Feeling lost can invoke worry, anxiety and a sense of helplessness. The feeling can be amplified when we work hard to achieve an outcome then feel just as empty and lost after the high wears off from achieving that outcome. I reached a point in my life where I lacked direction and felt lost. This was after I tried hard to build a life I thought would make me happy. I went to TAFE, University, moved for work from Vic to QLD, back to Vic, then to NSW chasing a career that was not aligned with me and what gives me purpose. I took all the action and still couldn't figure out why I felt so empty and unsatisfied with life. I felt deflated and was getting more and more anxious about my life and how unsatisfying it felt. I was starting to lose hope and felt depressed. Luckily, I was still motivated and curious to find out what to do next with my life. I understand that there are many reasons to lose your motivation in life that are connected to past experiencers and our upbringing. This article doesn't speak to losing motivation completely and giving up that is a more deeper and serious topic that I will speak to in future.
This is how I found my way back again:
I was willing to take risks and get uncomfortable.
I felt a pull towards another way of living
I started to listen to personal development podcasts and read books.
I decided to see a professional about how I felt and to process past trauma.
I changed my approach and did the inner work before taking action.
I explored the part of me that was unhappy, discovering I didn't know what to do next. If I didn't like my job what do I do for an income? This was my biggest challenge as I had created a lifestyle that didn't feel right for me and I didn't know what direction to go in next. I was lost looking for answers.
I quit my job and explored new career options.
I started living in alignment with my values and felt content with the direction of my life, a feeling that wasn't there before.
I created The Get Aligned Program. Helping others through this stage of their life in a connected and rich way, this is what gives me deep purpose.
Humans are driven by intrinsic motivators (feeling a certain way after achieving something or while doing it) and extrinsic motivation (money, status, material things). Intrinsic motivation is just as important as extrinsic, however in our society we have learnt to ignore our inner world and reach for the external things first. For example, once I get that job Ill be happy, if I get a pay rise it will make this worth it... "The findings indicate that future information leaders and managers should recognize that intrinsic factors play a bigger role in employee motivation and put more effort into creating a culture of respect, recognition, trust, and autonomy when tailoring their management strategies to tap into the emotions of their coworkers. These intrinsic motivators are more important to staff than extrinsic factors such as money."- Rajesh Singh wrote The Impact of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators on Employee Engagement in Information Organizations
This research could apply to any relationship we have in life too. We need to know our intrinsic motivators such as what gives us purpose, what are our values and what past trauma is holding us back to be clear on what direction we want our life to go in. We can lose motivation when we take action and try to achieve something and no matter how hard we try, we can't get the outcome we want. It's like going on a hike, becoming lost, in the first 15 min of being lost you are driven to find your way home and most likely optimistic at this point that you'll find your way. As time goes on and you are still lost and have no idea what direction to go in, you start to lose hope. You start to worry that there is no way out and you either reassess and try something different or panic, give up and hope you get rescued. Feeling lost in relationships, career, family and friendships is difficult and a vulnerable time of our lives. If you are in a situation in your life that does not feel rewarding or fulfilling and you don’t have a plan and goals towards a more fulfilling life, feeling lost is inevitable. It's a vulnerable and challenging time of our lives and here are 8 Activities To Help You Overcome Feeling Lost:
Acknowledge how you feel, right it down and write down what your expectations were before you felt lost.
Write down the things that suck your energy from you and make you feel deflated, miserable, disempowered or helpless.
Write down the things in life that are fulfilling, energising and bring you joy
Write down the reasons for why you are not doing more of the things that energise you
Write down a goal and plan that is connected to the things that energise, fulfil and bring you joy.
Be clear about what gives you purpose and bring it into your life more
What risk or change are you avoiding and how is that showing up in your life?
Explore your resources, such as who can you ask for help? What financial, practical or community resources can you tap into?
If you would like to explore this further and you're not ready to commit to a program, there is an option to have single counselling sessions too.