How to Get Back on Track When You Feel Lost, Powerless or Unsure
Life’s challenges can make us feel lost, powerless, or unsure of what to do next.
Perhaps it’s the challenge of losing your job, being criticized by your boss in public, or having to report to someone who used to be a peer.
Or living in an environment of change and uncertainty where you feel powerless to change your circumstances. Or feel you have no say in what happens next.
Yet, we all have personal power, but most of us go through life unaware of just how powerful we are and can be.
3 Sources of Personal Power
When you feel lost, powerless, or unsure of what to do next, there are 3 sources of personal power that you can tap into to help you get back on track.
- Purpose – your bigger picture “why”
- Passion – what gets you fired up
- Instinct – trusting your gut and trusting yourself
Let’s explore each of these.
Purpose – your bigger picture “why”
Your purpose includes your aspirations, your values and the things you care deeply about. Your purpose is your “why”. You can think of it as your mission. The “true north” you can look to when you need to re-orient yourself.
When things feel unsettled or unclear in your career or work, it helps to frame what you’re doing in terms of a higher purpose. Having a deep sense of purpose will give you the staying power to keep going when things get tough and find your focus again. To overcome your fear, speak up and take action. To be motivated and do your work joyfully.
Your work can connect to a higher purpose even if it’s not immediately obvious. Like the story of the janitor at Cape Canaveral who proudly told President John F. Kennedy that his job was “to help put a man on the moon”.
Tapping into your purpose also attracts others to join you. We all want to have meaning in our lives. So when you align the initiatives you take on with your purpose, others are more likely to want to work with you too so they can do meaningful work alongside you.
When you tap into your higher purpose you become pretty much unstoppable.
What is your powerful purpose and how does it align with your career and life?
Passion – what gets you fired up
Passion is about what’s in your heart and what fuels your soul. What gets you fired up. The things you truly believe in and even get emotional about.
The key is to discover what you are passionate about and find a part of your work that taps into those passions. And ideally, spend the majority of your time working in those areas.
For example, I’m passionate about serving my clients. Seeing them engage, have “aha” moments, take action and make progress lights me up. Helping them improve their careers and lives gives me energy. I’m still buzzing even when I’ve been “on duty” for hours.
What are you passionate about and how could you tap into that source of personal power in your career and life?
Instinct – trusting your gut and trusting yourself
Your instinct is your sixth sense. It’s the part of you that’s always looking out for your best interests. It encapsulates all the wisdom and experiences you’ve accumulated over the years.
And most of the time, your instincts are better equipped to lead you in the right direction than your conscious intellectual brain. No wonder people say, “trust your gut”!
But sometimes it’s hard to stay in touch with your instincts much less trust them. It’s especially true when the quiet wisdom of your instincts has to compete with the daily avalanche of information, advice and distractions just to attract your attention.
So when you’re feeling uncertain and overwhelmed about your next steps, start by taking a moment to be still and listen for your gut instinct.
When you trust your instincts, you free yourself to make better choices. And you’ll be able to make those decisions with greater confidence and less stress.
How are you embracing your gut instincts to help you act more powerfully in your life and career?
How Will You Use Your Personal Power?
So remember, you’ve always been powerful.
If you’ve lost your sense of purpose, take a few quiet moments to get back in touch with your aspirations and what gives your life meaning.
If you’re unsure of what you’re passionate about, reflect back on what makes you really angry and truly joyful – there are clues in emotion.
And if you're struggling with a decision and unsure about what to do next, take a moment to be still and listen to what your gut instinct is telling you.
Your purpose, passion and instincts are yours to have and hold. Make sure you nurture and protect these power sources and they will serve you well.
Which source of personal power do you need to tap into?
Leave me a comment and let me know.
I needed this very post at this very moment! My passion is helping others find their authentic voice. Your words helped me refocus on what’s most important right now. Thank you!
Wonderful, Jill! What a wonderful passion to have – and may you stay focused on what’s important.
Great insights to tap into your inner strengths, to live your purpose!
Thank you for your comments, Fathima! Tapping into our strengths and living our purpose is the way to go.
My goal of 2020 is to listen to what other people want, their desires!!!
Awesome, Kathy – listening is so powerful.
Hi Mary, what a timely post when I starts to feel stale or stuck! I think my passion and purpose overlaps. How should I distinguish the two?
Hi Janet – yes, they can overlap and tie into to each other. The way I think of it is:
Purpose tends to be associated with a longer term aspiration that’s like a beacon or
lighthouse to keep you headed in the right direction, and it’s more intellectual and “head” based.
Passion tends to be associated with how you feel and it’s emotional, like a fire burning inside you that you feel right here, right now. It’s more “heart” based.
And for completeness, Instinct is more “gut” based.
Hope that helps.
Thank-you for this post. I almost didn’t read it because I am so distracted right now since I am moving. But you reminded me that I can always still my mind even in the midst of chaos and refocus on my purpose.
I’m so glad you read the post and that it helped you. May you stay on purpose, and best wishes for your move!