Sometimes Getting Lost is the Best Way to Find Yourself

Getting lost feels scary, but sometimes taking a break and allowing yourself to wander is exactly what you need to find yourself.
Sometimes Getting Lost is the Best Way to Find Yourself
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Sometimes we feel the need to free ourselves from certain attachments and worries. We long to think clearly, to distance ourselves and to recover ourselves. In this context, it often seems that getting lost is the best way to find yourself.

But this doesn’t have to be synonymous with moving away from one’s own life course. In fact, it’s precisely a matter of finding ourselves again, after having neglected or abandoning it.

Thus, allowing oneself a short break from time to time is a way of giving the brain a vacation. To achieve this, the basic premise is to take a step beyond everything that surrounds you. This opens up the opportunity to exploring new perspectives, accessing other stimulating scenarios in which to discover more of yourself, and taking up again what had been forgotten. So, do you dare to get lost?

Getting lost: The best way to find yourself?

Far from being a perfect straight line, it’s common for the life cycle to take a few detours before reaching a concrete and profitable goal. That is, people tend to take paths, crossroads, detours, and even less adequate routes.

Sometimes we even go through a real labyrinth until, step by step, we begin to see the way to reach balance and satisfaction. Therefore, it seems natural that we move away from our origins several times in order to be able to find them again.

This whole journey is a valuable learning process. And although the changes generate fear, they also open new doors to find more harmony and inner peace.

When your current situation takes you from your identity

It’s as if they were being eroded little by little. Just like those rocks on a beach shaped by the onslaught of the ocean and whose original form ends up being impossible to recognize. Well, the same thing sometimes happens with self-esteem and personal goals:

  • Your work, family, and relationship areas can sometimes create certain types of blackmail, pressure and direct or indirect manipulation, until slowly, you stray from your identity.
  • Recognizing this internal dissonance, between who you once were and who you are now, is definitely one way of opening your eyes and taking action in these situations.

However, the key lies in keeping our eyes focused on what motivates and excites us, without neglecting our daily commitments. On the one hand, it is unfeasible to do everything we want to do at all times. However, it is not necessary to forget our own aspirations or those other stimuli that also define us.

Also read: The Golden Age: Finding Inner Balance and Peace

Rainy day in the city

Getting lost to “unplug” and reflect

People that suffer from long-term stress, suffer from heightened states of anxiety. They end up losing their grip on life, and fall into the hands of external pressure without knowing how to handle them the right way.

However, the consequences of these prolonged periods are not long in coming. In fact, one of the frequent consequences are alterations or gaps in memory, which are related to the high levels of cortisol (a hormone produced by the adrenal gland) that accompany emotional distress.

For example, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin (United States) finds evidence in this direction, which warns of the effects that stress can have on certain brain structures.

However, before we get to that point, it might be healthier to try to act in advance ourselves. Thus, to the extent that we perceive that well-being is slipping away from us, it’ll be easier for us to initiate some strategies to improve the situation. One of them is just to unplug, but with an appropriate method.

Don’t forget to check out: The 5 Best Memory Exercises

How to disconnect in a healthy way

It’s not about buying a plane ticket and going to the first destination that appears on the horizon. Nor is it about closing the door and cutting off all communication with others.

A woman sitting on a rock, looking out at the mountains.
  • Getting lost to find yourself requires the appropriate preparation. This means having a plan to return home and making more than one decision.
  • Rather than fleeing, it’s about taking some time to heal. It’s making yourself a priority and taking the opportunity to have a specific time to be with that self that you’ve neglected, put aside, and even forgotten.
  • People that want to “get lost” need to be clear with others regarding what they’re doing and what they need. “I want to spend a weekend alone, to relax, to think and to make decisions.”

You lose yourself to grow stronger, to take your life by the reigns, to be more steady and secure.

The courage to lose oneself and the pleasure of finding oneself

Beyond the fears you feel about distancing yourself, it’s possible to think about what you’ll gain by stopping for a moment with pauses like this.

If you dare to do it, the reward of finding yourself again and taking on new perspectives may be just around the corner. Undoubtedly, sometimes getting lost is the best way to find yourself.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.