What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do
Few things in life are as unsettling as being “stuck“. And by stuck, I mean those moments where we don’t know which decision to make, or how to move forward from where we are. It can be disheartening and exhausting. Yet it seems life has this insatiable desire to place us smack-dab in the middle of these situations.
So what do we do when we don’t know what to do?
Here are my 3 thoughts:
1.) Stay Grounded
I hate feeling “stuck“, it makes me tense and anxious, mostly because I’ve been the type to mull over “worst case scenarios” – fearing they may be inevitable.
Can you relate at all?
The thing is, we’ve all been stuck once (or a few times) before. And while we may have convinced ourselves we’d be stuck there forever – life actually kept moving. We eventually got – unstuck.
The key is to stay grounded by remembering 4 simple words: “this too shall pass” – because it always does.
2.) Ask Better Questions
“Learning to ask empowering questions in moments of crisis is a critical skill” – Tony Robbins
What’s the first thing we ask ourselves whenever we don’t know what to do: “what do I do?” Tell me, has that question ever yielded a quality answer? Probably not.
We should aim to ask better questions. Asking, “what do I do“, will guarantee we remain stuck – it’s too big of a question. Starting with something more focused, however, may get the wheels turning.
So instead of asking “what do I do“, how about, “is there anyone I know that has been here before, that may be willing to offer me counsel?” Perhaps we can ask, “is there anything I can do today (specifically), that may move me towards a resolution?” You can also try, “of all of my options, which one aligns closest to my personal values and goals?“
Ask a mediocre question, and you’ll receive a mediocre answer. Ask a quality (or empowering) question, and you’ll find the attention quickly shifts from the problem – to potential solutions.
3.) Find the Silver-lining
We’ve all heard the expression, “look for the silver lining”. It’s great advice, except “looking” doesn’t sound hopeful. I prefer, “find the silver lining“.
My conviction is good can be found in any situation. We may turn a blind eye to it, but it’s there.
If you’re “stuck” in life, consider the decisions that got you there in the first place – that’s a good to be found. Observe your natural responses in tough moments like these, can they be improved? That’s another good to be found.
Looking for the silver lining gives you an out to say it’s not there. Finding the silver lining acknowledges its existence even before its been found.
Not knowing what to do in life is like getting a flat tire. The car isn’t totaled, and you won’t be stuck on the side of the road forever. Just remember to keep your head by staying grounded, problem solve by asking better questions, and stay positive by finding the silver lining. Because as much as it may seem hopeless right now, you’ll be on the road in no time.