In my 15 years at Lifehack, I’ve come across many concerns and problems that readers have written to me about, in hopes of finding answers and advice. A common one I receive time and again, is readers asking for help on how to get unstuck in life, or how can they stop feeling stuck.
It’s quite a broad question if you think about it. Unstuck in what aspect of your life? And just how stuck are you?
You may be at a point in life where you’ve reached a wall or crossroad, and you don’t know how to progress forward. You don’t know what your next steps are. A total career change? A promotion with more responsibilities you’re not sure you’re ready to take on? Not ready to get married or to have kids? Not sure if you should carry on with your full time job or become a stay home parent to devote your time fully to the kids?
Or have you found yourself in a situation where you just want to get out of it, but can’t seem to? Have you been at this job for 10 years now, and you don’t see yourself progressing and don’t feel challenged at work? Do you not look forward to going to work, yet you can’t find the courage to quit because you’re too comfortable or perhaps afraid? Or are you not sure if you can find something better and if the risk is worth taking? And so you end up putting that thought on hold and on hold and on hold…
How Stuck Are You?
And, there are also different levels of feeling stuck.
Some could be feeling stuck only temporarily, whilst others could be feeling stuck for months or even years. Often, as time passes, the feeling of being stuck intensifies when nothing is being done or changes.
And ultimately, some people end up settling, or just resigning to their fate. Subconsciously, without even realizing it, they end up pushing their dreams and goals further and further away.
For others, the feeling of being stuck becomes so unbearable that they have to make changes. They have to get out of the situation, and so they make those life changing decisions in hopes of finally feeling free and unstuck.
So how is it that we even end up feeling stuck in life? Take some time to recall an instance when you were feeling that way. When you felt trapped and stuck, as if there was absolutely nothing you could do to turn things around, do you know how that happened as you think back now?
Why Do We Feel Stuck?
There are many reasons for why we end up feeling stuck in life. Sometimes, it’s because we’re too afraid of taking risks or making mistakes. We play it so safe that we do end up living ‘risk free’ lives, but they also end up being uneventful or unsatisfying, which leads to us feeling stagnant or stuck.
Here are some common reasons for feeling stuck:
You Don’t Know What You Want
You may feel stuck if you don’t really know what it is that you want in life. You don’t have concrete goals or dreams to work towards.
Even though you may be hustling at work everyday, getting on with your roles and responsibilities, you ultimately don’t feel fulfilled.
There’s always something missing, and so you feel stuck, trying to figure it out.
You’re Not Getting Help
You could also be feeling stuck because you’re not getting enough support or help. You’ve only been relying on yourself to solve problems. After a while, there’s only so much you can do on your own.
You need fresh perspective, advice and support from others; whether they be mentors, counselors and coaches, your elders or loved ones.
Influence is a good source of inspiration and motivation. If you surround yourself with peers or mentors who have succeeded or achieved goals and dreams in their lives, then you’ll likely be influenced positively.
You’ve Been Chasing the Wrong Objectives
It could just be that you’re feeling stuck because you’ve been giving yourself false objectives. You see what others have and you start comparing.
Your colleague just got a promotion while you’re still at the same spot. Your best friend just got engaged, and here you are, still single with time ticking fast away. Your friends are buying luxury watches, bags and shoes, but you can hardly afford to pay off your credit card bills every month.
Comparing is one of the worst things anyone could ever do, because it often leads to extreme feelings of unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
You start questioning your life, and that’s how the feeling of being stuck arises because you don’t feel adequate compared to your peers. You don’t feel as accomplished.
While this may sometimes be a good force to push you towards working harder, it can also become a huge demotivator when the wrong objectives are being compared.
How Do You Get Unstuck?
The list of reasons why we feel stuck in life goes on, but the good news is that it is possible to get out of whatever rut you’re in. It starts with accepting where you are right now and being willing to take a step out of your situation.
Feeling stuck is, only a feeling—a state of mind. Which means that it is possible to get out of that feeling once you make necessary changes or actions in your life.
If you’re feeling stuck because of false objectives or a lack of objectives, then the first thing you can do is to start setting some realistic and achievable goals. Whether it is in relation to your career or personal life, make sure the goals that you think about from here on are meaningful and truly matter to you.
Choose goals that align with who you are at the core, and work toward goals that align with your inner strengths and gifts. This will help you maximize your potential and minimize the stuck and frustrated feelings.
Once you’ve set the right objectives that are true to you, you’ll start to realize that the motivation to achieve them comes much more naturally.
If you’ve been feeling stuck because you’re afraid of even taking a step or risk, then I’d urge you to stop and just take the plunge!
While breaking out of your daily routine can be uncomfortable, it can be a great way to change your life around. Playing it safe doesn’t always mean not taking risks, and stepping out of your comfort zone almost always bring about better changes in a person’s life. Fear should not be seen as a negative thing, in fact it can be a powerful tool to push you towards becoming a better you!
Always remember that you’re never alone. There are so many avenues of getting help and advice these days. Especially in this digital age we live in, we’re more connected than ever before. No matter what area of your life you’re feeling stuck in, chances are, someone’s been through it. So whether it’s talking to your loved ones, seeking professional help, or even going on sites like this, seeking help is a powerful and affirming act. Many people continue to feel stuck often because they never actively ask for help.
The Power of Transformation
Feeling stuck is never a nice situation to be in. Yet more often than not, it is possible to get out of that situation once you’re able to transform your mindset and start taking action.
Whether it’s wanting to get out of an unfulfilling job or toxic relationship, move up the career ladder or find more meaning in life, it is going to require more than one change.
What do I mean by that?
You don’t just embrace fear as what I’ve mentioned–to quit your job and that’s it, victory! You’re not going to be unstuck just like that. Sure, you may feel a temporary feeling of relief, but if you don’t make other changes in your life, chances are you’re going to end up feeling stuck or trapped again after sometime.
So if you want a lasting change, one that will allow you never to be in a situation of feeling stuck in life again, then you’ll need to master the 7 Cornerstone skills for a total transformation.
These aren’t exactly new skills to you either. You simply just haven’t connected the dots enough or sharpened them deep enough to use them to your advantage. These 7 Cornerstone Skills are what’s going to truly help you get out of your rut no matter what the situation.
Tired of being stuck time and again? It’s time to resolve that permanently and start living out your best days. We’ve got the solution at Lifehack — Check out Our Solution Here!
Featured photo credit: Ben Hershey via unsplash.com