It’s always hard to get your head around how you feel about something when you’re right in the middle of it. If you’re grappling with what to do next and can’t see the wood for the pesky trees, here’s some ideas to get things moving.
Get your thoughts on paper
This is an old favourite of mine and it works. The aim here is getting the jumble of thoughts that are on constant repeat, out of your head and on to paper. This helps you see what the issues actually are, what you’d like to change and gives you something to plan around. Don’t worry about not having the solutions yet. You need to understand what the problem is first.
Make small changes to your routine
When we’re in auto-pilot mode, it’s more difficult to see what other options might be available to us. Making small changes helps you apply new thinking and shakes up that feeling of stagnation. Buy your morning coffee somewhere new, try an alternative route in to work, do something different on a Monday night. These bite-sized changes will all contribute to you seeing things from a different perspective.
Get out of limbo land
Much of the stress we experience when we don’t know what to do is because we spend so much time in our heads. The problem swells beyond all recognition and becomes overwhelming to the point of paralysis. The best way to avoid this is to, funnily enough, do something. Take some holiday or pick a weekend and put some attention on what you’re feeling, who you could talk to get help, what research you need to. You’re not going to be able to worry yourself out of this one. Take action, however small.
Look your money worries in the eye
Money often feels like the biggest obstacle to making a change. And it’s really easy to make assumptions about your financial commitments that with closer investigation can be inaccurate. Do you really know how much you need to earn or have you plucked a number out of the air largely based on your anxieties? Do the maths and you’ll be much clearer on what your immediate options are and what alternatives that you might have thought weren’t possible. For example? Try reducing your hours to free up time or freelancing to give you flexibility.
Let go of the edge of the cliff
If you’re really serious about making a change, and the situation you’re in is truly adding no value, the most positive statement you can make is to draw a line under it and walk away. When you don’t know what’s next, this can seem very daunting, if not drastic. But, giving yourself some breathing space with a genuinely blank page to work with is hugely beneficial when you’re trying to work out your next move. Take a deep breath and look forward, not back.