“What should I do now?”

We’ve all been there. This question doesn’t only plague the minds of Highschoolers trying to figure out their career path for the future. It rears its face at inconvenient times for all ages doing nothing but wreaking havoc as it goes.

I myself was faced with this question at the age of 20 after stepping away from college. I didn’t know what to do, where to go, and who to trust. Of course, I felt like a failure because everybody else had their lives together at the age of 20! Right?

 What followed were many experiments that took me to a place of peace with my surroundings.

Try something new

Your environment will hardly ever change till you make different choices. Sometimes, taking life by the balls means doing something new even if you hate it. It may mean quitting your job and moving your career in a different direction.

“The most dangerous thing in life is to play it safe” -Casey Neistat

For me, it meant quitting accounting and taking a construction class for a semester. The change of pace was perfect for clarity of mind and it made it clear to me that college wasn’t the direction for me. I felt good about dropping out, and a few months later, I was on my first solo trip around the US. Talk about a life change!

Ask somebody you trust

Everybody needs advice from time-to-time. For the best advice, go to the people who know you better than anybody else. They see your life from a birds-eye perspective when you tend to get stuck looking at the present problem. Warning, it’s not always what you want to hear, but take it or leave it, they are there to help.

For me, this step meant sharing my life with people, but I wasn’t used to the vulnerability it presented. My relationship with friends and family were good, but my personal struggles were kept to myself and myself ONLY. When I didn’t know what to do, I knew I needed to admit humanity and subject myself to the vulnerability anyway.

Only then was I able to accept another person’s view on my life and allow them to advise me in a direction that changed my mindset.

Change your perspective

Sometimes, it’s impossible to change your environment. I understand the risk of making a huge decision, and life isn’t always accommodating. If you’re not able to jump from choice to choice, you can still change your perspective. Negative thought patterns can get you to a place of depression. Avoid that by keeping a positive outlook on life!

“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.” -Chris Pine

Once your perspective has changed, you can focus on other factors you ignored or missed previously. Instead of needing a complete life change, you may find that this life is exactly what you needed to begin with, and only now are you able to realize that.

Practice patience

Putting these tips into practice doesn’t instantly mean life will get better. It takes time for the ball to get rolling, but eventually, you’ll get there! Never give up because things aren’t instantly going your way. Some of my best opportunities came simply by waiting. Also, a decision may need time to mature before it shows reward. Practice patience.

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” -Leo Tolstoy

Take a back seat

You’ve tried everything possible and still, nothing seems satisfactory. You just can’t understand why all your hard work isn’t paying off, and it’s frustrating for you! In this situation, it may be appropriate sit in the back seat.

It’s time to give it up and let things go.

Stop trying to control and manage your life. Your plan isn’t always what’s best anyways! Give life a chance to show you the direction to head in next and it may surprise you.

When you don’t know what to do, take a breath and realize you’re not alone. The lady dressed impeccably with a toddler on her hip may be struggling just as much as you are. And that man who can’t see how his career will support his growing family wishes he had it all together like those CEO at the top of the business.

Nobody should feel alone in one of the most confusing moments of their life. So, do everything you can to surround yourself with the people you love most and remember to pay it forward to people who may come to you with the same problem in the future.

Till Next Time,

Merely Melina