By David Joel Miller.
Common reasons people feel they need to find themselves.
Have you ever felt lost in life? Are there times when you’re not sure where you’re going, how you’re going to get there or even what you should be doing?
There are a number of reasons why it may be feeling lost. Take a look at this list and see how many of these issues are causing your lost feeling.
1. You’re not clear on your values.
Are you one of those people who spends a lot of time trying to figure out if you can do something? The more important question you should be asking yourself is not whether you can do it, but should you. Get clear on your own values. People who find themselves caught up in doing things that are inconsistent with their values often feel lost or confused.
2. Your goals are fuzzy.
Having fuzzy goals makes it difficult to take action to actually accomplish those goals. Get clear on your goals and you will have a better road map to where you’re going and how to get there. Having a clear set of goals, consistent with your values, gives your life meaning and direction.
3. You haven’t spent time getting to know yourself.
Failure to genuinely know yourself results in a lot of difficulties finding your way in life. You spend more time with yourself than with any other person during your lifetime. Invest some time in getting to know yourself. Learn what you like and don’t like. What makes you feel happy? Avoid going along with others because you don’t know what you want. If you’ve never really gotten to know yourself, it’s easy to get confused about who you are.
4. You’re living by someone else’s values.
If you’re living by someone else’s values, doing things to please them rather than to please yourself, you can easily lose yourself in the process. Take time to examine the values you are living by and get clear on whether those are really your values or are you living to please someone else.
5. You haven’t stretched your comfort zone.
People who spend a lot of time staying inside their comfort zones find that the comfort zone shrinks over time. If you haven’t made a conscious effort to stretch your comfort zone, you’re likely to find yourself disoriented whenever you step slightly outside that zone. You find yourself by trying on new behaviors and seeing what fits.
6. You’re not doing enough good things.
Doing things, things you can be proud of, increases your self-esteem. People who do very few things begin to doubt they’re ability to do anything well. If you have reached a point in your life where you are feeling lost, it may be because you’re doing very little. When you’re not sure, make a decision and head off in a direction. You will learn who you are in the process of doing what you do.
7. You don’t accept yourself the way you are.
Most people have a mental picture of what they should be like. Far fewer people have a clear picture of what they would like to be. The part of themselves that many people struggle with the most is getting an accurate picture of what they are really like. It is easy to be critical of yourself because you fail to live up to that image of what you should be like you have in your head. Reducing the discrepancies between these three selves, who you should be, who you want to be and who you are, is the road to self-acceptance. Once you accept yourself the way you are, you will stop feeling lost and begin to know exactly where you are.
8. You have let drugs; alcohol or other addictions control you.
Once you’ve given into drugs, alcohol or other addictions they’ve taken over control of your direction in life. When someone or something else is controlling your directions in life you lose track of where you are and begin to feel lost. To get back control of your life and that sense of knowing who you are get those addictions out of the driver seat.
9. You have disconnected your feelings.
Feelings are not an inconvenience to be ignored. Feelings provide you valuable information. When you get into the habit of ignoring your feelings it disconnects your emotional compass. Without those feelings to guide you it is easy to get lost. Stop ignoring those feelings and get back on a course that is consistent.
10. You make a habit of comparing up.
There is always someone who has done something larger, better or more important than what you did. People who constantly compare up begin to feel bad about themselves. Stop comparing yourself to others and become the unique individual that you were meant to be. When you accept yourself the way you are you will have found yourself again.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books