Lately, I’ve been coming across a lot of women who are describing themselves as lost.
For the most part the ladies in question aren’t literally lost. (Although I did actually help someone with directions the other day.) Rather, these colleagues and friends are feeling lost and directionless in one or two areas of their lives.
The stories I hear are often quite similar. Women will explain to me that they fell into some of aspect of their life when they were younger. Perhaps it was a job or maybe their relationship. In line with the conditioning most women still receive, they worked hard to gain success. Sometimes this hard work goes on for years or even decades. Until one day, the woman looks at this aspect of her life and asks questions like:
‘Is this it? Is this all there is for me here? I’m not sure this is how I wanted to live my life? How did I end up here?
I’m like 100 years old. Shouldn’t I have this worked out by now?’
So many women trip themselves up on the idea that the goals they were aiming for when they were younger are going to see them living happily ever after. That one ‘life plan’ (if they happened to have one), would cover every age and stage of life.
The reality is quite different. At each season of our lives we need to be assessing what we want and where we are going.
You need to create the great experiences that link together to make amazing lives. And that sort of creation takes one incredibly important ingredient.
Clarity on what you want your life to look like right now.
When you think about it, it’s not surprising that these directionless feelings arise without clarity. If you aren’t clear on where you are going, you certainly can’t plan to get there.
And with no vision and no intentions it makes perfect sense that you would feel lost.
So how do I recommend you get clarity?
I strongly believe that clarity comes when women understand three things:
- The parts of their life that are really important to them.
- How they want to feel in each of those life categories.
- The steps they will take bring about the feelings they are looking for in each of their important life categories.
Let’s break this down a little further.
Step one – work out the important categories of your life
It is helpful to look at life as a whole here, especially if you are feeling lost in a single specific element. When women dig into it, it is very rare that they feel lost in all the important parts of their lives. Looking at your whole life gives you a broader perspective.
It’s worth noting that your important categories will be unique to you. And thus, it is worth taking the time to think about them.
My personal categories include:
Career – this one covers my aspirations in both my corporate career and my coaching business,
Key relationships – takes in my relationships with my husband Scott, our son, our extended family and our friends.
Growth – growth is one of my primary values, and I make sure I have some sort of learning on the go. At the moment for me that is continuing to strengthen my coaching skills and (finally?) mastering French,
Financial – I know that weak finances are an energy sapper for me. (Ever heard the saying that money is currency and currency is energy?) So I always have financial goals on my radar.
Leisure – ensures I plan for holidays and hobbies,
Well-being – makes sure I give some level of focus to my health
Service – supporting others on their life journey is another of my top values.
Depending on where you are at in your life, you might like to rename those categories, or swap them out entirely. Spirituality, love, and intimate relationships are among the life categories I see women use regularly.
Step two – spend some time journalling on how you want to feel in each important category of life
Take your time here – at the end of the day, whether something is delightful or dreadful in your life comes down to how you feel about it. You know for sure that you don’t want feel lost but you need to get intentional about how you do want to feel. When doing this exercise, you might find it’s easier to name what you don’t want to feel. If this sounds like you, test the opposite until you find the feelings you are aiming for.
Step three – list out the things you will do bring about your desired feelings in each specific category
Again, taking it one category at a time, think about some things you could do sooner rather than later to prompt the feelings you are after. These actions might come under the heading of ‘big goals’ – signing up for a course, for example. They may also be small things you can do each day, like drinking more water to support your health.
When should I get clarity?
Regular life reviews are the best way to test and reset clarity. I coach my clients to look at their life categories every month. But at the very least I recommend women spend some time gaining clarity on what they want things to look like in their lives at major junctions. The beginnings or ends of relationships or jobs, the kids leaving home or the passing of a loved one are all times when it is vital to seek clarity.
Are you feeling clear right now? Or do you need to do some work to get clarity? Feel free to let me know in the comments section below.
Photo Credit – Haute Stock