Even the most confident and successful people can sometimes lose their way in life, the trick is, to get back on your path as quickly and easily as possible.
It’s a bit of a scary feeling getting lost, ever had that feeling where you’re a bit lost in a strange country? or maybe on the London Tube… that moment of fear where you feel like you’re alone and scared and you don’t know which way to turn and a dark cloud starts to creep up inside your belly… I know… It’s enough to make you go home and stay there!
In life every day, we have to make choices about which way to turn and which step to take next. Sometimes, those choices are not clear and we find ourselves lost and unable to make a clear decision and then, going home and retreating to safety is our easy way out.
But if you’re prepared to be resourceful and seek simple ways to get yourself back on track – losing your way is not so scary any more – it’s just part of the adventure!
What do I mean by ‘losing your way?’ It’s not being able to take confident steps forward enjoyably and confidently, doing what you enjoy towardsthea desired outcome in life.
What does it feel like to lose your way…?
Seeking direction. Like you’re kind of floating through life, not consciously choosing your path but being swept along with the tide
Doubting yourself. When the voices in your head are not supporting you towards being successful in your endeavours.
Confusion. A muddled mind, a foggy brain that leads to wasted, unproductive time living under a cloud.
Worry and anxiety. When fear takes over you can’t make confident decisions towards your real desires.
A few things (that’ I’ve experience) that can take you off your course and make you lose your way.
When events out of your control shake you up and leave you unsettled. Stuff happens. Life has a habit of shaking you up just when you think you’re settled and calm. But unless you want to live on a mountain somewhere away from everyone and everything, managing life’s events is essential. Learning how to choose your own reaction to life’s events is a skill that will help you maintain an inner calm when outer events are troubling and unsettling.
Changing your routine or travelling. I think we’ve all experienced that ‘coming down’ from a trip. You know, when you need a holiday to get over a holiday… I’m in the UK at the moment and as much as I plan for the change in routine, it always shakes me up a bit for a few days and I tend to lose momentum. That change in routine can be enough to shake you completely off course if you’re not careful.
Not getting the results you’d hoped or planned for. It takes time to see results, and if we don’t see changes and get successes, it can be very disheartening.
Trying something new and having it go wrong! That’s life for sure. Most things go wrong before they go right. It’s a rare person indeed that can try something once and have it work out exactly as planned. And as you get older and experience more things, the likelihood is that you’ll experience more setbacks!
What do we tend to do as a result?
Give up, change and try something new. When things get a bit shaky and doubts start to creep in, it’s so easy to give up and try something else. That’s fine, I’m not saying there’s not a time and a place to start again. It’s just knowing when to let go or give up. It can be an easy way out to keep changing what we’re doing, rather than following through and working things out.
Ask someone else what they think you should do. It’s so easy to rely on others opinions, when we doubt ourselves and our own ability to choose the right path, we’ll seek the advice of a friend or consultant, or counsellor.
Don’t do anything. Being stuck is when you can’t make a clear and conscious decision, so you don’t make any decisions. The easy way out. But it’s not a nice feeling and you give up your power, your ability to really live your life to your potential.
Living a ‘start-stop’ existence. That annoying place where we start something, then stop after a few weeks or months, summon up enough courage to have another go, only to stop that again soon after…
Watch TV – it’s easier than trying anything else… Live in a state of constantly seeking external stimulation and entertainment, or numbing down life with drugs and alcohol.
5 simple steps to getting back on track when you lose your way…
Get grounded. Take a moment, or as long as you need. Retreat, stop, breathe… It may take a minute or it may take weeks, months or even years – depending on how long you’ve been off your path but take the time you need to assess the situation and get calm and centred. And do it regularly! It’s a constant need to keep getting grounded – every day. Build habits that build calm and you’ll build a happy life.
Get a map. Find a solid point of reference that you can refer to that you trust, something like a map that will guide you on your way and get you back on your path. Something that brings you back to you. I have created a list of things to do that I know will help me bring me back on track, emotionally, mentally and physically and I read it regularly to re-focus. Start by capturing a few simple habits that help you feel calm and centred.
Get centred. Find that inner calm that will help you react to life’s events on your terms, with your own mind. Try and seek your own truth, in the long run, only YOU know what’s best for you. Only YOU know what you’re capable of. Go within and ask your ‘higher’ self for the answer.
Get Real. Take stock of where you’re at and get real about what your options are. Try and be objective about your position and not over-dramatise the situation.
Get on with it. Just by actually doing something, you’ll break the spell of being stuck. Write, draw, just choose something and get on with it. You’ll soon get momentum and from there be able to make a clearer decision. Get back into your routine, even if it’s just a simple one.