I used to be so afraid of this, of feeling lost, of needing to explore. When I was younger, I used to hear often (and disparagingly) of teenagers and young 20 years olds who don’t have their life figured out and I grew to be so afraid of ending up like that, so I nerded out on planning and figuring out my life. I thought that if I read all the self help books and business books and did all the volunteer work and internships I could get my hands on then I would figure out the answers early and I wouldn’t ever feel lost. Although that gave me an invaluable set of experiences, it never buffered me from going through a time of confusion and exploration.
The first time I felt this way, questioning everything, not seeing a clearly outlined path that I’ve made for myself, it was like my world was turned upside down. It was a real struggle, it was visceral but the result on the other side of that was a massive growth spurt within myself. Now although I still feel the uncertainty that comes with questioning and searching within myself, it doesn’t cause a panic or stress reaction. What has helped with that is understanding that it is normal and I will probably experience it throughout my life at different times, as do others, because it is integral to growth. What led me to that clear understanding is hearing others at different ages and places in their life go through that and watching Youtubers like Fran Meneses who are authentic and honest about their journey and experiences.
The question for me now, is how do I get the most out of this recurrent phase to further my growth? I’m still figuring it out. One thing that has helped me focus on exploration is not searching for “end goal” answers but rather trying to do the process as best as I can. I imagine it like loosening my brain so it’s as if it is lying in a hot tub (so it doesn’t stress out in search of clarity) then using the nerd power to deep dive into whatever it is I am questioning and the goal is not a clear destination but rather how far I can dive and what skills I can pick up to do that better.
It’s kind of like watching a CSI show for me (NCIS is my fav), it is not that the result is new and unpredictable and exciting, but rather it is the process of figuring it out and exploring the different avenues that is exciting. So for now I remind myself to focus on the process and get the most out of it and that requires honest self reflection and effort in exploring (it won’t come to me, I have to search for it) even when it is a struggle.
Disclaimer: Always learning… Always evolving.. For life. x