I remember being in my teens and feeling anxious to “find myself,” like it was some destination on a map or a check mark on a life list. And you know what? I still haven’t found that destination or list. I’ve realized that you never really do. Just like ebbs and flows of a lot of things, there will be times when you feel confused with what’s next, what you want—or even who you are. If you’re struggling with a general state of lost-ness, here’s what usually helps get me through it:
Getting support from your friends is always awesome, but sometimes meeting people who don’t know you is even more helpful. Hearing from people outside your bubble and who don’t know your backstory or personality, networking with mentors in your industry, making new friends, joining a sports league—get out of your comfort zone to get out of a funk.
Take a step back
When you’re trying to force creativity or great ideas and it’s just not happening, you might need a break. That doesn’t mean you’re abandoning a project, it means you care about it and want it to be the best it can be. Put the work away for a few days, use a different part of your brain, and regroup refreshed.
Get off social media
I swear, whenever I feel blah or confused about anything, logging off from social media is my first step. It can be an unrealistic game of comparison, and when you’re feeling lost, it can dig you even deeper. And keep in mind that social media is a quick snap of someone’s life, career, relationship, etc.—they’ve likely felt lost in between the perfect photos, too.
Read a new book
From biographies about people you respect, to fiction as fun as Harry Potter, books can be an amazing resource. You’ll be surprised where you can discover inspiration, and I find that books allow me to use my imagination in a way that I don’t regularly. Once your mind is back from the vacation of your book, you might have a better idea of your next step.
It’s the solution for everything, I know, but a good work out can be incredibly rejuvenating! It doesn’t have to be a specific type of workout, but I personally like group classes with loud music for this state of mind. Surrender your decisions (like the move to do next and even the playlist) to someone else. Sounds silly, but I swear it works! Plus, the endorphins lead to a better mood and possibly the push that you’re looking for.
Forget the deadline
Instead of feeling like you need to feel better by X day or that this funk shouldn’t be lasting X long, give yourself a break. There are so many factors in the way you feel and how motivated you are, and you don’t always have the answers. Be kind to yourself as you work through this emotion, and know that it’s 100% normal.
Have you felt lost before?
Do you have ideas that help?