I’ve felt lost in life. At times, I still do. I think that feeling will always be there as you will never have 100% certainty on where you will end up.
Things change. Economies change, technologies change, relationships change and simply put, life changes.
The great thing is, however, is that feeling lost in life can be a blessing and it doesn’t have to be a curse. In fact, feeling lost and having a void or pain can lead you to place a huge value on filling that void or gap. I talk about this a lot more inside the Launch Your Life Academy to help you get really clear of what’s most important to you and where you want to go in life. This is reopening in the next few weeks so stay tuned!
However, today we have a guest post from Leah Cox who shares a story of a time when she was lost and what she learned from this experience about life.
Take it away, Leah!
Do you feel utterly lost in your life? Maybe you’re struggling to find the answers to some pretty important questions? Should you quit your job? Should you end your relationship? Which path should you take? If you’re trying to answer any of these questions, I can understand it can be overwhelming!
Eighteen months ago, right after I’d quit my job to figure out what on earth I wanted to do with my life, I spent some time volunteering on a farm in Turkey.
The farm was set in the beautiful hills of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, along the famous 500 km hiking route, the Lycian Way.
A couple of miles from the farm, there was a stunning viewpoint, which looked out over the bay of Kaş, towards the Greek Island of Kastelórizo.
One evening, with one of the other volunteers as my guide, I set out to the viewpoint to watch the sun go down over the water.
I calculated that it would take us 40 minutes at the most as it was a couple of miles away.
‘It’s just around the next corner’, Pui-Suan (my teeny, tiny Malaysian co-volunteer) called from somewhere in front of me as she led us down a sheep track.
We seemed to be going in circles. I’m almost certain we’d just passed that tree for the second time.
The light began to fade and we still didn’t seem any closer to finding our destination.
Frustration set in.
Being lost and hungry in the wilderness wasn’t part of the plan.
I vented my anger at Pui-Suan.
‘Do you even know where we are?’
But as Pui-Suan’s face turned to look at me, it was shining with happiness and excitement.
‘Yes, yes, it’s ok, we’re nearly there…’
Why didn’t she care that we were lost?!
Several times I threatened to turn back. I was getting cold and hungry and I didn’t trust this girl.
But then out of nowhere, we arrived. The track opened up and we found ourselves perched on the cliff top looking down over the glistening bay: two tiny beings on top of the world.
That evening; that view; sitting there with Pui-Suan by my side – it’s a memory of Turkey I will never forget. The sun shimmered on the water; the clouds and mountains had an ethereal quality. I felt totally at peace.
And yet I nearly missed out on this experience all together. Why? For the fear of being lost.
The fear of being lost
Talk about being lost and what language do we conjure up?
Lacking direction, uncertainty, a problem to be solved. Our entire dialogue around being lost is negative.
And because we view being lost as such a negative place to be, we obsess over it day and night. Surely, if we think about it long enough, the answer will come. Right?
The fear we have of being lost and the anxiety that surrounds it is perhaps the greatest obstacle we face in trying to find an answer.
It’s like an animal in a snare. The more it struggles, desperate for a way out, the tighter the snare gets: its chances of escape dwindling with each passing second.
It’s the same with the feeling of being lost. We don’t want to be in its grasp. We want to escape. We want to know exactly where we are and exactly where we’re going.
And so we struggle and fight and our minds go into overdrive, focusing in on our problem.
And the more we focus in, the less clearly we see. We view the problem through such a narrow lens that we don’t see all the paths and options laid out in front of us.
And so the best way to find the answers we’re looking for is to remain calm in the face of our fear of being lost. And from that state of calmness may we begin to gain a new perspective and finally see the options that are available to us.
A different way of experiencing being lost
What if we removed the negative attachment we have to ‘being lost’ and opted instead to see it in a new light? A positive light?
What if being lost just became the greatest opportunity you were ever given? The opportunity to go on an epic adventure, in which you could explore all the possibilities that were open to you.
What if there were no rush to figure out the answer today, tomorrow or even next month?
What if being lost turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to you?
One full year later, I headed back to Turkey’s South Coast. But this time I embraced my ‘lostness’ with open arms. Because I now know that it’s in being lost that I give myself the opportunity of finding something incredible and unexpected.
And I now realise that Pui-Suan had understood something that it took me almost another full year to grasp. That like everything else in life, the way we experience being lost is a choice.
We can either choose to fear it, in which case some incredible experiences are likely to pass us by. Or we can choose to approach it with a sense of adventure and curiosity.
Next time you’re feeling lost, check in with yourself. Ask yourself, could I choose to experience this differently? If the answer is yes, give it a try, you might be surprised at what you find.
Author Bio: Leah Cox is a life coach and founder of Where Is Life? She’s on a mission to change the world
by helping people live with less fear and more courage and to start turning their dreams
into a reality.
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- How to Expand Your Comfort Zone
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- Wheel of Life: A Self-Assessment Tool
- The 5 Whys Template and How You Can Create Sustained Motivation
- 9 Simple Ways to Create a More Peaceful Life
- Want to Change Your Life? Try Jumping From a Plane!
Great post. It’s key to appreciate and embrace all the things life throws at us.
Lovely post Leah, It’s so important to embrace the randomness of life and all the opportunities that present themselves as a result. Fear feeds from the feeling of being lost, and by redefining its meaning, we open our minds to a new reality.
What a great post Leah!
Being lost was very scary to me in the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, because I didn’t know how to handle those situations.
Over time I learned that feeling lost actually opens new opportunities. It allows us to search for solutions, that didn’t have our attention in the beginning. If we plan to reach a goal on a specific way, we might not see other and easier ways – being lost opens our focus to those ways.
Thanks for sharing your story!
All the best,
Great post, Leah. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved the part when you said that it might surprise you — which is true. Being lost may also mean that things do not go as planned, and I couldn’t agree more that life happens when we’re busy planning. If in doubt, ask yourself ‘What’s the worse that could happen?” and go along with the unknown lost world.
Thanks for this. 🙂