Are you trying to pace yourself and find a sense of direction in life? It can feel hard to get a clear sense of direction sometimes. Particularly when there are so many external influences that are advertising a perfect life, in the perfect clothes, perfect house and perfect partner, family etc. Getting out of the cloudy fog of misguided influence can take time. Getting some space and time to assess where you are and what you want in your life also takes time. Sometimes it’s no wonder that sense of “feeling lost” comes about. But what if you looked at your sense of “feeling lost” as a good starting point rather than something negative. It could mean that you are in the process of change, you are in the process of experiencing your own personal growth and evolution. You could be in the process of letting go of some old stories you have to this point lived your life by. And you are now working to put those behind you and are starting to create more uplifting self-affirming stories. That process takes time, and in the transition space, it is understandable to recognise that feeling of being a bit lost. So, if you recognise that feeling, pause, and tell yourself that this is a good starting point to move forward from.
There are many ways to manage the “feeling lost” state. And what’s important is that you find what works best for you. Advice includes, not fighting the feeling, accepting it for what it is, not judging it, or seeing it as a negative. Take time to reflect on what is going on around you and within you that could be stirring up those feelings. Allow yourself to look at where you have come from and give yourself time and space to explore all the options and possibilities you would like to create and envision for yourself going forward. Wondering where you would even start? How about using the following 5 foundational considerations as guides for yourself as you go through that process?
Know your personal values
Take some time to get to know your personal values. What morals and values are important to you and why? Ask yourself that question, let the answer come from within you, and try to make sure you are not repeating potentially what you have been conditioned to think, but truly hand on heart, why is that value important to you personally. Try and create a list of 5 to 8 values that resonate most strongly for you. Test that list over several weeks, challenge it and look for examples in your daily life that link to and affirm those values and that show your daily actions and behaviours are aligned to those values.
Wondering where you would get a list of values to explore, you can do a web search for images of “core values” lists. Then once you have a few lists to consider, pick your top 30 values, then scale it down to 20, then 10 and then 8. Then rank your list from the most important value downwards. Print your final list off and/or screenshot it and have it somewhere you can see it daily. Then try to be more mindful of that list and how it supports you, as well as assess how you align yourself to it daily.
Have the courage to live by your values. That is the next pivotal step in this process. Do you have the courage, and can you build your courage to live your life aligned to your values daily? Do your actions and responses align with your values? Do you maintain appropriate boundaries for yourself to support those values you hold as important to you? If not what stops you? What gets in the way of that? Is it misguided guilt, needing to keep other people happy? Remind yourself daily that you are fully permitted to live your life based on your value system even if people around you disagree or have a different value system from yours. As the Monty Phyton film says, “we are all individuals”. By honouring your own values and living by those you live a much more personally authentic and heartfelt life. I also think it’s important to remember that every mammoth journey starts with that first step, and then the next and then the next. So, just take things one step at a time as you engage in this process for yourself.
Be congruent with yourself. In theory, this is a tricky one, as we all have our blind spots, negative and positive. Sometimes we can’t admit a quality in ourselves that others can see in us in spades. Also, there may be aspects of ourselves that we need to work on, but we don’t want to look at that part of us. So being congruent is important. And what do I mean by congruent? The late great Carl Rodgers listed it as one of the core conditions for contributing to good and healing therapeutic relationships. In essence, it means that your behaviours align with your beliefs and awareness of yourself. That you are being genuine/real, open, integrated, and authentic in how you live your life. So, take stock for a moment, and reflect on how you have been engaging in your life over the last week even. Have you been able to be fully genuine and authentic in your life? If not, what could you do differently this next week to start to work towards that? Keep it simple and choose one act or one behaviour that is fully authentic for you. Now explore how you can bring this authentic behaviour into your daily routines over the next week.
Do you feel you have a healthy sense of Autonomy? Are you confident and fully able to take ownership and control of making those choices and decisions that relate to and impact your life? You don’t hand this over to anyone else. You can take full ownership of the decisions you make in your life. You recognise the importance of having your own voice and making those key decisions that impact how you live your life. Take a moment to identify how you take ownership of your life decisions, are there aspects of your life that you would like to have more ownership of? Think what would help you with that, do you need to get support to work on that? (An important point to mention here is that we can only ever have control over our own actions, our own thoughts, and our own behaviours. Everything else is out of our control and as such needs releasing and letting go.)
Take one day at a time
Through the process of trying to recalibrate, and find your footing again, remember this; keep it simple. Work to stay in the present. The future in itself can become vast and unknown at times. So can you try to keep your focus on the next 24 hours? Work to stay grounded in the things you can only do in the next 24 hours. Try not to project all the way into the future. There is no end to how far your thinking can take you. So, work to stay present in the here and now, while you work to settle yourself and get more grounded and clear, just focus on what you can do to support yourself in the next 24 hours. Do that for as long as you think you need to, and whenever you feel that feeling of “being lost” or “overwhelm” creep in, check yourself and bring yourself back to focusing on the next 24 hours only.
So what next steps would you like to take to begin your process of getting grounded and focused on living your heartfelt and authentic life?
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Love and Light