Are you stressing about your future?
Unclear about your plan for the next year, month, or even week?
This is something that many young people share in common and it makes sense! You have less than a quarter of your life behind you and more than 3/4 ahead. It can feel like staring down a black hole with no idea of what you’re going to do and how it will turn out. The good news is that unless you’re psychic, you’re in the same boat as everyone else with not being able to foresee the future and such.
The other good news is that this feeling of the unknown doesn’t have to be bleak – it can be exciting! I’m a big believer that you can’t make a mistake in your career choice, venture, or relationship when you’re listening to your gut along the way. Often you have to go down the path, sometimes deep down it, in order to see if it’s a good fit or not. All of my missteps in life so far have felt rocky at the time but without a doubt, when I look back, I know I was supposed to be there. Maybe it was for the people I met, the lesson I learned, or the new skill I exercised, but regardless, it all happened as it should have.
Each of us responds differently to feeling unclear. My advice is for those of you who experience anxiety about lack of clarity or those of you who feel frozen by it. Building strategies to cope with the unknown and strategies for plunging into it are key to finding momentum in your life. Otherwise, you’re wasting time sitting in fear instead of actively getting to the bottom of what you want and love.
Ok, advice time…
Write it down. Having trouble figuring out what’s next? Grab a pen, a pencil, or a paintbrush and have a sit down. Write down all the mumbo jumbo that’s in your mind. This can be used for sorting anything out – I’m talking things like relationships, career, school, or finances. Start with making lists of what’s working and what’s not.
If you’re focussing on the realm of school and career, consider making a list of what you’re really good at vs. a list of what you really love. Draw parallels and highlight places that align with real careers or education streams.
If you are in need of more reflection, I would suggest pros and cons lists, stream of consciousness writing, or timeline mapping. And if you’re like, ‘Hey, this is cool but I don’t have the tools to make this whole writing thing happen.’ Consider coaching. In our personal coaching sessions, I will lead you through some hands on exercises to get what’s in your head out on paper and as a result, take away it’s power to keep you frozen and nervous.
Pick something. You have to pick. You can’t sit in limbo and stay forever undecided. Breathe – and remember what I said earlier. Every path you choose, even the ones that you end up backtracking from, are valuable. You will get something out of your experience. If you practice awareness and self love, you can gauge how well that path is working but you can’t do that until you’ve gone down it.
And if you still find yourself sitting at the edge, unable to take the plunge, I suggest you see how much you can try each path without actually going down them. This will most likely not work when it comes to relationships but let’s say you can’t decide on a major in school – can you interview students who are currently in the program? Talk to someone who graduated from it and see where they are at now? Volunteer in a similar setting to the placement you’ll experience? There may be some wiggle room to take a ‘path’ for a test drive before you buy in.
Start small. Once you’ve gained clarity, break your set of goals into small and manageable pieces. So if you need to create change within your friendships because up until this point, they have felt murky and unclear, make a little to do list of next steps. Or set a mini goal for each week that will amount to bigger change over time.
If your clarity happened in regards to your career, break your pathway into manageable steps like: schedule information interviews with people in the field, attend a networking event that will expose me to like minded people, research job vacancies, revise and update my resume, etc. Bite sized pieces make for a happier mind as you travel down your chosen path!
The last thing I’ll say, as always, is that you need to couple this clarity with self love. Be kind to you because you can’t say for sure what will happen in a week, month, or year. Ride the wave with an openness and light heart that allows for stuff to shift and change all while you support yourself. You can either be your biggest critic or ally.
It’s up to you 🙂
And if you’re in need of some Self Love Advice, I invite you to register for a FREE Self Love Session on Tuesday December 13th. Find the details here.