We all have those moments in life where we feel as though we’re spinning fast like a hamster on a wheel, running and running yet getting nowhere.
Or not running at all, but being stuck knee-deep in treacle or quicksand, unable to move an inch.
Or maybe neither applies to you.
You might be lost in life and not even realize it. Or perhaps, you do know that you’re lost (deep down), but are reluctant to admit it.
Because after all, accepting and acknowledging that we’re off track can be a bitter pill to swallow and leave you feeling guilt-ridden for not being on the right course like everyone else.
So, if this sounds familiar and some part of you knows that you’re not quite where you ought to be, psychology might have some answers for you.
In this article, we’re going to highlight 7 tell-tale signs that might indicate you’re lost in life but are too stubborn or scared to admit it:
1) You’re constantly questioning your choices
Do you regularly find yourself lying awake at night, mulling over the decisions you’ve made throughout the day, week, or even years ago?
If I’d not broken up with her when I was 18, would we be married now?
If I hadn’t dropped out of my Fine Art degree, would I be happier?
If I had spent more time with my parents, would I not feel so lonely?
We all second-guess ourselves sometimes. It’s natural.
But, if this is becoming a regular occurrence for you and keeps you up at night, it might be a sign that you’re feeling a lil’ lost.
Psychologists suggest that constant self-doubt is often a symptom of feeling directionless in life. It also acknowledges how detrimental constantly going over what-ifs can be to a person’s wellbeing, largely leading you to feel even more lost through constantly thinking about the past.
It’s more than okay to question your choices now and then – it actually shows self-awareness and a desire for growth.
But when it becomes an obsessive thought pattern, it may be time to pause and reassess where you’re headed in life.
2) You’re feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied
‘Everything in moderation’ seems to have fallen out the window.
You could eat masses of cookies. Get millions of dollars. Have all the love and affection in the world, and yet you’d still feel unsatiated.
Maybe you’re there now; good job, stable relationship, decent income, above average fitness. But you don’t feel quite right…
Does this resonate with you?
Psychology tells us that this sense of dissatisfaction or unfulfillment is often a sign you’re feeling lost in life. It’s like you’re going through the motions without really engaging in anything, and just watching life pass you by.
Not living, just existing.
And this sort of dissatisfaction isn’t necessarily about being ungrateful or wanting more.
It’s about feeling disconnected from what you’re doing, like it’s not truly meaningful or satisfying to you.
3) You’re avoiding your own feelings
A dark cloud of anxiety has settled over your head, but you’ll be damned if you admit just how nerve-ridden you are to anyone!
In fact, you spend your free time trying to drown out your thoughts by furiously doom scrolling, moving on to the TV, swapping that out for a podcast, back to social media…all whilst blaring background music from your built in speaker system.
In psychology, this is often referred to as emotional avoidance or numbness. It’s when you consciously or unconsciously try to push away uncomfortable emotions or refuse to acknowledge them, finding all sorts of methods to try and quieten down those pesky thoughts.
And whilst it’s natural to want to avoid pain or discomfort, consistently dodging your feelings may indicate you’re a little lost in life.
So if you find yourself constantly trying to escape or numb your feelings instead of facing them, it might be a sign you need to take a step back and start being honest about what’s truly going on beneath the surface.
4) You’re experiencing frequent bouts of anxiety or depression
Feeling anxious or low from time to time is a part of life.
But if these feelings have become constant live-in residents in your life, it can be a sign that something isn’t quite right…
Psychologists suggest that consistent feelings of anxiety or depression can often indicate you’re feeling lost in life. You might be feeling stuck in your current circumstances, unsure of how to move forward, or feeling disillusioned with the path you’re on.
(Anxiety and depression can also indicate other mental health issues, so please do seek appropriate guidance if this applies).
It’s important to know that it’s okay to seek help in such situations. If you’re experiencing persistent feelings of anxiety or depression, consider reaching out to a mental health professional.
They can provide valuable tools and strategies to help you navigate these challenging emotions and find your way back to yourself.
5) Your motivation levels are at an all-time low
Forget leveling up your job or whizzing through a new project, you can barely get out of bed at the moment…
If you’re finding it increasingly hard to muster up the energy or motivation to get things done, it could be a sign you’re feeling lost. A lack of motivation often stems from not having a clear sense of direction or purpose in life.
When we feel lost, we quickly lose sight of how to get out of that sinkhole and start moving. Not even knowing which direction to move in makes moving altogether very difficult.
So if you’ve also noticed that your energy and enthusiasm for doing anything has quietly got up and left, it might be time to take a step back and reassess what’s causing this lack of drive.
6) You’re feeling disconnected from the people around you
What’s more saddening is that feeling lost in other areas of life can bleed out into your social life and relationships.
Psychologists suggest that feeling detached or disconnected from people – even those you’re close to – is often a sign of feeling lost in life. You might be struggling with your own issues and emotions, making it difficult to connect with others.
If you’re finding yourself increasingly isolated or disconnected from other people, it could indicate that you’re grappling with deeper issues.
So try your best to accept that this isn’t something to be ashamed of. Rather, it’s a signal that it’s time to reach out for help and start addressing what’s going on internally.
7) You’re constantly craving change but changing absolutely nothing
This one hits close to home for me. Often, we pick up a bunch of bad coping habits which soothe and calm us, but are often self-destructive.
And eventually, most of us get to a point where we fully acknowledge that we want to shed these old habits and bring in new ones…
But actually taking those steps seems impossible.
Instead, we feel as if we’re drowning in stagnant pond water. With absolutely no motivation to do anything about it.
If you also find yourself daydreaming about a different life but never taking any steps towards making those dreams a reality, it’s a clear sign something’s amiss.
This constant yearning for change coupled with a sluggish inaction often indicates that you’re feeling lost.
Sure, it’s easy to fantasize about change, but taking the steps to make it happen requires clarity. This includes clarity of what you want, why you want it, and how to get there.
But try to be kind to yourself and remember that everyone feels lost at some point or another.
It’s not a sign of weakness, but an opportunity to pause, reassess, and redirect your life towards what truly matters to you.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
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