It happens to the best of us—that moment in life when you’re at a crossroads and you’re not sure what to do next. But what many people don’t realize is that this can be an incredibly enriching and exciting time. Crossroads can open new opportunities or take you in directions that you never thought possible. If you find yourself at a point in life where you’re not sure which road to take, check out the ideas below. You never know where it might lead!
Establish a Goal
One of the most unsettling elements about being at a crossroads is the sense of uncertainty. Perhaps you’re used to always knowing where you’re going or perhaps you thought you were heading in one direction and now that way has been blocked. Whatever the case may be, it can be helpful to establish a goal that you want to achieve.
For example, if you’ve just finished university and you’re unsure about the next steps, your goal could be to do go down a route that helps you find your passion. Or, if you’ve left a job or a relationship, your goal could be to find yourself and figure out what’s most important to you. The key is not to make the goal too specific or unattainable. After all, you’re in a period of change, which means your goal should be structured but open.
Talk to Someone
Being at a crossroads can be a scary and difficult time, but it can also be an exciting one. Depending on where you’re at on the emotional scale, it can be helpful to talk to someone about getting through this period. Be it a friend, family member, partner, or counselor, gaining another perspective can help you explore your feelings and gain advice from someone who has been there before. Just be sure that the person you’re talking to doesn’t try to sway you in any particular way. In the end, this is your journey and it’s important that you’re the one in the driver’s seat.
Go Back to School
Once you’ve set a goal and explored your options, you may want to make some big decisions. One of these could be going back to school and learning a new subject. Perhaps you want to enhance your existing degree or change to an entirely new one. For example, maybe you want to completely change gears and leave the corporate world to undertake one of the many accelerated BSN online programs.
If you’re certain that you want to acquire more education, then going back to school at this period in your life can be a great way to move the process forward. Even if you want to explore the school option but aren’t entirely sure, you can always attend an open day at the institutions you’re interested in, or speak to someone on the program who can help you make your decision.
Re-Train for a New Career
Closely related to going back to school is re-training for a new career. If you’ve just left a job and want to move up the ladder, re-training can be an excellent way to do that. Whether it’s an internship, taking a management training program, or attending networking events, deciding to re-train can be a fantastic next step.
The key here is to focus on your goal and what you want to achieve. Re-training just for the sake of it won’t do you any favors and will likely lead to burnout if you don’t enjoy the process. Focus on what you’re passionate about and see what training opportunities exist in those areas. A crossroads period is all about turning the wheels and changing directions, so make the most of this time and choose your next steps wisely.
Travel Somewhere New
Traveling can be another exciting way to manage a period of uncertainty in life. Taking the pressure off and going to a new environment can sometimes refresh your physical, mental, and emotional spirit, which then allows you to decide on the next steps. Depending on where you are in your life, you may just need to hit the reset button and completely unwind for a few weeks or months.
The other benefit of traveling is that it allows you to take your foot off the pedal for a while to just unwind and be with yourself. This could involve traveling within your local region or going abroad. The one mistake you’ll want to avoid, however, is extended procrastination. If you’re traveling to escape your life and avoid facing your problems, this can also be detrimental in the long run. Try to use travel as a means for exploration and relaxation, rather than a way to flee.
Periods of uncertainty can also demand spontaneity. If you’ve been stuck in a rut for a long time and need to refresh the energy in your life, why not try to be spontaneous? This could involve doing an activity completely out of the ordinary or breaking your regular pattern. It could even be as extreme as moving to a different state or country. Or, on a smaller scale it could simply involve calling up someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and meeting up.
Spontaneity is great for getting rid of old energies and introducing new ones. It can also be fantastic for moving you out of your comfort zone and making you face a situation or a problem that you’re normally afraid of. Just be sure that you do it safely and in a way that doesn’t compromise you physically, emotionally, or financially.
This might sound like a strange tip to follow the ones above, but sometimes the best way to deal with a time of uncertainty is to do nothing. This is especially the case if you’ve been over-active or are burnt out after a stressful period. But this comes with a caveat. Doing nothing could involve taking a two-week break from everything to just relax and reconnect with yourself. Meditation, sleep, and just being with yourself can help you decide on the next steps. However, you don’t want to “do nothing” for too long as this doesn’t serve you or your greater good. If you’re going to do nothing for a while, make sure it involves self-care and the aim of getting more in touch with yourself and what you want to do next.