How To Find Yourself (When You're Feeling Lost)

Girl Hiding
Heartbreak, Self

Enduring Uncertainty is Ultimately How You Find Yourself

The main point to remember when you feel lost is that you have found your way in life up until this point, and you will continue to find your way now.  Anything can happen.  HAVE FAITH!

If life had a clear, straightforward, defined path, it would be boring.  You would not grow.  You would not learn, be challenged, or triumph.  The highlights would not feel as satisfying because they would be predictable.  There would be no sweet surprises, no mysteries to solve, and no opportunities to explore new and exciting territory.  If you did not feel lost at times, life would be meaningless!

Life is not necessarily about finding yourself, but creating yourself.  Creation starts with nothing, is often messy, and is uniquely your own.  View your life as a painting with your choices being the paints is a more liberating way to view your existence than constantly wrestling with the pressure to find yourself and make the picture perfect.

The notion that you are supposed to “find yourself” is illusory at best.  As physics shows, everything, including you, is made of energy that is constantly in flux.  You are not the same person you were 10 years ago, five months ago, or even yesterday.  Physically, your cells regularly die and regenerate, and your thoughts and feelings never stop changing, even in your sleep.  In fact, your subconscious is quite active during the night when you are not distracted by everything coming at your senses during the day. 

Your perceptions also change over time.  Your perspective of an event now is different than what it will be in the future.  Even genetic predispositions can be overcome.  I was told in my early 20s that I would always get migraine headaches because they are hereditary and run in my family.  But I refused to accept that fate and I found a way to beat my genetics and cure my migraines.  I haven’t had one in over a decade.

You are no different than any natural phenomenon in the sense that you’re born, you grow, you change, and you die.  Considering these facts, “knowing yourself” can be the ultimate mission impossible.

Certain aspects of your identity remain relatively fixed throughout your life, such as your temperament, personality, and the family and culture you were born into that shaped your formative years.  Sometimes it can help to find and celebrate your roots, such as your ethnic or religious origins and your ancestral heritage.  Knowing where you came from can provide a sense of belonging and remind you that you are a part of something much bigger than yourself.

Knowing that you are a part of a bigger force is the first step to truly knowing yourself.  Ultimately, when you feel lost you must find the part of you that is timeless, undying, and connected to all there is in life - what psychologists and spiritualists refer to as the soul. 

The reason meditation has proven so valuable since ancient times because it connects you to this simple yet powerful truth:  You are alive.  This is who are – a part of divine creation.  Physics shows that as beings made up of energy, we never truly die, we simply change forms.

It’s especially important to know this spiritual (i.e., beyond the five senses) truth about yourself when you feel lost because it informs you that you will continue to exist and be provided for.  Life never ceases to move forward, and YOU are a part of life.  Even when the physical form of something dies, something new is born from that energy. 

Feelings of uncertainty can cause you to experience needless anxiety and depression.  Fear can make you feel as though your world is coming to an end and, therefore, you’re pressured to figure out who you are right now in order to save your ship!  But that egotistical worldview is an illusion.  One way or another, the energy of life, which is what you are made of, will carry itself into the future.

Who and what you are yesterday will never be the same as who you are today.  The external world puts great pressure on us to figure everything out, including who we are, as if it’s some final destination.  But the fact is, in order to be a true leader of your own life you must become someone who is comfortable with uncertainty; someone who redefines yourself each and every day. 

One of the qualities of leadership is the temptation to feel the need to come across as someone who knows everything and that you have a sterling pass to success.  You’re worried about being an imposter and considered insignificant or non-leadership material and just no different than anybody else.  But that’s not what’s important in a leader, to seem like you’re superior to everyone else. 

What’s important is that you’ve had the setbacks and experiences you’ve had that were difficult, and you’ve been discouraged and afraid in the past and you’ve made mistakes.  Those experiences are what make you the best leader of your life.  They also make you an excellent role model to others. 

My former assistant said he admired the way I figured out what to do every time I didn't know what to do, which is often!  To him, this was an example of a leader; not having all the answers, but having the courage to tap into my own life force energy and figure something out.

If you can hold that space of uncertainty for yourself, you will be able to recognize it in other people, as well. Then you’ll be much better at connecting to the people that you work and live with.  Do not fear what you don’t know.

Knowing who you are and being certain at all times, does not make you successful, it makes you ruled by fear and hidden feelings of inadequacy.  Embracing uncertainty and taking life one breath at a time is ultimately how you know yourself.  Your soul grows through uncertainty and you are able to create a greater life than if everything were perfectly laid out for you.  Your uncertainty does not bring you to doom, but rather it illuminates your strength, resourcefulness and courage to have faith in life.

Heather Hans, LCSW, MBA is a Public Speaker, Licensed Psychotherapist, Intuitive Coach, Holistic Healer and author of The Heart of Self-Love. To inquire about booking Heather for a private session or to speak at your event, visit her website.