How can I find myself again?
I just don't know what I want in life anymore. I'm can't figure out what it is that is keeping me distracted and unfocused. I can't put things into perspective at all. I'm just stuck, and I'm disappointed with my lack of accomplishments.
If you are a people-pleaser type or a natural caretaker, you can slowly "lose yourself" over time if you are always tending to the needs of others and neglecting yourself. If this sounds like a familiar pattern for you, this may have happened without you even realizing it if you were raised in a family where you had to pick up the slack alot. Maybe your parents were addicts or they might have even just worked all the time and you learned to "take care of everything" because that is what you had to do to help the family run smoothly.
Over time, a person who grows up in this type of environment learns that you put the needs of others before your own. You might also be stuck in these types of patterns in intimate relationships as well; if you completely give yourself over to your significant other and you don't create a life for yourself with your own interests and supportive friends, you are at risk of losing what is unique and amazing about you. If you grew up in a family where you learned this role out of survival or because it was needed to take care of your family, it's easy to re-create this in adult relationships.
In both scenarios, if there is no awareness that this "self sacrifice at the expense of others" is going on, your identity is shaped around being a caretaker/enabler/people-pleaser and down the road it can lead to depression, low self esteem, and a confused sense of self. Basically, you spend so much time helping other people that you don't make time for yourself or create a life of fulfillment. Before you realize it, you have been living a life for others instead of yourself and you have no idea who YOU are. Supporting loved ones and friends is important and certainly admirable, but if you are always that person that rescues, those that rely on you begin to take advantage of you and they will suck you dry if you let them.
In conclusion, learning to set boundaries with those in your life that are too needy becomes a really important part of the process when you begin to recognize that you are unhappy and unfulfilled in life. It sounds like you may be at that crossroads right now. Take one small step at at a time. Identify the worst offenders in your life that suck time and energy, and limit your contact and/or set some strong boundaries with those people so you can refocus and do some soul-searching. Meanwhile, engage in pleasurable activities with people you enjoy being with, get yourself outside in the fresh air, get some good sleep, and eat some nourishing food!
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Give yourself credit for what you already know.
For instance, you do know that you're unsure about your life direction.
Take off any pressure on yourself to decide an answer in a certain amount of time. Inner reflection work takes time and has its own course. Trust that answers will show once you've done the work to understand yourself and circumstance, and the relationships in your life.
From what you describe, your interest is in a broad scope life change.
One direction is to start with only one specific part of your life you would like to change. By examining one area in detail you will gain self-trust and confidence in handling your life. And, you will have clarity as to which area to change first.
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Thank you for sharing! It can be very disorienting not to know what you want and where you are headed. Sometimes we are so focused on something we haven't achieved yet or on comparing ourselves to others that we lose touch with what we actually want and need. At times like this, it's important to go back to basics.
Try out this simple exercise, take a few minutes to write down all your present responsibilities. For example: make meals, complete homework...etc. Then in the column next to it, write down the things that you do for yourself to recharge yourself and to enjoy your time.
Is your list of responsibilities way longer than your list of stuff you do for yourself? It is easy to get lost in the sea of responsibilities and disconnect from what you want and need. To fix that, write another list of things that you enjoyed doing in the past for yourself and start incorporating them into your schedule on a regular basis. This will help you re-connect with yourself, and bring focus and clarity to your life.
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Check this blog out: Four-ways-add-self-esteem-friends-list
Hope you find a few nuggets of helpfulness in this.
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It sounds as if you would benefit from talking with a local mental health professionals so you can discuss some details.
Having said that, I wonder if you could consider how you would define yourself to someone who doesn't know you. For example, honest, adaptable, fun-loving, dependable, compassionate, open-minded, dedicated, etc. If you're looking for a list of adjectives, try these: https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/adjectives-personality-positive.htm . There is a list of negative ones here too. If you're going to use those, try to use three positive ones for each of the negative ones. You could also try asking yourself what you love about yourself and/or what others love about you. Sometimes it's easier to consider what others see as our positive points and if this is difficult for you, try asking someone who you trust to help you with the list.
The idea here is to look at your relationship with yourself. I don't mean this in a way that you would be talking to yourself and receiving answers, but rather looking at yourself in a way that you deserve the same kind of loving and compassion that you give to others or want others to have.
I'm also curious as to whether you are eating and sleeping okay, as these things can really affect your focus and many other changes, such as differences in your emotions. Also, you saying that you are struggling to put things into perspective leads me to believe that you are going through some things right now that are not typical for you, if so, consider from whom you have support and the ability to talk about what you are going through.
Consider Metta meditation here to help give yourself loving kindness: http://www.mettainstitute.org/mettameditation.html
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