At a Crossroads in Life? 5 Key Questions to Ask

Are you at a crossroads in life? If you’re unsure of where to go or what to do next, perhaps you are.

You may have a fear or concern that a decision could lead to a mistake. But maybe we can never too be sure how things are going to work out.

All we can do is gather knowledge and facts and make the best choice we can. As long as you’re trying to make an informed decision, things are usually more likely to go right than wrong. And even if they do go wrong, you can feel less regret knowing you didn’t make an impulsive decision.

You may not know where to start when it comes to making the best decision for yourself. If so, here are a few questions you can ask to help come to some answers.

Pathways in the woods

What to Ask When You’re at a Crossroads in Life

1. What ultimately matters to you in this life?

Whatever you decide your next step should be, it’s best that it’s based on what you value. Think about what you consider your top priorities.

If you’re unsure, there are ideas out there that might help you come to an understanding. Tony Robbins believes that everyone has one or more of six basic needs. Those needs are:

  • Certainty
  • Variety
  • Significance
  • Growth
  • Connection
  • Contribution

Certainty is about valuing safety and security. Perhaps what matters to you most is having a stable career and a comfortable home life.

Those who value variety appreciate change and challenges in life. It might really matter that you travel to new places and try new things frequently.

Significance refers to a desire of wanting to be validated or wanting to do something meaningful. You may value achieving some level of prestige in your work, or do something that gets recognized by others.

Growth is described as the need for physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development. Consider whether you’re driven by pursuit of excellence. Maybe you find yourself constantly wanting to get better in different facets of life.

Connection refers to the need to feel like we belong. It’s possible that almost everyone has a desire to love and be loved.

Contribution is about the desire to give back to others. Perhaps your main priority in life now is to serve people and help make the world a better place.

Think about all of these different human needs. Contemplate which one of them resonates with you the most.

2. What path will help you grow?

When choosing between two or multiple paths, a good thing to consider is whether a certain path will help you grow more. Hall of fame college football coach Lou Holtz once said, “In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.”

It’s important to continue to push ourselves to learn and become better with how we live. It’s perhaps what helps to make our life meaningful. You can read about personal growth challenges to help you have a better understanding of what path might make you better.

3. What do people you trust and respect think?

You don’t have to be alone in figuring out the path to take. You can ask the people you trust in your life.

Who’s someone you respect and value their perspective? See what they recommend for you to do. Maybe they might have some insight that can inform what decision you should make.

4. What’s your gut telling you?

When thinking about the idea of following your intuition, some of you may feel skeptical. But science has done research that suggests there’s something to the belief of trusting your gut. Here are a few suggestions that might help you follow what your gut is telling you:

  • A sense of peace about your decision
  • A flash of clarity
  • Feelings of tightness or tension
  • Your thoughts dwelling on a specific situation or person

If you haven’t tried it before, try listening to what you’re feeling deep inside. Maybe if you find that you’re feeling strongly about going a certain direction in life, you should do it. But be sure you’ve also reflected for a period of time so you don’t make an impulsive decision.

5. What does your experience tell you?

The longer you’ve lived life, the more experiences from the past you have that can guide you. Think about the last time you were having to make a decision of what step to take next.

If the choice you made worked out well, think about what helped you make that decision. If a choice you made didn’t turn out well, think about what might have caused you to make the wrong choice. The insight you’ve gained from those experiences will hopefully lead you to making the best decision for yourself.

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