5 Steps To Identify What To Do Next In Life
February 8, 2021 7:45 AM EST | 7 min read
Are you looking in every direction and feeling confused about what to do next in your life?
Are you paralyzed with fear from making a move because change feels scary?
Or are you feeling stagnant and going through the motions, daydreaming about how your life could be different?
If only I could win the lottery, etc….
Perhaps you have been contemplating your purpose to figure out why you are here.
You have reached a state of feeling like you just don’t know what to do.
Some people know early on what they are destined to do regarding career and family life.
They go to school, start working in their chosen field, and live a happy and fulfilled life.
Some people make a major change in mid-life (the mid-life crisis!).
Other people may change and re-invent themselves multiple times throughout their life.
No one way is better than another.
If you have reached a state of not knowing what to do with your life, this is a good thing.
It’s a sign that things need to change – and that change is just around the corner.
Whether you are facing a decision of what to do next in your personal or professional life, here are five steps you can follow:
5 Steps To Help You Find Out What To Do Next In Life
1. Take Time Out
The first thing you should do, if you don’t know what to do, is do nothing.
Take time out to sit with the unknown.
You don’t have to hide away from the world by going away on a retreat for a month to sort out your life.
But if you can do this, then more power to you!
You will also enjoy our article on Why Does Life Suck.
Taking time out could mean cutting back on non-essential tasks and activities, freeing up more time each day for you to just ‘be.’
Allow yourself to get still, to reconnect to your inner being.
Whether you do this by spending time alone in nature, journaling, meditation, or some other way, it’s important that you clear the clutter of your mind.
You can get stuck in a state of not knowing because there are too many choices.
The mind is running these choices over and over again as possibilities, which can be overwhelming.
Take time out to realign your core values and to examine your current state.
Ask yourself what is really important to you in life.
This is a process; you don’t need to make a decision this minute.
So take the pressure off of yourself.
2. Feel Your Emotions
With a little extra time to yourself, you may find that feelings will surface that were previously hidden away or covered up because you were too busy.
You cannot avoid your emotions (although many people try by indulging in addictive behaviors).
When you feel and examine your emotions, you will find that they have something to teach you.
You may be experiencing doubt, apathy, or even panic about your future.
Emotions left unattended to by the conscious mind, such as anger or frustration, can manifest in your body in a physical form (e.g. upset stomach).
Don’t ignore them.
What often keeps people in a state of indecision is fear.
Fear is at the root of many of the so-called negative emotions.
But fear could also be mixed with excitement, hope, and elation.
There is a wide spectrum of emotions to be experienced – feel whatever is arising and know that these will eventually pass.
The more time you spend acknowledging what you feel, the less scary your emotions will seem over time.
3. Explore Your Passions
With more free time and an increasing understanding of your emotions, next, you will want to explore what brings you joy.
Ask yourself what you feel passionate about.
Maybe nothing comes to mind right away.
This can feel defeating.
But don’t worry: you don’t have to go out and save the world with a grandiose plan.
What little things or activities bring you joy?
What are your hobbies?
Spend more time doing what you love or try something new.
It will take your focus away from thinking too much about what to do with your life.
When you are joyful, it sets you up to be in a position of receiving more joy – like attracts like.
If you’re still stuck for ideas, seek out trusted people for support.
Listen to others, but DON’T get caught up in their opinions.
At the end of the day, only YOU know what is right for you.
If you’re enjoying this article, make sure to check out our collection of words of wisdom to bring out the best in you.
4. Take Inspired Action
Can you recall a time in your life when you tried everything in your power to make something happen but it just wasn’t happening?
Chances are that this path wasn’t meant for you, or the timing wasn’t right.
The universe had other plans for you.
As you explore your passions, it’s vital for you to take inspired action.
Inspired action means you really feel good about taking the next step and you are moving ahead with conscious awareness.
If you are just doing things because you feel you have to, you might be addicted to being busy and not even know it, and ultimately left feeling overwhelmed.
If you’re trying too hard to figure out your life, or taking on too many new things to find out your passions, then it’s time to go back to step one and take a break!
We are conditioned to believe that nothing can be achieved without hard work.
It’s true that nothing will happen without taking any action.
However, it’s the intention behind your action that can make things easy or difficult for you.
Line up your energy first and approach your next step from an inspired state.
Life will unfold as it’s meant to.
5. Let Go Of The Outcome
You may refuse to take a step forward in life because you don’t know what to expect.
You don’t know the outcome; therefore, fear creeps in.
This keeps you in a state of inaction.
But what if you let go of the outcome?
How boring would life be if you knew from day one exactly how each day would turn out? There is a sense of intrigue when you don’t know precisely how life will be when faced with changing direction.
Don’t let fear stop you from exploring possibilities.
Remain open to whatever life presents.
You may be surprised with an even better outcome than you could have imagined.
It’s OK not to know what to do in life at times.
Change can be scary – if you tell yourself that it is.
However, change is inevitable and it brings growth.
You can’t bury your head in the sand forever and ignore what change is trying to teach you.
Well, you can bury your head in the sand for a while.
But life has a wonderful way of encouraging (sometimes forcing) you to change when you stop going with the flow.
Embrace the unknown for a while.
Follow these five steps to prevent yourself from being stuck in indecision for months or years.
October 22, 2021 at 12:04 PM
Thank you for the article . I am in an existential crisis for awhile now. Even after taking a break I still can’t figure out what to do new. I am stuck in the paradox.
April 15, 2020 at 12:44 PM
Hi, i just lost my wife of 26 years that was so close to me. just sitting here in front of the computer crying again… do i eat, do call another friend, do i go for a walk…just emotionally open and of course sad. it will be OK. day three. so many good friends. so i just went to google and typed, what should i do next. all of the stuff in this article is really good. aligns with what i already know. will keep this for sure thanks!
May 25, 2019 at 11:41 AM
Thanks for the inspiration & insight!