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Feeling Lost in Life? Discover how to find your life's purpose in 9 steps. Learn to overcome challenges and build a fulfilling life.

Feeling Lost in Life? Discover the Purpose of Your Life in 9 Steps

Jul 5, 2024

By Will Moore

Do you ever feel lost, like you’re stumbling through life without a compass, and you feel lost in the myriad of choices and advice? The weight of endless choices and conflicting advice can be paralyzing, making it difficult to take meaningful steps toward your dreams. This confusion can affect your entire life, but mastering yourself can lead to lifelong fulfillment. What if this confusion could be the catalyst for an incredible journey of personal growth and self-discovery?

I know this feeling all too well. At 18, I was suicidal, convinced my brain was broken and life was out to get me. I was the only one in my freshman dorm to rush a fraternity and not get a bid. I’ll never forget sitting in my room when the news broke, listening to all the guys in my hall running up and down, screaming with joy. I was both devastated and panicked that one of them would knock to see which frat I’d gotten into, so I locked my door and turned off the lights to hide.

But then I found some ways and resources that gave me hope. I started trying out the ideas I learned, like a scientist testing things. Through relentless learning and experimentation, I developed a system to help people become entrepreneurs of the most important business they’ll ever run - their lives, which you will learn in this blog.

Ready to level up in life? Let’s get started!

Upgrades You’ll Earn From This Blog:

  1. Learn to filter and trust reliable sources of information.

  2. Develop long-term goals while enjoying short-term rewards.

  3. Overcome procrastination and cultivate a growth mindset.

Here Is Why You Are Feeling Lost In Life And How To Overcome This

Feeling lost in life is a common experience, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent state. Through my 25+ years of studying principles of behavioral science and happiness, I made a crucial discovery: there are five core areas of life that are key to happiness. You can only feel truly fulfilled when these areas are in harmony. This realization became the foundation of my system for overcoming that lost feeling and building a life of purpose and satisfaction.

A lack of self-understanding can often lead to feelings of disorientation and purposelessness.

Now, let’s explore the five core areas of life that my decades of study have revealed as crucial for happiness and fulfillment:

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THE 5 CORE AREAS OF LIFE:

1) MINDSET CORE: This core of life is about getting your mind working FOR instead of against you by developing a “growth owner mindset” who fails forward, sees obstacles as temporary roadblocks, and gives fear the finger. This is where we apply the Equation of Life: Your belief system + your repeated actions + time = who you will become. By shifting your beliefs and consistently taking action, you can transform your life over time.

2) CAREER AND FINANCES CORE: This involves aligning your career with your passions and strengths while developing smart financial habits. Earning a living doing what you love and are great at executing your purpose and exponentially growing your wealth along the way.

3) RELATIONSHIPS CORE: Creating and maintaining deep, fulfilled relationships and gaining allies to help achieve goals. Building strong, positive relationships can provide support and motivation when you’re feeling lost.

4) PHYSICAL HEALTH CORE: Taking care of your physical self to look good, feel good, and gain the energy and stamina to propel you through life. Consistent habits in exercise, nutrition, and sleep are crucial here.

5) EMOTIONAL HEALTH CORE: Managing stress effectively, expressing your passions regularly, and ensuring the world is better for having you in it. This involves developing habits of self-reflection, stress management, and giving back to others. Incorporating self-care practices, such as mindfulness and relaxation techniques, can significantly improve your emotional and mental health.

These five core areas of life, when balanced, can help you find your way out of feeling lost. As we explore the reasons why you might be feeling this way, keep these core areas in mind. Often, feeling lost is a sign that one or more of these areas needs attention. Each challenge we’ll discuss is deeply connected to these core areas, affecting one or more of them in various ways. By addressing these challenges, you’ll be working on balancing and improving these fundamental aspects of your life.

Before we dive deeper, I encourage you to take a moment to assess where you currently stand in each of these core areas. I’ve developed a Two Min Core Values Quiz to help you identify which areas might need more attention in your life.

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Now, let’s look at the specific challenges that make you feel lost in life:

1. Deep-Rooted Habits

Feeling lost is often a sign that your current habits aren’t serving you well, and taking proactive steps to change them. My own journey from a lost, suicidal teenager to a successful entrepreneur and fulfilled individual is proof that breaking bad habits and forming good ones can lead to profound transformation.

I’ve learned that habits don’t care if they’re good or bad – they’ll compound over time either way. The key is identifying which habits are holding you back and systematically replacing them with positive ones.

Listening to your inner voice can help you identify which habits are truly aligned with your values and goals.

According to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit,” habits form because the brain seeks ways to save effort. The process of changing these habits requires significant effort and self-reflection, which can be psychologically challenging.

Tips to Overcome This Problem:

  • Use the “habit stacking” technique. This involves pairing a new habit with an existing one to make it easier to adopt. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Cue: Identify an existing habit that acts as a cue. For example, brushing your teeth in the morning.

  2. Craving: Create a desire to perform the new habit by associating it with a positive outcome. For instance, craving the calm and focus that meditation provides.

  3. Response: Pair the new habit with the existing one. Meditate immediately after brushing your teeth to respond to the craving.

  4. Reward: Reinforce the new habit by acknowledging the benefits. Feel an immediate sense of calm and accomplishment after meditating, which rewards and reinforces the behavior.

2. Flood Of Information

Life today can feel like being in a noisy room with everyone shouting advice at you. There’s so much information coming from all sides - your phone, your computer, books, friends - it can make your head spin. It’s hard to know who to listen to or what’s actually true.

This constant barrage of information can make you feel disconnected from your true self and your goals. This flood of information can leave you feeling stuck. You want to make good choices and improve your life, but with so many conflicting opinions, it’s easy to end up doing nothing at all. You might find yourself scrolling endlessly through social media or jumping from one self-help book to another without ever taking real action.

Read More: how to get unstuck in life.

As American author and entrepreneur Seth Godin puts it, “The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.”

Tips to Overcome This Problem:

  • To combat information overload, start by curating your information sources. Select a few trusted experts whose advice resonates with your values and goals.

  • When feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information, setting small, achievable goals can help build confidence and a sense of progression.

  • Use tools like Feedly or Pocket to organize and manage your reading list. When I felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of self-improvement advice, I decided to limit my sources to just three — James Clear for habits, Brené Brown for vulnerability and courage, and Cal Newport for deep work and productivity. This not only reduced my stress but also made my self-improvement journey more focused and effective.

  • Create a personal knowledge management system, such as a digital notebook in Evernote or Notion, where you can categorize and store useful information. This not only helps in filtering out the noise but also makes it easier to refer back to valuable insights.

3. The Urge of Quick Rewards

Our society’s obsession with instant gratification significantly undermines long-term planning and discipline. The constant availability of quick fixes and immediate rewards in our digital age makes it increasingly challenging to stay committed to long-term goals. This focus on short-term pleasure over long-term fulfillment leads to a cycle of starting and stopping without making substantial progress.

Tips to Overcome This Problem:

  • One personal tactic I found effective was creating a vision board. I filled it with images and quotes that represent my long-term goals. Placing it in a visible spot kept me motivated and reminded me of the bigger picture whenever I felt tempted by short-term distractions.

  • Use a method called “temptation bundling,” which was popularized by behavioral scientist Katy Milkman. This involves pairing a task you need to do (like working on a long-term goal) with something you enjoy (like listening to your favorite podcast). For instance, if your goal is to exercise regularly, allow yourself to watch your favorite Netflix show only while on the treadmill. This makes the process enjoyable and helps build the habit.

4. Fear of Failure

When you doubt your ability to succeed, you are more likely to avoid starting projects or abandon them at the first sign of difficulty. This behavior is reinforced by a fixed mindset that views challenges as threats rather than opportunities for growth. The fear of not meeting expectations can be paralyzing, leading to chronic procrastination and a lack of achievement.

Wallowing in self-pity can drain your energy and prevent you from taking proactive steps to overcome your fears.

‘’You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great,’’ says motivational speaker Zig Ziglar.

Read More: Why do I feel like a failure

Tips to Overcome This Problem:

  • Developing a growth mindset, as suggested by psychologist Carol Dweck in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” can significantly reduce procrastination.

  • Begin by reframing your perspective on challenges and failures. View them as opportunities to learn and grow rather than as threats to your self-worth.

  • Implement the “two-minute rule” recommended by productivity consultant David Allen in “Getting Things Done.” This rule suggests that if a task will take less than two minutes to complete, do it immediately.

  • For larger tasks, break them down into smaller, manageable steps and tackle them one at a time. This makes the tasks less intimidating and helps build momentum.

  • Set a timer for 25 minutes (a technique known as the Pomodoro Technique). After each session, take a five-minute break. This approach makes the task less overwhelming and increases productivity.

  • Unexpected events can leave individuals feeling shocked and unsure of how to move forward.

5. Inability to Make Timely Decisions

With countless options available, making decisions can become overwhelming. Psychologist Barry Schwartz, in his book “The Paradox of Choice,” argues that having too many choices can lead to decision paralysis, where the fear of making the wrong choice results in making no choice at all.

This indecision stifles progress and keeps us stuck in a state of inaction. The abundance of choices in career paths, lifestyle decisions, and personal goals can leave us feeling trapped and unable to move forward.

Tips to Overcome This Problem:

  • Simplify your decision-making process by narrowing down your options based on your core values and long-term goals. Create criteria for evaluating choices and stick to them. For example, when choosing a new project or job opportunity, consider factors like alignment with your values, potential for growth, and work-life balance.

  • Use decision-making frameworks like the Eisenhower Matrix, which helps prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance. Delegate or eliminate tasks that are neither urgent nor important. This approach reduces the cognitive load and makes it easier to focus on what truly matters.

  • A real-life strategy I use is setting a deadline for making decisions. If I spend too much time deliberating, I remind myself that making a decision, even if it’s not perfect, is better than remaining stuck. This mindset helps us move forward and learn from the outcomes.

6. Generic Self-Help

Generic self-help methods often fail to address individual differences, making them ineffective for personal growth. A one-size-fits-all approach does not account for the unique challenges and goals each person faces. Without tailored advice, individuals may struggle to see meaningful progress and maintain motivation, leading to further feelings of being lost.

Seeking professional guidance from a counselor or therapist can provide personalized strategies and support tailored to your unique challenges.

Tips to Overcome This Problem:

  • Seek personalized self-help strategies that align with your specific needs and goals. Personality assessment quizzes (e.g., Core Values Quiz) can provide insights into your strengths and weaknesses, helping you tailor your approach to personal development.

  • Work with a coach or mentor who can provide customized guidance and support. This one-on-one interaction can help you develop a personalized plan and hold you accountable for your progress. Additionally, use digital tools like habit-tracking apps that offer personalized recommendations based on your behaviors and preferences.

7. Comfort Zone

Adapting to new situations and environments is a challenge many people face as they don't want to leave their comfort zone. Whether it’s adjusting to a new job, moving to a different city, or dealing with life changes, the ability to adapt is crucial for personal growth.

Tips to Overcome This Problem:

  • Identify one small challenge to face each week, such as trying a new hobby or volunteering for a project at work. Schedule it and commit to completing it, then reflect on the experience to acknowledge what you learned.

  • Write down three areas where you feel stuck, and list progressive steps to gradually increase difficulty. Start with the easiest step and move to the next only when comfortable.

  • Practice mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, to stay calm and focused when facing new situations. Use these techniques regularly to build resilience and reduce anxiety about stepping out of your comfort zone.

8. Loneliness in a Connected World

Despite being more connected than ever through technology, many people experience a deep sense of loneliness. The Cigna U.S. Loneliness Index reports that nearly 58%% of Americans feel lonely. Superficial online interactions can leave us feeling disconnected from meaningful relationships. This isolation exacerbates feelings of being lost, as we lack the support and guidance from deep, fulfilling connections that are essential for emotional well-being.

As author and researcher Brené Brown states, “Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

Tips to Overcome This Problem:

  • Focus on building deeper, more meaningful connections. Prioritize face-to-face interactions over digital ones. Join clubs, organizations, or community groups where you can meet people with similar interests.

  • Volunteering is another great way to connect with others and find a sense of purpose.

9. Poor Time and Financial Management

Effective management of time and financial resources is crucial for achieving life goals, yet many people struggle in these areas. Poor prioritization and mismanagement of these resources can lead to neglecting important aspects of life, such as personal growth, health, and relationships. The constant pressure to meet financial and time demands can create stress and hinder progress towards long-term goals.

Tips to Overcome This Problem:

  • Implement time management techniques like time blocking, where you schedule specific blocks of time for different tasks and activities. This approach helps you stay focused and ensures that you allocate time for important activities. Use tools like Google Calendar or Trello to organize your schedule and set reminders.

  • For financial management, create a budget that aligns with your goals and priorities. Tools like Mint or YNAB (You Need A Budget) can help you track your spending and savings. Set aside time each week to review your finances and make adjustments as needed. Stay away from impulse buying.

Conclusion

Now, 25 years after feeling so low, I’ve figured out how to feel excited about life again, like when we played with toys as kids. But now, instead of toys, we get joy from doing things every day that we know make us happy. I’m lucky to have a good career, close friends, a loving wife, and two great sons. My boys remind me every day why it’s so important to keep playing and enjoying life.

It hasn’t always been easy. There have been really hard times when I wanted to give up. The big difference now is how I handle tough situations. I used to think bad things happened because I was a loser. Now, I see them as chances to learn and grow stronger.

Remember, being happy isn’t about getting to some perfect place in life. It’s about knowing what makes you happy and doing those things every day. The key is ALWAYS BE GROWING. As long as we’re moving forward in our bodies and minds, we’ll be happy.

Your life is like a game, and you’re the main player. Are you ready to start playing?

Take The First Step To Find Yourself

Are you ready to take the first step towards transforming your life and finding your true direction to live a good life? To make your journey simple, fun, and rewarding, we invite you to take our Core Values Quiz.

This brief 1-2 minute quiz is designed to help you establish a quick baseline of where you currently stand in each of the five core areas of your life: Mindset, Career & Finances, Relationships, Physical Health, and Emotional & Mental Health.

Why Take the Core Values Quiz?

  • Discover your strengths and areas for growth.

  • Receive a customized plan to tackle your most pressing challenges.

  • Get practical advice to start building momentum in your life.

By taking this quiz, you’ll gain clarity on your current situation and receive personalized guidance to help you move forward. This is the first step towards a more purposeful and fulfilling life.

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FAQs

How do you describe feeling lost in life?

It's like being a ship without a compass in a vast ocean. You're moving but have no idea where you're going or why.

What happens when a person loses a sense of feeling?

Your internal alarm system shuts down. You can't tell if you're in danger or safe, happy or sad. Life loses its color.

I am feeling lost, unhappy, exhausted, and unsatisfied. What can be done for my mental health?

Start small. I have felt lost, unhappy, exhausted, and unsatisfied at various points in my life. Pick one tiny thing that used to make you smile and do it today. Tomorrow, do it again or try something new.

Why do I feel so alone and lost in life due to societal pressure?

You've drifted away from your anchor points - the people, passions, and purpose that give life meaning. It's time to reconnect.

How to Find Yourself Again, How to Stop Feeling Lost in Life?

Reflect on your values, set clear goals, seek support, try new activities, practice mindfulness, and limit social media.

How Do You Describe Feeling Lost in Life?

Feeling lost is a state of confusion and uncertainty about your purpose, direction, or identity.

Why Do I Feel Lost Again?

Life transitions, unresolved issues, burnout, lack of purpose, and external pressures can cause recurring feelings of being lost.

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Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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