There are times in each of our lives where we pause and start to wonder whether we are on the right path in our careers and in our lives. Maybe you haven’t been feeling like yourself in the past few weeks. Maybe you just wake up in the mornings and dread getting out of bed to go to work. You live for the weekend, so you’re super-excited and happy on Fridays, but then you start to slump back down once Sunday hits.

If you’ve been going through this lately, here are 3 key lessons to help you understand whether you are on the right path, and what to do if you’re feeling lost instead.

Lesson #1: The thing you’re currently unhappy about the most is your biggest teacher

When you’re feeling unhappy and lost, people who are close to you would usually approach you and ask what’s bothering you. When you answer to them honestly, you would realize what’s the biggest thorn on your side. Maybe it’s not your job per se that’s really bothering you. Maybe it’s the people you’re working with. Maybe it has nothing to do with your career at all and it’s something else. Maybe you don’t yet have the relationship that you desire, or you’re not in the financial position that you would ideally love to have.

Regardless of what it is, the thing that’s bothering you the most is your biggest teacher.

When something is bothering us so much to the point that we end up taking it with us to bed and falling asleep with that anxiety, and then we wake up in the morning still having that feeling, there’s a reason to all of this. There’s a reason why we are unhappy.

Maybe the job that you’re in is just no longer serving you. Maybe you’re stuck at a toxic workplace and are trying to figure out how to deal with office politics. Whatever it is, there’s something that’s pointing you in the direction that you need to go, away from them and towards where your heart desires.

So in order to figure out what your lesson out of your whole experience is, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions, as follows.

What is it that bothers me the most right now? Is it your job, your finances, your relationships, or something else? You want to be very clear on this and write it down, and then we can move on to the next lesson.

Lesson #2: Asking ‘why’ will always be worth it

The real self-development and personal growth happens within you when you’re willing to dig deep and ask yourself, ‘Why’. So after you’ve listed what’s bothering you, you now need to ask yourself, ‘Why do I feel this way?’

Name all the things that are causing you to feel the way that you feel. Maybe one brutal truth could be that you’re just simply not good at the job that you’re in. Or maybe you are good at your job but you’ve been having dreams and desires to do something completely different — something that’s even more challenging.

Regardless of what these reasons are, you want to write them all down, and then ask ‘Why’ again. For example, if one of your reasons is that you’re just no longer feeling challenged in your job, you can’t stop there. You have to dig even deeper to find out the reason you’re feeling that way.

Asking yourself ‘Why’ will help you get to the root cause of your feelings, and understanding that will allow you to get clarity on what you need to do instead.

Lesson #3: Clear your energy so that you can make room for new things to come

Once you are able to get clear on what’s bothering you and the cause of it, you are now ready to let it go. Now you are ready to clear yourself of that energy that’s been holding you down, so that you can make room for something new.

Think of it as you wanting to redecorate your house. You want to redesign it and fill it up with new furniture. You cannot really redesign or redecorate if you don’t de-clutter the house first. You need to tidy up and get rid of the old things first, and ask yourself, ‘Why am I still holding on to this?’ ‘Do I really still want this?’ And if you don’t, it’s time to get rid of it.

Getting rid of your old energies will allow you to create something better within yourself. The negative thought patterns and behaviors that we hold on to take up precious space in our body and mind. It’s the same like holding on to expired food, and instead of throwing it away, still eating it. We often don’t realize that we’re hurting ourselves by doing that.

This process is not going to happen in a single day. It’s going to take time to release old behaviors and energy. But once you start to do that, you need to also ground yourself. You want to involve yourself in activities that are going to be more grounding for you, helping you to get more connected and centered within yourself. Activities like this include yoga, meditation, walks in nature, spending time journaling and being with yourself. Spending time with others is great, but not if they’re sucking your energy.

The truth is we need to learn how to take care of ourselves. Self-care is extremely important. Self-care means getting to learn more about who we are, why we’re feeling what we’re feeling, and clearing out those patterns and behaviors that just don’t serve us.

Originally published at on November 27, 2019.