Sometimes, the hardest part is admitting to ourselves that we are stuck.
You feel trapped. Every move you attempt to make is met by some wall – real or imagined.
The barrier could be a dead-end job, a bad relationship, or a feeling of lack: financial, spiritual, or plain old malaise.
I’ve personally had these feelings. It’s not fun.
You lay awake at night trying to put the puzzle pieces together that will solve ‘the problem’ — only to wind up in the same place the next day. (Pro tip: 3am is not the time or place for problem-solving.)
You need to get ‘unstuck and unf$%#d’.
It is a frustrating experience, but remember — it’s not a permanent state.
Let’s dive in and explore some practical ways to get unstuck and start moving forward:
Recognize That You’re Stuck
It sucks that we’re not progressing in the ways we’d like, whether in our careers, personal lives, or other areas. The first step of change is always the hardest. Go ahead and admit to yourself that you are stuck.
Confirming this reality is the first significant step towards freeing yourself. Look out for signs such as feelings of dissatisfaction, frustration, or feeling overwhelmed.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
It’s okay to have mixed feelings about change. Acknowledge and accept your emotions rather than trying to suppress them. This is a healthy part of processing change and moving toward acceptance.
Identify What’s Holding You Back
It’s essential to identify what exactly is holding you back. Fear of failure? Uncertainty about the future? Lack of motivation? A toxic environment? This identification process should be easy — but this exercise may cause you to discover other things about yourself or your problems that may have been simmering under the surface. Once you’ve pinpointed the issues, you can begin to address them head-on.
Learn from Past Changes
This can be a tricky one for some people. Some of us use the past as a crutch or an excuse for why our life isn’t better. This is a recipe for disaster.
Reflect, but don’t dwell on past changes in your life. What did you learn from those experiences? How did you adapt and grow? Use these reflections to build confidence in your ability to navigate future changes.
Set Clear, Achievable Goals
Without a clear direction, it’s easy to feel stuck. That’s why setting goals is so important. Your goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This approach will give you a clear path and a sense of purpose as you work toward your objectives.
Goal setting shouldn’t be empty wishes.
‘Losing weight’ is not a goal; it’s a concept, and it’s neither specific nor measurable.
‘Lose 25 lbs in a week’ is neither realistic nor obtainable.
‘Lose 25 lbs by your friend’s wedding in October’ is more realistic and achievable.
Often, we’re stuck because we’re unwilling or afraid to embrace change. However, change is a part of life and is often the catalyst that propels us forward. So, lean into it. Embrace the new experiences, opportunities, and people that come your way.
Develop a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset, a term coined by psychologist Carol Dweck, is the belief that skills and intelligence can be developed with effort, learning, and persistence. This mindset encourages embracing challenges, persisting in the face of setbacks, and seeing effort as the path to mastery. You’re less likely to feel stuck if you perceive challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.
Use the Power of “Yet”
When faced with a difficult task, remind yourself that you may not be able to do it “yet.” This small word is powerful because it implies that growth and learning are on the horizon. It shifts your perspective from a fixed mindset (“I can’t do this”) to a growth mindset (“I can’t do this yet, but I can learn”).
When you’re feeling stuck, taking care of your mental, emotional, and physical well-being is more important than ever. This means eating healthily, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and taking time for activities you enjoy. These actions will improve your mood, boost your energy levels, and provide you with the resilience needed to tackle your challenges.
Sometimes, we’re our harshest critics. It’s important to remember to be kind to yourself. If you need a day off, take it. Watch your favorite movie, eat your favorite meal, and do what makes you happy.
It’s okay to ask for help. Reach out to trusted friends, family members. They can provide a fresh perspective, advice, and the emotional support you need to get unstuck.
If you’re uncomfortable sharing your issues with friends and family, a telehealth counselor or professional coach may give you the insights you want. They can provide you unbiased information, opinions, and a fresh perspective to help move you on your way.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, take action. Even small steps can start to break the cycle of feeling stuck. Don’t wait for the perfect moment; it will never come. Instead, make the moment perfect by taking decisive right now.
Feeling stuck in life is something that happens to everyone.
It’s not a sign of failure; it’s a sign that it’s time for a change. As you work on yourself, keep these thoughts and practices in mind:
- Practice Gratitude: Stay grateful for what you already have. Being thankful attracts more abundance.
- Believe: Have faith that you can achieve your dreams. Believe in yourself and your abilities.
- Patience: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t expect instant gratification. Keep working hard and be patient.
By acknowledging the issue, identifying the causes, setting clear goals, embracing change, and taking action, you can break free and start moving forward again.
Here’s to getting unstuck and turning the page to a new chapter.