Life goes by fast. Before you know it, you are an adult with a load of responsibilities and a lot of dreams filed in a “for later” folder. So, it isn’t a surprise that, at a point, you start feeling stuck in life.
But, you are not alone. It happens frequently to millions and millions of people. However, you can take action about it!
Not sure where to start?
Here are a few things you can do to stop feeling stuck.
You aren’t actually stuck
When you feel stuck in a personal or professional way, you feel like it is something that weighs you down. It is almost a physical thing. It is real for you. Except, it isn’t.
When you feel stuck, remember that it is a feeling in your mind created by how you perceive your current circumstances. Either change your perception or your circumstances (both, if necessary), and you’ll “unstuck” yourself. Keep in mind that everything you are feeling and living is changeable.
Write it down
Commonly, the feeling of being stuck comes along with a lot of thoughts and overwhelm. You’re not sure what’s wrong or what you could do to fix it.
When you can’t pinpoint what is making you feel stuck, you need to write it down. Maybe journaling is not your cup of tea, but, believe me, there is a reason why so many people do it.
Nonetheless, if you don’t have any interest in keeping a journal, at least for once, in any piece of paper, write how you are feeling, why you are feeling that way, and what you could to fix it. That way, you’ll be able not only to organize your thoughts and ideas, but you’ll have a better understanding of your emotions.
Make a plan and take a step
Plan. plan. plan.
Understanding your feeling of inertia is changeable, comes with the responsibility of changing it.
Do you feel stuck in your career? Then change your career. Learn new skills, update your resume, apply for new jobs, prepare for the interview and, change your work.
Number the actions you could take to change your current situation. Make a plan, or a list of to-do’s or a brainstorm, whatever works for you but, trace a path and know the next step.
Break the routine
Sometimes, when you are feeling stuck, it comes from your routine. Do a variety of different activities during the week. Go to the gym, to the movies, take a boat ride: anything out of the ordinary.
Routines can be helpful for achieving some goals, however, if they are never broken, they can be detrimental for your mental, physical and emotional health. Therefore, make sure to engage in different and new projects constantly.
There is nothing better for feeling renovated and unstuck than decluttering, either in a physical or an abstract way.
When you declutter, you let go of stuff that is no longer necessary and that is occupying the space of useful things. As a result, what you need becomes lost in your messy mind (or room) and you even forget it is there.
Declutter old possessions, damaging behaviors, or outdated ideas and make way for everything that is important.
Recently, I was reading a fiction novel called How to Walk Away (2018) by Katherine Center.
The main character suffers an accident that changes her way of life. In the book, there was a particular quote that I loved: “When you don’t know what to do for yourself, do something for somebody else” (p.179).
It was touching, inspirational, and totally true.
If you feel stuck and you don’t know what to do, change your focus: help somebody else. You’ll be amazed by how you can find your own path by helping others in theirs.
Learn a new skill
Do you remember feeling stuck in your childhood years? Probably not.
Why? Because you were always learning, acquiring new skills, and creating.
Nonetheless, most of us make it to a point in life where “we are good with what we have”. Living in conformism goes against our curious and innovative nature.
Instead of feeling envious of that social media friend that learned a new language and traveled to the country of his dreams, DO IT YOURSELF.
Learn, keep your mind fresh, and develop new skills.
Make a vision board
A vision board is a visual and motivational way to remind us what we want in life.
Create one to lead you to the first step and to remind you later that you are moving towards that goal and therefore, regardless of what your mind might be telling you, you are not stuck.
Understand changes are uncomfortable
Besides understanding that being stuck is in your mind, you should also understand one principle about what you do about it: change will be uncomfortable.
Breaking your routine, learning new things, writing down your feelings may be a drag, but if you want to get unstuck, you should start by acknowledging that discomfort will come with it and that it is necessary.
Stop your excuses
Pretty self- explanatory. You know only you are responsible for the change you want. As long as you have any “but’s” or “what if’s” between you and your first step, you aren’t going anywhere different from where you are.
Wait for it, trust the process
Sometimes, we don’t understand why things happen or why we can’t get the life we want, even though we are trying.
Some changes will take more time than others. Every step we take in the way, every setback, every period of stillness will contribute to our knowledge and our experience.
In his speech at Stanford University, Steve Jobs said
Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.
Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path and that will make all the difference.
Trust the process as you keep working.
Center, K. (2018). How to walk away. St. Martins Press.
Pangamban, S.(2018, December 2017). Full Transcript: Steve Jobs’ Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish Speech at Stanford (2005). The Singju Post. https://singjupost.com/full-transcript-steve-jobs-stay-hungry-stay-foolish-speech-at-stanford-2005/2/