How many of you reading this right now have thoughts passing through your mind that sound something like…
- You feel empty
- You feel nothing
- You feel numb
- You feel bored, procrastination is your new normal
- You can't get motivated
- You feel alone
- You feel as though you are separated from society
- You have no close friends that you can trust
- You have no idea what career or job you would like to do
- You won't let anyone get close to you
- All of your friends are too "needy"
- That you have nobody you can turn to
- That you feel lost in life
Incredibly, one or many of these describe how so many people are thinking about their lives right now.
So, what can you do to break out of this sense of emptiness, of being lost without direction?
Calm Your Mind
The first step is to move from a place where your mind is racing with beliefs and thoughts that you are in a hopeless vortex of despair placing exaggerated concepts, images and visions of negativity around every thought or action you have in a given day.
Think about it this way…when momentum of thoughts is overly negative they begin to take on a life of their own and force you into negative thinking in other areas of your life.
Often this can start with one area (such as a relationship, a job, a personal experience, an experience with family, an illness, etc…) and then take on momentum until you are in full swing where the momentum leads to enough negative thoughts that you feel hopelessly lost in life.
By interrupting those thought patterns you begin to slow the momentum on the negativity side, become aware of your negative patterns and regain control such that you can re-frame your thoughts into the proper perspective.
Through introspection, writing therapy (where you become more aware of your thoughts through consciously writing them out) and meditation you begin to recognize your predominant thought patterns and also begin to realize the degree of exaggeration that was poisoning your mind and daily reality.
Take Back Control – Emotional Unboxing
The next major phase in coming back from feelings of being lost in life is to realize that you control the next days, weeks, months and years of your life.
No matter what has happened in the past, starting now you have a clean slate from which you can completely re-frame your beliefs, thoughts and in doing so, your actions.
It is at this stage where you begin to reverse deeply held beliefs that you are unattractive, not fun, too shy, a procrastinator, not good with other people, unskilled, unlucky – all of the vague generalities with which you trap yourself into an emotional box.
Your beliefs directly control your thoughts, your thoughts control your action (and the resulting re-action you get from society and the world around you) which then complete the cycle and reinforce your beliefs.
For example, if you believe people don't like you, you will enter every social situation with anxiety fueled by the certainty that things will not work out which leads to mixed signals from you that are difficult for others to read and so they may indeed avoid you or treat you differently because of the way you treat them.
When someone doesn't listen, is inattentive, or leaves you due to this discomfort you take that as reinforcement that you repel people which then makes that belief stronger and the entire cycle begins again.
Emotional unboxing is the process of recognizing these generalized beliefs that limit your true potential, most of us have MANY of these generalities that hold us back without us even knowing it.
With unboxing we begin to challenge these overriding beliefs by doing one of the following:
- Recognizing times when the "rule" we have set for ourselves did not come true. Remembering back to a great relationship, friend or family member that we did click with allows us to challenge the fundamental rule we have been living by that we repel people. Suddenly, that rule is no longer true – there are exceptions and we need to seek out how to find more of the situations where things did work out more positively. What we often find is that one or two major disappointments becomes the catalyst for changing our beliefs when there was no call for that level of cynicism
- Realizing there are many reasons why people may react the way they do or things turn out the way they do. For example, often people who are making progress in life are criticized or knocked down because of jealousy, other people's anxieties or other people's beliefs which, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with you
- Having the confidence to know that you can improve. If you are having trouble in an area of your life that is resulting in undesirable outcomes, it is completely within your power and ability to change that around. As humans we learned to walk, we learned to talk, we learned to read, we learned to spell, we learn to reason….when you think of it that way, the challenges we have to change ourselves slightly to improve one or another area of our life is completely within reach. So, if you struggle with social interaction (as one example), there are programs focusing on self confidence, public speaking, improvisation that will dramatically help you in this area within a few short weeks. Believe me, taking this type of control of your life, believing that change can happen is 90% of the battle.
You Aren't What You Were, You Are What You Envision
The third step (once you have interrupted your negative thought patterns and recognized your negative beliefs and unboxed emotionally) is to recognize that we are all capable of incredible transformation. Our future does not have to be our past. Our future is completely within our control and can be whatever we want it to be. Think about it, is there any positive result of paralyzing your future over what has happened in the past?
This is important because what you BELIEVE is possible is what makes the difference between what is possible and what your future reality will be.
If you still believe that you are trapped from your past, there is no amount of personal improvement and future planning that will really help because your mind will continue to act in line with your true beliefs – so those beliefs (backed by certainty) must change.
Your beliefs can change due to a monumental event in your life (like a major health scare can change a person's belief that they really can lose weight or change their diet) OR it can they can be changed by you intensely focusing on making the pain of NOT changing so high compared to the pleasure you can gain through major belief change that your core beliefs will begin to move. What can often help in this process of self-change is finding mentors and role models. What today you may think is impossible can be completely possible to you when you see someone else get those results. Seek out mentors and models at this stage to help your mind get over the hurdle of limited belief to CERTAIN belief
Re-Framing Your Future
Once you have been able to transform your fundamental beliefs it is time to re-frame those beliefs in terms of what is truly possible. Here you want to create new vision, affirmations, goals and images of the life you wish to you lead.
I hope you can realize that many self help programs jump right to this fourth step – trying to re-frame your future without addressing the issues of your core beliefs, your level of certainty within which you change those core beliefs and all of the negative programming that has gone on (often for decades) to reinforce those core beliefs.
If you have ever tried positive thinking, goal setting, motivation, affirmations, etc…and they haven't worked for you (at least in a lasting fashion) then you now know why!
Despite your temporary changes in mindset and focus your fundamental beliefs that govern your thoughts are still stuck in a reinforced pattern of negativity that will sooner, rather than later, take over as the ultimate guide to your thoughts and actions. This is why so many personal improvement programs fail today to bring about lasting change.
Stop Being Lost In Life
Are you ready to stop being lost in life?
Are you willing to commit to re-examining your fundamental beliefs about who you are and what you are capable of?
Are you ready to stop taking what others say about you or how others act around you and examine your true beliefs?
The key to taking back power in your life and escaping the dark tunnels through which you currently frame your life is to honestly examine your beliefs about yourself, challenge those beliefs, open the box from which your mind has placed you and THEN re-frame your life in terms of how you really want to live your life.
The reward of working through this process is incredibly liberating, amazingly powerful and can lead you to one of the few openings in the dark tunnel you may today be struggling to escape. There is light at the end of the tunnel, now you have the ability to see it.