Dear eNotAlone: I'm in my mid-twenties and have been feeling lost for a while now. I feel like I'm drifting further and further away from my goals and direction in life. I'm tired of feeling helpless and like I have no control of my future, but I don't know what else to do. Is there anything I can do to get back my self-confidence and purpose for going after the things I want?
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At this stage of your life, it is only natural to feel lost and out of control of your future. It can be very difficult to go after the goals you want when you don't have a clear vision or direction in life. Thankfully, no matter how challenging it may seem, there are steps you can take to help regain your confidence and your purpose.
First, it's important to focus on improving your mental health. Depression and anxiety can make it hard to find motivation and focus, so it's important to take time for self-care to boost your mood and help get your energy back. Find activities that bring you joy and peace, whether it's muscle-strengthening exercises, creating art, or simply taking a few moments each day to reflect on your feelings.
Second, make sure you're surrounded by positive relationships. When trying to accomplish any goal, it's helpful to have someone to talk to and offer advice and encouragement. Isolation can easily become a habit if you're not careful, so make sure to reach out to old friends or join a new club or community. You may find that seeking out mentors in your desired field is also beneficial, as they can provide tips and resources to guide you in the right direction.
Third, set achievable goals that will help you make progress. Break down your ultimate goal into short-term, achievable targets. This will make it easier to move forward with confidence and have something to celebrate when you reach those milestones. use the SMART goal setting technique to make your goals as specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-oriented as possible.
Stay positive and don't give up. Even if it seems like you're making little progress at first, recognize and appreciate all your efforts, no matter how small. When you are lost and drifting, remind yourself of all the positive qualities and talents you possess, and create a plan for yourself that allows for growth and exploration. Once you're ready to take actions towards your goals, keep pushing forward and don't forget to reward yourself every once in a while.
It's never too late to start again. With a bit of patience and a willingness to continually improve yourself on both an emotional level and professional level, you will begin to regain your purpose and shape your future. Good luck and remember that you can always ask for help when you need it.