Mental health columnist Sarah Barr shares how to face negative thoughts and feelings of uncertainty or self-doubt.

Are you a Lost Girl? Escaping to Neverland and running from Captain Hook?

At certain times in our lives we may find ourselves lost. Lost in ourselves, in who we are and who we believe we SHOULD be. We struggle to be authentic, to be individual and to be true. We seek validation, reassurance and to fit in. Along the way, we can lose ourselves. This can create an internal conflict, pressuring us to adjust ourselves into what we believe is expected from us.

Our belief system is formed from childhood. What we see, hear and read all form this. Society plays a major role in painting this picture. When life does not go to plan, when we are not where we want to be, in terms of relationships, having children or having a career. When we realise certain things are out of our control and we find ourselves on a different path. We question our choices and our decisions, figuring out where did it all go wrong.


Instead of facing our reality, we may want to run from it. Find our Neverland; our happy place. Wrap ourselves up inside a bubble, keep going, don’t stop. Clean, organise and make plans. Just don’t stop. Then we won’t have to listen to our negative thoughts, reminding us of how we have failed. Captain Hook won’t catch us. We won’t have to face our fear, our worry, our failures. In the hope that they will disappear. We will regain control over our lives and our thoughts.

Yet when we do stop, they are waiting for us. At 3 o’clock in the morning, when you are lying in your bed. The shadows appear, tugging at you. Asking you ‘What did you say today’, ‘Why did you say that’. Wondering if that person likes you, did you look ok, did you speak ok?

We cannot run forever.


“What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, What if you fly?”

We stop running and face our reality. We face our fear and regain control. The first steps are the hardest. Yet when you take those first steps, you often feel so much better and lighter. Help is available, and there are people who want to help you.

You believe in you and you create your own story. No conforming, no unrealistic goals, no comparison. But your own story. You find your own adventure and live your life. How you want to.


Be proud to be a Lost Girl, for Lost Girls are often the Strongest Girls.