We’ve all been there at some point; where we feel completely lost and not sure what to do. When it comes to career we’re asked to know from a very young age “What do you want to be when you grow up?“. The problem is that what we want to do is likely to change quite a few times during our working life.
As humans we tend to prefer certainty (knowing what steps to take and how) over uncertainty, so it’s not easy when you find yourself in those positions where you just don’t know. Where things feel kind of pointless and you know you can’t stay in the same situation any longer, but you have no idea what to do instead.
What I’ve always found though is that the chance of stumbling on something great increases if we allow ourselves to get a bit lost from time to time.
Some of the best times I’ve had on my travels over the years have been the most random coincidences, often places and people I found because I got lost. This applies to our life and career too!
How can it be a good thing to be lost?
Feeling lost is so often perceived as a negative thing, but it’s actually healthy to not always know what comes next. Feeling a bit scared, incapable or uncomfortable is perfectly normal and not feelings we should avoid at all cost. Because when you listen to your feelings you can leverage them and lean into something else.
Some perfectly normal feelings that often come along when you’re feeling lost:
- Self doubt (sometimes accompanied by self criticism)
- Procrastination (not wanting to deal with things)
- Some form of mood swings (feeling very happy and focussed one day and pretty low and uninspired the next)
- Irritability (when people show care and concern and you might get annoyed for no obvious reason)
The moments when we feel lost are those moments when we really and truly get to know ourselves. The conversations, friendships and opportunities that come from saying ‘no’ to something is also what will allow us to move through the rough spot and out into the sunshine again.
What to do next?
A big part of this is understanding your unique drivers of behaviour (especially for the certainty driven people out there!). It helps us understand ourselves better and make decisions in line with that. If you have not already listened to my 6 core needs video series, I would recommend you spend 5 minutes and check it out via this link.
Let’s make 2020 a really amazing year!