If you tell yourself “I’m lost in life,” let my story help you change.
Grab your free checklist here: How to Stop Feeling Lost and Figure Out Exactly What to do With Your Life. It’s a proven roadmap anyone can use to change their life even if they feel lost or don’t know exactly what to do next.
Let’s take a look at my life just a few short years ago. I could definitely relate to the phrase “I am lost.” I could relate to feeling lost in life at a deep level.
I had a 0.00 GPA the first semester of my senior year in college. You read that right, I got F’s in every single one of my classes. I didn’t bother going to class at all. Oh, did I mention I dropped out of school when I only needed three credits to graduate?
I drank 7 nights a week and tried every drug imaginable other than the big three — crack, heroin, and meth.
At one point in my life, I felt super lost in life. I felt lost in life and didn’t know what to do. I hit bottom. I had all the potential in the world and knew I was smart, yet asked myself “Why do I feel so f***ing lost?”
You probably searched this post because you felt like you had nowhere else to turn. Let me be sincere with you. You can definitely turn your life around. I’m not just blowing smoke. I mean it.
In the past five-plus, I went from feeling lost in life to discovering my exact passion and purpose. I know what to do when you feel lost in life because I’ve been through the process myself.
You’ll never be able to fix your life until you admit it’s broken. Don’t pretend everything is okay when it’s not. You need to take full responsibility for your life up to this point.
Admit that you’ve made poor decisions. Admit that you haven’t been working as hard as you should be. Understand that you get a mental payoff from lying to yourself.
Most people would rather die in a pool of their own rationalizations than change, which is understandable. Honest self-reflection doesn’t feel good. It’s brutal. It hurts. We don’t really want that feedback from the world that shows us who we really are. We don’t want it, but we need it. You need it.
Stop bullshitting yourself. You know the answers to why you’re feeling lost but you just don’t want to accept them. There are a handful of variables we all know we need to work on to stop feeling lost:
The entire process begins with a brutal self-assessment. Most people just aren’t willing to look themselves squarely in the mirror. Until you’re able to do that, you will feel lost and stuck.
One critical point in my life that I’ve written about ad absurdum at this point. I literally had an isolated moment where I decided to change my life. I stood up in my crappy apartment and screamed at the top of my lungs, “I’m not fucking living like this anymore!”
I’d always been an optimist. An idealist. If you’re one of these people, you’ll get tired of the world-beating you up. Or rather, you allowing the world to beat you up.
The incongruency between the way you know your life should be vs the way it is will hit you. This doesn’t mean you’ll ride the wave of motivation that comes from it long enough to change, but it’s your best shot.
These days, most self-help experts will talk about practicing self-care and just loving yourself no matter what. But, does it work? When I was feeling lost, frustration and anger drove me to change my life. Not self-care bubble baths.
You should be bothered and upset that you’re wasting time. It should frustrate you that you feel like a loser. If you tell yourself “I’m lost,” get pissed off until you find something to do.
You get these handfuls of moments where you feel that raw motivational energy.
Seizing these moments will make or break your future. Strong negative emotions can be just as powerful as positive ones. When will “enough be enough,” for you? When will you decide you can’t live this way for even one more day? Once you make that decision, everything changes.
Dumb people make the mistake of thinking they have everything figured out. The more certain you are about reality, the poorer your reality is. This is almost always true.
If your life isn’t where you want it to be, it should be evident that you don’t have access to the right information. Search for it. Ask questions. Ask yourself, “Why is my life the way it is?”
Have you ever actually questioned why you’re in this position? Or do you just meander aimlessly through life in some sort of unactualized haze? Probably the latter.
Great questions lead to great answers. Ask questions about the way your life is now and what needs to be done to make it better. The answers you come up with will guide you to a better future. Ask other people about what they think you’re good at. Ask people who are living the type of life you want to live how they got where they are. A great life isn’t just going to fall into your lap. You need to seek it out. Ask and you shall receive.
Unfortunately, as a self-help writer, I’m contractually obligated to write about books in at least 50 percent of all my blog posts. Look, who knows the true magic behind reading? I don’t. But it’s just….magic. What can I say?
Now, reading books doesn’t change your life in and of itself, but it opens the doorway to that change in your life. One great book can change your entire life.
Books can inspire you, expand your mind, and open your eyes to what’s possible. Great books often contain years or decades of knowledge from the author. If you feel lost, take your life to the next level not just by reading books, but by doing what the book says.
You can start with my book, Real Help: An Honest Guide to Self-Improvement. Read that one book, do what it says, and don’t read another one until you’ve implemented the advice.
If there’s a certain path you’re seeking, there’s a book by someone who’s done it already. Read their stories, learn from their mistakes, and steal their knowledge.
Maybe it’s this — reading more books helps you understand that people have already figured everything out. You’re not unique. You don’t have some situation that someone hasn’t already gone through.
A friend of mine suggested I started writing articles for his website, so I did. I fell in love with it. I’d always wanted to write, but I didn’t listen to my inner voice and kept putting it off. I felt lost because I avoided the one thing that was staring me in my face pretty much my entire life.
When you find something you’re good at and you work to become great at it, you’ll feel passionate about it. Human beings are wired for growth and accomplishment. So here’s what to do when you feel lost. Take an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. I have a guide on how to do that here.
If you go through that process thoroughly, you’ll have several options to choose from. The short answer though, is that if you’re feeling lost, it’s as simple as answering the question “What have you always thought would be cool to do?”
That’s the answer. It’s not that you feel lost, but rather you don’t want to accept who you truly are. We all get some sort of gift. Gifts aren’t handed out equally, but most of us have some skills we can build to stop feeling lost in life.
You don’t need to travel the world and become an adventurer. You don’t need to make millions. And you definitely don’t need to become famous.
You do need to master a skill and master yourself in the process of developing that skill. I’m convinced this is the key. Competence is the key. Not passion, not pleasure, not hedonism. The fruits of hard and purposeful work.
This is what you want.
Remember the point I just made about books? The fact that someone else has already walked your path? I have a rule that has served me well every time I followed it.
Follow smart people. If you want to stop feeling lost in life, reverse engineer their success. Ignore most people and focus on behaving like the few who actually live the way you want to live.
Most of the world is filled with noise. Finding the right person to emulate can be a signal amongst that noise. That’s all I’ve done, really. Whenever I feel lost in life, I just find someone who has the results I want and copy their methods. Not plagiarize, but just watch the way they navigate.
Become an astute observer of others, both to see what you want to be like and what you want to avoid.
It’s not that you’ll get the same results as the people you follow. It’s that you’ll swipe the mental models that made them successful and you’ll use them to create your own version of success.
Find somebody you want to be like and learn everything about them — their story, what they did to become successful, their high and low points. The low points are important. You have to understand the price you’ll have to pay to get what you want. Nothing is free.
Having someone to look up to keeps you inspired. Their stories will empower you because they’re normal people just like you. Seeing where someone started and what they did to accomplish great things will motivate you to do the same.
You think you are “yourself.” You’re not.
You’re not your real self. The real you is buried underneath a fifteen thousand-mile deep pile of rationalizations, societal scripts, misinformed beliefs, psychological biases, and other BS you’ve convinced yourself is necessary to maintain your identity.
After you remove all of this nonsense, you’ll find yourself, for real. You’ll stop feeling lost the minute you drop the pretense of trying to act the way you think others want you to be so you can get their approval.
All of a sudden, if the judgment of others left your mind, you’d stop feeling lost in life altogether, just like that. Self-awareness is just understanding how you want to behave vs the way you actually behave.
Self-awareness is crucial to living a good life, but it’s impossible to develop a perfect level of it. Try anyway. Get as close as you possibly can.
Think about what you want to do with your life — not what your parents, friends, or society wants you to do. Study yourself. Find out what you’re good at and continue to develop your strengths.
When life isn’t going your way, you’re the problem. You’re also the solution. When you know who you are, want you want, and where you’re going, nobody can stop you.
You don’t know how to think. You think you do, but you don’t. Instead of actually thinking, you just run loops of mental chatter — chatter based on all the things I mentioned in the previous point. Your life moves in the direction of this chatter and then you get the results you get.
You become what you “think” about most.
Developing the skill of thinking means you have to find ways to replace your loops with real thoughts, lucid thoughts, and useful thoughts.
Sitting alone in a room and genuinely thinking is a great start. Journaling helps. Taking steps to change your life and analyzing how well those steps worked is another one.r
The more you learn to truly think, the less you trust that mental chatter-type of thoughts. Self-improvement is the process of changing the ratio between useful and harmful thoughts. That’s it.
The moral of the story? It’s all in your mind. Change your mind and you change reality.
Don’t sit there and wait to stop feeling lost in life. Fight your way out of it. Of course, you can’t just think your way to success, you have to, you know, do something.
I always give the same caveat. I can’t make you do anything. No one can. At some point, you’re going to have to do the cliche thing and…buck up. Here’s as close as I can get you to know exactly what to do when you feel lost in life.
You just have to find a way to get all riled up in your mind. Just tell yourself “screw it. I’m doing this” Pump up your emotional state and get it high enough to pull the trigger.
That’s what brainwashing yourself with self-improvement helps you do. It pumps up your state. That’s all it does, actually, but it’s enough to get you inches in front of the door. You still have to open it, though.
Once you become a doer, though, your momentum will carry you through life. You won’t have to “get motivated” anymore. You’ll be motivated by default.
Of course, you’ll never get there until you start. So start.
We’re so dumb.
We feel lost in life because we are preoccupied with petty annoyances while we’re floating around in some crazy black ether.
We’re sitting here worried about getting rejected or feeling embarrassed while somewhere out in the universe galaxies are eating each other. In the middle of the night, out in the country, we can look up in the sky and see a literal time machine.
What are we so worried about? I don’t know. We got consciousness, but we got the baby and the bathwater. Dumb. You live on a planet that’s a speck of dust compared to the entire universe. What you do while you’re here doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. So stop worrying about feeling lost will ya? Just live your life.
You’re not lost and hopeless, you’re a literal miracle of creation and an insignificant piece of the puzzle at the same time.
Realizing this can free you from the pressure life puts on you.
Compared to the size of the universe –how big are your problems? Your life is a blip on the radar of time, why not spend it living out your dream? Why spend it worrying, when it really doesn’t matter anyway?
We all pretend we’re not complainers, but we all love to complain.
You love, love, love to complain and feel sorry for yourself. Once you understand how much pleasure you derive from walling in self-pity, you’ll change. You feel lost because you’re overly concerned with your own feelings.
You love to bathe in your feelings of being lost in life more than you actually want to change. Understanding that is the key to changing your life.
Complaining drains your energy and leaves you feeling negative. Even complaining about small things like the weather has a subtle influence on your behavior. So just stop doing it.
When I stopped feeling lost in life, nothing about my circumstances changed. I just stopped feeling sorry for myself and worked o myself for the sake of working on myself. My disposition changed, so my perspective on those same exact circumstances was totally different.
It’s hard to stop complaining completely, but the next time you find yourself complaining out loud or to yourself, stop and realize what you’re doing. Simply being mindful of it goes a long way.
It’s time for you to die. You can stop feeling lost in life by killing the life you have right now (metaphorically, kids).
I wrote the book on reinventing yourself.
The theme of the book – change is death.
The way you are currently constructed will not suffice. Scrap it all. Start over. Your beliefs, efforts, and personality have not worked the way you wanted them to at this point, so why hold onto them? Because you’re scared to death of losing your identity. That’s it. But…fuck your identity. Loathe it. Kill it.
Your past doesn’t have to dictate your future.
You can reinvent yourself whenever you choose to.
Again, I can’t force you to do anything. Nor will I try to. What I can tell you, though, is that you have no idea what you’re actually capable of. You keep imagining your current self trying to do all of these amazing things. Of course, it doesn’t seem likely you’ll pull it off because you’re the current version of you.
Understand that it won’t be the current version of you doing all of these things. It’ll be the new you. The “you” you build over time little by little, becoming more capable each day.
This is the process.
This is the only way that works.