From Andrea: All of my friends seem to know exactly what they are doing with their lives. What advice do you have for someone who is having a hard time finding direction in life?
In this world of social connectivity, it’s incredibly easy to check out people’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram photos and think, “Wow, everyone else has it together; what’s wrong with me?”
The truth is, nothing is wrong with you, and no one is posting photos of herself drowning her lost and confused sorrows in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. The majority of us, me included, post photos that are flattering. It appears we are constantly traveling to exotic beaches with friends, skiing powder, flying private, rescuing strays in Sochi, or eating fresh caviar at NOBU. It’s kind of like Survivor, in that you are getting an edited one-hour version of three days of life. You’re getting the highlight reel of your friends’ lives, and, baby, they are making it look goooood.
So here’s my advice to you, my darling girl:
1. Stop Comparing yourself to other people. Nobody’s perfect. We all have flaws, and most of us will go out of our way to hide these flaws for fear of being judged or vulnerable. Take this one step further and go on a social media strike. Swear off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and anything else that keeps you hooked on checking out other people’s business.
2. Sit still. When we’re lost, the tendency is to run around in circles, freaking out about how lost we are. Cool it, kid. My favorite quote from the Tao Te Ching states, “Do that which consists in taking no action, and order will prevail.”
I love this quote, because it takes all the pressure off. Simply give yourself some time to chill at your favorite bookstore or coffee shop and contemplate who you want to become. What type of person do you admire the most? What do you love most about yourself? Relax and allow the answers to come. The clearer you get about who you are and what you love, the easier it is to reach out for support. When you know where you want to go, getting directions is simple.
Here is a quick video tutorial of a calming yogic breath technique to help you slow your thoughts so that you can relax your mind and sit quietly.
3. Phone a friend. After you’ve given yourself a week free from the shackles of social media and have spent quality time ruminating about your favorite aspects of life and yourself, call upon someone you love for some real-talk. Tell this person exactly what you are thinking about doing and what you want in life. Get his or her insight and ask them for contacts and connections that could help you on your newly designated path. As our dear Dr. Martin Luther King says, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”
Aaaand, just like that, you’re back on track.
Good luck and let me know how it all goes!