From Brazil: Hello there, I would like to introduce myself. I am a 24 years old girl and I’ve been trying to find ways to become a better person and to feel better about myself. Sometimes I feel like I don’t really know who I am or what I want to be. And that scares me a little bit.
Most of the time I try to fill my mind with work and with ideas for things that I can do to help other people. I try to stay positive and not to think so much about what I should be doing or what kind of person I want to be, because I fear that if I think too much about that, I’m going to end up not getting anything done. But then I get confused, should I be spending more time trying not to be so confused? Or doing that would just confuse me even more?
Sometimes I just don’t know. I just want to be happy. I think I have a good life, good friends and a family and a boyfriend that love me the way I am. I don’t really know what is missing, or why I feel like something is missing. I try not to think that I am the problem, so I don’t get sad. Most of the time I try to be positive about things. But what if I am the real problem? What if everything around me is fine and I am the one worrying too much and causing all my loved ones to worry too much about me, when there’s no real problem to worry about.
I don’t know what to do or what to think anymore. I think I need some help, I just don’t know where to find that anymore.
You may not realize it, but you have posed some big existential philosophical questions! According to the existentialists, we are all responsible for finding the meaning of life and living it fully. You are exploring those big issues and not settling for easy answers. It’s also possible that you have some anxiety that makes finding answers more difficult.
Setting goals is not likely the problem. Expecting yourself to meet them right away may be. I hope you can embrace the good things that are already happening in your life. That’s the first step. Then I encourage you to identify small steps that will help you be the person you want to be and to do one step a day. Remember — I said “small” steps. That may mean doing small random acts of kindness or working step by step to achieve some goal. Stop thinking so much about it and start doing in a regular, small way. Small steps add up over time.
If anxiety and confusion continue to get in your way, I do suggest you see a therapist for a few sessions. A therapist can give you support as you struggle with your big and worthwhile questions and perhaps help you gain some new perspectives.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker
Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
APA Reference Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I’m Lost. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 26, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/10/28/im-lost-2/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.