How the Feeling of Pointlessness Can Derail Us

By Leo Babauta

Something I’ve noticed that derails a lot of people’s goals or attempts to form habits is the feeling that it’s pointless to even try.

If it feels like it won’t matter if you do anything … why would you try? And so when people feel this, they will usually give up, understandably.

But if we want to break through this barrier, then the opportunity is to learn how to work with this feeling of pointlessness.

If we can find a way to feel empowered when things feel pointless, a whole new range of possibilities opens up for us — including the possibility of moving through the most difficult parts of a project or habit change.

What would it be like if you worked with your desire to give up when things felt hard and pointless?

Let’s look at how to recognize the feeling of pointlessness, and then how you might work with it to create something new.

How to Recognize the Feeling of Pointlessness

It can be difficult to recognize this stumbling block, so let’s look at some common ways it might look:

You can see that this applies to everything in our lives — wanting to meditate, date, declutter, exercise, get out of debt, create something meaningful, build an amazing team.

This feeling of pointlessness stops us on all fronts. Time to take it on!

How to Work with the Struggle

There is nothing wrong with the feeling of pointlessness — it’s such a human feeling. The difficulty comes when we believe it, and make it mean something.

So my encouragement is to make it mean nothing other than this is just how it feels right now. That’s meaningful to the extent that we can always care about how we feel — I feel sad, lonely, uplifted, curious, playful, angry, crestfallen. They matter, but they’re not the entire world.

Feel the feeling. Give it some compassion. Breathe.

Then find a way to feel more empowered:

What would it be like to find meaning in the place that feels pointless?

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