?
- Are services and training programs available to assist you?
- Can you make small or even big sacrifices?
- Are you ready to face disappointments?
If you lack the excitement that comes with greeting each new day, perhaps you need to work out your sense of purpose. When you can identify what you want, it’s easier to make your game plan and enjoy seeing your plan manifest in your life.
Maybe work isn’t the problem. Perhaps the missing piece is a lost connection, a neglected part of your life, or a failed relationship. Unresolved feelings or family issues can bring us pain and even guilt. Social connections also help to boost mood and manage emotions.
Consider your connections with others and what role you play in their lives.
- Would your family say you’re the person who keeps everyone in good spirits?
- Do family members and friends seek you out for support and advice when times get tough?
- Does the room liven up when you enter it or does it result in a negative vibe for everyone?
Finding your drive in life doesn’t always have to be about accomplishments or material successes. Once you recognize the imprint you have on others, make the most of the chances to extend your sphere of influence and impact those around you.
Once again, it’s okay to start small. You don’t always have to aim big, and you can start by simply:
- Leaving notes of encouragement for your friends or family just to brighten up their day.
- Calling them more often, not because you need something but because you want to check on your loved ones and you are concerned about their wellbeing.
- Seeking validation and approval on things that you need to decide on. You don’t always have to take their advice, but it’s nice to acknowledge one’s opinion on things.
- Inviting them over for dinner or a simple get-together at your house.
Sometimes the personal difference you make in the lives of others is the force that keeps you pushing forward.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself to Find Clarity and Purpose
Asking the right questions rather than questioning everything can bring clarity to your life. Re-examining your life might require you to let go of the need for control.
When rejection comes knocking, learn to see it as an opportunity rather than a loss. Instead of just saying “everything happens for a reason,” seek to discover the reason and use that setback as an opportunity to enhance your life.
Once you discover what fulfills you, you won’t look back. You’ll devise practical steps to pursue your dreams with passion. As you explore who you are, your unrelenting determination will have you conquering life with purpose.
Featured photo credit: Michael Heuser via unsplash.com
|||^||NPR: Study: Big Decisions Best Made With Less Thought|
|||^||PsychCentral: The Importance of Connection|
|||^||CMHA: The importance of human connection|