Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on November 27, 2019

Why Are You Stuck? 5 Questions to Shift Your Mindset And Get Unstuck

Why Are You Stuck? 5 Questions to Shift Your Mindset And Get Unstuck

Most people struggle with mastering their mindset, they feel stuck in their lives, careers, and relationships. They struggle to find a way to move forward. They have big dreams, but they feel like something is holding them back.

If you feel this way, you are not alone.

Most people want to increase their productivity and profitability. They want to have better relationships and better lives. However, getting unstuck is about having a better mindset and tactics. Ignoring the mindset will not lead to durable change.

In this article, I will mention five questions that have the potential to help you master your mind, gain a better understanding of your emotions, manage your time better and help you get unstuck.

A positive mindset is the most powerful weapon in your quest for success. The road to success is hard,  it is full of obstacles, and adversity. If you doubt yourself, you won’t be able to attain the success that you deserve.

Mastering your mindset requires you to unleash your inner strength, avoid negative self-talk, and ask yourself the tough questions:

1. What Is Holding You Down?

“The hard choices—what we most fear doing, asking, saying—these are very often exactly what we most need to do.” — Tim Ferris

My inner voice held me down for a long time. It convinced me that I was not smart enough, strong enough or good enough to do what I was trying to do. I finally learned to silence my inner voice and go after my dreams.

If you feel stuck and your inner voice is holding you down. Ignore that voice.

Some people allow fears to keep them stuck in their situations. Fear has the ability to keep you stuck and control your mindset. Tim Ferris silence his fear by stating his fear out loud,

Advertising

“By becoming familiar with the worst case scenario, you begin to melt the fear holding you back.”

He designed an exercise called ‘fear-setting,”[1] Ferris learned when he faced his fear on paper, it was easier to defeat it in real life. He understood that fear was holding him down and preventing him from accomplishing his goals.

What is holding you down?

2. Whose Permission Are You Looking For?

“You Don’ t need permission to chase your dreams. Go execute.”  — Gary Vaynerchuk

You do not need anyone’s permission to be yourself and to share your gifts. Gary Vaynerchuk, a serial entrepreneur and New York Times Best Selling Author, wants to write a new book about giving yourself permission to do your thing.[2] He believes that the only permission you need to be yourself is your own permission. Give yourself permission to be great.

When you want something, go for it. Do not wait for others to approve your choices. If you want to quit your job, quit. You do not need your friend’s approval to do it.  If you want to improve your relationships with your kids, start today. You do not need your ex-wife permission to do it. If you want to lose weight, start eating healthy. Do not worry about what other people think of you.

As a little kid, I was fascinated by writing short stories, but I was too afraid of what other people would say about my writing. I was waiting to be picked, for someone to tap on my shoulder, and ask me to write. I was waiting for permission.

If you want to do something, stop asking for permission, and go make great things happen. When you succeed, your fans will show up, do not worry about them, start shipping your work.

3. What Ignites Your Fire?

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” — Ferdinand Foch

If you want to get unstuck and grow, you need to start asking yourself, “What ignites my fire?”  Answering this question will get you closer to your goals, and it will help you master your mindset.

Advertising

Find out what ignites your fire. What makes you happy? What drives you?

Steve Jobs knew what ignited his fire, he was obsessed about design. His obsession started when he was a little child, he loved the idea of simple and elegant design. Anytime he faced with a problem and felt stuck, he asked himself, “What is my obsession?” The answer was always the same, simple design.[3]

Designing simple products is what ignited his fire. Find out what you are obsessed about, and you will find what ignites your fire.

If you want to get unstuck, adopt the finding the fire mindset, and ask yourself  “What ignites my fire?”

Feeding the fire will keep you focused, motivated and productive. Find and fuel the Fire.

4. What Commitments Are You Making?

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”  — Vince Lombardi

If your marriage is not as good as you like it to be, check your commitments. If your relationships with your kids, it is not where it should be, revisit your commitments. If you are not earning the money that you like to earn, recheck your commitments.

Your commitments are the bridge between you and your ideal life. Commitment is a mindset that is guaranteed to get your unstuck from any situation you find yourself in.

Being stuck is not about lack of knowledge, it is about lack of execution. If you want to execute your plans, adopt a commitment mindset.

Commitment mindset is about accountability and ownership. If you want better results in life, own your problems. If you want faster results, be accountable for your work. Commitment is the bridge between you and your goals.

Advertising

If you want to get unstuck, commit to doing the work. Ken Blanchard talks about the importance of commitment,

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”

If you want to get unstuck and move your life forward, stop accepting excuses, and commit to doing the work.

5. What Change Are You Seeking?

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” — Abraham Maslow

If you want to master your mindset, you have to be clear about the change that you are seeking.

Are you trying to have a better work-life balance? Are you trying to launch your first business? Are you trying to regain your health? Are you trying to manage your emotion better? Are you trying to build a better relationship with your spouse?

What change are you seeking? Once you get clear on your goals, it is easier to get unstuck and shift your mindset. Be clear on your goals, and the change that you are seeking.

In 1954, Roger Bannister was 25 years old, a medical student at St. Mary Hospital in London. Bannister was vocal about running a mile in under 4 minutes. He devised a new training regimen, he started to run alone more frequently and with harder intervals. The British press called him a ‘lone wolf’ and suggested that he needed to change his regimen if he is serious about competing.[4]

He would spend hours envisioning himself crossing the finish line in under 4 minutes. He shifted his mindset  from “This is an impossible goal” to “I want to be the first to do this.”

At that time, it was considered a physical impossibility to do that, but he focused on psychological training more than his physical training. He started to master his mindset. Bell Taylor wrote in HBR that Bannister understood that he had to overcome a psychological barrier first and a physical barrier second.[5] On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes – 3:59.4 to be exact becoming the first human being ever to do so.

Advertising

Roger Bannister silenced his inner voice, gave himself the permission to be great, understood that running alone ignited his fire, made a promise to be the first human to break the 4-minute mile, and he was very clear about the change he was seeking.

Final Thoughts

If you are stuck, ask yourself the above five questions. Once you answer them, you will realize that you are more powerful and capable than you realize.

Stop letting fear, society and your inner voice slow you down. You have the power within yourself to follow your own dreams and achieve your goals.

It starts in your head, and your head can be a scary place to be. Don’t allow your negative mindset to take control of our own feeling. A little self-criticism is a good thing, it can be a reality check that recalibrate your actions. On the other hand, excessive self-criticism tends to prevent you from moving forward and cause you to identify with your shortcomings.

Instead of beating yourself up, and identifying yourself with your shortcoming, take a few deep breaths and reflect. Instead of saying I’m a failure, say I failed at this project. Do not say I’m a smoker, say I smoke. Focus on the action that you like to change instead of focusing on your feeling.

Start practicing positive talk, instead of saying I’m overweight, say I would like to lose 5 pounds and I know how to do it. Make the choice to be kind to yourself, and stop all negative self-talk.

Answering these five questions will unleash your inner strength, allow you to master your mindset, and get you unstuck from any undesired situation you find yourself in.

These answers will be your guide to master your mind, build better relationships, manage your time, conquer your crises, overcome daily obstacles and increase your productivity.

More Resources to Help You Get Unstuck

Featured photo credit: Luke Southern via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Luay Rahil

Luay Rahil is a speaker, and the Founder of Lead with Integrity.

How to Find Happiness in Your Everyday Life Why Are You Stuck? 5 Questions to Shift Your Mindset And Get Unstuck

Trending in Mental Strength

1 How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today 2 How to Not Take Things Personally for a Happier Life 3 How to Stop Being Passive and Start Getting What You Want 4 How to Fight Your Irrational Fears And Stay Strong 5 Feeling Frustrated in Life? 8 Ways to Get Back on Track

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

As human beings, one of our deepest-rooted desires is to have a meaningful and happy existence. You’ve probably heard of the saying, “Live your best life.” It’s good advice.

We all want to feel connected to both ourselves and others. We want to feel that we’re part of something important and that we’re making a difference in the world.

We want to look back at our lives and our achievements and be proud. In short, we want what the saying says: to live our best lives.

But what does it really mean to live your best life?

You are a unique individual, so living your best life is exclusive to you. Your best life will reflect your true values. It will be made up of what makes you happy and will be colored by what making a difference means to you.

What Stops You From Living Your Best Life?

While living your best life is all about you, what other people think can have an impact on your quest to live your best life.

Social media, for example, puts us under a lot of pressure. There are specific expectations of what “happy” looks like, and we’re under pressure to conform to what society expects.

For example, we are pressured to look a certain way, wear the “right” clothes, have exciting adventures with eye-catching friends, eat ethical and healthy food, and do charity work.

These are only a few of society’s expectations. It’s a long list.

Social media claims to connect us, but often it can do the opposite.

We can spend so much time worrying about what other people are doing, trying to live the life that society expects of us, that it can be easy to lose track of what makes us happy and what our best life actually looks like.

Start the Journey

What does it look like to live your best life? The following are some practical tips and tools to move from living your current life to living your best life.

1. Be the Best Version of Yourself

To live your best life, you must be the best version of yourself. Don’t try to be something or someone else. Don’t try to be what other people want you to be.

Focus on who you want to be. Play to your strengths and be proud of what makes you different. You are brilliant.

Gretchen Rubin, in her book Happiness Project, created her own commandments. The first one was “Be Gretchen.” This gave her permission to follow her gut feeling and make up her own rules.

For example, she stopped forcing herself to enjoy parties, cocktails, and fashion just because that’s what she thought society expected.

So, inspired by Gretchen, create your own commandment: “Be more YOU,” and remind yourself of this every day, unapologetically.

Advertising

2. Observe Yourself

To work out what the best you looks like, you must get to know yourself better. It’s your best life after all – not anyone else’s.

Start to notice how you respond to various situations. What are your habits? What makes you happy? What frustrates you? How do you behave under pressure? What gives you energy? What drains you?

Spend a week simply noticing. Write your observations down so you remember.

3. Identify Your Bad Habits

As part of your observations, start to notice your bad habits. Consider the things that don’t ultimately make you feel good.

Does scrolling mindlessly through Instagram make you happy? For 5 minutes, perhaps, but for longer?

That last glass of wine was delicious, but do you pay the price later?

That chocolate was enjoyable at the moment, but now that the sugar high is over, are you feeling regretful?

Observe yourself first. Then, start to deliberately do more of the things that make you happy and give you energy.

At the same time, work on reducing then eliminating the habits that squander your time, drain your energy, and ultimately don’t make you happy.

Need help conquering your bad habits? Read How to Break Bad Habits Once and For All.

4. Set Intentions

After having thought about what makes you happy and what drains your energy, focus on what living the best life looks like for you.

One of the keys to this is being intentional about it. When you deliberately set intentions, you are more likely to act with purpose and drive.

Setting intentions is different from setting goals. Goals are your list of things you want to achieve. You can set them daily, monthly, yearly, or a combination.

A common practice is to define goals and write them down. This makes them more tangible and makes you more accountable, therefore, making the goals more likely to happen.

The subtle yet important difference between goals and intentions is that when setting intentions, you decide what kind of positive feelings and emotions you are seeking.

For example, “This week, my intention is to approach my admin tasks with gusto in order to complete them more quickly.”

Intentions can be more motivating than goals because if you don’t achieve your goal, it can feel like a failure and can ultimately hold you back.

Advertising

If you don’t achieve your intention to approach something in a specific way, you can more easily regroup and have another try.

Write down your intentions every month, week, or day, using whichever time frame works best for you.

For example, “I intend to enjoy going swimming three times this week” or “I intend to assertively build my network in my local area this month.”

Setting intentions gives you something to focus on, and it also helps to manage the feeling of being overwhelmed that often happens when we set ourselves goals.

5. Visualize Living Your Best Life

Visualization can help you to cement your intentions. It involves visualizing how it would feel to live your best life once you achieve it.

It can help you to further establish what you want and allow you to settle into a positive mindset.

To visualize, first choose your focus. Choose a specific intention and how you will feel once it is accomplished. Then, take the time to daydream and allow your imagination to wander.

For example, if your intention is going swimming three times a week, imagine what you will look and feel like:

  • What will you wear?
  • How do you get there?
  • What time of day do you go?
  • How do you feel when you’re in the water?
  • How do you feel afterward?

Ask yourself these little questions and allow yourself to feel the same feelings you would feel if you were currently fulfilling your intention.

10 Ways to Live Your Best Life

Now that you’ve decided and visualized what your best life looks like, let’s look at some more practical steps you can take to achieve it.

1. Focus

Whatever you do, focus. If you swim, swim. If you study, study. Multitasking is a myth. It’s not possible to do more than one thing at a time well. Focused work is the least tiresome and the most productive type of work.

Michael LeBouf, the author of The Millionaire in You, said,

“Winners focus, losers spray.”

2. Take Responsibility for Taking Action

Taking action can feel scary. We fear failure, but we can also fear success. It can be easy to feel too busy to achieve your intentions.

However, you have the choice to take action and live your best life or stay the same. It’s up to you, so take responsibility to take action.

3. Live in the Present

Every day is a new opportunity to live your best life. We so often get stuck because we put things off.

We can think, “When I’ve lost 10 lbs I’ll go swimming,” or “When I feel more confident I’ll look for a new job,” or “When I get my new running shoes I’ll start running.”

Advertising

How about starting from where you are? How about using what you already have?

We often put off taking action until we have the newest phone/camera/game/course/book/shoes as if they are the keys to happiness. In the process, we forget about what we already have.

Grab the camera that you have, put on your old running shoes. Go and do something interesting today with what you’ve got. Fancier gadgets, better clothes, or a slimmer body won’t make you better.

Action will.

4. Declutter

This applies to the environment you live in as well as the people you spend time with. Use Marie Kondo’s decluttering method of asking, “Does it bring you joy?”[1]

If your answer is yes, you keep the item. If you hesitate or say no, you donate it or throw it out. Simple.

This also applies to people. If there are people in your life that make you feel bad, drain your energy, and don’t bring you joy, let go of them.

Instead, spend time with the people and activities that give you energy and make you feel good.

5. Relish the Simple Things

When we’re busy, we can forget to appreciate what we have. Take time to focus on the simple things. Even when you’re feeling low, there’s always something to be grateful for.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.[2] Be deliberate in being grateful for what you do have, rather than resentful of what you don’t.

6. Journaling

Journaling

is simply writing your thoughts down.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper not only helps you get your thoughts in order, but it can also help ease symptoms of depression and manage stress and anxiety.[3]

In the chaos of life, it is easy to overthink, feel anxious, or not appreciate what you do have. Journaling can help you manage your thoughts and feelings and productively cope with life.

Be curious and keep learning. Ask more questions and keep pushing yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and learn.

What are you interested in or curious about? Perhaps it’s learning more about where you live, or reading up on a particular topic? Maybe it’s traveling to a new town or country?

According to Dan Pink’s research, learning is a key motivator.[4] Whether you feel like you’ve gotten stuck in a boring routine or you’re stressed by the tasks of daily life, learning something new is a way to step outside yourself and your comfort zone.

Advertising

Create a bucket list of all the things you’d like to do and learn and the places you’d like to go to, and start ticking them off.

7. Make Someone’s Day

Being kind to others makes them feel good, and it also releases chemicals in your body that make you feel good. Think about a time you gave someone a gift that they loved. How did you feel?

You don’t have to start giving people gifts to make someone’s day. Think about small, thoughtful gestures: a genuine compliment, opening the door, offering to help someone.

All these things can make a big difference in someone’s day.

8. Look After Your Body

Eat what nourishes you, including plenty of vegetables and fruit and food that’s natural and unprocessed. Drink plenty of water.

Exercise because you like it, not because you’re supposed to go to the gym.

Reject the idea that you have to push yourself really hard at exercise, and instead try out a variety of things – for example, walking the dog, gardening, yoga, swimming, or dancing.

Find what you enjoy. When you enjoy something, you’ll be motivated to do it more.

Get good rest! We’re all different in terms of the amount of sleep that we need. However, most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep.

If you’re not getting that much, then check out healthy sleep tips from the Sleep Foundation.[5]

More tips for staying healthy: Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthy and High-Achieving You.

9. Manage Your Inner Critic

Most people have an inner critic that tells them they are not good enough, that they’re a fraud, and that they are going to be found out.

This happens especially when we step out of our comfort zone and change things. If you are living your best life, your inner critic likes to jeopardize that.

The next time it appears, acknowledge what’s happening and call it out. Whatever it is telling you, list all the reasons it’s wrong.

10. Be Prepared to Change the Plan

You may have set intentions to live your best life. However, life is not linear, nor does it work in lists. You must expect to be flexible and change the plan as life throws things at you.

The end game remains the same: to live your best life. It’s just the route to get there that will inevitably change.

Conclusion

Live each day like it counts, and remember, it’s your choice. Your best life is unique to you. Don’t compare yourself to others – focus on living your best life, and enjoy the learning, exploration, and experiences along the way.

More Tips on How You Can Live Your Best Life

Featured photo credit: Juliana Malta via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Kon Mari: Tidy your space, transform your life
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: In Praise of Gratitude
[3] University of Rochester Medical Center: Journaling for Mental Health
[4] Daniel H. Pink: Dan Pink on Motivation
[5] Sleep Foundation: Healthy Sleep Tips

Read Next