What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do
Sometimes the answer to your question is right in front of you, and other times it isn't. This is the situation I found myself in recently when I didn't know what to do. I worried about the implications of my decision and weighed the consequences of my behaviors. If you've ever wondered what to do when faced with a particular problem, we just might be able to help each other.
Have you ever been faced with a problem that you didn't know how to solve? I have many times. In fact, when I started writing this blog post I came up with the title by the question that was in my head at that very moment. I asked myself, “What do I do when I don't know what to do?”
If you know me very well or have read this blog for very long, you know I like to have answers. I read, I research, I listen to podcasts, and I even go to conferences to find answers. I even got my degree in psychology because I wanted to know the answer to the question “Why?”
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I even though I didn't have the answer to what I was looking for, I did have the answer to the question, “Where do I start?”
I thought I would share those thoughts with you and possibly ask your advice. When I found myself wondering what to do, this is what I came up with.
Ask yourself, “What's the worst that could happen?”
I've often had to find comfort in the answer to that very question. When I'm clueless about what to do, when I don't know the right decision to make, I ask, “What's the worst that could happen?” Will my decision result in death? Will the result be physical, psychological or emotional harm? If the answer to these questions is no, much of the pressure can be taken from your shoulders. Most mistakes we make can be fixed. If you're faced with a problem and are wondering what to do, don't worry; life will go on.
Consult your advisers
If you've created your personal board of directors and advisers they will often provide you with the clearest insights. They'll be able to see things from a different perspective. That's key because, as I wrote, reality is often a matter of perspective. If you ask for their advice, but you already have your mind made up, then what's the point. Be open to their wisdom and the possibility that you're wrong. Do your diligence up front so that you trust the people giving you feedback. When they do, take their advice to heart and change your mind if necessary. When you don't know what to do, maybe your advisers can point you in the right direction.
Prayer grounds us. It allows us to tap into God's power, and allows us to communicate with Wisdom that is beyond our understanding. When God speaks, we should listen. The power of prayer knows no bounds. Even though you may not know what to do, you can find answers in prayer. If you're not religious, spend time in meditation.
If you watched the show Scrubs, you may remember an episode with the “Wait-an'-see Tribe.” The joke was that one doctor wanted to jump in while the other wanted to wait and see what would happen. Sometimes waiting is extremely difficult. However, waiting shows maturity, patience, and faith. Maturity with the realization that you don't have to rush and jump into activity, patience to realize that everything that happens doesn't revolve around us, and faith that we can overcome any challenge.
More often than not, just by simply waiting, you'll find new solutions present themselves as time goes on. By being patient, you can save yourself the headache of acting too early, not even realizing that your options were about to open up. These new options may be just the solution or opportunity you were looking for when you were wondering what to do.
Once you've realized and recognized that it's okay to make mistakes, consulted with people whom you trust, prayed, and waited until you've gotten all the best information, it's time to act. Don't get caught up in paralysis by analysis. Trust your gut, trust your advisers and trust in God's plan. I believe that everything in life happens for a reason. I also believe that we won't be put into a situation that we cannot overcome. Once a decision is made, make haste. Don't delay. Act according to your plan with the confidence that you've done everything you could to make an informed decision. Don't second-guess yourself. Have faith and move forward.
These are the things I'm currently doing to approach my problem. I acknowledged that the problem was there, that it did exist, and these are the steps I took to develop a plan of action.
Question: What do you think of my steps? Would you add one or take one away? Let me know how you like to solve problems by leaving a comment in the section below by clicking here!