Don't know what to do after you finish school? Read this.
When someone asks you what your plans are after finishing school, does your brain almost freeze up and the best you can mumble is..
“I don’t know”
while you wish the ground would swallow you up as people look back with those ‘well you should know by now’ eyes?!
Trust me, I’ve been there. Like the little girl sitting there with the world at her feet, I had NO clue what I wanted to do when I finished school. And I know a lot of your peers are feeling the same (whether they admit it or not).
'I don't know what to do after I finish school'
'I don't know how to write a resume'
'I don't know which uni to choose’
You wanna know the truth though?
'I don't know' is a lie.
It sounds like such an innocent little thought, and we have all sorts of evidence that it is the truth.
But in reality, it's the devil in disguise.
Here's why -
Telling yourself 'I don't know' keeps you stuck.
It allows you to indulge in confusion.
It wastes time.
It shuts your brain down from searching for answers.
It blocks you from your own wisdom.
I can almost guarantee deep down you DO know.
We just opt for 'I don't know' because:
a) Fear - subconsciously we're scared of getting it 'wrong' or being judged by others.
b) Laziness - we can't be bothered digging deeper or looking further to find the answer.
The problem is spinning out in ‘I don’t know’ makes us feel overwhelmed and confused.
When we’re feeling that way we’re not inspired to take any sort of productive action towards finding an answer - Like researching into possible uni courses, chatting more to your careers advisor, jumping on youtube and learning more about taking a gap year or asking one of our older friends about the subjects they’re studying at Tafe..
Instead, those 3 sneaky little words make us want to just curl up and take a nap -
which is pretty much what our brain does when it hears “I don’t know”.
That's why in I've officially banned 'I don't know' as an answer in my life.
The teens I coach aren't allowed to give me that as their answer either.
Instead I challenge them to open up their mind by asking,
'Yeah but if you did know, what would your answer be?'
And no surprises that more often than not they end up uncovering a brilliant nugget of wisdom or at least open up a new little doorway for us to explore and get closer to discovering an answer from them.
So to get you one step closer to that discovery, I want you to answer the same question:
If you did know the answer to what you want to do next after finishing school, what do you think it would be? Just take a guess?
What came to mind? I know there was at least one thing that came to mind, right?
Go on a contiki tour?
Audition for a performing arts course?
Intern at a new start-up?
Apply for double-degree in Business & Law?
Study personal training at TAFE?
Take a gap year and volunteering at an orphanage in Kenya?
Whaaatever came to mind, as ‘unrealistic’ as it might seem, I want you to see that deep down you DO have ideas or clues as to your next steps after school. So stop shutting them down with the fearful ‘I don’t know’ and know this truth:
Everyone leaves school just taking their best guess at what path to pursue next!
There is no 'right or wrong' answer. There’s no magic path that’s going to catapult you to your dreams, nor is there one that’s going to rob you of them forever. Life is an ever-changing, forever-twisting rollercoaster of experiences where paths and decisions can be changed at any moment - the guess you take now, will not determine your eternal future.
So relax, take a deep, breath - and let go of ‘I don’t know’.
Instead keep your mind curious and inspired to keep searching for your answer by changing your language to things like -
“I just don’t know, YET",
"I'm figuring it out"
“I’m on a mission to discover the answer to that”-
and then get to work doing just that!
We live in the information age where Uncle Google is able to answer every question we have or help us find someone who who can, so we really have no excuse to let 'I don't know' hold us back anymore!
"I'm figuring out which uni I want to apply for..”
"I'm learning whether it’s best to take a gap year or keep studying..”
"If I was to take a guess, I would say I would study this tafe course because... "
Hoooow much more energising do those sentences sound compared to ‘I don’t know’, right?!
You're far more likely to take action and think more deeply to find the answers you're seeking than just settling for the dead end default of 'I don't know'.
Honestly, people go to their graves with 'I don't know' having stolen their dreams.
Don't be one of them.
Don't dwell in confusion.
Trust your wisdom.
Allow space for guesses, discovery, and trial and error -
life becomes far more rich in experiences once you do..