“WTF am I doing?” A 6 word question that I’m sure most of us have asked ourselves when we’ve entered a space of feeling generally lost about a major life element (or plural, elements). Feeling disoriented about our career path or purpose in life or identity or relationships or beliefs can make us question ourselves. Then, factoring-in outside messages or people around us that say ‘you should have these things figured out already’ is like the anxiety filled cherry on top. It sucks, honestly and truly. But, we’re also not in the business of wallowing in our misery on this side so we have to tackle this.
I’ve been struggling with feeling like I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to certain areas in my life for quite some time now and I will say 0/10 would recommend! Seriously, coming to terms with not knowing what I’m doing in major areas of my life has been tough. Previously, I’ve spoke about having the courage to trust yourself during times like this but I’m coming to learn it takes a bit more than that.
I’ve gone from absolutely believing I knew something to feeling the complete opposite. A bit frightening yet, very normal. It happens. In effort to respond to these thoughts and feelings I had surrounding confusion, I decided to change what I was doing. Reflecting on this issue I had with myself about ‘not knowing’ showed me I needed to meditate on the words acceptance, patience, compassion, and action. Each of these words have slowly sparked a change in my perspective and experience.
Accepting that you don’t know something is always powerful. It means you can own your sh-t. When we are honest about the reality of feeling lost in life, a burden is lifted. We do not have to carry the weight of pretending to know what we do not yet. We are moving forward as we are and where we are. The integrity in acceptance allows us to attract what is needed to move forward. Accepting that we don’t know allows us to be real with ourselves and open to new possibilities of what ‘knowing’ means.
Patience is truly a virtue. Being patient in the midst of the unknown takes grace. It takes understanding. We may not know exactly when or how we’ll figure out some of our biggest roadblocks and this uncertainty can humble us. It can bring us to a standstill; slow us down a bit. This time of needing to be patient means we have time to be grateful, for how far we’ve come, what we do have, and the things we do know. Giving ourselves time and room to figure out sh-t out is valuable! We need this. Taking the pressure of speed out of the equation encourages organic paced progress. Sometimes patience will carry us places understanding wont.
We can’t forget my favorite self-care practice: compassion. Ugh, why is it so hard to be self-compassionate?! Smh. It is soooo much easier to beat myself up about being unsure about major life decisions than it is to tell myself it is okay. It’s programming, we’re unconsciously (even consciously) taught to be harsh with ourselves. Being hard on ourselves and having negative self-talk regarding our situations makes what we’re going through 10x worse, I promise. It’s just kicking yourself when you’re down and no one needs that. Reframing how we view our life experiences means talking to ourselves better. Better self-talk ultimately means better thoughts as it relates to how we view ourselves. Speaking life over our experiences is showing compassion. Catching ourselves when we begin to compare our lives to others is showing compassion. As mentioned above, being patient with our progress is also being compassionate. There are so many ways we can be more gentle with ourselves.
The most difficult out of these for me is taking action. How do you take action when you don’t even know what to do?? Easy, try something. You just try. When I realized I didn’t want to stay in my current field of work, in the capacity I am working, I didn’t know what to do. Then I started trying things. I started asking myself what fulfills me, what inspires me, what am I good at, what do I love? The answers to these questions pushed me to act. I started hobbies that showed me what I love and what I am truly passionate about. Trying something new means either learning something we like or don’t like, ultimately moving closer to the answers we’re seeking. Actionable steps are important. We can sit around all day complaining about not knowing where to go, where to start, but we will stay stuck right there if we choose not to do anything at all.
Not going to lie, it’s a weird a$$ space to be in. But we have the power to move forward in an optimistic way. Feeling unsure about a major aspect of life is only a moment in time. It won’t last forever and we will figure out how to navigate these feelings in a way that best suits us. To start, accepting where we are on our own path must be priority. Then, having the patience and compassion with ourselves to move forward is next. After these three, we have to do something. We have to make a move. Everyone’s process and progress are different. Take your time and take it easy on yourself. We will figure it out one day at a time and we will be prosperous.