Ep 58: When You Don’t Know What To Do Next

Have you ever been paralyzed by the thought, ‘I don’t know’? From choosing a candy bar to making major life decisions, we’ve all encountered this mental block. Today, we tear down this wall together. Understanding the ‘I don’t know’ thought pattern and recognizing it in our everyday lives is the first step.

Changing perspectives can open up new possibilities, and to illustrate this, an interesting strategy of flipping the dice is presented. Tune in to find how a simple question like ‘What do I know right now?’ can open up channels of communication with your inner self, enabling you to overcome this mental obstacle and live a purposeful life.

This Episode is For You If: 

  • You have difficulty navigating through the ‘I don’t know’ mental block
  • You find yourself feeling stuck or unsure at life’s crossroads
  • You are looking for strategies to overcome mental barriers and move towards a purposeful life
  • You frequently find yourself thinking ‘I don’t know’ in various aspects of your life, from simple decisions to crucial ones

Featured on the Show: 

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Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Transcript:
 Welcome to the Mom On Purpose Podcast. I’m Lara Johnson and I’m here to teach you how to get out of your funk, be in a better mood, and play more with your kids. Manage your home better. Get your to-do list done and live your life on purpose with my proven method. This is possible for you, and I’ll show you how. You’re not alone anymore. We’re in this together. Hello, hello. So good to talk to you today. I am Lara Johnson, and I am here as a host of the mom on purpose podcast. And I love this time of year. It’s a little bit of a crazier time of year for us. I’ll explain that in just a minute, but every time I feel like there’s just excitement in the air when fall starts to come. The only problem with that is every single time we enter a new season, I have. The same old allergies, and I feel like I’m a total mess with it right now. So, if I sound a little more stuffed up or a lot more stuffed up, that’s why I don’t think I’ve slept for months now because they have been so bad this year. And every time I talk to a doctor, they say it’s just going around, we had a really wet June, we had a really, A lot of snow this last winter, and I just wonder if it put a lot more in bloom than normal. So, it’s just tricky. It’s tricky to navigate as we try and figure out what to do with all of it. So, I do apologize for sniffling if you hear any of that. On this recording or me just sound super nasally. Oh, just welcome to my life. I do have to tell you though, a huge win at this time. Last year I was nine months pregnant, and I had Covid, so I am very excited and very proud of myself. that I’m not in that anymore and that I, my baby is almost a year old, which is so crazy to think about. So as I was thinking about this episode and what I wanted to talk to you on the thing that It’s just been on my heart and I feel like I say this all the time because I want you to know you’re always not far from my heart and my mind as I’m thinking about you and what you could be struggling with. I recognize that one of the hardest thoughts for Anybody to experience, I feel like, is the I don’t know thought. And when we have the I don’t know thought, it feels so circumstantial. Meaning that we think it’s our reality when we have the thought I don’t know. And so, when I’m coaching on this, either in my clients or in my own brain, it is like taking a crowbar to my brain to loosen this thought on like, I don’t know. And I’ll explain why we want to loosen that in just a second. But I wanted to just, you know, introduce what we’re going to talk about today because so often we have these, I don’t know what to do next. I don’t know what I’m in the mood for. I don’t know what my purpose is. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. But what I want to teach you today is how to work through that and the benefit of working through and seeing that as just a thought. And so, you’ll know this episode is for you is if you feel like in your progress, in your purpose, you feel blocked, like you’re coming against a wall. Or if your brain says, I don’t know, dot, dot, dot, a lot. Maybe it’s just, I don’t know. And you find yourself saying that and you just feel really stumped a good amount of the time. You’ll also know this is the right path for you if it feels like there’s a lot of obstacles, like you know what you want to do, but you keep hitting a lot of obstacles and now you’re not sure if you’re on the right path. You don’t know if you’re on the right path or if you were, and I use this as a funny example, but it comes up. A lot in my coaching, where if you go to the store to pick out a candy bar and you don’t know what to pick and you stand there walking up and down looking at all the app, all the different options and you’re like, cool. You’re just stumped over a candy bar, or it might be you’re sitting at the restaurant, and you don’t know what you’re in the mood for and you’re worried that you’re going to get something and not really like it. You don’t know what to get. You’ll also know, the last one, is if you don’t know what you want to make for dinner or you don’t know what’s wrong if you’re having a bad day and your spouse asks you what’s wrong and you’re like, I don’t know. Or you don’t know why you’re yelling at your kids, or you know, there’s So many different scenarios, but you find that this, I don’t know shows up in other areas of your life. Not just when you’re. So, I wanted to share just a little bit about my history with the I don’t know thought and my experience with it. So, the first time I ever saw this as a thought, I had my own coach and She, I said, well, I don’t know. I, it’s something about building my business. I’m not sure what it was. I don’t know what it was. Did you catch me saying that right there? I even tried to dress it up. I’m not sure. I was trying to be sneaky with my own brain. No, I don’t recall all of the scenarios around it, but I believe it was around. building my business. And at the time she, I said, well, I don’t know. And she’s like, well, that’s a thought. And I was like, no, it’s not. I actually don’t know. She’s like, and that’s a thought. And so, we, and I kept arguing with her. I’m like, no, like you’re wrong. I have all this evidence to show that I don’t know, not always the easiest person to coach, to be clear. I know what you see here is me being the coach, not being the coachee, but it, it is a human experience for all of us, even those of us that are a life coach. And so, when I, when I got to this point and I kept like, Kind of pushing against her what she was showing me was not just in this particular moment that this is a thought, but this was a thought pattern that was in many areas of my life. It showed up in my parenting. It showed up not only in my work, but also in my emotions. I don’t know my emotions. It showed up in my relationship. It showed up even in the clothes that I wanted to wear for the day, and I didn’t know what I wanted to wear. And so, it kept. Coming up and, and I, I, I remember talking to her about it and then, you know, going to the store and just kind of standing there looking at the candy bars. I’m like, I don’t know what I want. I was like, ah, it really is. It’s in all the areas of my life. And so, I was so convinced that I actually didn’t know. And what I realized was that every single time I said the thought. Or the phrase, I don’t know, it was like I hit a wall, like a concrete barrier that like, it was so abrupt every single time, but I didn’t recognize what it was actually doing to my progress. So, when we are looking at this thought, I want you to not so much time arguing with me, okay, just for a moment, you can argue with me later if you want, but I want you to spend time just examining what happens in your body when you say, I don’t know, or as my kids will respond, IDK, IDK. They’ll, they’ll tell me that all the time. IDK. I know you don’t know, but we, we still have to figure this out. So, I’m going to teach you, you know, how you can work through this, but I first want you just to take a moment. And if you’re in a place where you can close your eyes and just say the thought, like, I don’t know. And just recognize what happens in your body. I don’t know what I’m in the mood for. I don’t know what my purpose is. And almost always you’ll feel this, this blockade or this like pit in your stomach, almost like this sinking feeling. It goes from your chest all the way down to your, your gut. Lots of times people will feel like their shoulders slumped, like they’re defeated when they say, when they actually check in with their body. So, I want you to check in with your body about this particular thought, because when you do, you’re going to start seeing the more often you say that. The more you are inviting yourself to this sinking, defeated, discouraged type feeling, and you are blocking your progress. So, in order to work through the IDK, the I don’t know thought, it’s important for us to just pause and see it as a thought. Okay. And we can go about this in, in a couple different ways, because the first time again, like I mentioned, the first time This somebody told me this was a thought with regards to my business. I had never grown a business. I didn’t have the experience. And so, my brain had collected all of this evidence on how my coach was wrong. And we talk a lot about living in between the circumstance and the thought. So, I want you just to spend time. Looking at this as a thought. Okay, so the first thing that we want to do is, is just look at the definition of thought. It’s just a sentence our brain has created. It doesn’t have factual evidence, meaning like the weather outside, you can read a temperature, a birth certificate. I gave birth to a child on this particular day and time. There’s no concrete evidence with regard to that. I don’t know. Now your brain immediately will go to, but I can show you the evidence and I want you just to sit with that for a second. Okay. That’s okay. If there is evidence and there might be ways that this is true. Okay. For a particular thing. But if this is a thought pattern, if this is something commonly showing up in your own brain, you’ll see this. Not just in whatever it is that you want to argue with me about, but you’ll see it as a pattern in other Areas of your life. So, I want you for just a moment Consider where else does this thought show up? So, at this point when you’re looking around you may see it in other areas. That’s okay. So, when you start seeing this in other areas, your brain is collecting evidence on how this is true. So just for a moment, I want you to pick one area where you find that this thought shows up a lot. And I want you just to ask yourself, could this be proven in a court of law? Could everyone in the world agree on this thought? So, the last time I had to go through this exercise was when there were some challenges, some big challenges with our children. And some of the unique things that we deal with, with them the two older are very unique. And I remember getting to a spot where I just had the thought like, I don’t know what to do. Experts can’t tell me what to do. Doctors can’t tell me what to do. Therapists can’t tell me what to do. And I just was stumped and I had to sit for a second and I, and this. I say a second. I mean, it was probably a solid week, maybe more, where I chewed through this thought to prove to my brain how this wasn’t true. And I remember taking it and it’s almost like you have some dice in your, in your brain. And if you’re looking at one particular side of this dice or die, however you prefer to say it, if you were never to see the rest of it, your brain would see on one side that there was just one black circle to just represent one. And if your brain had never seen a dice before, it had never turned it around to see that there are two dots on the other side and three dots on another side and four dots and so on, your brain would automatically assume that. And I use this example because when we are looking at a thought and it feels so concrete in our brain, it’s almost like you’re looking at some dice with only one dot on that side. And it’s our job to flip the dice around and look at all the different sides of it to prove to our brain, there are other ways to look at things, to prove to our brain that what feels so concrete is what we’re looking for. So, one of the things that I did was I had to turn the dice on, like, I don’t know what to do with my kids. I had to turn the dice on its head to look at, okay, do other people think that about me? No, actually, like people have told me, like, I’m super impressed with how you work with your kids. I’m like, okay. So, they have a different thought than I did. And then I turned it over and then I looked at, okay, well, how have I solved it for my kids for the past decade? Oh, yeah, actually, I’m really creative with my kids, and I’m able to come up with creative solutions that other people haven’t been able to tell me. Okay, so I turned it again. And then, so I kept looking at it from all these different angles to prove to my brain that even though in this moment, it feels factual that I don’t know what to do. I’m able to look at it from all these different angles. So, I use that as a very simple example that whatever thing it feels like that you don’t know, I want you to turn it on its head. Okay? And so, we’re doing that by thinking, okay, can this be proven in a court of law? No, it can’t. What can be proven? Oh, well, it can be proven that I have two children. That’s it. Okay. And for a little bit, that’s all I could sit with, that I have two children and they have unique experiences and challenges in this life. That’s the only thing I sat with for a long time because that allowed me to have acceptance that allowed me to. Move away from that. I don’t know though where I kept getting so frustrated feeling so blocked, So I want you to think about this in maybe your purpose. For example, this is you know What I coach on of course all the time where you’re like, I don’t know what my purpose is Well, let’s turn it on its other side. Do other people think you know your purpose? What do they think your purpose is? Huh. That’s kind of a weird way to think about it. Or you turn it on the other side and think, okay, yeah, I used to feel very purposeful. Why? Why did I feel purposeful when I was in my twenties? You know, you turn it again in a different way. Like, what could my purpose be? What do I like learning about? Oh, okay. Well, let’s draw purpose and let’s just focus on things that excite me and that I want to learn about. Okay. So, what you’re doing is you’re, you’re trying to stretch your brain to look at things in different perspectives because it will open your brain back up to possibility. Back up to progress, back up to creativity instead of just being blocked and feeling stumped all the time. Okay. So, the first, like I mentioned, the first thing is you want to see this as a thought, and you do that by looking at it from different angles. Another way you can look at it from a different angle is taking this thought and just asking yourself, like, okay, so my brain says that this is a true thought. I don’t know what my purpose is. And then you can flip it again and even ask yourself, like, how could this be false? What if I, what if my purpose is already inside of me? And it’s my job just to let it out. You’re not finding anything. It’s already there. And so even just recognize like how could this be false, okay, allows your brain to stretch and explore almost like you’re walking into a dark room and you’re like feeling around on where everything is, so you don’t trip. It’s kind of the same feeling when you’re looking at things from different perspectives to prove to your brain that this is just a thought. And I want to figure out other evidence or other ways to look about it. So that’s one thing. So, then the second thing that you do when you’re working through the, I don’t know thought is to create anchor statements. Now the way I describe an anchor statement is kind of like. Imagine, okay, we talk about the I don’t know thought as like a blockade in front of you. And when we’re looking at other perspectives, it’s like we’re trying to go around the blockade. Now, you know in movies where there’s like, they’re climbing the castle wall, and they’ll like throw a grappling hook over the wall to like, hook on to the other side, and then they start like climbing the wall. An anchor statement is kind of like that, where it’s your grappling hook that you’re throwing over to like catch on that wall so you can climb up and over it. So, when you’re thinking about an anchor statement, you want something that you’re not just exploring the possibility of, you want something that you believe and know to be true right now. Like. Your core self feels it. There’s like almost a spiritual connection to some of these thoughts. And I will say some of these thoughts I feel like are placed in me. They’re not ones I’ve come up on my, on my own. And they take some time, you know, to explore some of those that like really anchor you, but you’ll feel the second that anchor, that grappling hook is secure and you’re like, Oh. Yes, this is exactly what I believe right now. And so, for me, a couple of the questions in creating the anchor statements is I’ll ask myself, okay, I don’t know on this thing, but what do I know right now? And I’ll just start free riding on that. I will tell you that asking myself that has proved so beneficial on. so many occasions where There are just challenge after challenge after challenge that life presents to us. And every time I’m working towards my purpose and these challenges come up, my brain wants to argue that I’m on the wrong path. But the second I ask myself, okay, but what do I know? Right now. And I started writing out this whole list. It’s like suddenly the channels between me and God are open, and we are good. And I can see how the obstacle in front of me is not a, no, you’re on the wrong path, a bore. It’s a yes. And this is the next lesson you are to learn. Keep going. It’s a very different shift physically within our body when we find those anchor statements. So, when I think about an anchor statement, maybe that you’re experimenting with right now, it might be like, I don’t know what my purpose is. Okay, but what do you know right now? Well, I know that I like organizing. I know that I like people. That was one of my anchor statements for a long time. I’m like, I don’t know what my purpose is, but I know I want to work with people. I knew it wasn’t animals. Then as much as I like plants, I didn’t only want to work with plants. And. So I was able to use that as an anchor statement, you know, another one, it might be like, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with my future, but it might be like I love learning and I miss learning. I miss being in a classroom. I miss having a teacher. Give me an A plus and a gold star. I miss listening to other people without my kids crawling on me. You know, like it’s so simple, but These are things that you know, right now, I know for me, another big one was I, at the time, I didn’t know what my purpose was. And I thought, okay, well. What do I know that I like to learn about? And it was like, so simple. I’m like, yeah, there are things that I like to learn about. I like to learn about brains. What I real and behavior, what I realized was that every single job I had ever had, I was studying the people. Yeah, in literally every job, studying the people, even when I was mowing lawns, I was studying myself on like, why do I like to like have this straight line and I, and I’m always trying to like look for patterns to like improve my efficiency and mowing this particular lawn and like, it sounds so silly, but I have always been that way. I’ve. always studied people, even myself. And so, when I thought about things like, what are the things that I want to do? One of the things was I wanted to study Six Sigma, which is like manufacturing systems, improving those systems. Because what I realized was when I was studying everybody, I was always looking for like, why is it working this way? Why is this behavior? How is this slowing someone down? Yada, yada. And I was like, oh, that’d be really cool to study that and apply it to people. Like look at and study manufacturing and improving a system within an industrial plant and apply it to people. Now looking back, I’m like, oh, I have no desire to ever pursue Six Sigma. But what it was telling me was what my natural gifts and talents were. I already knew that. So, although I didn’t know my end purpose, I knew a piece of it. I knew something right now and it was so anchoring to see that. Okay. So again, we’re going back. That second step is to create those anchor statements. The other thing that I will, the other question that I asked myself that allows me to move through is if I say, I don’t know. And I just pause, and I feel that blockade and it’s, and then I ask myself, okay, so what do I want to do about it? And again, what we’re doing is allowing your brain to open up. All of a sudden, it’s like, yeah, there’s this blockade, but what do I want to do about the blockade? I don’t feel as frustrated. It comes back and allows me to think, okay, how can I climb over this wall? Do I want to ask for help? Do I want to be mad for a time? There were lots of times where I just was mad and that was okay. That’s what I wanted to do. So, it allowed me to come back and, and. Incorporate choice back where I felt like I didn’t know, and like, because I didn’t know, my choice was taken away from me. This allowed me to come back and to see that I had a choice in the matter of what do I wanted to do to move forward. So those are a couple things that you can do with, I don’t know, though, of course, the third thing is to hire me as your life coach. And I will say that I am very good at helping you work through this thought because I have lots of experience with it personally, but also in my profession, because I will say that this is one of the things that stops. Everybody dies in their tracks when they’re working towards their purpose at some point. And so, if you feel like you are blocked right now and you’re ready to work through that. Go down to the show notes, you can click on my link down there where you can see I think it says like work with me, click on that and it will take you to my schedule. I have, I have like one or two openings starting in October. So, if that’s something that you’d like to do, let me know. I would love to coach you through this. Have a wonderful day. Thank you for listening. Please share, review, and subscribe to this podcast so that together we can live life on purpose.

How to Connect with Lara:

Web: www.larajohnsoncoaching.com

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Work with Lara: www.larajohnsoncoaching.com/work-with-me/

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