“You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.” – anonymous
Life is one big, unwinding, unfamiliar journey and at times we can feel lost. Before I go any further I want to stress that we all feel like this at some point in our lives. It’s not something that we’ve done wrong, and it definitely doesn’t mean that we’ve failed. I’ve been there many times before, and the triggers are always different. What remains the same is the overwhelming anxiety, fear and discomfort that follows from believing we are lost, and that this is our final destination.
So I’ve learnt to develop some coping mechanisms, some daily self-care rituals, which help me remind myself of who I am, and that getting ‘lost’ often leads me to somewhere utterly magical in the process.
1) It’s ok to not feel motivated all the time
We’re all judgmental of ourselves and what we ‘should’ be doing more of, what we should be doing less of, what we haven’t achieved yet, what we’re still waiting for etc. This continual critique is stressful for even the most motivated & driven of people. Sometimes we just need to take a break and provide ourselves this space without feeling guilty.
The key point being, ‘without feeling guilty’. We find it hard not to do anything and to provide ourselves with the stillness and clarity of just being. People spend their entire lives running away from themselves, and that’s where workaholism and perfectionism are born. But sometimes it all gets a bit too much, and time out is exactly what we crave and need. You’ll quickly realise how beneficial this time to yourself can be. It’s like a little refresh button for your soul, so don’t be afraid to use it.
2) To practise mindfulness every single day
As human beings we’re constantly striving for something that’s not quite here yet. We deny ourselves the beauty of the present moment by focusing on something else that our happiness lies within. Here’s a short clip by philosopher and speaker, Alan Watts, on why this is so destructive.
3) To learn something new to make me stronger every day
Knowledge is power, and when we are able to turn around any given situation to teach us a valuable lesson, we no longer need to fear what we think of as ‘failure’. Whenever I feel that I am stuck, I try to gain as much knowledge and information as I can absorb. In some ways it makes me feel more prepared to tackle a similar situation in the future. Try reading inspiring articles (www.elephantjournal.com), listening to podcasts, watching TED Talks… anything that enables you to grasp a new concept, understanding, or skill set that will inevitably make you stronger from the inside out.