10 Subtle (But Serious) Signs You’re On The Wrong Life Path & Need To Make A Change
Even if you've been planning how you wanted your life to be since you were a little kid, things don't always goes exactly as planned. Life can take some unexpected twists and turns, and you may feel like you've been noticing some signs that you're on the wrong life path. For some people, it may be something as serious as substance abuse or destructive relationships. But it can also be more simple than that, and you may feel like you're living in the wrong city or spending your time on the wrong career. No matter what areas feel wrong, it's important to analyze yourself and figure out what's the issue with the direction you're going.
"Being on the right life path means that you are comfortable and confident with where you are headed," says life coach Steven McDaniels over email. "Not only can you look five or 10 years ahead and envision yourself achieving the goals that you have laid out for yourself, but you are able to enjoy and appreciate the journey to get there. Of course, the process is not always easy, but it is doable and you feel a sense of accomplishment with each milestone."
If you feel like you're unsure about where you're headed, look out for these 11 subtle, but serious, signs you're on the wrong life path.
1. Your Accomplishments Don't Bring You Satisfaction
You might accomplish some things you never thought you would do, but if you're not happy with them, it's time to reevaluate, no matter how prestigious they may be. "Maybe you always dreamed of opening your own local restaurant and you find yourself working for a large engineering firm," says McDaniels. "Although friends and family will be proud of your success, you may not feel satisfied."
2. You're Turning To Substances
"If you’re drinking too much alcohol, smoking, or taking drugs, you could be on the wrong life path," says life coach Gemma McCrae over email. "If you need the artificial highs to help you feel happiness in your life, then there is something amiss."
3. You Feel Fatigued
Sometimes, your unhappiness can manifest itself physically. "You might be tired and irritable, or perhaps you’re not sleeping or find it really hard to get out of bed in the morning," says McCrae. "Feeling low can creep up on you without being aware — so watch out — but it’s a clear indicator that you must make changes.
4. You Question Everything
"Constantly questioning what you’re doing with your life is a tell-tale sign you’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere," says life fulfillment coach Sharon Stokes over email. "If you’re truly happy and satisfied with your life, these types of questions wouldn’t be constantly flooding your mind."
5. You Feel Like You Have To Justify Everything
"Even though we may not be on the right path in life, we may not want to actually admit it to ourselves," says Stokes. "However, if you find yourself continuously justifying the path you’re currently on or you become defensive, that’s a sign things may not be as crystal clear as you thought. If you were on the right path, you wouldn’t care so much what other people think because deep down, it feels incredibly right."
6. You're Not Inspired
It’s easy to get into a routine where everyday feels the same, and eventually you get to a point where you start to feel uninspired and deflated. "When you feel you have nothing else to give, it’s time to reevaluate where you are," says Stokes. "It’s not that you need to make a complete detour, but instead, you can just shift the path you’re currently on just enough so you can get back on track."
7. You're Doing Something For Someone Else
If you feel like you are doing things for others and not yourself, you might be making the wrong choices. "Childhood, society, familial demands, etc. have a great impact on the way we live our life and can deter us from our true life’s path," says life coach Emily Marquis over email. "Sometimes the greatest reward comes from the biggest risk. It is a red flag if you’ve ever felt as if you’ve lost yourself or identity with whatever you are doing."
8. You Keep Picturing Something Different
"You have dreams of something different and you can’t stop thinking about it," says Marquis. "Someone at the coffee shop randomly brings up your dreams and more 'random' pictures or incidents related to your dreams try to stop you in your feet. Listen."
9. You Get Agitated With Most People
If you feel that you constantly get upset with everyone, it might be you, not them. "People on the wrong life path are often agitated because they are discontent with their life," says counselor and life coach Monte Drenner over email. "Their agitation often comes out as anger or negativity. Both of these emotions can push others away which makes their life even more difficult."
10. You Feel Anxious
"Certainly everyone who suffers from anxiety is not on the wrong life path," says Drenner. "Most people, however, who are on the wrong path struggle with anxiety because they lack the peace and serenity that comes from knowing they are doing what they enjoy and the relationships they have. The anxiety is not debilitating, but it will keep them up at night worrying about how to live a life they are not satisfied with."