What to do When You Don’t Know What to do

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Life is full of decisions. Unknowns. “I don’t know what to do’s”.

What if you choose the wrong career?  How do you reconcile a broken relationship? How do you fix the mistake you made? Should you take that job?

You feel the pressure building because you’re supposed to be doing something!

But what if that something is the wrong something?

Risk is a part of every choice. Failure is always a possibility.

These things can get you stuck before you start.

If you’re stuck in an “I don’t know what to do” situation, here’s what you can do:

Trust that God will lead you.  Psalm 32:8 promises, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” (NIV) God never lies. If He says He will teach you what to do, He will. Rest on that.

Acknowledge God in all your ways and seek His will.  “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:6 (KJV) Determine not to do anything that will displease Him.  If you do this He will lead you.

When in doubt, wait. Don’t do anything rash.  Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into making a decision. Take time to think and pray.  Sleep on it – this gives your mind time to process and come up with new thoughts. It also gives God time to guide your thinking.  Deciding not to decide right now is also a decision, and sometimes that’s the best one to make.

Talk to someone. When you get rid of what’s spinning around in your head by talking, you make room for new thoughts to surface. Get advice from others – they will see things from a different angle.  Their viewpoint may change the whole picture for you.

Do the next obvious thing. Take small actions and see where they lead.  Sometimes things become clear one step at a time. Don’t wait to have all your steps clear before you move forward.  Just do the next thing. And if there isn’t a next thing, then go back to no. 1, 2 and 3.

Look at the big picture. Will this decision make a difference 5 years from now? What about 25 years from now? Getting perspective will take the pressure off you and help you think things through more clearly.

Trust your gut feelings. But don’t confuse the good information from your instincts with impulsive reactions. Being fed up with your job or relationship on a bad day and stomping off is impulsive.  Noticing that you had an uneasy feeling about a discussion is not.

Don’t overanalyse or borrow trouble – “If I do this then this and this and this could happen.” Too much thinking is not a good thing. Your brain goes round in circles and still has no solutions. Borrowing trouble leads you to make decisions based on fear, and that’s never a good reason to make a decision.

Don’t allow your “I don’t know what to do” to paralyze you. There is no deadline to having your life all figured out.  Relax.  Enjoy where you are right now.

Don’t deprive yourself of present joy because you don’t know what to do.

It will all come clear in good time.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Share in the comments!

About The Author

Jennifer Lovemore

Jennifer has diplomas in relationship counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), is a certified SYMBIS facilitator, and is certified in TPM (Transformation Prayer Minsitry). She lives in South Africa, has three grown children, and is married to her best friend – Richard.

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