Finding yourself is something that most, if not all, people go through at some point in their life. Everyone wants to find a purpose for themselves, even if it’s something as minor as being happy or having a stable income.
But is it really okay to not know what to do with your life?
Everyone asks them self this at some point, but what happens when you’re in your 20s? What about 30s or 40s?
So, what happens if you’re in your 20s and you still don’t know what you want to do with your life? Is it still okay then? You will have to continue reading to find out!
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I spent years and years trying to figure out my life. Throughout that journey I wrote articles such as Is It Okay to be Content When Everyone Strives to be the Best? because I didn’t have a career choice as a life goal and felt shameful because of it.
Is it Really Okay to Not Know What to Do With Your Life in your 20s?
I felt like a failure because I was going through university with no clear path for my future. One of the biggest questions you’re asked closer and closer to your senior year and graduation is “What are you going to do after graduation?”
So if your answer, like mine, was a unanimous “I don’t know” please don’t be as ashamed as I was. Don’t feel guilty for spending all this time and still not knowing what to do. (Caveat: know that if you went to college or university without a goal in mind, you may have just gambled away all that tuition money. Be aware that even without a career choice in mind, you will have to pay back those loans)
So is it really okay to just… not know what to do?
Well, yeah. Of course.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
If you’ve just graduated high school, university, or maybe you’re a few years removed from school and you’re just lost in life and you have no idea what to do, trying to force yourself to figure something out right now isn’t going to make it happen any quicker.
People figure out their life goals or ambitions at different times in their life, and that could very well be after you’re married and you discover you want to be a mother and a homemaker, or it could be that after a year in a career you went to school for you realize that it isn’t for you.
There is no right or wrong time to figure out what you want to do with your life, even though in your 20s and 30s it may feel like it’s the wrong time. That you should have figured this out a long time ago.
But if you don’t know what you want to do, you’re not going to know until you do.
I know that sounds silly, but it’s the truth. Until you discover what it is you want to do, you’re not going to be able to know it. That means you’re ready for trial and error.
Related: What the F*** Do I Do With My Life?!
Experiment, Experience, Evaluate
So you don’t know what you’re doing, how do you go about doing that?
Well, the only way to know if you like something is to do it or experience it. I discovered I wanted blogging to be a source of income and potentially be my sole source of income by blogging. I discovered I wanted to be more of a homemaker/housewife because of my organizational skills, cleanliness, and how I’m basically doing that in my current living situation now, just with roommates.
If you don’t know what you want to do you’re going to have to give trying different things out a try.
This can be as simple as hobbies or as life changing as going back to school. However, if you’re going back to school, I would think carefully about what it is you’re doing because once you spend that money on tuition, I don’t think you can get a refund if you don’t like it (at least not all of it).
I’d personally go the hobby route first, or studying and researching on your own before you make the jump to put that large amount of money up. I’ve spent years blogging, with my most recent failures being Part Time Nerd, and Little Birdie Told You as my previous blogs that didn’t make it past the first few years. I even had one of those self hosted!
But I’m more serious about blogging now. My mindset has changed now that I know I want this to be a life goal, if even for just the next couple of years. I’m more willing to invest money into this than I was before. It may be at a slow pace, I’ve only just bought my first year of Tailwind, but it’s going to happen. I also have a few e-books in the works as a form of income, which I can’t wait to share with all of you.
With all of this, then evaluate the different things you are trying. I know from having worked as an admin assistant at a law firm that I never want anything to do with the legal side of anything ever again. Cross things off your list of activities to try if you find they aren’t your thing.
Give It Time
You can’t really rush these kinds of things. No matter how much you want to figure out what to do with your life, I feel that you won’t know until you’re ready. Be that ready to know or ready because you gave some experimentation with hobbies and found the one that fits you.
Like I said, I spent years trying to figure out my life goal. I was searching all through college, and all after college, and it wasn’t until I turned 30 that I realized what I wanted to do. And I’m not even sure if that’s a viable option, or a long term option. What I know is it’s what I want to do right now.
It may take you a few months or even a few years to figure all of this out. I have a few posts that might help you if you’re a bit stuck (and an e-book on the way!).
Regardless, take your time with these things. Don’t rush them. You’ll figure it out in due time.
- You don’t know what you don’t know. If you don’t know what you want to do with your life, wanting to know really hard isn’t going to make that knowledge happen any sooner.
- Experience many things to figure out what you like. Your life passion may be pottery making, but you’ll never know if you don’t give things a try. Experiment with hobbies, research, and study things in your free time.
- Give it time. None of these soul searching kinds of things are going to happen instantly. It took me over a decade to figure out what I want to do, and I’m pretty sure there are people I know who would scoff at my goals.
Are you in your 20s or 30s and not know what to do with your life? Do you agree with my tips or advice? Let me know in the comments!