Every situation has a silver lining – discover a mindset that heals and enlightens.
October 17, 2021 · 8 min read
To find yourself, you must first lose yourself. - Jared Leto
People that are self-aware experienced a pivotal point in their lives at least once.
It happens out of nowhere – yesterday you were one person, and the next day you can’t recognize who you are. It’s a very confusing state to be in. It can almost feel as if you’re losing your mind.
You can lose yourself in a very wide range of levels. You might be losing yourself during a conversation, an activity, or your whole life in general.
I can truly understand how overwhelming that feeling is. I’ve lost myself a few times too. Overthinking about life, existence, happiness, other feelings, might lead you to this state of mind.
However, I am going to unfold this problem to my best extent to help you.
Here are signs that may be indicating that you’re losing yourself:
If you start feeling like you’re losing yourself, it means that you’re disassociating with yourself. You don’t feel like yourself and you’re losing your identity.
You might feel as if you can’t recognize yourself. Life becomes like a blur and hopeless.
Don’t lose yourself trying to be everything to everyone. - Tony Gaskins
Losing yourself occurs mostly because of anxiety. You’ll feel short-tempered, edgy, and will start overthinking.
Such state of mind makes you feel separated from your identity. You are caged in your head and it can be hard to separate what’s real and what your fantasy.
Another reason could be because of relying too much on others. You lose your self-esteem and do very little of your own independent actions which make you lose yourself.
You have to deal with the root problem, anxiety, depression, to get yourself back after losing yourself. You need readjust your mindset and look at the world from a different point of view.
Just like trees shed their old leaves to reborn, you must do that too. Humans are part of nature and ultimately, we have to adapt and be flexible to thrive.
Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a popular method to recognize and understand your problem better. This technique is based on analyzing the origin of the problem with particular steps:
The origin of cause can be either physical or mental. For example, if you’re dissatisfied with your body, it’s a physical problem. If you’ve trouble with relationships, then it’s more of a mental problem.
As everyone has different kind of “losing yourself”, the “why” and solutions may differ.
However, the most important step is to recognize “what” and “why” signs. I’ll provide with many solutions in the upcoming sections and I’m sure you’ll find something that will work for you.
Without a healthy foundation, you can’t live happily. A house that has a bad foundation is doomed to fall eventually.
Check on your traumas. Do you have any shocking life experiences that can’t leave your mind alone? Have these memories become stronger recently?
Traumas can eat up everyone if not taken care of. It penetrates through your security shield and plants a seed of doubt and despair which results in feeling lost.
The surest way to lose your self-worth is by trying to find it through the eyes of others. - Becca Lee
Check your sleep. Having less sleep makes people feel more anxious, irritated, and unhappier in general. It’s a very common problem that people ignore such important aspect of their lives. There’s no need to dig deeper – sometimes the problems are lying on the surface.
Check your addictions. If you are addicted to any kind of substance, it’s likely to provoke anxiety and stress. In such scenario people fall into the net of addiction to ease their unhappiness. However, it’s temporary and makes you feel worse in the long run.
Also, addictions may not necessarily be physical consumables. Addiction can be also in forms like gambling, having no boundaries in playing video games, working too much, shopping, and even spending too much time on Internet, especially social media.
Social media distorts the reality and people start believing that their lives are really bad and without any purpose. This platform is full of frauds and you should stop using it if you notice that it makes you lose yourself.
According to psychologist Niels Eek, excessively dwelling on past events harms you and makes you feel worse.
Similarly, you should stop dwelling on “I feel like losing myself” feeling. It’s a harmful to live on such feeling because it pushes you away from dealing and acknowledging the problem.
In such scenario, you should practice mindfulness. It’s a mental state which makes you feel self-aware about the present. You need to understand that you are the owner of this feeling and you need to accept it.
Finally, to really strengthen your will power, you should let this feeling go. If you practice understanding and compassion, you will overcome losing yourself feeling. The more you do it, the better you will become.
Easing your mind means becoming calmer and more relieved. The importance of it is that you can let go the burden off your shoulders. It will make you happier and stress-free.
Some ways you could ease your mind is:
Talking to someone can be very therapeutic. Just like writing in a journal, you will ease your mind. In addition, you will feel supported by the other person.
That’s why it’s very important to talk to someone you can trust. You can explore more emotions, identify patterns of what makes you feel lost in life, and examine your character in general.
If you realize what the real problem is – losing yourself – you realize that this itself is the ultimate trial. - Joseph Campbell
Such benefits are experienced best with a help of a therapist. You can also experience a lot of positive benefits with your closest people.
With each session of talking, you will feel better and better. Practicing mindfulness and understanding that you are the captain of your ship is the key element to feel better.
Gaslighting is a form of a manipulation of another person to make him doubt his own thoughts and beliefs.
You must check if there’s a person in your life that makes you doubt your own sanity. In other words, there’s a possibility of you being a marionette for someone.
Such behavior with you can make you feel losing yourself because you are losing your core values.
Here are some signs of gaslighting:
If you can relate some signs, you have to identify who that person is and speak with him directly about it. It’s a shame, but it’s very likely the other person won’t admit his or her mistake.
Either you can try to live with it and try to adjust to the other person’s needs (but that will hurt your identity and happiness), or you can abandon the relationship. If this relationship is with your significant other, you can also try looking for help from people that provide therapy for couples.
While your routine is part of your identity, but there are points in life when you lose yourself and everything looks hopeless. One of the reasons for that is being stuck in a routine.
Routines are not necessarily a bad thing. A good routine makes you organized and productive.
Nevertheless, routines can unconsciously encourage us to forget the perks of living. For example, if you always spend your evenings after work watching TV or surfing the web mindlessly, it becomes a meaningless habit.
Meaningless habits make you forget what life is about – happiness, excitement, adventures, new experiences, relationships, and learning. You can miss out on simple, yet enlivening occurrences, such as smelling flowers, enjoying the wind, looking at the birds, trees, and living in the moment in general. Without excitement, you will feel lost within yourself.
I’d suggest you cutting your whole routine and switching to the other one in an instant. Instead of mindlessly scrolling on Internet, pick up a book instead. You can also:
There are numerous other activities that you can do. Think of some and try to implement them into your new routine. It can be life changing and help you to find yourself.
The build-up of emotions will result in an eruption of a volcano. The longer you hold your emotions, the more they can intensify.
Picture this: you are constantly irritated by some actions of other people and you try to hold it back. However, after a while this irritation can evolve into anger and burst into that person without him even realizing what he did wrong. This can result in a very big argument.
Similarly, you shouldn’t suppress any emotion to yourself. The more you hold them back, the more you lose your identity. You will be feeling lost in the process. Share your emotions and feelings with others in an honest way.
For an instance, if you feel like you don’t want to have something that’s planned for dinner, let everyone know: “Hey, I know a dinner is planned already and I appreciate that, but I really feel like eating rather (specify what) today. I’m really craving for it! Perhaps we can postpone today’s dinner to tomorrow?”
There is no way to find yourself until you discover how utterly to lose yourself. - Rufus Jones
In this scenario, it’s very important to give an argument for your dissatisfaction, specify the solution, and propose a compromission.
With such approach you also show your gratitude and you try to find a consensus in an honest way. Try to apply such methodology for other life situations too.
Constantly running and competing in life can exhaust both emotionally and physically. Such rush can provoke mental problems and dissatisfaction in yourself and life.
Taking a step back allows you to cool down your emotions. If you feel lost, it’s a sign of overburn and a build-up of emotions.
Our part of brains that are responsible for thinking are less sensitive than cognitive-emotional part of brains. This means that emotions have a bigger impact on our well-being.
A step back lets you to re-think of your current emotional state and find yourself.
You need to ask yourself a very simple question: “If I lead my life based on current emotions, where will I end?” You’ll probably have an answer that it certainly doesn’t lead to happiness and getting yourself back together.
In fact, after losing yourself you might never be the same person as you were before. It’s important to pivot this moment and make the best of it to reborn with more strength and confidence than ever.
Here’s how you can take a step back in your life:
The more you’re in a rush, the more you’ll miss on happy moments in life. A lot of us fall to an idea that we can be only happy in the future.
Don’t wait to be happy. Be happy now.
Resilience is built by being positive. Feeling yourself can be achieved by finding happiness and joy.
Positivity can be built by:
Positivity is certainly not built overnight. Neither the city of Rome was. However, by adding little things to your life daily, you can notice positive effects of this phenomena and become a new version of yourself.
You need to be less of a self-critic, forgive and accept yourself. The process is certainly not complicated to regain your happiness and not to feel lost.
It’s so easy to do things that are simple, but it’s just as easy not to do them.
Add to your life a few simple things at a time and you’ll certainly become a brand new and a better version of your past self.
Depression and anxiety are common friends of overthinking. It’s a vicious hamster wheel that once you’re in, it’s hard to get out. The more momentum you have, the harder it is to stop.
The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. - Albert Einstein
Here are a few things you can do to stop overthinking:
Overthinking is a sign of higher intelligence. However, the higher your intelligence is, the more successfully you can cope with your emotions. That’s a sign of a high emotional intelligence.
Be mindful of your overthinking. Take ownership and steer the wheel to your success path.
The power of being yourself opens up your true personality. You can recognize your perfections and imperfections. It allows you and other people to get to know yourself better.
Being yourself will simply release you from the tantrums of losing yourself. At this very moment, you might be confused and still questioning yourself “What’s going on? Why am I feeling this way?”
Here are some tips to free yourself:
You can easily find yourself if you only free yourself from your negative thoughts, stereotypes, and unleash your inner desires. Consider doing that to become a different person.
People need entertainment to compensate themselves for the time they feel miserable. Perhaps word “miserable” is too harsh in some scenarios but you get the idea.
Majority of people don’t particularly enjoy their 5 days of the week because of the soul sapping jobs. They start losing themselves and feel empty. I’m speaking from experience because I’ve been in this place.
While amusement isn’t the solution to the problem, but it can clear your head and replenish your positivity. Sometimes that’s all we need to put a smile on our face.
And if you’re asking yourself whether amusement is a good or bad thing, the answer is that a healthy amount of amusement is very good for you. It lets you to look at life through a simplified lens and make your mind easier to digest daily situations.
Amusing yourself can be more than watching YouTube videos or playing video games. Amusing yourself can be:
… and many more. It’s up to you what you find amusing. The only thing that I want to underline is that you don’t need any money or anything big to amuse yourself. Try to find joy in small and simple things.
Not recognizing yourself can be also a result of neglecting your self needs. We all need to cool down our life tempo and just enjoy the present moment. You need to love yourself.
Self-care can completely eliminate or reduce depression, anxiety, stress, and make you a happier person.
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. - Thomas Merton
Eight areas of wellness are emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, spiritual and social.
You must decide which one suits you best. Unfortunately, you can’t occupy all of them at once. Try to prioritize what are your current needs and what would make you feel better.
However, I’d highly consider combining a few areas and do activities such:
Self-care will lead you to balance better your work and wellness life areas. You must take care of yourself and not to neglect yourself.
A healthy body transfers to a healthy mind as everyone likes to say. Such statement has been proved numerous times and it’s not exception in a study that has been done in the US.
Health is the center of your life. Without health you couldn’t function properly. It can be also a case that you neglected your health for a long time and your mental wellness has declined.
A healthy lifestyle results to a better emotional balance, improved mental clarity, healthier skin, decreases risk of cardiovascular diseases, makes you feel more energetic, and a lot more.
Therefore, check for signs whether you’ve been neglecting your health. It should be fairly easy to recognize the patterns of your eating habits and exercising.
To stop losing yourself you need to be more conscious about eating habits and your physical activity. Start slowly, for example, cut out sugary drinks (including juice) first. Then, implement more vegetables, fruits, and fiber into your life. Eat less processed foods and practice walking at least 20 minutes a day.
Doing small changes every week will change your life dramatically. It won’t take long for you to notice the power of healthy lifestyle.
If you feel in a desperate situation, consider looking for help. An experienced psychiatrist might be a solution to your feeling lost perception. He or she could declare your illness (if you have one) and find solutions to your problem faster and more efficiently.
Having a mentor in life always result in quicker results. That’s because all or majority of obstacles will be defeated by the help of your therapist. You’ll have to only follow the path that he leads you to.
Seeking for help is a sign of strength and acknowledging your problem.
Losing yourself can be a sign of dissociating yourself. This can be result of a lot of variables in your life. The faster you recognize the problem and find why it happened, the quicker you’ll overcome this obstacle.
Take your time to analyze yourself. Sometimes you need to ease your mind and make it a clearer place.
Remember that your mind is like a temple. The way you treat it reflects your whole life.