In his poem The Road Not Taken Robert Frost compares Life to a road in the woods. . . . Some paths are clear and smooth; others are bumpy and filled with obstacles. While Frost's poem encourages us to be bold, to take risks, and to explore the unknown, the truth of the matter is that, no matter ...In his poem The Road Not Taken Robert Frost compares Life to a road in the woods. . . . Some paths are clear and smooth; others are bumpy and filled with obstacles. While Frost's poem encourages us to be bold, to take risks, and to explore the unknown, the truth of the matter is that, no matter which road you choose, the time will come when you get stuck. Some problem will come along that is outside your realm of experience, or a situation will be so surprising, so startling, that you just won't know what to do.

When you don't know what to do, it's very easy to end up in a "Now what?" rut. That is, a very non-productive cycle of asking "Now what?" over and over and over because the only answer you have is, “I don't know.”

If this is familiar to you, I encourage you to escape the "Now what?" rut by considering the following:

1. IT’S O.K. NOT TO KNOW

Many people get stuck right off the bat by beating themselves up for not having an immediate answer or for not foreseeing each and every problem they encounter. Nobody can know everything, and nobody can foresee everything, so don’t spend a lot of time on this.

2. PAUSE, DON'T STOP

Take time to reflect on the situation at hand, to discover what the real problem is and what possible solutions might resolve it. But don’t spend so much time thinking things over that you lose momentum. So pause, but don’t stop, and press on with what you need to do. (Remember your science lessons: Bodies at rest tend to stay at rest. . . .)

3. DO WHAT YOU'D DO IF YOU DID KNOW WHAT TO DO

Whenever someone tells me, “I don’t know what to do” I ask them what they would do if they did know what to do. It seems like a silly question, but most of the time I find that they can answer the question! Sometimes we are so focused on the problem that we lose sight of the fact that we really do know a solution to it. Asking this question pushes us to focus on the solving things.

4. DO ANYTHING

There are times when you really, truly, just don’t have a clue about what to do. In these cases, doing anything is better than doing nothing.

So,guess… go to lunch… turn Left… flip a coin... Taking some action not only keeps you moving, it changes your perspective on the problem, and helps you stay motivated.

If what you’ve chosen to do is not the exact right thing to do, you’ll find out soon enough and can change courses then. Of course, you may very well be correct, so you’ll still be on track. Regardless, in most cases, doing something is far better (and more productive) than doing nothing at all.

5. GET HELP

One of the most difficult things to do is admitting that we don’t have all the answers ourselves, but as I’ve already pointed out, one person can't have all the answers. Just because you don’t have the answer, though, doesn’t mean that no one has an answer.

Seek out possible solutions from people you know. Go to you family, your friends, your co-workers, or your personal success coach. Get their input, try on some of their ideas… you may find one that fits! (And even if you don’t, you’ll feel better knowing that you spent your time and effort productively.)

So, when the going gets stuck, and you find yourself in a “now what” rut, keep these ideas in mind! Getting going may be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be impossible… and “not knowing what to do” doesn’t have to be the end of the road for your success goals.

Author's Bio: 

Jim M. Allen, The Big Life Guy™, a professional success coach, helps people around the world live make their dreams a reality. For more ideas on how you can live YOUR big life, visit his website, http://www.CoachJim.com or subscribe to his free ezine, The Big Idea, by going to: CoachJim.com/subscribe.html