Five years ago, I found myself frozen at a huge crossroads in my life.
At the time, I was working at a job that kept promoting me, but that secretly made me miserable; I’d just been accepted into a grad school I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to; I was nervously considering signing up for a coach training program; and part of me still wondered if all of these options were wrong and there was a different path I didn’t yet know existed that would be better.
It felt exactly like I was on a long car trip and I was stalled out at a major crossroads, knowing that whichever path I decided to take would lead me to a completely different destination. I was panicking under the pressure.
Being at a crossroads feels scary. You know that with just one decision, your life could look completely different.
Sometimes, you don’t even know where all of the different paths lead. All you know is that you don’t like the direction you’re headed and you want to change course. That can feel particularly terrifying.
Being at a crossroads can look like …
- Knowing you want a new job (or to switch career paths entirely) and feeling like there are a million options in front of you.
- Deciding whether or not it’s the right time to start a family.
- Considering moving to a totally new city.
- Debating about whether to say yes to a job offer or break away and start your own business.
- Determining whether to end a relationship or try to make things work.
You know it’s time to make a decision and change course, but you feel paralyzed by the options and have no idea which direction to take.
We’ve all been in this situation before (maybe you’re there right now!) where it feels like your life hinges on you making the “right” choice. The pressure and uncertainty is enough to make anyone feel utterly overwhelmed.
Because this sensation of being stuck at a crossroads is so common, and because we have a ton to say on the topic, we’re making this into a 3-part blog series.
In parts 2 & 3 of this series, we’re going to get into what led you here to this crossroads in the first place and then how to move forward in the right direction. But for now, what I most want you to remember is …
YOU’RE NOT WALKING ALONE
One of the hardest parts of being stuck at a crossroads is how isolating it feels. It can feel like no one totally understands the dilemma you’re facing and that you alone have to decide which direction to take.
The uncertainty can feel like a heavy load that you have to carry alone.
But the truth is, you’re not remotely alone. The people in your life who love and care about you want to help ease your path and support you along the way. It’s OK to confide your fears, cry out your overwhelm, and ask for help and accountability from your people.
As a friend of mine once said, “Everyone needs someone in their life who they can completely lose their shit in front of.”
When I was at that major crossroads I described earlier, I not only confided in my friends and family, but that’s when I hired my first life coach who helped me get to the bottom of what I really wanted. (Clearly that made a huge impact on me!)
It can be a huge relief to admit, “I’m feeling stuck and I don’t know what to do here,” and to reach out for support from people who genuinely have your best interest at heart.
YOU’RE IN GOOD COMPANY
It’s also helpful to remember that you’re in good company with the many, many people who have come to this same crossroads before.
You’re not the first person to feel this level of confusion, overwhelm, and heavy responsibility … countless people have stood exactly where you now stand, and they came out on the other side.
Even if you may never meet the people who are struggling with the same major life decisions you’re facing, it’s comforting to know you’re standing in solidarity with so many people who get exactly what you’re going through.
The fact that you’re in the Clarity on Fire community alone is proof that you share a kindred spirit with thousands of people who are asking the same big questions about life that you’re asking.
We’re all figuring this out together.
SEEK OUT THOSE WHO INSPIRE YOU
Remembering that there are thousands — likely millions — of people in the same boat can help ease the heavy burden of feeling like you have to find all of the answers on your own.
To remind yourself of that fact, and to start building your certainty and confidence before choosing a new path for yourself, try this:
Start seeking out people who have been at their own crossroads and come out on the other side. It doesn’t matter if these are people you know personally or people you’ll likely never meet (celebrities, authors, online experts, etc.). Simply hearing their story can serve as proof that what you’re facing right now is surmountable and temporary.
If they can figure it out, so can you. And they may even have some helpful guidance for you along the way.
If you’re stuck at a crossroads right now, or if you’ve been there before and have come out on the other side, leave a comment on the blog to share your experience.
Next week, we’ll be back with Part 2 of this series, which will shine a light on why you might be having such a hard time choosing which path is right for you.
TOO LONG, DIDN’T READ? LISTEN INSTEAD!
If reading long blogs just isn’t your deal, you’re in luck:
We’re now recording our blogs for you!
Here’s Kristen reading this week’s blog:
Kristen (+ Rachel)
JOIN US FOR A LIVE ONLINE HANGOUT NEXT WEEK
You’ll be getting a “formal” invite soon, but consider this your “save the date” …
On Tuesday, September 13th, at 12pm EST we’re doing a FREE live online hangout:
Why “do what you love” & “do what you’re good at” is bad advice that doesn’t work (and what to do, instead).
This live hangout is for you if:
- You’re frustrated with vague, overly general life & career advice.
- You’ve ever thought, “I’d do what I loved if I knew what that was!!”
- You’re not sure that you really care enough about the things you’re good at to turn them into a passionate, fulfilled life & career.
- You’re looking for some guidance that won’t just help you get the next job, but will also help you feel more passionate, engaged, and energized about your entire life.
If you can’t join us live, no worries. Register anyway and you’ll be sent a replay after the hangout is over. You can sign up now by entering your name and email here.
Since we’ve got a week to go until the 13th, we’ll be sure to remind you about the hangout a couple times before the actual event. You don’t have to worry about forgetting!
We’re excited to hang out with you (and drop some wisdom) soon! 🙂
I totally relate. I am still at my crossroads, but my husband and I recently agreed that I can leave my government job to figure out what it is I want to do. I’m totally scared and excited, but I feel like a weight has already been lifted by making that decision. I still have a few months before I leave, but I’m hopeful about what lies ahead.
You’re so right — just making a decision feels SO freeing and releases a huge weight from your shoulders. I’m glad you’ll have the opportunity to focus fully on what you truly want soon! It’s going to feel so spacious to have that time for yourself. I’m sure you’re counting down the weeks! 🙂
I just got through a crossroads. I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles to try a new city and begin my career. And I feel as though I’m approaching another crossroads because I didn’t find what I was looking for in LA and am considering moving back to Chicago or moving back home for a bit. I’m an over-thinker and tend to panic about big changes; moving to LA was after months weighing my options and considering everything from every angle. And now I’m back to over-analyzing with this next step. I do feel, at times, that every decision is life or death or life-altering in some way, which makes me paralyzed. But I keep reminding myself of something my best friend told me: “Nothing is permanent and you can always, always change your mind.” That always makes me feel lighter.
Your best friend is very wise! 🙂 That’s a great quote, and yes, you can ALWAYS change your mind. Plus, now you’ll never have to wonder “What if…” when you think about moving to LA. You made a courageous choice and gave it a try, so no regrets! And remember, you can’t choose wrong.
I am at a complete crossroads with my life right now. I’ve been at my “big, grown up job” for 6 years now and feel like I need something new, however my boyfriend and I are thinking about maybe starting a family in the next year, so I don’t feel I can leave and start somewhere new if I’m to go on maternity leave. I still don’t know what any of my passions are either so I have no idea where to even look for new jobs! There are a lot of forks on this road!
It makes perfect sense that you’re feeling a bit confused & overwhelmed — you have a lot of choices in front of you! And a few things that feel like limitations, too. I’ll be curious to hear if you have any more clarity about what you want at the end of this 3-part series. And I also think you might be a perfect candidate for our upcoming PPVE program, which re-opens for enrollment next week. The whole point of it is to help you figure out your passion and come up with a plan that feels good to you. Maybe I’ll see you in there! 🙂
Deciding how to spend this year after graduating college felt like the end of the world! I was so used to aiming high that I couldn’t seem to give myself permission to go ahead and keep the job I already loved, not necessarily jump straight into grad school, and stay near my boyfriend – who is a hugely supportive presence in my life – while he finishes up his degree. I had to realize that I had already MADE the decision because I was thinking of things in terms of “Well obviously I’m moving wherever he goes after this year, so what do I do with a gap year.” Apparently my head just needed to catch up with my heart.
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