But, the truth is, many of us do not know what we want. When we lack clarity and certainty, we may end up making important life decisions by default. While that can lead to a sustainable livelihood or carrying out our social or family responsibilities, it might not lead to the happiness we are seeking. Making decisions by default does not fulfill our basic human need to feel we are in control of our lives, therefore, it can result in demoralization, disillusionment, and general lack of fulfillment.
Not knowing what we want can be a short-term phase but sometimes it can draw on for what seems like forever. Here are a couple of pointers to help you live better when your inner GPS leaves you in the dark:
…put pressure on yourself. This may sabotage the effort and pleasure of self-exploration.
…compare yourself to others. The impulse to measuring ourselves up to others stems from fear and makes us feel insufficient and miserable. Of course, if the actions or lifestyle of someone inspires you and wakes up your drive to overcome your limitations and become a better person, then that type of comparison is a good thing.
…avoid areas of discomfort. The things that make us uncomfortable can be hidden opportunities. If we could identify all of the difficult feelings we have and somehow discover their root, we would see that their root is fear. Deep down inside, fear is the root cause of most of our issues. We all have fear. Let’s not judge ourselves for it. Instead, explore ways to gently, compassionately and playfully acknowledge, explore and work with them. We can dig ourselves out of the trap of being dominated by fear. When we work with our fear, it goes from being a weed which takes over the entire landscape to a tame plant nicely trimmed and keeping in its place. Working with our fear can be tricky. At first, we may need help. Identifying deep-set patterns and building the necessary perspective takes skill. Ultimately, working with our fears, rather than avoiding them, leads to a discovery of the wellspring of our authentic self. We find our flow. When we are in fear, we shut the doors to our higher self. When we are in the flow, we are open to life’s mysteries and gifts.
…learn about yourself, journal, read self-help books
…develop your emotional and spiritual intelligence through introspection and meditation
…spend quiet time with loved ones, in nature and safe and nurturing places
…cultivate your strengths, qualities, and faculties
…get inspired: pick up a good spiritual or inspirational book
…go deep but be gentle: introspect on deep inner attitudes, emotional wounds or other potential barriers to finding our path in life. Explore ways of transforming your breakdowns into breakthroughs.
…go deeper: find a good therapist or coach. There is no limit to the ways in which a caring, insightful, and intuitive helping professional can uplift and empower you.
…listen to your dreams, both waking and sleeping
…explore and develop your curiosity and creativity: read autobiographies, biographies or explore new aspects of life that spark your curiosity. Curiosity opens new avenues in self-awareness and helps us discover wholesome and sustainable perspectives. My favorite book on this topic is “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci“.
May you be inspired to explore yourself and your interests with patience, curiosity and creativity and persistence. May this lead to a more enriching and interesting life and lead you to find your calling.
101 reasons to go to therapy
This blog post is part of a series called 101 reasons to go to therapy. Please feel free to share this post, or view more in the series.
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