This question could have many different levels. I decided to pick three problems I’ve heard about the most often and give you some answers. If however, the text below doesn’t answer your “don’t know what to do” – kind of a question, please leave yours in the comments. I’ll be happy to help with a more personalized answer!
Let me begin with a short, quite a universal intro.
Harsh truth for those who feel they don’t know what to do.
I don’t want to be cruel, but when you’re an adult and even more if you’re a parent, it is expected that you’ll be the one who knows stuff. And those expectations build pressure. I don’t know how about you, but many people do not perform at their best under pressure.
On the other hand, when you think and act like you know your stuff, instead of being treated as an expert in the field, often you’re treated as smarty pants know it all. People don’t like to think that somebody is smarter than them.
Here’s a life lesson: You will not satisfy everybody around you, so stop trying 😉 Whatever expectations do you feel hang over your head, please have in mind that:
- They might be just in your head. Have you ever confronted the actual person, you think expects something from you?
- You are in control of your life. It’s God and you, nobody else who has anything to say. You may argue that there are responsibilities and people depending on you, so it’s not like you are free. Yes, there are consequences for everything, but the truth is, it’s still your decision what you do.
Now, I promised to go through three different I don’t know what to do problems. Here we go.
If you don’t know what to do because your to-do list is too long.
You need a system. The system you create for yourself, that works best for you. Think about the process that would make you calmer.
For me personally, it’s the good old brain dump. I get on paper everything that is in my head. No matter if it’s the mix of a shopping list, things to do and a bunch of appointments I should have in my calendar but I don’t, I write it down. I write EVERYTHING that comes to mind, even if it suddenly changes in my daily journaling 😉
Then I categorize the whole list and prioritize it. Next, plug that into my calendar and most important, time-bounded stuff I add to google calendar, so I can get reminders on my phone.
The last step is the one often forgotten in the planning process: take action. Go and do the stuff on your list!
When I started this – it took me some time. Now that I know how effective it is and what a relief it brings to my tired brain, I do it quickly and what critical: I do it regularly! For more about it please head on to my other blog post: time management – mommy style.
If you don’t know what to do because it’s hard to make a decision.
I had recently quite a revelation: adulting really sucks. It’s not just a saying, nor a meme. It is a harsh truth. As adults, we have so many responsibilities and so many decisions to make. This simply drains the energy out of us.
When making a decision the key question to answer is: what am I losing by choosing option A vs. what am I losing by choosing option B.
Somehow our brains get far more logical when we switch from gains to regrets. And trust me, while I am a huge believer in guts’ feelings, you always want to consult your options with the logical side of you. Emotions leave for other occasions.
Other tips would be:
- Check in with your “why”. What is your motivation? why do you want to make this decision and what outcome would be best for you? Is it worth it your time?
- Take some action towards the goal. A small step towards both options can show you if you’re into it or not. (think no- or low-cost steps).
- Silence this little negative voice in your head. You don’t need it. Fear is rarely a good advisor. Humans still have this alarming system based on a fear that was super helpful when we needed to hide in a cave quickly before some tiger eats us. But know, as long as you’re in a safe environment, you can purposely switch it off and focus on the facts.
If you don’t know what to do about something truly important issues, I would advise to confront them with your core values, spend some time thinking how do the options you have fit into your personal philosophy of life and maybe try to figure out how your mindset can help with this struggle? All of those linked posts can help you in the decision making process.
If you don’t know what to do with your life in general.
Isn’t it a huge question to ask? You don’t have to be in your early 20s to feel kinda lost. We live in times when basically anybody can do anything. You can go to university at the age of 60 as well as you can travel the world at the age of 17. Because why not?!
If you are confused and don’t know what to do with your life or what direction should you take,
I have a mental exercise for you.
Imagine that for 24 hours the time stopped for everybody else but you. You have unlimited finances and all the superheroes’ powers.
Now tell me how would your day look like? What would you do? Where would you go? Who would you like to wake up and spend this time with? Go through a whole day and night, step by step, take your time.
When you have your perfect day in your head, let it inspire you. Dream big. Forget about the whole SMART goals for a moment. Your vision doesn’t have to be measurable nor time-bound and definitely not achievable. Not yet.
This exercise is meant to motivate you to think about what it is you really want. Make a list of those! Putting those “wants” on paper makes them more real, I guess.
So, you have a list of your dreams.
Now would be the time to come back to reality and figure out how to achieve them.
Choose one dream at a time and convert it into a goal. Make an actionable plan of action an go for it! Every step of the way, ask yourself why and how will you get there.
To prepare for that I’d recommend downloading my “how to redefine your mindset” workbook that gives you a roadmap to the new life.
Don’t forget to ask your specific question in the comments below!