This blog post is for all of you who’re feeling lost in your lives. I just emerged from that place, and it’s not a pleasant place. But you can make it out into the light, how dire the situation might seem to you. Most of us will have felt lost once or several times during our lives.
This is a story of how I found the light. After writing, On The Other Side Of A Breakdown, almost a year ago, I started to feel lost again as I felt during the breakdown. The feeling came gradually and it was never as bad as the breakdown, but I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life or what I should do to solve my problem.
There was so much conflicting advice.
- Focus more on yourself.
- Focus less on yourself.
- Find out what you want to do and then get good at that.
- Pick something you’re good at and do that.
- Do things that you find are fun and easy.
- Work on yourself and do things that challenge you.
How the fuck am I supposed to know which advice to follow??? Especially when it comes from different people that all have made it in life? It’s so frustrating to be in that place. It felt like no matter what I did it didn’t improve the situation. I felt powerless and lost.
Searching for a silver bullet
In my early twenties, I often thought one idea or tool was the truth. It was the answer to all my problems. When that didn’t work, I jumped to the next and thought that was the answer to everything. Hell, I sometimes still do that.
In my late twenties and early thirties, I could see there was no silver bullet. No single theory can solve all my problems (this isn’t entirely true). No premade plan that I can follow to make things easier. This realization also made me conclude that my issues had to do solely with me and my brain.
While the first step is to accept that I am the source of all my problems, I still didn’t know how to solve them or which advice to follow. Even though I am quite self-aware, you can’t self-diagnose from where your problems come. It’s impossible because your brain lies to you (it did to me, big time). I didn’t know that a few months ago, though. So I tried to self-diagnose, to come up with a solution without help from others (except watching material).
A disguised silver bullet
I did stumble across something that did help me. That made me realize who I am and how others see me. But I couldn’t found the objective truth without the help of my girlfriend. I might have solved it by myself after another 1-5 years. But now it took a month instead since I ran all my thoughts through her.
It has some of the properties of a silver bullet, but only for diagnosing. It’s no shortcut; you still have to put in years of work to change and make things better. And in that way, it’s no silver bullet. There is (thankfully) not a simple plan you can follow that will solve everything.
Crushing my beliefs
- I prioritize others above myself, and I like helping people. Nope, I’m actually a selfish bastard that wants to be left alone (stop controlling me) ?
- I love to plan. Nope, I actually like to come up with multiple solutions to a problem, and I don’t want to pick one plan.
- I can feel others’ emotions. Nope, I’m actually quite blind to others’ feelings.
- I’m good at writing down facts. Nope, it actually takes a lot of energy, and I don’t find it easy.
- I’m good at speaking one-on-one. Nope, I actually have a hard time formulating my thoughts.
- I have an easy time starting a project. Nope, it actually takes forever until I start something.
Of course, these are a bit exaggerated ? I can do everything, it’s just that I’m better at some things and less good at others.
Keeping my correct beliefs
- I have an easy time seeing patterns.
- I’m good at problem-solving.
- I’m smart, or at least what many people would define as smart. But being smart clearly doesn’t equate to knowing yourself or doing what is best for others or even yourself in the long run.
- I have a hard time talking in a group.
The truth helps me decide what to work on
The hardest belief to accept was that I mostly act and do things that are best for me. Living your entire life, thinking you’re a helping person that always helps a stranger when it’s more in reverse. I act even more selfishly when I’m depressed or having a crisis. That’s a bit to take in, no wonder you feel lost after realizing you’re not the person you thought you were. ?
Now that I know the truth, I can work on myself to become a more balanced and less self-focused human being. If I continued to live in ignorant bliss, I would’ve had the belief that I help people a lot, so I deserve to get some slack for not doing it now and then. Don’t get me wrong; both have their merits. But taken to the extreme, it’s bad both for yourself and those around you.
If we take another example, now that I know I’m not good at planning, I can ask myself, “have I actually created a plan, or do I just think so?”
The one thing that causes all your problems
The lack of not being good at feeling others’ emotions is also what has caused 90% of all big life problems in life. This function has made me scared of conflicts, taking the initiative (in relationships), and showing my playful side to others (and lots and lots more). But it has also made me a kinder person. Think about it, if the worst thing in your life is making someone else uncomfortable, sad, angry, or god forbid, resentful. That will make you avoid those situations at all costs, that will make you never want to hurt someone.
It also goes for when others show positive feelings. Suppose someone is interested in you (Being Blind To Love). If you don’t know what to do with their emotions, you avoid them and miss out on that relationship.
Thankfully knowing about this big blind spot has helped me to more actively look for those emotions in others and not run away. And I try to put myself in more situations when I get triggered, although it’s a bit painful.
Why you might be lost; different causes for everyone
With that said, other people’s feelings don’t have to be your problem, or why you feel lost. For example, my girlfriend (whom I have asked if I can write about this) have a hard time with her feelings instead of others’ feelings. She focuses first on helping others and making things work (for others) and then on herself.
She’s not the total opposite me, though, because we both are good at fixing things (I for myself, and she for others), whereas we are both terrible at feelings (I of others’ feelings, she of her feelings). And there exist six other different causes (more on this in another post).
A few days after we realized this, a funny moment occurred in our lives.
A funny situation
My girlfriend and I were in the kitchen, warming our food for dinner. I could tell something was off, so I asked her what was up (yay, points for me).
—What are you feeling?
—I have anxiety.
—What are you anxious about?
—I don’t know.
In the last year or so, I’ve kept telling her, “just feel your emotions, and everything will be fine.” (if that works for me it should work for her, right? ?). She rarely did try it because feeling emotions is scary for her (I can understand that now). So this time, she asked:
—Can’t we watch a TV series instead
—Try to go into your feelings; you will feel better afterward. Just try it.
She did this time, and what did I feel? Extremely uncomfortable. Why? Because she triggered my feelings, I had suddenly made her feel something “bad.” Just a few seconds after she went into her feelings, I reacted with:
—Hey, maybe we should go and watch a TV series, after all? ?
It wasn’t until the next day that I understood what had happened. If someone is displaying negative emotions, I don’t know what to do and want to get out of that situation. Just like she wants to get out of any situation where she has to feel her feelings. We laughed a lot when I told my girlfriend what happened. ? She had, of course, been very confused by my reaction. Now it made so much sense.
The tool we use is called Objective Personality. Although based on Myers-Briggs, they’ve gone a different route by using the scientific method. Meaning two people should independently be able to pinpoint two people to the same type (in their case 512 different types) with at least 90% accuracy. So no self-evaluating tool here. For example, I thought I was an INFJ under the Myers-Briggs, took my girlfriend and me a month to figure out I’m an INTP, but the lettering doesn’t really matter anymore.
The important part is taking help with preferably two other people you can count on will tell you the truth (essential). But you don’t have to get your full type to figure out your problems. That’s what I like about this tool. But it does take a few months to understand, process, and figure it out.
It’s an excellent tool for diagnosing and seeing in what area you need to improve. But it’s no silver bullet; it just shows you the road (if you have had help typing yourself, if not, then you might work on the wrong thing). But you still have to walk over those mountains, through those caves, and tame those demons of yours.
I guesstimate that it will take me around 7-15 years to become a more harmonized person, but at least I now know what I should practice on to take a step in the correct direction. I don’t feel lost anymore since I have a vague idea where I’m going.
A word of caution
It’s a bit dangerous to use this tool. First, if you really want it to work, then you will have to face your demons, and this is not an easy task. Probably the hardest thing you can do in life (at least what I’ve found). If you haven’t had a life crisis yet or felt lost, this tool will certainly get you there. Just knowing about it won’t, but once you step out of the matrix, you can’t go back to your old worldview. If your life is good, stay there. But if you’re already in a life crisis or when you get into one, feel free to use this tool.
That’s why I’m a bit hesitant to share all the details about it; because I don’t want to force anyone to have a life crisis. But if you find yourself making the same goddamn mistakes over and over, and you want to change, you’re probably ready. And there’s nothing wrong staying in the same place for a while, some of my happiest memories (but also darkest memories) are from when I was 14–26 ?
With that said, it has been an invaluable tool for me. There have been a total of three specific tools that have drastically changed my worldview; 4D Relationships, The Five Love Languages, and now Objective Personality.
That’s why I’ll continue to write about this topic in a blog series over the next year. I don’t know precisely when the next blog post will be (I haven’t planned when yet ?), but the posts will come sooner or later.
What’s your story? Are you lost now? Have you been lost in the past, what got you out of there? Feel free to share your story in the comments; it’s always interesting to listen to people’s stories. And remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel, it might seem far away, but you can reach it.
Articles in this series
If you need help with a situation or someone to talk through your problems, feel free to contact me and we can probably work something out ?