I was reading an article last week about “feeling lost.” It resonated with me and may be helpful for you.
“Lost” doesn’t mean helpless or clueless. Rather “lost” means unsure of what to do next; unsure of how to do it.
For goal-focused individuals, this can happen once a goal has been achieved, an event has passed, or something we care about is gone/over. You are unsure about what to do next.
For me, leaving endurance sport in 2010 was a voluntary choice, but it left me with a huge void. What could I find to fill the gigantic hole that training and racing provided?
I used coaching and building a business to fill part of that void. The connection to endurance sport and the competition and goals of starting a business allowed me to “scratch the itch” that was left once training was out of the picture. I used graduate school as a way to fill part of that void. The constant demands, chipping away at a “big project” day after day was very satisfying.
But, like everything in life, change is the only constant, and over time. I graduated. Coaching is meaningful, but not fully satisfying. I found myself feeling “lost” again.
Life is a constant cycle of Order -> Disorder -> Reorder.(this is eerily similar to training where we stress -> rest -> grow).
“it is a very normal dimension to the human experience.. when you feel lost, whatever you do, don’t fight it’ just bear witness to it; acknowledge it.” – spiritual teacher, Rob Bell.
I totally acknowledged that I was “lost” I felt “disorder. But I was OK with it. I’ve been here before. And, from past experience, I know that “trying” to figure it out does not work.
I shut off the “thinking” brain, and allowed my true feelings to surface. Things became clearer. I then returned to blog posts I wrote, and the answer was crystal clear. Many of my writings point to the recurring theme of dialing on two “big deals” and go all in. Focus on the things you can control and don’t worry about anything else. I realized that I was spread too thin. I was thinking about too much stuff.
So, I doubled down on the things I care about and eliminated everything else.
The results have been incredibly powerful. I’m training well, I’m coaching more efficiently, I’m more clear-headed when it comes to business decisions. I have a lot less “stress.”
The take-home message here is that we all will experience times in life where you have had incredible focus (order). And inevitably, you will have times where you feel “lost (disorder). But this disorder is simply a wake-up call to re-evaluate life and “reorder.” Just like with training, every time you “reorder” you will be a stronger, wiser version of yourself.