I’m always fascinated by the common themes that tend to pop up with my clients. One week they’re all tackling new responsibilities on the job or adjusting to an organizational shift; the next they’re struggling to define why they still do what they’ve been doing for the last ten years. Recently, I’ve heard a lot of my clients say that they feel lost. This one hit home for me.
It’s hard to admit this in such a public forum but here goes: right now, I feel lost as an entrepreneur and as a parent. My business is heading in new, uncharted directions and my boy is becoming a teenager. It’s a challenging moment because I don’t know what the future holds.
One of my new clients recently reminded me of a Joseph Campbell quote that feels so relevant. Campbell said, “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
Here’s Why It’s Good to Feel Lost
When you feel lost, you have a choice to make: you can follow in someone else’s footsteps – which might be the right decision for a while – or you can blaze your own path. So often, we resist breaking out in a new direction because that means we’ll have to spend some time wandering. Wandering can be scary because it forces us to disconnect from who we thought we were and what we thought we wanted.
And yet, when we wander, we move through a whole host of emotions that give us essential information. If you’re feeling lost, here are some ideas that may help you find your footing again:
- Reconnect to your dreams. When do you feel most alive? Who enables you to feel like the best version of yourself? What do you want your life to be about?
- Tap into your spiritual connection. Make time for quiet meditation or a solo hike, or prayer. Do whatever makes you feel in touch with an energy more significant than yourself.
- Keep on the lookout for signs. They might not look like red or green lights, but signs are all around us. I recently connected to what I call my “inner Buddha” at a retreat. It was a powerful experience. I’m now seeing Buddhas (happy, smiling, playful ones) in interesting places, where I would never have looked previously. These are all reminders that where we stand right now is a stepping stone on our path.
- Reconnect to your purpose. Remind yourself why you started doing what you do. What was the original spark that made you want to pursue your life’s calling? Reconnecting to your purpose brings every aspect of your life into alignment which makes it easier for your path to emerge
- Investigate your core values. What is at the core of who you are and who you want to become? What parts of yourself have you overlooked recently? Meditate on these questions and see what comes up.
- Ask for directions. Literally. Ask others for help. Ask them to tell you what they see as your natural gifts and strengths. Other people can shed new light on your “positive blind spots.” These are the gifts that are so innate for you that you take them for granted. They are also the gifts that the world needs desperately.
- Identify what you know for sure. You may have more questions than answers right now, and that’s ok. What is clear to you? What is working? What is something to celebrate while you wander?
- Remember to be present. It’s OK to look to the past for help moving forward, and it’s good to imagine what the future might hold, but all we have is the present. What are the possibilities you can see from where you stand right now? Turn around and look in the other direction? What’s different over there?
Getting Lost is Part of the Journey
Real growth happens in the struggle, not in your comfort zone. Creativity, vision, innovation, inspiration, and fulfillment all come at the end of this leg of your journey. And it’s often only when we have found our way again, that we realize how far we’ve come.
If you are lost, wandering, or could simply benefit from support in finding your next step, I’d love to help guide your way. You can schedule a breakthrough session with me here https://expansiveleadershipcoaching.com/breakthrough-session/