When You Feel Stuck or Lost In Your Life

Updated: March 6, 2021

“Aren’t we supposed to be great by this time?” asks Mace in the Palanca Award-winning screenplay and movie, That Thing Called Tadhana.

The film had a lot of hugot lines about love, which resonated in many. But this line was the one that struck me most and my favorite moment in the movie because I asked the same question to a friend years ago.

Last weekend, I got reminded of this question while having dinner with a couple of friends. One of them candidly shared that she feels stuck and lost in her life.

“I’m not happy with my job anymore, but I don’t know where to go,” she confesses. “How do you figure it out? How do you find out what you’re meant to do in your life?”

lost

Do you feel lost?

If you feel stuck or lost in your life, then I have good news and bad news for you.

The good news is that you’re not alone, and it’s absolutely normal to feel this way. The bad news, however, is that you will always feel lost in your life no matter what you do and where you go.

At 20, you will feel lost in your career path. At 30, family life will mess with your sense of direction. Then at 40, you’ll feel lost in your life’s purpose. By the time you’re 50, you’ll dread not knowing what to do when you retire.

And age isn’t a factor here for I’ve met 20-year-olds who are already lost in their life’s purpose, and 40-year-olds who are still questioning their chosen career path.

However, hopefully, when you’re in your 60’s, you’re already smart enough to know that it doesn’t really matter if you feel lost.

Don’t wait to be 60

So here’s the thing, accept the fact that you will forever feel lost on a lot of things — your career, your personal life, your purpose, etc. And the earlier you accept this, the sooner your life can become better.

The key is to simply move forward. Get yourself unstuck and live your life because sooner or later, you will find your way.

More importantly, don’t feel guilty about being lost because at best, it will make your life interesting, challenging, and beautiful. Feeling lost and eventually finding your way will be the best story you’ll tell your grandchildren.

How to get unstuck

So how do you actually move forward? And how do you avoid going in the wrong direction? Below are three things that you can do.

Get your bearings
Study your daily, weekly, and monthly routine. What activities are you always busy with? Which among them contributes the most to your lost or stuck feeling?

We do a lot of things every day. Some of them are important, and some of them are just activities that help us escape.

Simplify your routine
Are there activities that you can eliminate? Tasks you can delegate? Stop doing things that don’t add real value to your life.

The goal here is to create free time for yourself; time that will allow you to explore new and different doors.

Try new things
What are the things that you’ve always wanted to do but are afraid to do? Or maybe, you just didn’t have time to pursue? This is now your chance.

Use the free time you created to explore what’s outside your comfort zone. Learn new skills, explore new hobbies, meet new people — try new things.

And that is how you move forward when you’re feeling lost.

Don’t worry about going in the wrong direction because, in life, there’s really no such thing. That unfamiliar turn, that unexpected corner, that abandoned trail, that foreign street — that’s where you’ll eventually find your way.

What to read next: How To Find What You’re Meant To Do in Life

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Photo credit: nuagedenuit

9 comments

  1. Reading this (while taking in-phone calls office) makes me feel that im not alone of this feeling. It really helps to reflect the important things in life which is to survive. thanks for this reminder fitz!

  2. The try new things part is important. You might just find the hobby which can become your next career.

    Aside from that one, I suggest reading self-improvement books and taking a vacation. Sometimes, when you feel lost or discouraged, there’s that little voice of inspiration that will tell you the right path.

  3. Thank you, Sir Fitz!
    I’ve read your articles since I was still a CE student. I’m now on my late 20’s, and this well-needed inspirational article appeared on my newsfeed. Thank you!

  4. I am an American EX-pat here in the Philippines, approaching 67 just over three months in the future. Time is sliding by way too fast but my Beautiful Bride is a huge part of my inspiration to press forward. Long ago I determined that I did NOT want to fall into the retirement rut that so many other EX-pats do. I had to cut out the influence of some of them to free up precious time. A few in the EX-pat community need a shoulder to cry on and an occasional sympathetic ear witch I ma happy I have time for.

    The bulk of my time goes to exploring new opportunities in business with my wife. In fact, a new project started during the COVID-19 lockdowns is really starting to bear fruit. Potential orders are coming in from other countries that will demand additional help to fulfill. The great news is that if they desire, our troops can have all the after school work they have time for.

    Jobs are surely hard to come by for many these days, post lockdown. How many early teens and preteens have part time after school job opportunities like my generation did growing up in the USA? My early photography and darkroom equipment was earned mowing laws, raking leaves, shoveling snow along with the good old washing & waxing of folks cars. How on earth can a kid really learn the value of their labor without some job experience? There is great satisfaction for me as I age watching so many projects mature and produce income security for my family.

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