When you don’t know what to do

Ever reached a point when you don’t know what to do?

You may feel anxious or numb or worried or a combination of all these things.

Anxiety about the future sometimes stops me in my tracks and I go over endless possible options and outcomes in my head.

Fear and confusion can be paralyzing.  You don’t know how to move anywhere, let alone get on with your life.

How do you move forward?  How do you make the right decision?

It can be difficult when there is no obvious “right” move.

This is my advice to myself and anyone else who needs a helping hand:

Take your time

Don’t rush any decision.  Just sit and be with your anxiety for a while.  If you can, sleep on it.  Things will seem different in the morning, and even if they don’t you will feel better for some rest.

Take action

The best thing you can do is take some action, any action.  Try not to worry about whether that action is the correct one, just take a step.

Perhaps you will make the wrong choice or perhaps you will make the right choice.  It doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that you move out of your head, and all your worrying about the possible outcomes, into reality.

The way forward will become clear

By taking a step, any step, the way forward will become clearer.  If not now, it will do in time.

Life is not black and white.  Things are not clear cut as we would often like.  So, you have to take a leap and just move forward.

A word on indecision

Indecision is usually based on fear.  Fear of humiliation, fear of failure, fear of pain, fear of the unknown.

In the end, not taking any action is a decision in itself – so the real question is, will not taking any action help?

You cannot control the outcome

We like to think that lives will go according to our plan, but life is messy and things happen regardless.  You cannot control the future.

Maybe you have written a list of the pros and cons of each choice, maybe you don’t even know what the choices are.  That’s ok.

Follow your instinct

Logic is often unhelpful at times like this and you need to go with your gut instinct.   When I talk about instinct, I don’t mean moving away from something because you are scared or because you experience a temporary aversion.

Instinct is what you feel you must do.  It is the answer you can’t avoid, that you feel deep inside even if you never tell anyone else about it.

Progress can be scary

Sometimes the way forward is painful, but that does not mean it is wrong.  In some instances the only way ahead is through our fear and our pain.  We cannot avoid it forever.

It’s OK to make a mistake

Whatever choice you make will end up being the right one.  It will be the right one because it is what happens.  Perhaps things will turn out how you want and you will congratulate yourself on making the correct decision.  Or perhaps things will go badly and you will wonder how you made such a big mistake.

It doesn’t matter if you make a mistake or if things go wrong.  You will learn from the experience.  You will make more informed choices in the future.  You may even need to make the same mistake over and over again before you learn what life is trying to teach you.

Be kind to yourself

So, just keep going, be kind to yourself, remember what a special person you are and make a choice.


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