5 Simple Ways To Find Meaning In Life When You’re Feeling Small

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Have you ever found yourself thinking about how to find meaning in life?

Sometimes, you just feel too small. Unimportant. Without power or influence. Meaningless.

Those are words can come to mind when you're feeling insignificant.

Everyone has momentary lapses of wondering, "Do I matter? Does anyone notice? Am I making a difference? Does what I do matter?"

This sense of smallness hits me most when I’m in a crowded place (like an airport) where no one knows who I am. Or when I stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon, gazing in awe.

Try standing outside on a dark, clear night and look upward to the stars. That will make anyone feel insignificant. 

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It’s normal to have these reflections at times. But when it becomes a frequent visitor to your innermost thoughts, it’s time to take notice. Then, you can choose to change how you think.

What might trigger those feelings? Well, depression can blow feelings of being worthless or non-essential out of proportion.

Low self-esteem is another culprit for feeling insignificant.

You might also be playing the comparison game, which is an excellent way to trivialize yourself and your life. How much do you compare yourself to others?

Fear and uncertainty can soon follow when you look around and imagine everyone else is doing better than you. What if the truth is that they're looking back and thinking the same about you?

Whenever you find yourself tired of feeling insignificant, it may be time to shift your thinking and take meaningful actions to lift your spirits and sense of significance.

So, if you want to know how to find meaning in life when you're feeling small, here are 5 simple ways to do it.

1. Look into the eyes of your loved ones.

First, take an inventory of the people you care about you. Then, rattle off their names.

Include your family, extended family, friends, colleagues, mentors, and people who admire you.

When you remind yourself that you hold an important place in other people’s hearts and lives, you’ll start feeling a shift. Your feelings of insignificance will diminish accordingly.

2. Help someone else.

Now that your support system has reenergized you, who else can you support?

Your feelings of insignificance will take a back seat when you reach out to be of service to others.

Be the light for someone else. They will feel better and you, in turn, will have made a difference.

3. Make a plan for yourself.

You might have already heard this before, but you need a reminder when you feel insignificant.

Decide on something that can move you forward. Then, put one foot in front of the other.

Take baby steps. Pick a small project that you feel passionate about or one that gets your creative juices flowing.

Make it meaningful to you. Then, take the first step.

Feel the shift?

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4. Let go of the comparison game.

Sometimes, you may look in the mirror and not like who’s looking back. It can trigger the launch of the comparison game.

"If only I could lose this weight."

"I wish I had the volume of business that she has. She’s got it made."

All of these inner thoughts can derail you. You need to shut them down and replace them with ideas and insights that uplift you, instead.

"I have different gifts and talents — I’ll focus on those."

"I’m working hard on improving my health and I’ll get there."

"I bring a unique spin on my work that differentiates me."

"I'm not like anyone else."

Are you feeling more significant, now?

5. Act like you matter.

Look into the mirror, smile, and then take a deep breath. Put your shoulders back and think about all those people in your life who think you’re pretty terrific.

Also, think about those you serve. Know that people depend on you.

Wear this knowing like a cloak — it’s your "significance cloak."

Step out into the world and step back into your power — because you matter!

We all feel the need to belong.

So, what does it take to turn those feelings of insignificance around and start feeling significant?

It takes a shift in your thinking and finding a new perspective.

It takes a healthy embrace around the fear of the unknown, because you can’t always know what you'll discover on this journey of new thoughts.

And it takes doing something different.

Since the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly, expecting a different result, you will never move beyond your feelings of insignificance unless you change something.

What you don’t change, you choose.

From this point, you can do things that positively uplift others so that you can make a difference. Your actions define your impact.

As you lean into this, taking those baby steps, your life, and the value you bring to others will fill you up in more ways than you can imagine. Open yourself to the possibilities.

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María Tomás-Keegan is a certified life and career coach specializing in transition, and founder of Transition & Thrive with Maria. Learn more about the impact change can have on your life and how to move through it with more dignity and grace in her free ebook From Darkness to Light: Learning to Adapt to Change and Move Through Transition.

This article was originally published at Transition And Thrive With Maria. Reprinted with permission from the author.