If you have ever felt like a square peg being shoved into a round hole, then you know what feeling out of place is. You experience an overall lack of alignment—the feeling that you are actively wasting time, energy, and resources can be almost paralyzing.
I know this because I’ve experienced it first-hand—the anxiety, self-doubt, and worry that takes over, the way your mind can be suddenly flooded with negative thoughts and the curiosities about what could have been if you had made other choices.
Recognizing that you feel out of place can be scary, but like everything in life, it doesn’t have to be permanent.
Here are 5 steps you can take when you are feeling out of place.
1. Acknowledge That Your Feelings Are Trying to Communicate Something IMPORTANT to You
As a Spiritual Advisor, I’ve spent a lot of time studying the different ways that humans receive messages. Some people can pick up on the subtle and quiet messages whispered to them by the universe, while others have to be virtually bopped over the head with the information.
In the latter circumstance, the Universe will make sure the message is amplified until it cannot be ignored. You may feel conflicted about what your feeling.
You may have a stable job that you are good at but still feel off track and unsatisfied. You feel lost but it’s difficult for you to acknowledge that you are unhappy at your work and perhaps, you need to explore other options to feel fulfilled.
You are in a relationship that is unhealthy or toxic. But you are more afraid of being alone and having to put yourself out there, so admitting that you need to separate from that person is too difficult.
These realizations may be difficult and can take time. Release any embarrassment or shame you have around your confusion or fear. Humans are creatures of comfort.
It is not abnormal to experience some internal resistance when you realize that what your spirit wants and what is comfortable at the moment are out of alignment.
Recognizing that you feel off track is an important first step to getting back on track. It requires bravery and honesty to acknowledge that you may feel lost or confused. Give yourself credit for taking this incredibly important first step.
2. Take Time to Meditate on When You Started to Feel Out of Place or Off Track
Everything has a root, a cause, a starting point. If you are going to be able to move forward, it’s important to know where you are moving forward from.
Journaling is an incredibly helpful tool when used strategically. I’m not referring to the common and cathartic freewriting you usually associate with journaling, but instead, “prompt journaling.”
Prompt Journaling allows you to direct your attention very efficiently as you explore some questions.
Here are some prompts to get you started:
I feel safe when…
The last time I felt confident was…
I want to feel…
I am worthy of…
I noticed a change in myself when…
The activities that make me feel good are…
I feel joyful when…
I feel full of life when…
Write a letter to yourself a year from now.
Write a letter to yourself 2 years ago.
Studies have shown that journaling can help manage anxiety and reduce stress because it gives you a healthy way to express yourself when faced with overwhelming emotions.
The act of physically writing helps you to get clarity by giving you space to prioritize your fears or concerns and providing an opportunity for positive self-talk as well as a judgment-free zone to recognize negative thoughts and behaviors.
3. Check in With Your Support System
Support systems are essential in helping you identify how, when, and why you got off track in the first place. Sometimes, it can be helpful to have an objective and external source to help you process some of the things you are discovering and realizing about yourself. It can be a lot.
Consider talking to your trusted friends and close family or people who you feel safe talking to and know will be objective yet honest with you.
The goal is to enlist the help of someone who can help you acknowledge the things that you may be avoiding. In some cases, it is best to do this with a trusted professional, such as a therapist.
In other cases, what you need is someone to help you organize your thoughts and create an action plan. In that case, you might enlist the help of a reputable coach or experienced mentor.
Having a support system that will hold you accountable and create space for you to go through the process is critical to you getting back on track. This will greatly reduce the negativity of feeling out of place.
4. Be Grateful
Gratitude is a balm for the soul. It can be the thing that gives us respite from the troubles of the mind and worries of the heart.
When we practice gratitude, the alchemy that happens in the brain is incredible. Studies show that spending time focusing on the things that one is grateful for can lead to increased optimism, feeling better about one’s life, organic desire to exercise, and reduced doctor’s visits.
Let me be clear. Gratitude is not about ignoring what is bothering you or sweeping things under the rug. Instead, gratitude asks you to become innately aware of the world around you and your current experience so that you can identify anything—no matter how small—that you feel grateful for.
It can be as simple as a sunny day, a delicious tangerine, water, or waking up. The thing you express gratitude for doesn’t need to be magnanimous. It can be simple, small, and unique to your experience. The goal is for you to reorient your thinking so that you can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
5. Visualize Where You Want to Be
Once you have taken time to acknowledge how you feel, get curious about when it started, check in with your support system, and be grateful, the only thing left to do is to start to visualize where you want to be.
There is no point in doing all this work if you don’t know where you want to go from here. Get bold, dream big. Think (or journal) about where you want to be in a 1 month, 6 months, a year.
Draw how you want your life to look. Create a vision board. There are a lot of different ways you can give your vision life.
The reason we want to externalize these ideas is to give us something to easily refer back to when we get overwhelmed. At the moment, it is easy to forget what we are doing and why we are doing it. When you have access to an external representation of your goal. it is easier to have it anchor you when things get rough.
When you have a clear vision, it is easier to create a plan of action. Ultimately, that plan of action will help you take the action necessary to help you get back on track.
There is no shortcut to getting back on track when you feel out of place in life. You have to take a hard look at yourself and get really curious about what lead to these feelings.
You have to want to shift your focus and truly desire to reconnect with yourself. There must be a willingness to do the work. You have to believe that YOU DESERVE peace, happiness, satisfaction, joy—otherwise, visioning the life you want will be impossible.
Feeling off track is not the end of the world. In fact, it is more of a right-of-passage. Remember that it is not permanent, and the process can be sped up if you are proactive. You can do this!
When I have questions or fears, I will turn to You. When I am weak, I will seek your strength. When I am discouraged, Father, I will be mindful of Your love and Your grace. I will ask You for the things I need, Father, and I will trust Your answers, today and forever. ~Amen 🙂
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
SOME OF LIFE’S greatest roadblocks re not the ones we see through the windshield: they are, instead, the roadblocks that seem to fill the rear-view mirror. Because we are imperfect human beings who lack perfect control over our thoughts, we may allow ourselves to become “stuck” in the past–even though we know better. Instead of focusing our thoughts and energies on the opportunities of today, we may allow painful memories to fill our minds and sap our strength. We simply can’t seem to let go of our pain, so we relive it again and again with predictably unfortunate consequences. Thankfully, God has other plans.
Philippians 3:13-14 instructs us to focus on the future, not the past: “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (NKJV). Yet for many of us, focusing on the future is difficult indeed. Why? Part of the problem has to do with forgiveness. When we find ourselves focusing too intently on the past, it’s a sure sign that we need to focus, instead, on a more urgent need: the need to forgive. Focusing too intently on the past is, almost without exception, futile. No amount of anger or bitterness can change what happened yesterday. Tears can’t change the past: regrets can’t change it. Our worries won’t change the past, and neither will our complaints. Simply put, the past is, and always will be, the past. FOREVER.
Can you summon both the courage and the wisdom to accept your past and move on with your life? Can you accept the reality that yesterday–and all the yesterdays before it–are gone? And can you entrust all those yesterdays to Our Creator? Hopefully you can.
Once you have made peace with your past, you are free to become fully engaged in the present. And when you become fully engage in the present, you are then free to build a better life nd future for yourself and your loved ones.
If you’ve endured a difficult past, learn from it, don’t live in it. Instead, build your future on a firm foundation of trust and forgiveness: Trust in your Heavenly Father and in forgiveness for all His children, including yourself. Give all your yesterdays to God, and celebrate this day with hope in your heart and praise on your lips. Your Creator intends to use you in wonderful, unexpected ways if you let Him. But firest, God wants you to make peace with your past.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” –Psalm 51:10 NIV
“Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to the things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” –Isaiah 43:18 HCSB
“I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 3:13-14 NIV
“And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” –Revelation 21:54 NASB
“Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life–even though invisible to spectators–is with Christ in God. He is your life.” Colossians 3:3 MSG
Ten miles from town And I just broke down Spitting out smoke on the side of the road I’m out here alone Just trying to get home To tell you I was wrong, but you already know Believe me, I won’t stop at nothing to see you So I’ve started runningAll that I’m after is a life full of laughter As long as I’m laughing with you And I think that all that still matters is love ever after After the life we’ve been through ‘Cause I know there’s no life after youLast time we talked The night that I walked Burns like an iron in the back Of my mind I must have been high To say you and I weren’t meant to be And just wasting my time Oh why did I ever doubt you You know I would die here without youAll that I’m after is a life full of laughter As long as I’m laughing with you And I think that all that still matters is love ever after After the life we’ve been through ‘Cause I know there’s no life after youYou and I, right or wrong There’s no other one After this time spent alone It’s hard to believe That a man with sight could be so blind Thinking about the better times Must’ve been out of my mind So I’m running back to tell youAll that I’m after is a life full of laughter Without you God knows what I’d do All that I’m after is a life full of laughter As long as I’m laughing with youAnd I think that all that still matters is love ever after After the life we’ve been through I know there’s no life after you No there’s no life after you No there’s no life after you No there’s no life after you No there’s no life after you No there’s no life after you No there’s no life after you ya
There she goes There she goes again Racing through my brain And I just can’t contain This feeling that remainsThere she goes There she goes again Pulsing through my veins And I just can’t contain This feeling that remainsThere she goes (There she goes again) There she goes again (There she goes again) Racing through my brain (There she goes) And I just can’t contain This feeling that remainsThere she goes There she goes again She calls my name Pulls my train No one else could heal my pain And I just can’t contain This feeling that remainsThere she goes (She calls my name) There she goes again (She calls my name) Chasing down my lane (She calls my name) And I just can’t contain This feeling that remainsThere she goes (There she goes again) There she goes (There she goes again) There she goes
Be Happy – No matter what, no matter where or when, choose to be happy. Take everything with humor in your heart, regardless of what it is.
Don’t Overthink Things – Sit down, think about a possible solution, and if you cannot come up with one in 10 minutes, then just act on the first best thing! Acting beats thinking nine out of ten times!
Act with your Mouth Shut – Instead of saying you’re sorry, exclaiming your resolutions to the heavens and proclaiming everything you want to do, just do it. Don’t tell the world what you will do, show it!
Give it Your All, Always – There is nothing you gain by living small. Either you give it 100% or you might as well not do it and change. Respect your time enough to give every moment everything you have.
Be Honest, especially with yourself – Lying serves no purpose other than getting you into a life of another person. Being honest sucks at times, sure, but it will always lead to a better life.
Choose your Path – This is your life and at the end it’s you who has to come to terms with how you lived. Don’t like what someone else is selling? Then don’t buy into it!
Show Massive Responsibility – You said you wanted to do something? Then do it! Words are meaningless unless they are followed by action. It’s your life, which makes it your responsibility. No one else liable for the way you live your life but you.
Be You – If you do not know what means, figure it out.
Drop the B.S. – You know what you are and are not doing. You know when you are lying to yourself, kidding yourself and not doing what you set out to do. Cut out all the crap and focus on what matters.
Never surrender on what truly matters to you – Whenever you do find something worth fighting for, fight for it with all you’ve got! Yes, you will fall. Yes, you will fail. Stand back up. The fight is only over when you stay on the ground.
Never stop improving – When you stop improving yourself you will fall below your potential and receive a life less than what you are capable of having. Work your hardest. Always.
Enjoy – You have one life, one chance, and one opportunity to make this life worth something, so make it count. Love your life, learn to enjoy yourself, laugh heartily, and, most importantly, make the mark you want to make on the world. Whether or not you lived a life worth living at the end is up to you.
There are many days, that she is on my mind. I took a moment to pen draw her face, the way I can remember. The smile on her face in her eyes, the feeling of love and compassion. Always caring, always giving. This person has made an impression on me that will never go away. This face, it forever etched on my heart, a heart that aches, that is sad, that is broken, that has turned to ashes. Waiting for my Creator to bring healing. The self doubt, the self anger, the frustration of making a bad choice. The consequences of that choice. It brings me to a place of questioning all that is done, in my mind and in my actions. To say that she is missed, dearly, well, that is an understatement.
It is my hope and prayer that God continues to bring healing and restoration. The statement is true, Forever etched on my heart. You have imprinted on me. 🙂
In Search of Tranquility
In search of tranquility More than silence More than peace Soul and senses Be still and calm Storms and waves Be still Be calm One focus But be seen in anywhere Everywhere, anywhere, no where Still one focus In YOU Flower blossoms and withers Summer breeze and winter chill Golden leaves Green mountain Ever-changing Stability and balance Tranquility in mobility In search of YOU Tranquility in YOU