Updated: Aug 15, 2019
December 16th 2018
"I'm not clear on my next step, what should I do?" A lady I spoke to this week asked me this question. She is clear on her vision but was confused about her next step.
This week the question that came up recently along the themes of 2018 planning and dreams and goals and visions, was I’m confused about my next step. So I’ve got a vision but I don’t know what to do next, I’m confused about my next step, what do I do.
There’s several things that you can do in that situation but I’m just going to focus on one. And confusion is trumped with clarity. So clarity is what you want when you’re swimming in confusion and you’re overwhelmed. And so your beacon of hope is some sort of clarity.
What I do when I’m in the situation and there’s too many options and it’s overwhelming is I get it out of my head because if I do that it feels like I’m no longer swimming in it. So I get a massive piece of paper, big, blank, as big as I can find, sometimes like an A3 size piece of paper, and I just write everything that I could do, everything that I could do and I just get it down on the piece of paper.
That way it’s out of your head and you don’t have to keep on remembering that that’s an option. You’ve got it in front of you. When it’s in front of you it’s a bit less overwhelming because you’ve got choices now, and that’s what you need to remember when you’re feeling confused.
At its worst confusion can make you feel powerless, and powerless means I have no choices, I have no choice. But when you come back out of confusion and you’re trying to claw your way back to clarity, you’ve got all of these choices in front of you, you feel a little bit more empowered because then the onus is on you to then choose the path before you.
Instead of waiting for guidance and waiting for any perfect answer, my go-to quote is “Any decision is better than no decision.” Any decision, any decision, is better than no decision. And when I live my life thinking there are no right and wrong decisions it just takes the pressure off having to get it right.
It’s that little perfectionist I think that kind of occurs in all of us to some degree… we’ve all got that feeling of we’re scared to make a mistake, we’re scared to go on the wrong path, we’re scared to do the wrong thing. And so when you just notice that that’s there and go okay, well that’s just my little perfectionist talking that I’m scared to make the wrong decision so therefore I’m just going to sit on my hands and just wait till the perfect right decision presents itself to me, you can let it go. You can then say alright, whichever decision I choose I’m going to make it the right decision.
And when you act remember that… I have a picture of this big boulder moving along a path, a big boulder. So it’s not a hill but it’s just a flat path and it’s a big boulder. The hardest part is getting that thing moving. The hardest part is getting started. But once it’s moving and once it’s rolling it’s much easier to change direction. It’s so much easier to change direction.
Making a decision, any decision, is better than no decision really calls out to that boulder which means I can change direction but I can’t get anywhere if I don’t get started. And so when you’ve got that piece of paper in front of you and you’ve got all your decisions or all your options listed, pick the one that’s calling out to you, pick the one that feels right right now and just dive in, go for it, start. Any decision is better than no decision.
Quick story about when I was changing careers from physio to life coaching. It’s very easy to say that now because the clarity is so prominent in my mind but I didn’t have that clarity when I was a physiotherapist and all I knew was that physio not for me. I didn’t know what direction I needed to go in, I didn’t know what my life purpose was, and I had just watched The Secret and I was thinking oh gosh, I need to know what I want and then I’m going to create it, but I don’t have any clue what I want so how do I create anything.
And I waited two years for the universe to tell me what my path was, two years to get the information of this is your life purpose. And I would’ve waited another two or three years if at some point I didn’t get sick of waiting. And the smallest little quote helped me which was “Go in the direction of what excites you.” Just go in the direction of what excites you and let that be the next step.
You don’t need to see the whole staircase in front of you. Like Martin Luther King Jr. says just go to the next step. Pick what’s in front you, pick what excites you the most, like what actually makes you feel excited when you’re looking at that piece of paper and just jump, just go, dive in, start. That’s how you choose your next step.
If you can’t quite hear the clarity that comes from your inner voice, then make a decision with your mind which is a sharp tool of well this is what feels good, this is what excites me, this makes sense, this is the one I’m going to choose and make it the right choice.
Know that you can always change direction once you get started, but you could end up like me which I hope you don’t. Learn from my mistake. Don’t sit on your hands for two years waiting for the right choice to present itself to you because that’s two years of just procrastination, of just waiting, no action, no momentum, no joy.
It would’ve been much quicker if I just moved in the direction of stuff that excited me and sooner or later I am doing exactly what I love doing which is life coaching and speaking and storytelling. That’s what I’m born to do, it took me a little while to get here, but if I had known this at the time I would’ve just understood that any decision is better than no decision.