Feeling Lost in Life
Quarter-life crisis, mid-life crisis and overall existential hassles are quite normal. No matter age or life changes, we can feel a bit lost in life from time to time. Keep reading to learn more about this existental feeling and four of my best tips to find yourself again.
by Emilie Glen Colsted
Feeling Lost, an Existential Feeling
You may have heard of a quarter-life or a mid-life crisis that is typically triggered by major life changes. For some, it sounds a little dramatic. Nevertheless, existential hassles are quite normal. We can all feel a bit lost in life from time to time. Learn more and discover my four tips to find yourself again.
How does it feel?
Feeling lost can be described as uncertainty and overwhelming feelings about one’s purpose, role and direction in life. It's an existential feeling that can lead to apathy, dread and identity crisis. People may feel trapped or stuck and have a hard time making decisions (or making sense of the choices that they have already made). It can also seem tricky to get everything “figured out,” and live up to the expectations of who to be and what to do.
Why do we get lost?
Different kinds of life events can lead to feeling lost and anxious about life. Like transitioning from school to a full-time job, going through a breakup, career setbacks or relocation. The common link for these events or changes in life is that they somehow highlight one’s inevitable responsibility to figure out and create the life that one wants. But, even without these major events, we may all get hit by confusion and overwhelm by having the responsibility of creating success and happiness. Why?
Decisions, decisions, decisions
Today, we are to a certain degree free to make choices about life. We can choose what person to become, what career to take, which partner to settle down with, and where to live. With this comes freedom and the opportunity to create success, happiness and exactly the life we want for ourselves. But when do we truly know what we want in life? And, how will we know if we’re making the right decisions? Thus, there comes a responsibility with this freedom to choose which can cause despair.
Have you ever heard phrases like: “Become the best version of yourself” or “You can do anything you set your mind to”? These are tendencies in today’s society of personal development and self-improvement. On one hand, this focus can give us inspiration and hope for a better potential version of our lives. But on the other hand, it may raise some unrealistic ideals for what we need to become and achieve with our lives. Having a bunch of things on our to-do list – like personal growth, education, career, travel, etc. – may be quite stressful and give us little time to simply be and stop to ask ourselves what we truly want in life.
It’s easy to assume that nobody else is struggling about what way to go in life when comparing ourselves to what we hear from others and what we see on social media. It may feel like we shouldn’t complain about the many great opportunities and that we should be having the time of our lives. Also, on social media, we typically mirror ourselves in carefully selected and polished moments of other people’s lives, which too can reinforce the idea that people live these close to perfect lives without insecurities and anxieties.
How to find our way back?
Luckily, even though most people at one point or another for different reasons will get lost in life’s journey, we can in fact find take action and our way back. Here are four tips on how to cope with feeling lost:
Let the future be the future. This means putting a stopper to constantly striving. Right now it may not seem like you have everything under control and all figured out. But, can we really plan ahead every step in our lives? And even if we could – should we?
Know that life has its ups and downs and try to accept challenges as a part of life. Life is not always perfect and even in situations where we make mistakes or get lost, we might learn something. Embracing our feelings and thoughts in challenging situations can help us bring attention to the things that call for it and shift strategy if something is not right.
Give yourself time to get to know yourself. Doing all of the things on the “your-supposed-to-do-this” list may not make you feel happy or less confused. Try to be patient and allow yourself to discover who you want to be and the things that you truly want to spend your time on.
Speak up about your situation. Sharing struggles and insecurities about life with each other can help us set more realistic expectations for ourselves. You can try to talk to someone you’re comfortable having an honest conversation with.
If you’re curious and want to learn more about helpful strategies on how to deal with feelings of being lost, then try chatting with me and check out the tools.
I hope that my daily self-care ideas will help you as they do me? As always, let me know your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org and see you in the next post?