"I am so lost and I just don't know what to do about it or even where to start!"
That is a statement that most of us can relate to having felt at some time or other. It is a terrible and often hopeless feeling and there are many ways we could have gotten to that place, but often, it has been building up for some time.
The question is, what can we do to help ourselves get oriented when we feel we have lost our direction? Luckily, it may be easier to find the starting place than we may have thought!
I hear this from people I work with on a regular basis and I have had times where I have felt it too. What has occurred to me over the years is that although it may APPEAR (while we are experiencing it) that we must be LOST, more often what we are really feeling is OVERWHELMED! Once we begin to break it down and look objectively at where we are, we can then begin to take the first steps back onto the path of our chosen direction.
One of the first things that we can do to figure out where to begin is to take a good, honest look at our lives and name out everything that we want to improve upon. A great way to do this is to actually make a physical list. Whether on paper or digitally, get it out of your head and onto something physical you can use to give yourself a bit of distance from it. Making a list is helpful because it gets the thoughts out of your head so you can begin to disengage from them long enough to establish a bit of clarity. Once we can relax about something, it allows us the ability to begin to problem solve whatever issues we are facing. We can then even walk away and leave the list for awhile until we are ready to come back and tackle it. Lists are also useful because they help us become aware of PATTERNS that we might be missing while things are rolling back and forth inside our minds.
Once we have gotten our honest (often painfully so) and complete list out of our heads and onto a medium, we can start to go over it. The list may seem a bit daunting - especially when we consider that feeling overwhelmed is most likely what is ACTUALLY bothering us to begin with, but that's okay - it's just a part of the process! We just have to remember that with each tiny step, we get further down the road and clearer about what route to take to get there!
As I said, it can be amazing to see the obvious patterns that jump out at us that we were not consciously aware of before. If these patterns appear and reveal a common theme, then we have already found our place to begin! THIS is where the REAL work starts! It is usually truth that the problem is rarely NOT knowing what the issue is, but more commonly NOT wanting to make the changes necessary to improve it that creates the most resistance!
So, we have our list and we've identified any patterns within them. Great! Where do we go next? Well, that part is up to each of us individually, but in general, the best place to begin is either with the MOST IMPORTANT things (such as the themes revelaed in the patterns), or with the EASIEST to accomplish first. To me, I feel like a combination of beginning with both of those together can be the most helpful. "Crossing off" the things which are the easiest can give us the boost in confidence and in momentum to continue on to bigger things; and the things that are the most important are the ones that will probably make the strongest impact on our lives when addressed.
Another common sentiment I hear from people a lot is that they "can't" make changes to their lives because they "have no choice" and have no opportuntiy to make changes! They can't "do anything", but this is simply NOT the truth! We ALWAYS have choices! The problem is that we don't always LIKE what our options for making choices are, and so we do NOTHING besides complaining instead, remaining stuck and feeling miserable for it!
We may not be able to change our location, our job, our relationship, or larger circumstances as instantly as we would like, but until we CAN do the work necessary to make those changes occur, we can do other things to get ourselves to that point! We can change the things closest to us - such as our thoughts and reactions, and we can change many small outer factors as well (like actually APPLYING for jobs when we want to find a new one, or buying healthier groceries when we want our health to improve, etc).
Once we've taken our first steps down the road to our destination and further towards our goals, the choice whether or not to DO what is necessary to HAVE the improvements in our lives that we state we want are only up to US . . . but we can NO longer claim that we are LOST when we realize that we have had a map laid out by life in front of us the entire time!
Peace, love, and blessings to you to make your dreams come true!
Make your star shine!
Melinda Erin Whitehead - October 2, 2014.
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