What If I Don't Know What I Want To Do?

At The Hivery, we talk a lot about cultivating what’s next for women. We provide programs and workspace for women to explore their next career, start their own business, or create work that works in their lives. I’m in the lucky position of getting to hear from women on what inspires us, and also what scares or stops us from doing work we truly want to do. 

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One barrier that I heard recently was, “What if I truly don’t know what I want to do? What if I don’t know my passion?”…I thought and thought about this question. And then it occurred to me….I just don’t buy it.

I don’t believe we don’t know. I believe that we’ve known all along.  

I don’t believe we haven’t found it. I believe we are hiding from it.

I don’t believe that there are barriers to exploring it. I believe we construct excuses so that we don’t fail at the one thing we’ve wanted to do all along.

It starts to feel a little bit like a formula. First we say, “I’ve always wanted to…” and then we follow up with “But….”

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

I’ve always wanted to do <fill in the blank>,

  • Open a store.
  • Write a novel.
  • Become a fashion stylist.
  • Work with guide dogs.
  • Teach kids to read.
  • Start a vegan blog.
  • Be a professional photographer.

But, <fill in the excuse>,

  • I can’t afford it.
  • I’m busy with the kids.
  • I’d have to go back to school.
  • I’m not ready.
  • I’m too busy.
  • No one would come.
  • Someone’s already doing it.
  • I’m not qualified.

It’s so often the case that while we’re on that hike with our girlfriends or alone in our thoughts, that same project or “always wanted to do” item circulates again and again through our minds. We’ve likely been talking about it for many years, or maybe even as long as we can remember. But, we’ve skillfully learned to keep pushing it down, out of sight, out of our thought lines, and cover it up with excuses.

And then we back that up by saying things like, “I’m just not sure what I want to do”.

What if we tried this? What if we wrote down the one thing that we’ve always wanted to do? And, then did one, simple actions. Check it out. Take one, small action to exploring what you’ve always wanted to do. Dip your toe in the water. Just one, itty-bitty action. And, then see how it feels. My guess is it will feel great, peak your curiosity, and lead to one, more itty-bitty action, and another, and another.

Want to cultivate those ideas into actions together with other like-minded women? The Hivery offers a creative, safe, beautiful place to explore what’s next for you. You're not alone in discovering and cultivating what next for you. We've got this. 

The Seek Membership is for the Soul-Searcher who wants inspiration and community. It includes two workshops happening next month (Cultivating What's Next & The Product Of You), four "Personal project Days" at The Hivery with a coaching kick-off morning where you can meet women in the same boat as you and potential accountability buddies. More details.  

I originally wrote this guest post for Ronnie's Awesome List; a comprehensive list of family-friendly events around the Bay Area written by blogger and photographer Ronnie Sharp.