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What To Do When You Don’t Know What You Want From Life
When you don’t know where you want to go, it’s hard to know what path to take.
When someone acknowledges that they aren’t happy, it’s easy to assume that they know what’s missing and what they want.
However, when you have been a parent for 12 years and suddenly find yourself divorced and parenting only part time, you don’t automatically know how you want to spend the unexpected free time. Likewise, when you work for a company for over a decade and suddenly find yourself sidelined by newer and cheaper talent, you likely never took the time to imagine what else you might want to do for work.
You might need this: Free Guide For Getting Unstuck. Get clear on what you want but don’t have and learn the movement required to get it.
If you’ve been in a relationship for a while and started to imagine yourself married, it’s hard to know what you want instead when that relationship fails to last.
When we’re talking dream chasing, saying yes, and choosing happiness, the discussion of goal setting quickly follows.
It’s hard, though, to know what goal to set when you don’t know what you want. It’s harder, still, to identify new goals and passions when you find yourself living a life you hadn’t quite planned on.
Watch: How to Set a Goal When You Don’t Know What You Want
People become “stuck” for four main reasons:
- They haven’t given themselves permission to dream
- Their lives have taken an unexpected turn and they haven’t caught their breath enough to land in their new normal
- Their inner critic has been given a seat at the table and is taking up all the space
- They are stopping at the questions and obstacles instead of finding out the answers and solutions
Identifying new goals, passions, and dreams means giving yourself permission to ask a lot of hard questions that you might not immediately know the answers to:
- What have you given up or cast aside in recent years?
- Are there parts of who you used to be that you miss?
- What are the leading values in your life?
- When are you the most happy?
- If it weren’t hard and you had the money, does your answer change?
- How much is your view being blocked by obstacles real or imagined?
- What is the best job you have ever had?
- The best place you’ve ever been?
- The most fulfilled you have ever felt?
- If you don’t know the answer to those last three, what was missing or lacking? What did you need more of? Less of?
Put zero weight on your answers, censor nothing, and remain open to everything.
Patterns and themes will likely emerge that will offer you some sense of direction. You might need to sit with and weigh the answers and ideas that come to mind.
Leave the censor at the door.
Get crystal clear on what you want. Then, move to the how. Often times, people who identify themselves as “stuck” or “not knowing what their passion is” actually really do know what they want. They just got scared of wanting it or found themselves so intimidated by what might be involved that they quickly talked themselves out of wanting it.
When trying to discover what it is you really want, make sure you’re not the only thing standing in your way.
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