Feeling lost brings up a combination of emotions that are often difficult to sit with and we often seek to avoid. These feelings may include confusion, disconnection, disempowerment, sadness and anxiety. But what if we can explore that sense of being “lost” as a method to find clarity and move forward?
Lost is merely a transition
Consider lost as a transition point. Like any transition, it is a state that lies between two points – where we have come from and where we are going to. Most of us like to know where we are headed. It gives us a sense of purpose – a goal to work towards. Positive Psychology states human beings need a sense of progress for wellness. Feeling lost arises in two instances. Either not having clear goals or not knowing how we can achieve the goals we have set.
Use your values as a compass
In order to decide upon a goal we need to understand what is meaningful to us. One way of doing this is to get clear on our values and ensure we are making choices which align to our values. A Google search will reveal many online tools to help with this or a visit to a coach or psychotherapist can be further enlightening. Values change over the life span so it’s worth reviewing them regularly.
Feeling lost is a signpost
If we can tolerate sitting with the feeling of being lost, it too can help us to understand, what is missing here? What unmet need is here? What am I yearning for which feels unfulfilled? It could be we are in a relationship that feels disconnected. This points to the need for greater intimacy and connection in our relationships. It may be that we are in a job that doesn’t stimulate us which may point to the need for greater responsibility or new challenges.
Seek what you yearn for
Sometimes the lost feeling is pointing us away from something that is no longer working but it’s scary and uncomfortable because we can’t see what will. Whatever we are needing to walk away from also provides us with the essential clues we need to move forward. There will always be something lacking in what we are wanting to leave behind. We can choose to be brave enough to accept what is and seek what we need in new and innovative ways.
Take a brave step into the unknown
Again we can curiously enquire, what unmet need is here that I can work towards fulfilling? There are a multitude of ways to get our needs met and once we recognise what those needs are, we can brainstorm with a trusted friend, or professional, numerous options for moving forward. Some of the best solutions can be those we refuse to entertain. Once we are clear on the unmet need (connection, challenge, etc.) we can then set a goal that aligns with our values and propels us to a more inspiring future.
Taking a step into the unknown can be daunting. but it also creates the possibility for new and exciting directions. It’s helpful to remember that the only way to stay lost is to stay still. Any movement propels us forward into a different future. Small, curious steps enable us to discover opportunities and possibilities we never would have seen if we stayed safe.