What is Existentialism?

Existentialism is the term used to describe a philosophy that is centred on finding the meaning of life and what the ultimate objective or goal is.  Is there any meaning or purpose to living apart from the mundane and monotonous existence that is everyday life?  What happens after we die?  Is there some sort of afterlife or does our existence cease completely after death?  What is the point of anything that we do in this life if it is all going to end anyway?  These are some of the questions existentialists ask.  Essentially, we are all existentialists to varying degrees, trying to figure out the point of our lives amidst all the confusion and uncertainty that bombards us on a regular basis.

Why is this relevant?

Interestingly enough, when a majority of people are facing challenges in their lives they tend to ask questions and perceive their existence from a different perspective.  There is no doubt that we will all experience multiple challenges in life which will affect us psychologically and emotionally.  For some, overcoming these challenges provides new insights and offers an opportunity to evolve and in other cases these challenges could be the beginning of a more pervasive detrimental psychological and emotional state of mind.  A person’s philosophy and beliefs about life and existence could play a crucial role in the way challenges are perceived and dealt with.


We are all born into this world. What determines who we become?  By who I am referring to personality traits, thinking habits, belief systems, character, morals, values and our general perspective on life.  We are all significantly influenced by our environment which includes our place of birth, parents, social background, schools, friends, teachers, television and mass media, religious institutions, physical attributes, life changing circumstances beyond our control and the financial system.  This programing continues throughout our formative years to the point that we are not even aware that we are programs.  This results in us concluding that we are the program and this belief persists into our adult life.  Does a robot know it is a robot? 

The good news is that challenges and obstacles that cause us emotional and psychological conflict and distress should serve as a reminder that we are all programs and we can choose to alter that programing to a more sustainable and constructive program if our learned ways of thinking, believing and feeling are causing us difficulties in our daily lives.  The awareness of this very important fact is what determines the outcome of our lives.  How else does a boy born in a council flat in East London to a low income, uneducated, working class family and surrounded by poverty and deprivation go on to become one of the wealthiest and successful businessmen in the United Kingdom.  This is just one of very many examples.

Alter your program, change your life!

Click here to view therapists that specialise in existentialism related conditions