Are you feeling lost?

What to do when you’re feeling out of place? When you don’t know what to do next? Well probably the best thing to do is stand still. Just stop for a moment and think. And what should you do then?

We’ve all been there at some point. Everything is going as planned, but yet something is off. You don’t know what is missing, but something definitely is. My grandfather used to tell me that when you’re for example in a forest and you’re lost, stop running. Don’t run around in circles like a fool. Just wait a minute and look around.

Where are you exactly? Do you recognize something? Then choose a path, one path, and keep going straight forward. At some point you will get out of the dense forest. Well, my grandfather was counting on a Dutch, not so big forest, but still, keep on going long enough and it will work anywhere.

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I remember when I was about twelve years old I went with my mom for a weekend to the Dutch coast. One morning I decided I would go for a run through the sandy dunes. I guess that was my first attempt at running. Smart as I was, I started running without checking where I was going and where I came from. So soon after I left, I realized I had know clue where I was. I was completely lost in the middle of the dunes. At that time almost nobody had a cellphone, so calling my mom wasn’t an option.

Then I remembered what my grandfather said and I stopped running. After looking around I suddenly saw the church tower, which was somewhat close to our hotel. I ran in the direction of the church and found the hotel soon after, which I wouldn’t have found if I didn’t stop running first.

Another thing that might work is to take some distance. This could be a literal distance or just mentally take distance from a situation. When you feel lost and you stay focused on the fact that you’re lost, you’re not going to find your way. Why? You’re focused on the problem, on the consequence of something that is missing. So better to focus on what you do have, who you are and then on what you need. Taking a few days off your life and taking a trip can help too, because a different environment can give you a new perspective.

Just imagine you can stand at a high point and look at your feelings of unease from up high. You’ll probably realize that the problem isn’t as big from up there. It seems smaller because it’s not suffocating you when you step away. When you’re able to see the bigger picture you can find out what you need. You can solve the maze in your head. If you can look at a city from a higher point you can see all its beauty and its flaws. And it works exactly the same for any issue you might face. When you understand what it is you need you can make a map on how to find it. Like you can make a map of the city.

So remember how lost you might feel the first thing to do is…nothing. Just stop and breath. Look at where you are and what you have. Write it all down if that works for you. And ask for help if you need it. Focus on everything that makes you happy, so you can find what doesn’t. Then the last thing to do is getting out of your own created maze. And your gps on your phone isn’t going to help you here, but your intuition will.

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