If you have been feeling lost lately and have no idea what you want to do next in your life, then you have come to the right place. This feeling of feeling lost is very familiar to most of us, especially in 2020 when we are going through the coronavirus pandemic.
This article is about learning how to gain more clarity in terms of what you want to do in your life, and becoming more comfortable with navigating the unknown.
The first we need to do is to address the shame and the guilt that we feel from being lost. We think that we’re the only ones that feel this way, but I guarantee you if you actually ask any other 20 year-old in this generation, many of them are lost as well. Now these people who feel lost may not be parading around the town telling everyone how lost they are, but just trust and know that you are not alone. Also, do not think of being lost as such a bad thing, because to me I feel like being lost is actually a huge blessing in disguise.
Being lost forces you out of your comfort zone to try new things and find things that actually make you fully fulfilled. I truly believe that once you embrace this time in your life where you’re still trying to figure it all out, and you also change your perception of being lost from a negative feeling to a positive feeling, you’ll be able to navigate this thing called life with so much more happiness and ease.
I think the reason why we feel so stressed is that we are so fearful of making the wrong choices, and for these choices to ultimately turn into situations that we’re going to be unhappy about for the rest of our lives. So a good way to cope with this fear or guilt is to know that we really want to just do what’s best for us. We need to focus on what makes us happy. That makes it easy for us to choose a path that’s based on our natural strengths, which means not just the strengths and the things that we’re good at, but the things that we enjoy doing.
Now at this point, a lot of people say that they don’t really know what their strengths are, and I completely get it. I have been there as well. But the one thing that really changed the way I built that self-awareness within myself is that I started to pay more attention to how I feel. What I mean by that is when someone proposes you to do an activity, pay attention to how you actually feel about that. So for instance, when you’re at work and someone tells you to analyze a piece of data, pay attention to whether you are literally jumping out of your seat in excitement and motivation, or your body is contracting and you’re dreading the idea of even accepting this request. Another example is when you are asked to public speak during a meeting or at an event. After you’re done speaking, do you feel a surge of energy and confidence, or do you feel completely drained and anxious, and you pray that you never have to do that again? These are the types of cues that your body is giving you. This kind of cues help you to understand what kind of activities actually make you energized and excited versus the things that naturally drain you and that you naturally dread.
So once you have identified those things, start making a list of them. Start being ultra aware by documenting all the things that bring you joy and energy versus the things that drain you down or that you don’t want to do. And that is how you figure out the non-negotiables for the next step in your career and in your life.