Beating the ‘What am I doing with my life?’ Syndrome

March 9, 2009 Updated: August 14, 2012
When we start waking up midweek and question our life's purpose, maybe it is time to look back to our childhood dreams for some answers. (
When we start waking up midweek and question our life's purpose, maybe it is time to look back to our childhood dreams for some answers. (

Have you ever woken up midweek and thought, “What am I doing with my life?”

We all have. We headed down the wrong path somewhere along the way. We’re not sure how we did it, but it probably had something to do with safety, fear, disappointment, or merely just not paying attention.

It happens in our work, relationships, social life, and health, but wherever it occurred, you’re here now, and it’s blasé, frustrating, and just plain unsatisfying.

Now what? How do you get back on the right path?  

Life can be confusing, but there are some little-known secrets to getting the answers you need to move your life forward and have more fun.

Get out some fancy paper or a journal and take some time to ponder and explore the questions below. Have fun with this exercise.

1. What dreams did you have as a child?

Write these down. Maybe you don’t want to be a rock star anymore (or maybe you do), but remembering what you wanted as a child will stir up memories of feeling desire, dreaming, and wanting.

Just re-experiencing those feelings can be inspiring and motivating. They can remind you that you were meant for so much more!

2. Find a way to be that kid again.

Well, maybe jumping in and out of a phone booth shouting WONDER WOMAN! (that was my dream) would draw more awkward attention to you than you’re comfortable with, but exploring some derivative of your childhood dreams may help lead you back to a core part of who you are. If you wanted to be a rock star, perhaps you should get playful and try karaoke. If you wanted to be a writer, maybe you should indulge in one of your favorite childhood novels or attend a poetry reading. Wanted to be a dancer? Go take a dance class.

3. What did you love doing five years ago that you don’t do anymore?

Playing with your friends? Running in the park? Creating art? Going on dates with your spouse?

What are you missing? Why did you stop? Is it possible to get it back? Can you plan a time to do this again today or in the next week?

4. What are you scared of?

This is a more important question than it may sound. It could clue you into where you got off track, and will alert you to the type of thing that distracts you when you begin walking in the direction you want to be going.

Think about it.  

Write it down.  

Find someone to support and encourage you.

Putting these experiences back into your life will stir up genuine emotions, be relaxing and fun. Once that’s returned, you won’t feel so unsure and confused about what you should be doing or what is missing, and it won’t be as difficult to gain the momentum you need to accomplish it.

Melissa King is a life and wellness coach in New York City. Her Web site is

Her e-mail is