How to find our way in life when we feel lost

 | 15 Comments  | Health

Article by Heidi Paavilainen

“I’m choosing happiness over suffering. I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Sometimes in life we experience difficult times.

Maybe we don’t know what we are supposed to do with our life next or with a situation we find ourselves in. We are not where we thought we would be when it comes to our relationships, career or life in general.

We are feeling pressured because we don’t know what we want to do next and we think that we are supposed to know already. Seeing our fellow students and co-workers planning their careers and starting families makes it look like we are the only ones who haven’t found our place in life yet.

We don’t see the way out and feel discouraged by life. We feel lost.

What we often don’t realize is that it’s not a problem that we don’t know what to do yet. In fact that is a perfect place for us to find our place and the solutions we are looking for in a more creative way we can think of.

Why do we feel lost?

We feel lost because we create a problem of not knowing what to do. We think that we can predict the future and that it will be hard for us to get where we want to go.

From this place we often feel discouraged. We might feel sad, disappointed or even angry at life.

If we get stuck on our thinking and don’t understand that our thinking always changes, we innocently keep ourselves stuck in these negative feelings. From this place it’s really hard for us to see solutions.

We haven’t realized how creative beings we in reality are. We are so creative that we have even created all these reasons in our minds why it’s hard for us to go forward. (Imagine if we could use all this creativity to take us where we want to go in life.)

We haven’t realized that we already have access to all the answers we are looking for.

We all feel lost sometimes and that is not the problem. It just tells us that we are thinking creatures and at the moment our thinking is not working in the most productive way for us.

Seeing the unknown as a safe place

When I was in my last year in the University I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life next. I wasn’t where I thought I would be when it came to my relationships and starting with my career. I was feeling pressured because I didn’t know what to do with my life and thought that I was supposed to know already.

Then I decided to give myself time and go traveling. I didn’t know that this was a step towards a path I could have never worked out in my mind, and that was about to unfold for me.

If we try to work it all out in our mind we lose the sight of all the possibilities that exist. When we let go of the idea that we have to think hard to find solutions we open ourselves up for more creative solutions to come to us.

We open ourselves for new thoughts that we could not see before because we were too busy on trying.

These new thoughts, insights, are often far more ingenious and astonishing what we could have come up with our intellectual minds, circulating the old thoughts in our heads. Even if we don’t see the whole picture yet, these thoughts carry a feeling in them — They just feel right.

When we start to look to this 180 degrees different direction we are used to look at, we begin to see the unknown as a place where all the possibilities exist, instead of seeing it as a problem.

From this place we are able to find the answers we are looking for effortlessly and at the same time have a more pleasant experience of life.

Trusting the Unknown

We come up with the best solutions when we have a relaxed mind.

This is why we often have our most creative ideas in shower, when having a walk or in other situations when we have let go of our thinking.

When I relaxed more to the life and left traveling I opened myself up for a future that was more than I could have dreamed of. I ended up traveling, coming back home and traveling again, until I found myself in Australia where I found the love and the relationship I had been looking for.

I could have never worked it all out in my head. One decision lead to another and I ended up finding my partner on the other side of the world.

This doesn’t mean that we need to travel away to find ourselves. We can let go of our thinking no matter where we are in life and this can happen much quicker than we expect.

For example the other day I was feeling stuck with my work. I hadn’t been feeling like this for a long time. I felt like I couldn’t reach the goals I had set for myself and that I couldn’t get anything done. Lucky for me I knew to be suspicious about my thinking whenever I felt like this.

I finally gave up and decided to continue my work later. As soon as I gave up, let go of my thinking and started to get ready for dinner new thoughts started to appear. I got new brilliant ideas that had not crossed my mind before.

I know that in those moments of despair it’s hard for us to see clearly and trust the process. The key is to be more open for the possibility that whenever we are feeling down we are not seeing the whole truth.

We can never predict the future and know where our next most creative idea is going to come from. See that the more relaxed mind we have, the more space we make in our minds for those new thoughts to arise.

Understanding this and trusting the process will helps us let go of our worrying and relax more to the moment so that there’s space for those new thoughts to come to the surface.

The more we let go of our habitual thinking the more we can be guided by the wisdom we all have inside us.

Letting our path to unfold

We all feel lost sometimes, but it’s really helpful for us to know that like any other feeling also feeling lost is temporary. Unless we keep ourselves stuck by actively thinking that we are lost, our thinking will change.

When we relax more to the flow of life and trust that the answers will come to us at some point, we open ourselves up for possibilities that we didn’t even know existed.

We want to relax to the moment, follow our inspiration and take the first step — Even if we don’t know what will happen next.

When we take the step that feels right for us and trust that the next step will appear, the path we are supposed to be on will start to unfold for us.

This way we can go from feeling lost to trusting the unknown and finding our own way in life more effortlessly.

___________

Heidi helps people to connect more with the wisdom inside, so that we can have a greater sense of wellbeing, feel more connected to others and find our own answers to the challenges we are facing in life. Click here to receive a free excerpt of her audio “Stress Free”.

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Comments



15 comments on “How to find our way in life when we feel lost”

  1. private avatar image
    Private

    Private  |  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

    Great article, good timing 🙂

    But I think you mean discouraged when you say encouraged

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      Private

      Private  | 

      Glad to hear that Esther. Thank you for sharing.

      Thank you for pointing that out for me. 😉

      • private avatar image
        Private

        Private  |  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

        I’m definitely feeling lost right now, I keep waiting for my path to unfold (and I feel like I’m just sitting around waiting) but I keep finding dead ends. I’m feeling really tired and unmotivated…

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          Private

          Private  | 

          Thank you for sharing Esther. I’m curios, what are you hearing when you get quiet? When we get quiet and let go of our stressful thinking we hear better the wisdom inside us. From this place we often already know what to do: We know the first step.

          What stops us from taking the first step is that we feel insecure because we think we need to know the whole path before starting to go forward. What we don’t see is that most of the time the second step will only appear when we have taken the first step.

          Our path starts to unfold for us when we keep on taking these steps, one step at a time. We can only connect the dots looking backwards like Steve Jobs used to say.

          • private avatar image
            Private

            Private  |  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

            I’m trying to motivate myself to keep trying, but lately, when things get quiet, I start going over all the times I was looking forward to something and I’ve been disappointed, it wasn’t what I thought it would be. At this point, the only thing I can do is try to find ways to have fun anyways.

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              Private

              Private  | 

              I hear you Esther. I’m still interested in knowing what do you hear when you get quiet (with that I don’t mean when the things get quiet). When you have that moment of calmness and you’re not thinking about your past disappointments.

              If we put our focus on those moments, we start to feel more inspired instead of having the need to motivate ourselves.

              • private avatar image
                Private

                Private  |  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

                I usually end up on my side and taking a nap lol
                If I’m feeling overwhelmed and I give myself a few minutes to calm down and meditate, I usually end up feeling like “cleaning” or decluttering my house or even my computer’s files. I feel like I’m getting rid of all the stuff that doesn’t work for me.

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                  Private

                  Private  | 

                  Could that be exactly what you need in the moment? If you’re feeling overwhelmed to have a rest, and make space for the new to come into your life too. (Also what we do is not always the same thing that we hear.)

                  Keep showing up to that quiet space within you and see what new thoughts are created from that place. Keep me posted. 🙂

  2. private avatar image
    Private

    Private  | 

    I fell discouraged right now. I turn 30 at the end of the month and I hate my job and can’t find a job in relation with my studies. I’m in a great relationship but I always thought I will be married and mom by 25. So Im find myself stupid and disillusioned. I don’t know where to start to be happy with my life.

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      Private

      Private  | 

      Thank you for sharing Lucieflo. I’m curious, despite of your situation do you still have moments of happiness?

      The reason I’m asking is because, the more we start to see that our feeling of happiness is not coming from our outside circumstances, but inside us the less pressured we feel. And the less pressured we feel and the less importance we pay on our outside circumstances the more easily we’re able to change them. (This is because we have less in our minds and we have more space for those new, more productive thoughts to arise that will guide us in life and take us where we desire to go.)

      You can start by being open for the possibility that your experience of life is not coming from your job or outside world. Just by being open you’ll start to see more. The more we recognize this the more we allow ourselves to be happy here and now and the more easily our life will start to change.

    • private avatar image
      Private

      Private  |  GA, United States

      I just wanted to give you a little encouragement by saying…don’t feel bad at all that you’re not married/a mom at this point! I just turned 36 (Wow, I’m feeling like I’m getting old, saying that! 😮 I don’t FEEL 36!). I was never even in a relationship until 31 (I was never interested in that sort of thing as a kid or teen. Well…actually, not as an adult either, though. So…”late” start? And nothing wrong with that! 🙂 ). I realized I was in love with best friend…and married him at 32 (we knew each other for years before that). So don’t think you’re too old. I feel like it’s better to not rush! Experience life. Have fun with wherever you’re at in life. And don’t be discouraged or hard on yourself just because your timeline is different than some other people. 🙂

  3. private avatar image
    Private

    Private  | 

    Loved this article! We often abuse ourselves as adults if we grew up in a household where we were (abused) ignored or not given enough praise for a normal healthy developement. My parents were very selfish & self absorbed so I never really felt heard or felt like I mattered. Only now in my 40’s do I realize I keep this feeling going with negative self talk. I can still feel like I don’t matter no matter how much I accomplish. My young brain formed around this idea. It can be a daily struggle to fight off the negativity. It can even cause fatigue & depression. It’s easy to think something is terribly wrong with you but it’s not your fault. It’s a brain pattern that takes a ton of work to change. Hugs to anyone struggling with anything like this! 🙂

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      Private  | 

      Thank you Freedominmovement and thank you for sharing. That’s huge that you’ve realized that you’re the one creating the feeling, not your past experiences. 🙂

      If you want to go even deeper you can see that if it’s only our thinking that is creating our feelings, then does it matter if we feel bad sometimes? Our thinking always changes and the more we recognize it for what it is (only our thinking) the less importance we put on those negative thoughts. The less we keep on actively thinking about them, the more easily they’ll change.

      • private avatar image
        Private

        Private  | 

        Thank you so much for the response & you make a very good point!! ❤ I like the way you think! 🙂

        • private avatar image
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          Private  | 

          I’m glad you found it helpful. < 3

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