Call it a rut. Call it the blues. Call it an identity crisis, but we’ve all been there – stuck and needing to get unstuck for the sake of our careers and sanity. You can’t make good decisions from a place of desperation or when you’re in freefall mode, even though those are precisely the times that seem to call for hard choices and solid plans, or at least highly dramatic ones.
The feeling of “stuckness” arises when you find yourself in a life situation which does not seem to change for the better. You may be in a job that feels “joyless”, which hardly ever motivates you, and yet you seem to be doing it every day for several years or you may be living in a bad financial situation that feels very disempowering and it doesn’t seem to improve. You could feel stuck in a relationship, in a family, in a lifestyle, with a car, with your body, with your health, with your memories etc. So many situations that can make you feel stuck in life. Yet the bottom line is that if you are feeling “stuck” it just means that you are “resisting” the movement of life in some way or the other. So, the question I have for you is….
What do you do if you are stuck?
In order to get unstuck, you have to admit that you are stuck – both to yourself and to those it affects. But you also have to choose your confidantes wisely. Talking about your rut with someone in exactly the same boat may seem comforting, but it mostly ends up reinforcing your existing doom and gloom outlook. You gain a partner in commiseration, but you lose a sense of perspective and the impetus to make changes.
The truth is that change is difficult for most of us. Left to our own devices, most of us would rather carry on as we are. But if you’re holding yourself back from your potential, or if you feel stuck where you are, life is telling you it’s time to make a change, and maybe you are one of the lucky ones who is going to listen to the message when it hits you over the head…
If you are stuck, here are some reasons why you feel that way and a few ideas to get you unstuck:
- You compare yourself to others. Is it their FB profile or stories they are posting? We all know that most of that is embellished. This is a waste of time. Compare yourself to where you started to get a sense of how far you’ve come, or to where you’re headed to check your direction. Leave others out of it.
- You experience limitations. Limitations exist only in your mind. If you use your imagination and exercise your determination, the possibilities become limitless. Create a vision or description and follow the journey to get you there.
- You lack confidence. We all have a voice of self-doubt, and if you listen to it you will always lack confidence. What we say to ourselves is what we believe. It’s time to tune out that inner voice and find something that you enjoy, are passionate about, or something new that will get you moving again.
- You don’t take action. Knowing what to do isn’t enough. To get unstuck, you have to take action. Set small, manageable goals every day and start building on those baby steps. Even if you go forward two steps and back one, it’s a dance, not a failure.
- You keep doing what you’ve always done. Remember the saying that if you keep doing what you’ve always done and expect different results that is the definition of insanity. Find the weakest point in your processes and start making changes there.
- You’re not present. It’s been said that 80 percent of success is showing up. When you show up though, you have to be present and looking up … not looking down at one of your electronic gadgets. You will miss some great opportunities by not being present and will fall into some unfortunate distractions by not paying attention.
- You never have enough. If you look at what you have with a sense of longing for more, nothing will ever be enough. But if you look at what you have with a sense of gratitude, you will always feel you have more than you need. No matter how small, we always, always have something to be grateful for. Remember that and see how that will unstick you more than you imagined.
Remember, it’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck, do better.