If you’re feeling lost in life, you’re not alone. Life has its ups and downs, and sometimes we just feel that we’re on the wrong path.
But the great thing is that often when we feel lost, we’re really on the way to better things in our lives. Here are 9 reasons you might feel lost in life and some considerations to find your path again.
“Sometimes when you lose your way, you find YOURSELF.”Mandy Hale
9 Reasons You’re Feeling Lost in Life
We don’t always feel lost for the same reasons. Our personalities and lives are a complex intertwining of different parts of ourselves that may take priority or fall to the back burner. Usually, when we feel lost in life it is because we have become disconnected or completely severed from one of those parts of ourselves.
Use this guide to determine what might be causing your feeling of being lost.
1. You feel lost in life because you need spiritual connection
When you’re missing a connection to a higher power, you may be feeling a bit empty or lacking in motivation.
Whether you practice a particular religion or you think of yourself as more spiritual, connecting with our God, Universe, Mother Earth, or other spirit guide can be essential in our feeling grounded in life. Often, our spiritual connections fill us with trust, feelings of ease, and love for other beings and people.
When we have trust in this higher power, we are easier to give up our worries and stresses.
READ MORE: 4 Steps to Spiritual Enlightenment
2. You feel lost because you need to tap into your creative side
Being creative is not just for those who choose an artistic career path. Creativity is absolutely essential for our experience as humans. And when we have cut ourselves off from expressing your creativity, you might feel a little lost.
Creative endeavors have so many options and ranges, including: dancing, singing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, shooting movies, building or constructing things, sewing, crocheting, or even gardening. These activities can fill our souls in deep ways, and when they are missing from our lives, we can begin to feel like we’re not on the right path, or feel like something’s wrong.
3. You feel lost in life because need to break up the monotony
I’ve heard it said that you can’t live the same day for 60 years and call it a life. We can easily get burnt out and feel lost when life just seems all the same.
This has been particularly difficult since March of 2020, as travel came to a standstill, restaurants weren’t safe, and many local places closed down because of the pandemic. Many more people may be feeling a bit lost because of the monotony in daily life.
Even before the pandemic, it was easy to get into a routine and fail to break out and try new things. But this kind of sameness can really begin to wear on our spirits.
RELATED: How to Nourish Your Soul
4. You need to find your purpose
Many of us are working jobs just because we need the money. There are people all over the world who pursued something in life just because “society tells us this is what we need to be happy”.
For example, maybe you got married at 22 before you had really experienced life and you had kids before you had time to get to know yourself as an adult. Maybe you are a woman wishing you were a man, but feel the hatred people still have toward trans individuals and worry that being your true self would put you at risk of violence. Maybe you pursued nursing in college because your mother told you to, but you really wished you had had the courage to go to China and study Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture.
These disconnects between what others expect and living our most authentic lives can make you feel like you’re on the wrong path.
5. You feel lost in life because you need social connections
Human beings are not meant to be alone. As my dad says, “Life’s a bitch and then you die. Suck it up.”
Really nice, huh?
But the honest truth is that humans need each other. It’s okay to stop working to spend time with friends. Asking people for favors is okay too. You should feel free to rely on people when you’re feeling down, stressed out, or are going through difficult times or emotions. We can’t get through life without working together with, leaning on, or reaching out to other people.
When we are cut off from others, we feel like an island. It’s really easy when we’re alone to get caught up in belief that no one would understand us or believe that we’re being truthful.
6. You feel lost because need a break
Our modern world prioritizes the hustle, the “slay”, the push. But when we’re pushing so hard for so long, we GET BURNT OUT.
Things like stress, mental load, overwhelm, worry, hustling, and the desire to keep up with the Joneses is incredibly exhausting. In Taoism and many Indigenous cultures, the acts of planning, rational thought, and achievement are often linked to masculine energy. When we only pursue those activities of masculine energy, it’s easy to get cut off from the qi or energy of life.
The fact is that we need those feminine energies too: rest, reflection, fun, creativity, pleasure, and connection. And when we reconnect with that self-care and self-love of rest, we often can get ourselves back to our own right path.
7. You need to take care of your body
Neglecting our health can take a serious toll on our lives. Whether it be trying to forget about a toothache we have, working an extra hour at work instead of exercising, or packing our bodies full of food with little nutritional value may seem like they’re not a big deal at the time.
But these little things can compound quickly and suddenly, you need to have your tooth pulled, you do that mile hike with your friends this summer, or your blood pressure is at a dangerous level.
When we fail to take care of our bodies, the consequences may creep up on you, but they could absolutely be the reason you feel lost in life.
READ MORE: How to Nourish Your Body
8. You need to let go of perfectionism
No one is perfect. And we know this. But many of us still put so much pressure on ourselves that it begins to suffocate us.
And often these feelings of needing to be perfect, look perfect, do it all have roots in needing approval from other people. We want recognition for our stellar work in our careers. We want to wear a size 2 and be fit and curvy. We want to be the soccer mom who throws mind-blowing kids’ parties and gives out full sized candy bars for Halloween.
We feel lost or insecure with ourselves and overcompensate by doing things that please others instead of pleasing ourselves to our true core.
9. You feel lost in life because you need to find focus
Sometimes we have the opposite problem as number 3: we try too many things and can’t settle on what we truly love.
Many people are what are known as multipotentialites, which means that they have many interests in life and talents. But if multipotentialites can’t reign in their potential skills or interests and narrow down what they want to do, they might feel lost in life.
So if this applies to you, you may feel like you’re trying new things to no avail, and you need to find focus in life.
6 Steps to Find Your Path When You Feel Lost
Once you’ve determined the reason (or reasons) you might feel this way, now it’s time to find your way again. Finding that right path for you may take some time, but it’s worth it.
1. Accept that you feel lost in life
The first step to anything is awareness and acceptance, which you must already have accomplished if you’re here on this page.
When you accept that you feel a bit (or a lot) off your true path, you’re setting yourself up for personal growth and allowing yourself to experiment to get yourself to your real and authentic path.
2. Think about where you’ve been
After coming to terms with the fact that you feel lost in life, you may want to examine different parts of your life to this point.
When was the time you felt the most on your true path? What were the circumstances of this particular point in your life? Did you have a lot of social connections? Were you spending more time in nature? What was your work life balance like?
Chances are, you will start to realize some differences between that time in your life and your current feeling now. Those 9 things above that might be contributing to your feeling lost may become a lot more clear.
READ MORE: 75 Deep Questions to Ask Yourself for Personal Growth
3. Consider why you feel lost
Look at those 9 reasons above. Which of them resonates with you?
Even when you look at your past and times that you felt most on track with your true path, there may be additional things that are missing. Perhaps it was a slow descent into working overtime that prevented you from having time to connect with your family and friends and created a monotony in your life.
Maybe you feel that you’ve been throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks and you’re running out of ideas. You need to focus, but maybe you feel a little isolated.
It is absolutely possible that you are in need of more than one of those 9 things above. And maybe you discover something else entirely that isn’t on the list! That’s totally okay. Knowing why you’re lost is a fantastic way to get back to the right path.
4. Think about where you want to go
At this point, you may not know where you want to go, and that’s great! If you don’t, do some more brainstorming. What are your goals? What are some things that you want to do in your life that you haven’t done yet?
Have you always wanted to open a bed and breakfast? Do you want to quit your 9 to 5 job and travel the world? Do you want children but don’t have a spouse yet?
Sometimes these huge dreams can help remind us of our true purpose and lead us to a life that’s more satisfying, thrilling, focused, and free. So don’t dream small. Really think about what you would do with your life if money was not a factor.
5. Break your habits
If you keep doing the same things (walking the same path) that made you feel lost, chances are, you’re going to continue to feel lost. Something needs to change. You need to break old habits and try some new things in order to put yourself onto a new path.
Old habits to break could be:
- stop smoking
- quit social media
- stop criticizing yourself
- stop taking your work home with you
An of course, you want to add some new, healthier habits into your day as well. These new habits could be anything from flossing every day, to exercising regularly, to making time for regular dates with your friends.
Getting into a new routine can revitalize our life in a way that we had no idea our life really needed!
6. Take some calculated risks
Once you’ve analyzed why you feel lost and revitalized your daily routine, it may be time to leap off that cliff (with parachute, of course) and set your life on a new path.
If money wasn’t an issue, what would you be doing with your life? What absolutely sets your soul on fire? What makes you feel joyful and free?
These things that we’re passionate about are our true calling in life, and they are often the path that is the most true for our essential being. For myself, I’ve always loved writing, but I never felt that I was good at it. Once I took the risk to start a blog, I learned that I wasn’t as bad at writing as I had thought… I just needed to give myself the chance.
What can you do to incorporate your passion into your life? What kinds of calculated risks do you need to take to get you where you want to be?
Remember, more than anything, growth does not happen in our comfort zone. Sometimes when life feels off, it might just be there to help you learn something new and grow as a person.