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Do you ever feel like a plastic bag…? 3 Reasons Why You Feel You’re Lacking Direction and Purpose

You’ve probably heard the opening line of Katy Perry’s hit tune “Firework” and I must admit my younger self always thought it sounded a bit odd.

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?”

Reflecting on this now though, I realise that I wasn’t paying enough attention to the meaning of the lyrics. Because this line is actually pretty perfect at conveying an all too real feeling experienced by so many during different points in our lives.

The sense of lostness, directionless, and ultimately, purposelessness.

Credit: Daniel Gonzalez - Unsplash

Think about it, the imagery of an old plastic bag flying through the air aimlessly and wherever the wind takes it. There is no rhythm or direction to its movements, the bag has no control over this. Indeed it is being carried along somewhere, but it’s drifting.

If you’re feeling like this plastic bag right now in this very moment, I have written this article to explore 3 reasons why you could be feeling this way. Let’s dig deeper into why you might feel you’re lacking direction and purpose at the moment.

1. You’re doing what you think other people want you to do/expect of you

This one kind of blew my mind just as I was writing it! Sometimes we don’t realise that other people’s opinions and desires (or our perception of them) are having such a hold over our actions. It’s actually quite scary.

Whether it’s the career you chose as a teenager in response to your family’s expectations, or not honouring your own needs on a regular basis by choosing to serve others instead (do we have any people pleasers here?).

Credit: Christin Hume - Unsplash

Goals depend so much on your individual wants and needs BUT in order to feel a sense of direction and purpose in our every day we need them to keep going.

But ultimately, doing what others want or expect from you will only lead to feelings of resentfulness and regret later in life. So it’s really important to make sure you are prioritising yourself regularly because this will only lead to a richer and fuller life for not only yourself but those around you. Win-win!

If you feel that you are in this position, a great starting point to make some positive changes is through communication. Have an open and honest conversation with those around you about how you are feeling. Note how in the first paragraph I said: “our perception” of other people’s thoughts and desires - are you certain that this is what they want for you? Or have you made this assumption?

Believe it or not, sometimes we can overcomplicate situations and overthink so much that our beliefs become facts in our minds! Limiting beliefs can be partly to blame for this - you can read my previous blog post here to find out more about how to overcome them.

2. You’re not clear on YOUR goals + dreams

One thing I have noticed when it comes to having life goals is that we place an enormous amount of pressure on ourselves.

Why the pressure? There are a lot of phrases like “dream big” thrown around in the online space, with the portrayal of success depicted in the form of million-dollar businesses and flashy cars. I am by no means saying you can’t aspire to have these things, but these are not necessarily examples of everyone’s big dreams. That is why I place emphasis on the word “your” in the subtitle.

Credit: Wolf Zimmerman - Unsplash

So it’s really important to make sure you are prioritising yourself regularly because this will only lead to a richer and fuller life for not only yourself but those around you.

This type of pressure to want the “cookie-cutter” of life successes can result in huge feelings of overwhelm by the perceived leap from where you are now. It also may result in feeling like our dreams and goals are not valid or “enough” if they aren’t as shiny. Ultimately, this way of thinking can leave us with very unclear or even non-existent goals! And I speak from personal experience here.

So what do your goals look like?

For many, being able to achieve a healthy weight or having additional freedom to spend time with their family are huge goals. Your dream doesn’t even have to involve financial gain - it could be a feeling or way of life that you are seeking.

Goals depend so much on your individual wants and needs BUT in order to feel a sense of direction and purpose in our every day we need them to keep going.

And remember - you won’t necessarily jump out of bed every single day and start to consciously think about your dreams either. When you have a deep sense of connection with your goals you won’t think about them all the time. Your awareness will already be in your subconscious and this will help you to take the most impactful actionable steps in order to achieve your goals.

Last but super important...

Indeed your goals will change at different stages of your life, and that’s normal (see section 3). So if you are feeling lost, it’s possible that you have outgrown your dreams from a few years ago and need to revisit them. So have some fun with it. Get your favourite coloured pens and paper - brainstorm your life goals and then see if your current situation aligns with them.

3. You’ve changed (and that’s OK!)

As we enter different stages in our lives, we change. It’s as simple as that! But that doesn’t mean it’s simple to go through. Here are a few examples of how change could look for you:

  • The thing you’re passionate about has changed. E.g. that job you once enjoyed in the early days but now you feel as though you’re going through the motions. But you feel stuck because it took a lot of time and energy to reach this point in your career and you don’t want to make any hasty decisions.

  • Your priorities have changed. E.g. you no longer feel content with work ruling your life and are looking for something more meaningful, like a passion project or a new relationship.

  • Your circumstances have changed. E.g. you now have a family and perhaps feel as though you’ve lost yourself along the way a little. Now is the time to navigate your way through this chapter in a way that feels good for you and discover the many ways that your new role can give you an even deeper sense of purpose.

When we experience change, it can make us feel uncomfortable - to say the least! It is not easy to navigate new roles and phases, plus there is always that awkward transition period that we must undergo.

During this time, we may doubt the direction in which we are heading because perhaps it feels a little too different and we may fear losing our old selves. But, if you acknowledge these feelings and are willing to explore what is happening, this could be a great opportunity to discover so much more about yourself.

How I navigated a big change 2 years ago...

When I first started to seriously explore the world of entrepreneurship, I was still working in my corporate job, and being an employee was all I knew. Nobody in my circle of friends or family had ever attempted to start their own business (that I know of) and it felt very uncomfortable to contemplate actually doing it. So, at the point when I found myself unexpectedly leaving my job and actually jumping into the deep end, you can probably imagine how lost and terrified I felt!

But I acknowledged these feelings and gave myself the time and space to establish a new routine and learn the necessary skills. Most importantly, I joined online communities of female entrepreneurs that helped me to “normalise” the transition I was going through and the feelings of self-doubt that were coming up. Never underestimate the importance of community support or the availability of groups of people in the online space just waiting for you to tap into them.

Also, reading books and listening to podcasts in your relevant topic area can be incredibly helpful tools not only to build knowledge but to help you feel more confident along the way. They also help quieten those negative voices in your head telling you that you can't do it!


I hope you enjoyed reading this article about 3 Reasons Why You Feel You’re Lacking Direction and Purpose. There are of course lots of reasons why we can end up feeling this way at various points in our lives, but ultimately those addressed in this post are great starting points.

Which one resonated with you the most? Let me know in the comments and / answer the poll below!

Which of the 3 most resonated with you when it comes to lacking direction and purpose?

  • 1 - doing what others expect of you

  • 2 - not clear on your own goals

  • 3 - you've changed

Want to learn more about how you can make the choices to create the positive change that you need and ultimately feel more fulfilled?

Make sure you subscribe to the Creative Goddess Blog below so you don’t miss next week’s post!

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