There’s no doubt about it: feeling lost can be a shocking, demoralizing, and even depressing experience.
How do I know? I’ve been there before. Some recent moments that come to mind have centered around my work, relationships, and general purpose in life.
Perhaps on your side, you’re feeling lost after leaving a job, working through an education degree, going through a big life transition such as a marriage, divorce, death, or birth of a child, or you feel general malaise and unease surrounding your existential meaning of life.
(Note: the sky is the limit when it comes to reasons why we’re feeling lost in life, so I can only touch on a few. But know that whatever reason you have is valid!)
In my experience of feeling lost about a bazillion times in life, there’s a lot of inner hidden shame that comes with the experience, aka.:
- “Shouldn’t I have my sh*t figured out already?”
- “I thought I finally knew my path, what the hell happened?”
- “Why do I feel like I want to do something different all of a sudden – I’ve already put in so much effort already!?”
- “What is wrong with me?”
To answer at least one of your questions, no, there’s nothing wrong with you. Feeling lost is absolutely and positively normal, and we ALL go through this experience in life (usually many times).
I’m going to share not only WHY feeling lost is normal in this article, but also some of the most helpful and enlightening journaling prompts that can give you more direction and clarity.
Table of contents
What Causes a Person to Feel Lost?
If you feel lost or like you have no direction and don’t know the answers (or what to do next), it usually means any of the following:
- The life, path, or direction that you’re moving in doesn’t align with your deeper needs, dreams, or gifts.
- You’re ready to grow and evolve as a person in a whole new and different way.
- You’re disconnected from the voice of your heart and soul and have come to a standstill in order to rest and reconnect with your higher self.
Often, feeling lost is a sign that you’ve innocently been listening to the voice of the mind (or ego) instead of the deeper and wiser voice of the soul.
Other times, feeling lost is simply a sign that you’re ready to metaphorically shed an old skin that feels too tight and restricting, and expand in new and unforeseen ways.
By the way, I wrote another article diving into reasons why we feel lost and lose touch with ourselves called How to Find Yourself When You’re Lost in Life (9 Steps) – I recommend reading it or printing it out! (It’s a great supplement to this article.)
Is Feeling Lost Okay (and Normal)?
I’ve never heard of or met a person who has everything figured out 100% of the time – that just ain’t a reality! To be human is to be in a state of flux, change, and evolution. And feeling lost is a completely normal part of that.
Just look at nature (and by the way, don’t forget that we are nature – on a human level, we’re mammals who evolved from the great apes):
There is a natural ebb and flow to the tides of the ocean. Trees grow leaves and then shed them. Animals carry shells, and then grow too big and go in search of new ones. Caterpillars dissolve in cocoons and become butterflies. Snakes shed their skin. Day turns into night.
Within nature, we can observe moments of transition and change everywhere. And the same happens with us humans – except because we’re usually out of touch with the Tao or the flow of Spirit, we interpret these natural shifts as “something going wrong.” We feel lost and start becoming obsessively preoccupied with that feeling.
What to Do When You Are Feeling Lost
Feeling lost can often bring feelings of anxiety, sadness, and even depression in more serious situations.
If you’re experiencing any of these feelings, my heart goes out to you. I know what it feels like to be totally lost, with no direction, no purpose, and no clarity in life.
Furthermore, those feelings can make us feel isolated and lonely, especially if everyone else seems to “have it all figured out” (which they don’t btw).
In my free guide entitled How to Find Yourself When You’re Lost in Life (9 Steps), I explore nine ways to find yourself again when you’re feeling lost, which also apply to this article. These steps include the following (summarized below):
- Make time and space for solitude
- Purge your inner thoughts and feelings through journaling
- Find your top five core needs
- Explore what you really want in life
- Practice self-sovereignty
- Explore, travel, and ponder
- Let go of anything that reinforces inauthenticity
- Reconnect with your spiritual center
- Rediscover your wild self
Please note: You can click on any of the above hyperlinked points (which will open in a new tab) if you’d like to explore them more in-depth.
But in this article, I’m wanting to offer some specific, easy, and super helpful journaling prompts to help you navigate through feeling lost in life.
18 Journaling Prompts For Feeling Lost & Finding Your Path Again
Feel free to pick and choose any of the journaling prompts below that resonate with you.
(And if you need help with doing the journaling part itself, see my guide on How to Journal: 19 Beginner Tips For Modern Mystics.)
Questions can open magical doorways and are powerful ways to go soul searching. I hope these prompts below for feeling lost (and finding your path again) help you to gain more clarity and direction!
Here are the journaling prompts:
1. Why does feeling lost make you feel so uncomfortable? Explore your thoughts and feelings.
2. If you could change any one thing in your life without negative consequences, what would it be, and why?
3. What is your unique definition of “success”?
4. Name the feelings that have been arising inside of you recently. What deeper lessons might they be trying to teach you?
5. If you could pick any spirit animal to accompany you on your life journey right now, what would it be, and why?
6. Off the top of your head, list five of your values. Then reflect on them.
7. List three non-negotiables (or core needs) in life that you hold close to your heart.
8. We all have a fantasy or “ideal” self in our minds that we try to live up to. What does your fantasy self look like, sound like, and behave like? How might this fantasy self be limiting you?
9. What does the mind’s voice vs. the soul’s voice sound like within you? How can you tell the difference?
10. In what parts of life are you the unhappiest? Why?
11. In what parts of life are you the happiest? Why?
12. If there was no one else in your life telling you what to do or who you should be, what would your inner voice tell you?
13. Place a hand over your heart and imagine that a wise old man, woman, or person is sitting in front of you. What advice would they give you? Write in their voice.
14. What do you love doing in your free time? If you can’t think of anything, what did you love doing as a teenager or child? How can you bring that more into your life?
15. We all carry many “shoulds” around that limit our ability to be true to ourselves. List some of your “shoulds” and reflect on them. (E.g. “I should study to be a doctor because that’s what my parents want me to do,” “I should feel happy about this job offer,” “I should want to be friends with this person” etc.)
16. How is the you now different from the you one year ago? What has changed, evolved, and expanded?
17. What is the bright or positive side of feeling lost?
18. Visualize your life from the perspective of your deathbed. What are you the proudest of having done or experienced in your lifetime?
All of these questions have been chosen to help you directly or indirectly gain some clarity and perspective about where you are on the winding path of life right now. Be gentle, take your time, and feel free to bookmark this page to return to!
Feeling Lost in Life is Normal and Healthy
Feeling lost isn’t only normal, but it’s actually HEALTHY.
Feeling lost is a sign that you’re growing and evolving as a person – or at the very least, you’ve come to a threshold of change.
We must all outgrow old ways of living and being in this world. Feeling lost is what happens when we enter into that uncomfortable liminal space of growth and transformation.
(Imagine if we were always traveling on the same perfect path, never deviated, and never grew or evolved as a person … how boring and empty would that be!?)
Not knowing the path ahead isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a little scary, yes. But it also means that there are new possibilities ahead of us that we can’t quite see yet. Be the lone wolf and embrace them!
So I hope the journaling prompts above are helpful to you. And if you have any others to share, or would like to offer any insights you have in the comments, I’d love to hear them in the comments!
I feel I’m stuck in my life. Practically, I know what I am supposed to do but that doesn’t make sense to me. I feel disconnected and lost and I don’t know wether I am on right path or not. I want to get out of this but still not getting the way that can make sense or make me do something.
I have been struggling with feeling lost so much since long ago. It comes when so much fears and desires get into a big conflict in my head. Especially when I feel out of control, with my own aims and sense of direction, a guilt.
For more concrete examples; When I fail to meet my promise that I will not touch an energy/time draining activity like social media etc, but I find myself using them for hours without noticing, and forgetting about my daily duties (Routine: physical exercises, prayers, studies, deep meditation…). This makes me feel like a failure, and unable to control my life, and in past days, I used to react to this feeling by escaping it and diving deeper into more distracting activities like walking into endless and useless Youtube videos. Nowadays, I find it more healthy as you mentioned, since it alarms me that I need to bring necessary changes by renewing my discipline plan.
Actually, I recall a phrase that I used to say to describe this unpleasant state: “I feel like I am wasting myself.”
At the moment I find difficulty in saying “Why Feeling Lost is Normal”
As too many things are happening at once. Old age has it’s merits and it’s flaws or reproach which combined with suddenly dealing with body bits wanting to play up and still say I am healthy and can focus without worry on the points in hand. As I feel swamped by every thing at this time, and that alone can place one feeling lost from too much happening and not getting done.
So this week I honed this open ended topic down to two points !) I am to a certain extent what my intention faith and love has built over the years and thus need to dwell in some degree in self acceptance. Though with help from Sol and Luna this may need some vital modification in the next two years.
2) That trust is a precious gift bestowed upon those that feel and know they are sufficiently part of our lives and we love them. One other point was going to be on Self Sovereignty but I think this is more for me to dive into self discovery, when time permits.❤
Thanks, this article was extremely good. Feeling lost now feels more positive and helpful now that I have read this. Personally I am lost because my old way of living was destroying me, I was ignoring so many of my feelings and wishes to “get a job and fit in.”
After leaving it, I fight the voices in my head that call me useless for not job hunting everyday and focus on improving the skills I enjoy instead
Sometimes feeling lost is a an exciting thing!
It’s even more exciting when several people are lost with you. And then we can sing the song on YouTube, “Living, in the land, of the lost! Lost! Lost! Lost!”
I’m writing because it brings concrete ideas out. Something as simple as thanking you for all the light and guidance, so consistently – these are sincere words.
Less easy to say is how lost I’ve been, even when I thought I knew what I was doing. The problem I have is a creative slump – a depression – unlike other times when I had a drive to put things out. Now I see the motives better than I did then: the egotism, the self-delusion, the little king on his throne reinforced in passing by friends, some of whom offered realistic assessments that passed right over me. The friends moved on while I stayed in the same place. People don’t reach out to me anymore. I used to be a good confidant. Now I’m that person still lost in his own world except that reports through performance are no longer issued. Finding a partner would be a relief and a healthy challenge, but I am not depending on anyone to save me. Contacting the High Self – and thus true compassion, love, and safety – is the only process that I think can greet these core issues and effectively change them.