Imagine spending long hours, working hard, creating, sharing, giving, making.
And then, at the end, feeling all empty, drained, like what you did, was not meaningful or special.
Like you’re just going through the motions.
Drifting in life isn’t all about whether you’re doing something or not.
It’s about purpose, direction, meaning, and growth.
What other 7 signs are there, that tell you you’re drifting through life?
When you’re not doing what you want to do
Or, you’ve been putting off something important that you want to do, for the longest time.
Knowing what you need to do, but not doing it, only sinks you deeper into a life of no meaning, of no fulfillment, and eventually, resentment and giving up. If you know what you want, why not do it?
Because either we know what we want, but we’re afraid.
Or we don’t know what we want, because we’ve lost touch.
All the while, we have given up control of ourselves, and our future, to forces that we can’t control, rather than taking and asserting our impact and power over our own destiny.
The “want” that I’m talking about here isn’t about the simple, pleasure and feel-good “wants” that we have on a moment to moment basis, but about the deeper “want” that we all have deep inside.
About what we want to do with our life, and what would we be want to be doing, rather than where we’re stuck right now.
Where you are stuck, right now.
When you can’t say what’s on your mind and your heart
When you’ve lost your voice.
And you can’t express what’s really important, especially if it’s to people you consider important in your life.
If it’s important for your present, and your future.
I’ve realized that the language we use doesn’t only influence us, but are direct reflections of the deep inner workings and beliefs that we have.
And if we begin, or find, ourselves using language that reflects our powerlessness, our inability to express, and consequently, to control and create, then we may be drifting in our lives.
Especially, if the situation you’re in involves someone else doing the talking, hence, somebody else might be doing the choosing for you.
And nobody fights for what’s important and dear to you, like you do.
When you’re annoyed and irritated at everything
Because anger, frustration, disappointment, and guilt, need an outlet.
And being annoyed and irritated at everything, no matter how small, or inconsequential to you, is one way of doing that.
I lash out at others, because I can’t find it in myself to be kind to them.
Because I find myself doing that to myself, giving the negative self-talk to myself.
And the negativity, finding its way into my other relationships, pushes these other relationships away.
And when this happens, what’s drifting away here, might not necessarily be our whole life, or purpose right away, but our self-concept.
Being excessively hard on ourselves, and consequently, the same for others, is a reflection of how we perceive our reality, and that we expect others to meet our unrealistic standards.
“If I’m not feeling good and happy, then surely, you mustn’t, because there’s something clearly wrong!”
Says the gremlin inside of me. The dark shadow. The side of me that won’t be kind and forgiving to myself.
The shadow that will eventually alienate me from what is good, the blessings in my life, and push me to drift farther from my deep wants and purpose.
When you’re always dreaming of doing something else
This is a golden clue to what you should be doing. Maybe it’s a clue, a sign, or even the outright action and career itself.
Take the blessing and the sign that comes from deep within, and use it. Listen to what it’s trying to tell you.
One sure sign that you’re drifting in your life, is if you dream to do something else that what you’re doing right now.
Because your body, your subconscious, your desires, are telling you: “DO THIS!”
It’s calling out to you.
If dreaming about doing something else is a constant, the danger there is that it can either remain a dream, or you can find ways to escape from the pain of not having realized that dream.
Either way, leads to frustration, and disappointment.
Dreams are a way of our body and hearts, telling us, what we’re being called to do, and what feels right for us.
Listen to your inner voice, while it still sings.
Because if you don’t listen to it for some time, it will stay quiet, becoming harder and harder to uncover and reconnect with who you truly are, and what truly fills you with life.
When you’re burnt out
It’s important to recognize the signs of being burnt-out, because this means we have not taken care of ourselves enough.
We have not nourished our souls and spirits enough.
It’s one part to be burnt-out physically, but fulfilled emotionally and spiritually.
But more often than not, the burn out happens on an emotional and spiritual level, where we’re uninspired, we don’t see meaning and direction, and we’re not deeply happy and satisfied.
When we allow ourselves to be burnt out, and take note, the operative word there is allow – there are two things that are happening – we are not making it a priority to take care of ourselves, and the activities that we are doing, though they may be work, and a livelihood, are not refilling us with positive energy, and somehow, take care of our deep needs and wants.
When you can’t tell what your priorities are
And if you can’t identify what your priorities are, how much more can you fight for them when the situation calls for?
And identifying, and living our priorities, happens on two levels:
First, there is the level of knowledge, and identification. Many people have an inkling of this, but have not yet fully committed to their identified values. Top values people cite as important, and their priorities, are usually along the lines of family, career, love, self, passion, and mission.
Second, and this is where the issues are highlighted, is the level of actualizing and living out the values. Our problem lies with the disconnect between what we want to be living, and what we are actually living.
In that way, even if you know what your priorities are, with the way you’re living them, you can’t even tell yourself, and other people, what your supposed priorities are, versus what your real priorities are.
Example: do your identified priorities, match up what’s on your calendar, and where you’re spending your money, energy, and resources?
When you tell yourself that it’s no longer worth it
I once thought of ending it all, because of the hopelessness and despair I experienced, drifting through life, struggling, but getting nowhere.
What made me tell myself that I, my life, was no longer worth it?
When I felt that whatever I did had no meaning, no purpose, and that I was helpless to control the outcomes and results of my life.
That’s drifting, coupled with a helplessness that’s learned from all the times of not taking care of one’s self, and not nurturing one’s purpose, mission, and values.
Because I had not taken care of myself, of my passions, goals, and dreams, everything seemed meaningless. At the end, it is our deepest desires, wants, and energies, that push us to move forward, grow, and give our life meaning.
At this point, get help. Nobody is beyond help, and everyone certainly can be helped. The journey to get your life moving again, and get out of just drifting through life, is a journey of discovering who you really are, and accepting that.
Find what’s worth it, in every moment of your life.
How else would you know you’re drifting through life? Share your experiences in the comments below!