Feeling Disoriented? 7 Ways to Find Your Way through Turbulent Times
Feeling lost? Adrift? Isolated? Disoriented? Can’t see your next step? Going in a direction you never expected? If you relate to any of these feelings, you’re not alone.
Just as ancient mariners oriented their location on the high seas according to fixed points in the night sky, so we rely on fixed relationships and structures to orient ourselves in the world. Think about the things that give you stability. Perhaps it’s a beloved parent or mentor. Perhaps it’s a romantic partner. Perhaps it’s a religious, business, financial or political institution you’ve trusted for years.
Over time, we surround ourselves with elements that provide security and direction to our lives that keep us oriented. But what happens when these “fixed” elements are no longer stable or they even disappear?
We can lose our way when a beloved person dies or when a relationship ends. We can also lose our way, especially now, as the world has been turned upside down with the pandemic, political upheaval, natural disasters, economic crises, lost opportunities and so many other disorienting things.
Then there’s the internal mismatch between what’s going on within you versus what’s happening on the outside. As you grow and change, it’s normal and natural to experience periods of disorientation. What once worked for you, may no longer do so. This is a collective experience.
In all of these circumstances, how can you use where you are today to get you to where you want to be? Here are a few suggestions that work for us…
1. Develop a positive mental attitude that this experience is a springboard (not a roadblock) that you can connect with your own goals, in some manner.
2. Normalize where you are. Be compassionate with yourself through soothing practices such as deep breathing, mindfulness and meditation. Then acknowledge and accept how you’re feeling. Remember that your body sensations can give you powerful clues to your deepest feelings.
3. Relax into it. Sit quietly with each feeling. Pay attention, without judging, and put a name to each sensation and emotion as they appear. Notice; breathe; then thank it for it’s powerful message; and reassure yourself that it’s safe to let it go.
4. Readjust your goal. Never give up your Big Dream. A new path can be frightening. However, when you greet it with curiosity and anticipation, you’ll broaden and deepen your experience, so you see all the possibilities available to you.
5. Reassess your desired outcome. What’s important to you at age 20 will not be so important at age 50. But your values — kindness, justice, honesty, integrity — won’t change. Now’s the time to reaffirm the values that resonate with you and make choices aligned with them.
6. Refocus your energy. If you’re like many people, you have an ocean full of ideas that keep you running around in circles chasing this, then, that. Get ultra focused on The One Thing that means the most to you and do what supports that One Thing.
7. Identify ONE small step to take today. Any movement you make, when you feel lost, IS progress. No doubt there will be many moving parts to your One Thing, so now it’s important to break it down into manageable bite-sized pieces.
Might we suggest that your ONE small step is joining our Great Circle Community on Thursday, November 5th at 8:00 am PT; 11:00 am ET? The topic for discussion: Dissonance vs Resonance — How to Ensure Our Words Align with Our Values, will reveal, among other things, how the words you speak and think are keeping you in a disoriented state.
And here’s some BIG news! If you can’t join us but still want to benefit from the interaction, we’re also now connecting and conversing via our private Facebook Group. We’d love for you to join us! Click the Join button to request access.
(Thank you for the use of your photo Lacie Slezak on Unsplash)