Finding Your Compass When You Are Feeling Lost

There are many times in life where we will be without a compass, seemingly lost in the unknown that comes with either dramatic change or gradual realization.  Regardless, we find ourselves adrift on a sea without a paddle, wondering what will happen to us as we strain our eyes all around to see.  The powerful feeling that comes from uncertainty is something we all feel.  It can be especially strong when it comes to changing careers and deciding what our next move will be.  The greatest thing to know is that you always have it within you to no longer feel lost.  What you are experiencing now is the beginning.  You are not alone.

When we are lost, we search for our compass.  It is our true and undeniable self that rests below everything else.  Finding this part of who we are, defining it, and understanding its potential gives us the opportunity to move forward.  In addition, our ability to separate what we want from what we feel like we should do brings us even closer to a true understanding of who we are.  Finally, celebrating our ability, the change that aging brings, and understanding that everything fades in time make moving on easier, giving you the power to no longer feel lost.

Are there times that you feel lost?  Here is a way you can find your compass and discover your path.

The Importance Of Finding Your Innate, True Self

When we feel lost, there is a single place we can return for guidance.  It is our innate, true self.  It is always inside you, it is always on your side, and it is what makes you look for guidance when you have lost your way.  It is the source of your passion, your excitement, and your energy.  Finding this part of you and learning to listen to it will free you of so much anxiety and worry that you will be amazed at how far you’ve come in such a small amount of time.  So how do you find this part of you?

Feeling Lost

What do you love doing?  Consider the things in life that bring you joy.  Separate them from other people and separate yourself from whatever roles you play.  What interests you directly?  For some, it is painting.  For others, it is going for a walk.  For others still, it is sitting in a spa or enjoying the loving embrace of someone close.  Your love is your innate safe, crying out for recognition.  In a culture that has taught us that the only way we can feel satisfied is by purchasing gadgets, our innate self is still within us, waiting for us to discover how ridiculous of an idea that is.  Other things can provide you direction, but they can never make you feel whole, complete, alive, excited, and in love.  All of that comes from within.

Your true self is what you love, regardless of what people say.  Sometimes, we learn to hate our true selves because when we share with other people, they mock us or make us feel inferior.  You are better than that and you deserve more than to listen to other people and their half-formed opinions of you.  More often than not, the worst things we say to another come from our own insecurity.  Don’t let their insecurity become your own.  Keep looking for your innate self.  It should feel warm, calm, and welcoming.  When you do, your next step becomes defining yourself.

Define Yourself

If your innate self is the foundation of who you are, then how you define yourself will become your walls and floors.  Are you a son, daughter, father, mother, friend, relative, neighbor, aunt, uncle, work associate, or anything else you can think of?  Do you define yourself as loving, spiritual, friendly, angry, hot-tempered, passionate, welcoming, or graceful?  Look for the words that define your innate self.  These words don’t exist in the past or the future.  They are not made up of ‘shoulds’ or ‘oughts’ but rather who you are at your core.  They can be your expectation, your excitement, your memory, and any other thing you can think of.

Sit quietly in a room and focus on your breathing.  Push all other thoughts out of your mind and make your breaths slow and methodical.  After a few minutes, let the thoughts in and examine them one at a time.  What are your thoughts telling you?  Are they piling on expectations, or working as your allies towards a better you?  You can feel lost for many reasons, including unrealistic expectations.  Meditate for a moment, define who you and your innate selves are, and accept it for what it is.  By defining yourself you get closer to finding your true potential.

Understand Your Potential

You know who you are at your core and you know what qualities define who you are both to yourself and to the outside world.  Understanding your potential is like putting a roof on top of this imaginary home that is you.  Understanding your potential will keep you safe from conflict, from storms of emotion, and from anything else people or the world around you can send your way.  Just like a roof, you have to keep careful watch to make sure it is in good condition.

Your potential is built on top of what defines you.  It is guided by your innate desire.  You will not want to act on all potential.  For example, if you are an excellent doctor, and your parents want you to be a doctor, then it makes sense for you to be a doctor.  However, what you are doing is constructing a roof for someone else’s house.  It will not fit well with you and you will not like it.  Only act on the potential that you enjoy and want for yourself.  You will be far happier, healthier, and passionate about the world around you.

When you feel lost, you will find a disconnect between your potential and your interest.  You will not think it is possible to connect the two.  The truth is however that it is possible.  The more impossible it feels the more rewarding it will be to finally pull together.  Work towards small, tangible tasks on the road of acting on your potential.  Keep your head down, work on it a day at a time, and be amazed at the progress you’ve made.  Fail a lot, love yourself even when you fail, and celebrate your success.  No one is perfect, but that does not stop us from trying.

Find What Is, Not What Should

In contradiction to your true self is a single entity that represents all of the terrible things people have told you and that you have told yourself.  Known by some groups as ‘the judge,’ it exists to make real every insecurity you have.  It is a deep-rooted self-destructive element of living in our society and every person deals with it in your own way.  Your true self and the judge exist on opposite ends of a spectrum for your happiness and contentment.  Your true self points you towards things you love, regardless of how odd or unusual they are.  Your judge reminds you of everything you are failing at, what people might think, and everything you have to lose by believing in yourself.  The judge lives in words like ‘should’ and ‘might’ and ‘ought.’  It revels in your failure.

When feeling lost and finding your personal compass towards a happier life, remember that the judge will try to bring you down,  while your innate self will try to bring you up.  You can never get rid of either of them.  Instead, you learn to live with both and understand that struggle is a part of life.  You are a complicated, amazing individual who has a lot going on.  Losing your way and then finding it is a part of our experience.  Don’t give up.  Focus on wants and not ‘shoulds’.


Celebrate A Finite Life

Birth and death are parts of life.  Nothing maintains itself forever and everything in your life will change whether you are in charge of that change or not.  When depressed, tired, and lost, it can feel like nothing will ever change.  The judge certainly will make you believe that your life is over, or that you will never achieve what you want to achieve.  That of course, is utter crap.

You are an amazing individual who gets this incredible shot to live, think, breathe, create, explore, cherish, grow, and love.  It is never too late to embrace these things and to continue the journey of self-discovery.  Celebrate your life and know that it will not always be around.  Celebrate others and share who you are with them.  Find like-minded people who will love you for who you are.  When we are lost, the scariest thing in the world is change.  In truth, the change will set you free and leave you happier than ever before.  Find the change in your life, pursue what you love, and never look back.

Let me turn it over to you!

What do you do when you feel lost?  What are some things that you tend to focus on to get yourself out of the funk?  As always, I love hearing from you.  Feel free to drop your comments below!  Talk soon!

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One response to “Finding Your Compass When You Are Feeling Lost”

  1. W.K. Little says:

    As always Nate your insights are spot on, informative & amazing.

    Thanks for sharing.

    – WL

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