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One Surefire Way to Know You’re Going in the Right Direction

Jeff Goins
Sep 28, 2016 · 3 min read

Every book I write is risky and scary. (I’m currently on my fifth.) When I have an idea, I never know if it’s the best one I’ve ever had — or the worst.

But still, I move forward in spite of my anxiety that it might not work. And maybe that’s the secret to doing anything important.

I meet many people who tell me they’re thinking about doing something risky. Something new. It might be starting a blog or leaping out into the realm of self-employment. Heck, it could even mean starting a family or making a move across the country or globe.

And always I hear the same question, that same anxious wonderment. Sometimes, it’s implicit, and other times the person comes out and says it. But it’s always there. The question, lingering and taunting.

“How do I know?”

You might be asking yourself this right now, in some form:

  • “How do I know I’m supposed to get married?”
  • “How do I know if I should start a speaking career?”
  • “How do I know if I’m meant to go on that mission trip?”

We all experience these how-do-we-know moments every time we venture out into the unknown. And I believe that’s a good thing.

The truth is we don’t know.

We don’t know whether we’re headed in the right direction or if this new idea will work — or totally flop. But not knowing was never a good enough reason to not act.

In fact, this is the perfect opportunity for faith, to put yourself out there and grow.

Clarity ain’t all it’s cracked up to be

A reporter once asked Mother Teresa what it was like to have absolute, total clarity in life, to which she responded:

When we don’t know, we avail ourselves to forces bigger than ourselves. We have to rely on God and other people and access something deep within ourselves that we didn’t know was there.

And guess what? It usually works out. One way or the other, we get to where we need to be. Not because we take all the right turns or make all the correct choices, but because we’re moving.

What to do (when you don’t know what to do)

So if you’re not sure you’re headed in the right direction, take heart. You’re in good company. Some of the most courageous endeavors in history started in insecurity.

But don’t just wallow in what you don’t know. Do something. And as you move, keep asking questions, paying attention to the answers that present themselves along the way. Sooner or later, you’ll figure it out.

Like so many times before, you’ll be just fine. I know it doesn’t feel that way right now, but it will — and sooner than you think.

You know you’re headed in the right direction when you’re doing what so many people are afraid to do: moving forward. It’s not easy or safe, but it’s the only thing that gets you heading in a direction at all. Just don’t forget to take that first step.

To get more articles like this, check out my free newsletter. As a thank-you, I’ll send you a free excerpt of my best-selling book, The Art of Work, plus other fun things.

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