At some points in our lives, we all feel lost.

This lack of direction may feel like there’s no meaning to it, just a vast emptiness inside of us which is hard to fill. Yet the most important thing of all is to realise that you are absolutely not alone in this and that if you take the right steps, you can emerge from beneath the cloud you temporarily find yourself under.

Feeling lost in life is the sole reason for The Lost Lot starting. All our contributors have experienced something similar, and although every scenario is different and of varying severity, there’s always a positive path forward.

The fact that you have felt, recognised and labelled this emotion is a good thing. You’ve found the beginning of your journey. That is the very step in building the road onwards from here. Some wander directionless through life, as they haven’t been able to be honest or open enough with their emotions to seek such answers. This current feeling is the catalyst for change.

The path is different for each person. What works for you may not work for someone else. But if you’re wanting to change feeling lost in life, it’s important to take those tiny, positive steps along the path towards where you want to go.

Below are a few steps that you can use as a framework for moving forwards. Again, it’s each to their own, as some scenarios call for different approaches. But if you tailor this to your life, you’ll begin planting one foot in front of the other and moving forwards towards where you want to be.

This is a guide put together by our contributors based on our own previous experiences of feeling lost in life and not an educational underpinning. If your situation requires a more in-depth response, please speak to the professionals who are there to help (we’ve put a list at the bottom of this guide.)

 

1. Accept it’s completely normal; you’re not alone in feeling lost in life

A woman walking in the countryside.
Photo by Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash.

Let’s say this loudly for everyone; you’re not alone in feeling lost in life.

Millions of others are feeling exactly how you are and are searching for direction. This is a completely normal feeling, so learn to accept it as that. The hopelessness you feel when your mind convinces you that you’re cut adrift is a dangerous weapon. Don’t allow it to be.

Accept this is the start and begin a new journey. Use your feelings of exasperation as a catalyst, not as a wound.

 

2. Take time to reflect on how you’re feeling and why

This can be hard, as the mind will form it’s own judgements quickly and you’ll use this to form beliefs.

This is the point to be completely open with yourself, a raw form of genuine honesty. Society doesn’t count here. Expectation, neither. This is all about you. So don’t keep up an act for appearances, or how you feel you should be. Allow that to melt away and leave what you truly feel.

A good start with this can be meditation and learning to sit on your own. It strips away the everyday pressures of life and allows you to be just you.

Listen to what your mind and body are telling you during meditation, and you’ll find a few answers.

 

3. Remember what you enjoy, or take time to find it

A painter working on a canvas.
Photo by Ari He on Unsplash.

Be honest about what you truly enjoy.

Are you someone who’s a massive gaming fan? Do you find painting soothing? Is there a way in which you can utilise what you enjoy in a positive, positive way?

Further down the line, a lot of doors could open if you decide to focus on what you love, but in the immediate term, it can kick your mind into a better place. Take a pen and paper, and jot anything down that you enjoy.

If you can’t get anything down, set yourself some time aside to explore, from the wonderful to the wacky, and see what is out there that works for you.

 

4. Find hobbies

Hobbies, as mentioned in the previous point, allow you to unleash a bit of fun into your life.

They can unlock creativity, increase focus, and build key skills. There are several key benefits to taking up hobbies, so be sure to get involved. If you don’t think you have any, why not give them a go? Has there ever been anything you’ve thought “one day I’ll try that?” By giving it a go, you’ll also bump into a load of other people who have a passion for it, too.

That day you do try, could be the window of opportunity to broaden your horizons.

 

5. Read relevant content

A stack of books being held up on a hand.
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash.

The content that you consume is so important in how you think.

If you feed yourself negativity, it will seep into your everyday thinking. Even the smallest of changes to your everyday choices can have a huge impact.

But don’t think that you need to flood yourself with all “feel-good” stuff, as this may even be counter-productive. Choose real-life, relevant stuff. Find heroes that have been through the same things, who have also had that challenge of feeling lost in life and who offers you an honest account of life.

As soon as you adapt the content you take in what you need, you’ll start seeing small shoots of optimism.

 

6. Find your dreams and set your goals

Now is time to start setting out your roadmap forward.

Have another deep dive into yourself, and pull out fragments of ideas. They don’t have to be fully formed, nor comprehensive. If you have a dream, great, write it down. If you don’t, do not treat it as a tool to beat yourself with again, it can be a fun project to begin.

This isn’t a “0-100” process, you’ll build it slowly. If you’re not sure, reverse engineer an idea. Maybe you don’t think you’re a huge people person, but creatively, drawing has been your release of expression. Could this passion for art lead you down a creative design route, where you study online and work as a freelance for small businesses? This is one idea, yet an example of how nothing has to be perfect now.

Give yourself that target and solidify it as you learn more. When you have, you can then create SMART goals to ensure you move towards it.

Whether education, experience, or practice, setting these goals gives you a definitive path to head along in the right direction.

 

7. Accept it’s in your control

A man staring at a screen.
Photo by Simon Frey on Unsplash.

This is now on you.

Your dreams and your goals. Not the universes, not your friends and not your family’s. This is the point to claim full responsibility. No one can learn for you, no one can paint that canvas for you and no one will walk the walk for you.

Making this mindset shift is vital in finding your path, as until you do, you’ll be aimless.

 

8. Progress a tiny amount every day

Life isn’t an overnight success and neither is finding direction.

You work towards it, consistently chipping away at the goals you’ve set. You’ve got your entire life ahead of you, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Nor do you have to believe you’re someone you’re not immediately.

Small, incremental changes add up and gain momentum. If you make 0.1% progress every single day, a tiny, tiny amount, your life has improved by over a third in just 12 months.

0.1%.

By doing so, not only are you moving forward, but you’re building key habits, and your cornerstone habits are the ones that will set you up for success.

 

9. Track and reassess

A goals journal on a table.
Credit: Alexa Williams, Unsplash.

Are you holding yourself accountable?

Have you reviewed your behaviours and what you’ve done? Don’t go off your opinion or “how you feel”, write down exactly what you’ve done. You can’t BS truth, and considering it’s your truth, it’s an important one to listen to.

Check your week/month back and reflect honestly on how you’ve done. This is for neither praise nor a reason to beat yourself up. It’s just how it is. Progress isn’t always a forward line, it can deviate.

Use a journal to watch those deviations and see how you can improve next week, month, or year.

 

10. Confide in others and ask for help

The days of society expecting you to “strong it out” are thankfully changing.

Talk about your issues of feeling lost in life and confide in those you trust, or if you don’t have an inner circle yet, run it by a professional who knows how to encourage the correct behaviours. You’ll find using others as a sounding board can be a useful tool to refine your approach, and it’s very cathartic (and healthy) to share instead of bottling emotion.

Remember though, even those that love you may be against your goal and not encourage you in the way you’d hope. Don’t take this personally, this is their belief based on their conditioning, and their own limiting beliefs are then projected out.

Be wary of this, but don’t let it deter you from your path.

 

This process is the perfect time to use the phrase “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

This is not about overnight success, but about building a sustained approach to what you want to do.

If you use a framework to kick start that movement, you’ll thank yourself as you complete each goal, solve feeling lost in life and move towards a sense of greater purpose.

 

List of mental health professionals you can speak to if you’re feeling lost in life

 

NHS Mental Health Support https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/other-services/Mental%20health%20support/LocationSearch/330

Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/seeking-help-for-a-mental-health-problem/where-to-start/

Rethink – https://www.rethink.org/aboutus/what-we-do/advice-and-information-service/

Samaritans https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/

Shout https://www.crisistextline.uk/

Hub of Hope https://hubofhope.co.uk/

 

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