How To Overcome Feeling Lost in Life in 15 Practical Steps

Feeling lost in life is a common occurrence for many people. At some point in life, every one of us has felt lost and clueless as to what to do with the rest of our lives.

Yet feeling that way can often be unhealthy, as it can lead to deeper issues such as depression, anxiety, and hopelessness.

The feeling becomes exemplified when you look around you and feel that everyone else has it all figured out except you. Yet, the reality is that things are not always what they seem. 

So, do you often feel like you are lost in life? 

Here are some tips and advice to help you overcome that feeling. 

Why You May Feel Lost in Life

When we feel lost in life, it can be caused by several different factors. It could be due to a traumatic experience such as a divorce, break up, or the death of a loved one. Or it could be due to a major life change like moving to a new area, marriage, changing your college major, or dropping out. 

Sometimes we feel lost when we realize that time is flying by and we haven’t accomplished as much as we thought we would have by now. This can often happen as we age and realize we are unhappy with where we are in life.

Take for example, you thought that by the time you were 45 you would be much further along in your career and this makes you second guess whether or not you should consider a new direction.

We can also begin to feel lost when ordinary and everyday life tasks catch up with us and they don’t feel like they are cracking up to all that they should be.

An example of this is you may be a new mother and you had expectations that having a baby would be completely different to how it has turned out. Or, perhaps your pregnancy was difficult or you are struggling with no longer being around work colleges as your nurse your baby.

Whatever it may be, each and everyone of us has felt lost in life at one stage or another and what causes us to feel this way will differ from person to person.

However, it is important to understand that you are not alone and there are things that you can do to regain yourself in this hard season.

What does it feel like to lose yourself?

When you lose yourself, your motivation for life has changed. You may feel like you don’t know what is right or wrong anymore or which way you should go. You may feel like time is slipping away, or you may end up on an emotional rollercoaster where you feel unmotivated or uninspired.

Often when you feel like you’ve lost yourself, you may look in the mirror and feel that you don’t even recognize the person staring back at you. Sometimes this feeling happens gradually, and day by day, you feel more disconnected from who you really are. 

You may lose interest in the things you used to love, and you may find yourself pursuing other interests.

However, those other interests may not necessarily be healthy. For instance, you may find yourself living on the wild side for a while, as you go out drinking and partying.

Other times you may wish that you’d never woken up because you don’t feel like there is a purpose to your day. Some people opt to seclude themselves until the feeling passes, whereas others may become more fearless and go out more. 

You may feel as if you cannot fully comprehend or control things. Thoughts swirl in your mind, and you feel deep inner emptiness. Your emotions may also oscillate from energetic to sadness. 

how to overcome feeling lost in life

15 Steps To Take When You Feel Lost In Life 

1. Accept That It’s Okay To Feel Lost And Alone In Life 

It’s perfectly normal to feel lost and alone at some point in our lives.

However, the first step is accepting that you feel that way and realizing that you have the power to change things. It is important not to allow ourselves to feel lost for an extended period of time.

You may not know how to change things now, but you can figure it out. Hopefully, some of these tips will guide you during the process. 

2. Remember That You’re In Control Of Your Emotions 

We are responsible for creating our realities. When we feel lost and alone, we tend to develop a victim mentality. However, you need to realize that you are in control of your thoughts and feelings.

The sooner you realize that, the faster you can begin working on your attitude and mindset. When we alter our mindsets, we can begin to realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that the feeling of emptiness won’t last forever.

Related: 3 Reasons Why You Should Stop Bottling Up Emotions & Begin Expressing

3. Focus On Things That You’re Good At 

When we feel lost, we often look at all the things that we are bad at. We may obsess about getting better at those things, which may sink us into depression, especially if we keep failing at it.

However, one of the best ways to get yourself away from that feeling of being lost is to focus your strength on things that you’re good at and work at becoming even better at them. 

Take some time to think about what you are passionate about. What have you always dreamt of doing? Is there a hobby or career you want to focus on that plays to your strengths?

Whatever it is, now is the time to focus on it and enjoy the satisfaction of being good at it. 

Related: 10 Essential Skills For Success To Get You Ahead In Your Career

feel better along the way

4. Develop Healthy Habits 

Most people underestimate the power of good habits when it comes to their mental health and overall well-being. Yet bad habits such as excessively scrolling through social media, eating junk food, napping at all hours of the day, and wasting time can all negatively affect your life.

While changing is difficult, you should focus on replacing negative habits with positive and healthy habits. For example; reading a book, exercise, going outside more, and eating healthy foods. 

Developing these healthy habits will allow you to feel better about yourself both physically and mentally.

Related: The Art Of Loving Yourself: Learn To Love Yourself And Find Happiness

5. Do Some Soul Searching 

One of the main causes of inner emptiness is our inability to find time for some soul searching. We become so engrossed with our daily responsibilities that we can’t find time to understand what we really want from life and why we would want to accomplish that. 

We all have dreams and goals that we feel were never realized because life or circumstances may have gotten in the way.

Soul searching requires you to evaluate and examine your values and motivations deeply. It allows you to understand what brings you joy and fulfillment.

Related: How To Love Yourself Completely: 8 Ways To Fall In Love With Yourself

6. Read Self-Development And Growth Books 

Books can transform your mindset and outlook on life. There are good books out there that can expand your mind and open your eyes to new possibilities. Great books often contain decades worth of knowledge from the author.

If there’s a certain path that you’d like to pursue, then no doubt there’s an author who has already followed that path. Instead of making the same mistakes that they did, you can learn from their mistakes and apply their strategies to your life. 

Related: 10 Best Summer Self-Care Tips To Improve Your Overall Well-Being

7. Get Into Journaling 

Documenting your feelings and thoughts when you feel lost is important. It can help when you are soul searching, as you’ll have everything you think and feel on paper.

Journaling also helps you with your transformational journey. So give it a try, you might enjoy it. 

stay motivated to find answers when you feel lost

8. Write Down Your Goals

Writing down your goals is a great way to combat feeling lost in life.

These goals don’t have to be major, like a career change. Instead, they can be small goals like going for a walk or reading a book. Write down your goals and post them somewhere that you can see them daily. This will motivate you to start taking action and when we take action, we end up seeing change.

Related: Why Is It Important To Set Realistic Goals: How To Make Goals Realistic

9. Take Action 

Although journaling, reading, and self-discovery are all integral for you to overcome feeling lost, they mean little if you don’t take action. Plan daily goals that include actionable steps that will ultimately help you find purpose and meaning.

Identify what you love doing and what brings you joy and do more of it.

Related: 9 Reasons To Never Give Up On Your Dreams And Achieve Your Goals

10. Find Inspirational Heroes 

Similar to reading self-help books, following inspirational people can help you realize the change that you want within your own life.

The world is full of noise. So, it is important to ignore this noise by finding the right people to emulate. You may not get the exact same results as them, but it will help change your mental framework and develop your own version of success. 

Find someone you want to be like in life and learn everything about them- what’s their background? How did they become successful? What are their high and low points?

The low points are important, as they help you understand the sacrifices you may have to make to get where you want to go. Whatsmore, having someone to look up to helps to keep you inspired.

Their stories will inspire you because often they are normal people like us. Seeing where someone started out and how they accomplished great things can motivate you to ditch the feeling of being lost in life and free you to pursue your purpose. 

11. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious 

When we struggle with depression and loneliness, it becomes easy to reflect on regrets and past life events. However, this only leads to more negativity and perpetuates the situation.

Instead of getting stuck in depression, you can begin by making small steps towards overcoming your struggles. Remember that time is precious, and the sooner you start making the changes you want to see in yourself, the better. 

Related: How To Stop Beating Yourself Up: 4 Tactics To Break The Negative Cycle

12. Ask For Help 

It is important to have the courage to ask for help whenever you feel lost in life. You may ask your friends or loved ones to create some time for a chat about how you’re feeling and whether they may be able to help you.

Alternatively, you can get a coach who can help you uncover how you’re feeling. A certified coach can help you figure out ways that you can realize and find your authentic self again.

Remember that there’s no shame in reaching out for help because more often than not, we are unable to get out of a rut on our own.

Your success with feeling better will take time

13. Remember That You’re Not Alone 

It’s easy for us to feel alone and think that no one else can understand what we’re going through. We silently observe others around us who seem to have it all figured out and feel that we are lagging behind them.

But the truth is that we can never know what others are going through unless they open up. Every one of us has our own struggles, and if you ask someone you admire, to be honest about how they deal with these feelings when they have them, you may be surprised. 

Remembering that you’re not alone makes the situation less stressful. You can overcome the victim-mentality and realize that everyone goes through things in life and the burden is made easier to carry when you have someone to share it with.

14. Hold A Vent Session 

Sometimes all you need is a good vent session to clear your mind. Generally, it’s better to let things out than to hold them in. Venting gets rid of the tension and stress.

You will end up feeling better and lighter after sharing the issue with someone close or even a therapist. 

15. Keep Striving To Do Your Best 

Feeling lost often leads to a defeatist attitude. You’re not motivated to put your best foot forward, and your self-esteem is low. But you should never let this feeling take away your self-worth.

You should do your best when you’re at your lowest point. Others will admire how you stayed determined despite the challenges you had to overcome. 

For you to do your best, you need to get out of your comfort zone. This is a difficult task, but there are self-help books that can help you pull this off. For example, The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone: How to Live Fearlessly. 

Related: Feeling Unmotivated? How To Find Motivation and Beat Those Lazy Days

happiness in finding who you are

The Bottom Line

Feeling lost can be difficult and painful to deal with. For some people who leave these emotions unchecked, they can ultimately feel lost for years. However, you can choose to see it as an opportunity for change in your life.

Sometimes taking a break from things helps you overcome the feeling of being lost. You may be overwhelmed by the number of things that you need to juggle in life. So, it would be beneficial to take a break.

For instance, you may be a new mom and haven’t been able to get proper sleep in months. It might be a good idea to ask a family friend to care for your child for a couple of hours simply so that you can have a nap.

Alternatively, you may have worked 12 hour days for weeks on end and you are feeling burnt out. Well, it might be time to take a day of leave and simply unwind from the stress of your job.

Taking a break from one or two of life’s activities that you find stressful, can be incredibly beneficial for your health. You would be amazed by what a bit of rest can do for you. 

Lastly, learning to look at your situation differently can help you change your attitude towards life. Try to avoid complaining and express gratitude for the things that you have in your life.

No matter how we may feel, we have the gift of life, and it is something to be thankful for every single day.

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