What to Do When You Don’t Know What You’re Doing with Your Life

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This article was written by Rachel Clissold and wikiHow staff writer Dev Murphy, MA. Rachel Clissold is a Life Coach and Consultant in Sydney, Australia. With over six years of coaching experience and over 17 years of corporate training, Rachel specializes in helping business leaders overcome internal obstacles, gain more freedom and clarity, and optimize their company’s efficiency and productivity. Rachel uses a wide range of techniques including coaching, intuitive guidance, neuro-linguistic programming and holistic biohacking to help clients overcome fear, break through limitations and bring their epic visions to life. Rachel is an acclaimed Reiki Master, qualified practitioner in NLP, EFT, Hypnosis and Past Life Regression. She has created events with up to 500 people across Australia, the UK, Bali and Costa Rica. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

It’s not uncommon to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing from time to time—even the seemingly happy and successful among us are sometimes overcome with doubt. You may feel uncertain about the future or meaningless in your present, or as if you’re slogging your way through life. Maybe you’re in a bind and don’t know how to get out. Your day-to-day life may be hazy, but we promise there are solutions. Read on to find out what could be causing you to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, and how you can take back control of your life.

  • You may feel like you don’t know what you’re doing if you’re living your life for others rather than pursuing your own goals or passions.
  • You may feel like you’re on autopilot if you don’t have clear goals or a sense of purpose, or if you’re just stuck.
  • You can take back control by focusing on yourself, what you want to do with your life, and how you can take steps to make your dreams come true, regardless of what anyone thinks.
  1. Image titled Sigma Empath Step 17

    You live your life for others. Living your life according to what you think others want or putting other people’s needs before your own can leave you feeling unfulfilled, insecure and unseen. You may feel like you’re not yourself or that you don’t have control over your life, because you’re used to giving the reins to someone else.[1]

    • Maybe you’re pursuing a certain career because that’s what other people think you should be doing. You may struggle with the confidence to be yourself and tend to follow the crowd. Living your life for others can have negative effects on your emotional well-being.
  2. You have impostor syndrome. Even if you’re living the life you’ve always wanted, if you feel like you didn’t deserve your success, you can feel just as miserable as if you never achieved your goals. Impostor syndrome can painfully affect your mental and emotional health, as well as your career: you may suffer from the fear of being “found out” and that your success will be taken away from you. This can lead to anxiety or depression, career burnout, and less professional risk-taking.[2]

    • If you struggle with impostor syndrome, you are not alone: ​​this condition affects as many as 82% of people.
  3. You lack defined goals or a sense of purpose. Do you feel like you’re just drifting through life, taking it as it comes? Maybe you had dreams as a child that you didn’t quite realize in adulthood, or maybe you were just never quite sure who you were. If you don’t have a sense of purpose or don’t know where your life is going, you can feel like you’re out of control, or maybe you don’t even exist.[3]

  4. You feel stuck in your routine. Even if you have what you consider a good life, the same old is the same old. If you are stuck in a rut, you may feel depressed and uncertain about the future. You might wish you could feel delighted or excited about something new, but nothing is actually on the horizon.[4]

    • Maybe you know what the next chapter of your life might be, but you’re not sure how to get there.
    • Or maybe you’ve reached certain milestones you’ve been waiting and working towards for a long time, and you’re wondering what’s next, if anything.
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    Be gentle with yourself. Sometimes you can feel lost because your standards are unrealistic. If you expect yourself to live up to standards set by someone else, or if you’re a perfectionist who struggles to not be 100% perfect all the time, try practicing some self-compassion. By extending grace to yourself, you may find it easier to regain control and feel more independent.[5]

    • If you had certain life plans for yourself that you have not yet achieved, you may feel as if you are not where you “should” be in life. Although goals can be helpful, life doesn’t always follow a plan! Practice letting go of your expectations and enjoy the freedom of not being tied to an arbitrary time frame.
  2. Get out of your comfort zone. It may sound paradoxical, but sticking to your comfort zone, where you are in control of your life, can make you feel less fulfilled and less confident in yourself. To break out of a rut and feel more purposeful, you may need to try something new and push the boundaries of your comfort zone.[6]

    • This may mean taking the plunge and quitting an unsatisfying job or simply taking up some new hobbies. What have you always wanted to do but were too afraid to do?
    • You can practice a new sport, travel to a new city, join a club, pick up an instrument – the world is your oyster!
  3. Avoid comparing yourself to others. “Comparison is the thief of joy,” Teddy Roosevelt is said to have said. If you spend a lot of time and energy wishing you were like other people or envying their lives, you’ll probably feel like you’ve made a mistake. Try to regularly take time away from arenas where you’ll be tempted to compare (like social media) and remind yourself that you don’t know what’s beneath the surface of other people’s lives.[7]

    • When you feel the need to compare, try to find one thing to be grateful for about yourself or your life instead. Practicing gratitude won’t erase feelings of unfulfillment, but it can help you have a more positive, confident outlook.
  4. Challenge limiting beliefs about yourself. Limiting beliefs are negative thoughts about yourself, your abilities, and your values ​​that may have been instilled in you as a child or as an adult and that can prevent you from living life to the fullest or from taking risks. If you have negative thoughts about yourself, practice fighting them:

    • The next time you feel overwhelmed by self-doubt, acknowledge that feeling and acknowledge that it’s just a belief—not a truth.[8]
    • Try different, more positive self-beliefs—ones that align with your ideal vision of yourself. For example, if you’re struggling with finances, you might say, “I’m not doing very well right now, but with some careful budgeting, I can improve my situation.”
    • Finally, act as if your new belief is true: perhaps look for a higher-paying job, adopt a strict budget, or talk to a financial advisor.
    • Acting on your positive beliefs might seem unnatural at first; your impulse is likely to act as if your limiting belief is reality. But over time, as you practice believing in yourself, it will become second nature.
  5. Focus on you. If you’ve been living your life for others, it’s time to focus on yourself.[9]
    A little self-care can help you feel more confident and in control of your life. Practice putting your own needs above those of others and the next time you feel compelled to do something you think someone wants you to do, stop and ask yourself what you really want.

    • Focusing on you can mean more time for exercise, healthy eating, meditation and hobbies.
    • It can also include actively saying “no” to other people and practicing expressing your opinions more firmly, even if they conflict with what people around you feel.
  6. Practice mindfulness. Punctuality has been one of the internet’s favorite postal buzzwords for the last decade, but it’s the postal club that proves it. If you feel out of touch with your life or like you have no choice, getting more involved in your environment can help you feel more grounded and confident in yourself.

    • Set up a regular meditation practice. Just 10 minutes of meditation a day can help improve your mood, attitude, memory and attention.[10]
    • Set aside 10 minutes a day for uninterrupted meditation without distraction. Practice breathing in and out slowly, trying to notice your breath as it cycles in and out of your body.
      • Pay attention to all the sensations you experience: how does the chair you are sitting feel? What’s the feeling in the air? Focus on your body sensations for 10-20 minutes.[11]
  7. Follow your passions. As Mary Oliver famously wrote, “[W]what do you plan to do / with your wild and precious life?” There is no road map to the perfect life, and we only get one. But following your passions, wherever they lead, is a pretty good way to ensure a life full of meaning and purpose.[12]
    Dedicate regular time to what turns you on.

    • It could mean a big change, like quitting your job and changing careers to align with your passions, or it could just mean devoting your free time to pursuing what moves you, whether it’s art, community service, sports—what whatever burns in your heart.
    • If you’re not sure what you’re passionate about, just be curious instead. Following your curiosity is the best way to discover your passions: what have you always wanted to try? How to find out more about?[13]
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Categories: How to
Source: HIS Education

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