What to Do When You Don’t Know What The Fuck to Do

Ever stand there, eyes glazed, thinking "I don't know what the fuck to do..."?

I remember one morning at breakfast time, many years ago, standing in front of an open cupboard, staring at 4 different cereals, trying hard to decide which one I should have.

I stood there for 10 minutes, trying to figure out if it was more of a granola morning or a Corn Flakes morning. A Weetabix morning or an Oat Crunch morning.

Then I closed the cupboard and went without breakfast, because dammit, it was just too hard.

This is a silly (but true) example of how life presents you with choices that leave you wondering which way you should go.

Which is the right choice?
What's the right move?
What if I get it wrong?

Your normal faculties vanish, leaving you standing there on your lonesome, wondering what the hell the right call is, what the best decision is, and what the fuck you should do.

So many options. So many ways to look at it. So many unknowns.

It's all the choice and all the options that create all the pondering and second-guessing. Round and round you go, not knowing up from down, left from right.

Which is fun like an oozing wound.

It's crazy, because you can make decisions. You've proven that in the past. It's just that in that moment, you become obsessed with making the best possible choice otherwise you'll be screwed.

So here, and this is the science part, is what you need to do when you don't know what the fuck to do.

Something.

Do. Something.

Yeah, you heard me.

Do something...

Stop thinking that everything hinges on this decision, and just do something already.

A couple of quick thoughts on that...

Simplify

Forget about finding the "right" choice. You can be there all day modelling different scenarios and exploring every option. So simplify it. All you have to do is make a choice based on what you know now, and what matters to you now. The rest is irrelevant.

Stop projecting

When you don't know what the fuck to do you start telling stories about what might happen, or what people might think, or what could happen if it all blows up. The truth is that you can't know what will happen, and so projecting and telling stories is just a waste of your time and energy. You can make a choice without knowing what's going to happen.

Try it out

Making a choice doesn't necessarily mean that things are irrevocably changed and the die is cast. Your future isn't set in stone, so you can try it out, run an experiment and see what happens. Don't put all that weight and expectation on this decision.

You don't need to be ready

You don't have to be ready to make this decision, especially when "being ready" equates to knowing all the answers, or having all the risk and uncertainty removed from the picture. Being able to make a decision when you're not 100% ready is the spirit of confidence, so what if you were already in the perfect place to make your next decision?

When you tell yourself "I don't know what the fuck to do"...

Next time you find yourself in this situation, take a step back. See how far you've come. Remember how packed you are with capability and possibility. Remember what really matters to you.

Then, do something.

Got it?


  • This is exactly what I have been struggling with coming into the new year. This is solid counsel for rousing me from my paralysis/fear/doubt.

  • Thank you so much for this post. I am 26 and actually at this stage in my life. All I know right now , which is priority is to be happy, remove un necessary stress, eat well and save as much money as possible. Which is doing something rather than nothing, I guess haha.

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