Stuck? No Options? Here's how to Start
Tired of dragging yourself through the same-old, same-old every day?
Guess what...you’re not alone! Part of traveling through life is that we need to reinvent ourselves over time to keep life interesting.
Unfortunately, with the way most of us live our lives, once we get settled into our careers, have a family that depends on us, and pile on more and more responsibility, we get caught in a rut, and we start to feel stuck.
The life you envisioned for yourself years ago and that you carefully and methodically created for yourself doesn’t quite feel right anymore.
You tell yourself that this is just part of life and to suck it up and soldier through, but listen up - that’s no way to live!
Feeling ‘stuck’ in life may be more common than you realize, but that doesn’t mean you have to give into and ride the wave. That’s a recipe for a life of disappointments and regrets!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ‘STUCK’
Obviously, if you’re feeling stuck, you know what that means: you’re in a place that you don’t like, you can’t get out of it, and you feel like there may not be a way out.
Sounds rather self-explanatory, right?
But, let’s go a little deeper. What exactly does it mean to be ‘stuck’ in life?
When you feel ‘stuck,’ you’ve gotten into such a familiar groove that there seem to be no options for living life differently. The rut you find yourself in includes your daily actions, mindsets, thoughts, beliefs, fears, etc.
When you’re ‘stuck,’ you’re basically treading water in all areas of your life. Sure, you may have some areas that are working really well, but it’s not enough to propel you out of the ditch you’ve dug for yourself over the years.
For quite some time, you’ve built a safe wall around your existence, which worked perfectly for a while, but now, it’s confining and doesn’t fit anymore.
You're feeling a strong need to expand, but there’s no room within those carefully crafted walls, so you feel confined, frustrated, and confused.
How did I outgrow the life I spent so long building?
Why doesn’t it make me happy anymore?
And, what the hell do I do now?
Here’s the thing: sometimes, the wall we built around ourselves wasn’t constructed from our desires. We created it based on the wishes, desires, and shoulds from others. Even if we construct our wall from our own dreams and aspirations, we change: life tossed us a few surprise curveballs, or we merely evolved over time.
Getting to a place in life where you feel ‘stuck’ is surprisingly common (hello, midlife!). While it’s terrifying when you start to see and feel those walls around you and have no answers for breaking out, it’s also the beginning of an exciting time: an awakening and a rebirth.
But first, you have to get unstuck so you can push through that wall and start making some needed changes!
HOW TO START THE PROCESS TO GET UNSTUCK
Even though you are feeling stuck and feel as if you have no answers, you actually do have all of the answers. No one else can tell you what to do with your life.
I can help you by asking the right questions to dig through the layers of doubt and fear. I can hold a mirror up to allow you to see your true desires, but only you have the answers as to what needs to change to become the person you’re craving to be.
But, in the interest of giving you a starting point, here are a few must-dos to start to see your world differently so you can begin a new chapter.
Start with what you do know
When we feel stuck, it can feel intimidating to figure out a new path. We’re so familiar with our routine that we can’t figure out what to do; our options seem limited.
“I don’t know” or “I don’t know how” becomes a familiar refrain we lean on when we try to press ourselves into action (it’s a favorite excuse of mine!).
In reality, this is a crutch that you’re leaning on to avoid facing your fears.
When you feel that frustrating realization that you have no idea how to get from where you are right now to where you want to be (or even to simply figure out WHO you want to be), then I want you to take a giant leap backward and slow the F down.
It’s okay not to know what you want to do or what you need to change.
In fact, if the life you crave is vastly different from the one you’ve been living the past 20 years, then give yourself a break, because of course, you don’t know!!
When we start telling ourselves “I don’t know” it’s because we’re usually trying to fill out the entire picture with all of the steps in between.
Listen up cupcake...you don’t need to know all of that.
You don’t even need to know what it is that you want to become or what you need to change in your life.
All you have to do is start with what you DO know. You know something...I promise!
What do you enjoy doing? What makes you curious? What have you always wanted to try? What do you miss doing from years ago?
Start there...take one of those answers and go do it. It’ll help narrow down what you like or don’t like, and it will inevitably, lead you to your next step. Trust it and trust yourself.
Have Unshakable Faith
If you want to get unstuck and change your life you have to believe with every fiber of your being that it’s possible and that it will happen.
Otherwise, why bother? If you don’t believe in yourself and your future, then you’re essentially on a stationary bike - you’re doing all the work, but you’re going nowhere.
You have to get extremely clear on what you want to change, what your life will look like after you do the work, and then feel it in your bones, breathe it into your lungs, taste it on your tongue, and wake up each morning already feeling like you’re there.
And, if you don’t know what that final picture looks like, don’t worry about all the brush strokes. Just focus on how you want to feel.
For example, let’s say you hate the job you’ve been doing for ten years. You know this needs to change, but you don’t know what you want to do. Don’t worry about the fact that the picture of what you’re doing isn’t clear yet. You could instead, think something like this: I walk in the door to my job every morning with a smile on my face because I love what I do so much!
See what I did there? It doesn’t spell out what the job is, but it clearly paints the picture of how I want to feel when I reach that place. Then it’s having unshakable faith that it’s possible for that reality to exist in the future.
Feel and express frequent gratitude
Gratitude is the magic elixir in life.
When you’re able to find something good in any situation, it’s the equivalent of skipping down a hallway and flinging every door wide open.
When you only see the bad or feel what you lack in life, you not only keep those doors closed, but you lock them tightly shut.
A fantastic expression that I try to remind myself of daily is: Where the thought goes, energy flows.
If you’re always thinking about what you don’t have or what’s not working, that’s where the energy will flow, and you’ll bring more of it into your life (whether you want it or not!).
Be grateful for where you are right now, what you’ve experienced in life, and for everything you have because in all of it, is the opportunity to expand beyond where you currently sit. That, my friends, is a beautiful gift.
Work on your limiting beliefs & fears
Everyone has limiting beliefs that have the power to keep them small and stuck.
We know our biggest fears and self-doubts, and I bet you even work on trying to boost your confidence and shut down those self-protecting untruths.
But, did you know that you have an entire extra layer of limiting beliefs lying below your consciousness? And, to make it worse, you tap into those hidden beliefs daily, but you’re blissfully unaware that these hidden feelings and thoughts influence your actions.
Yep, they lie in your subconscious and impact every decision and action you make or attempt to make.
But, how do you do this if you’re unaware of them?
You face your fears and start to take action. That will bring those limiting beliefs to the surface in a hurry. When they bubble up, write them down, explore them, rewrite them, and release them.
Take action and get uncomfortable
I hate to break it to you, but you’re stuck because you’re firmly planted in your comfort zone (but I’m betting you already knew that, right?).
So, as I’ve already alluded to...to get unstuck, you have to take action, crawl out of your safety zone, and face the unknown!
Don’t wait until you do all the self-analysis, because it’ll never end (I’m guilty of this!). With each layer you peel back, you’ll likely uncover a new belief, thought, or feeling that’s working against you. When that happens, take a moment to figure out an action step to disprove that unsupportive thought/belief/feeling and act on it.
As I go about my morning routine (meditating, journaling, etc.), I like to ask myself: what’s one thing I can do today that will scare the bejeezus out of me! I don’t always end up doing it, but if I don’t, I have something new to explore in my journal that night (i.e., why didn’t I act on that idea).
If you want to get unstuck and change your reality, you have to get into the habit of facing your fears and conquering them.
Follow your curiosity
I first heard the phrase “chase your curiosity” from the fantastic Elizabeth Gilbert in one of her books. I’ve latched onto that, and it’s become a bit of a rallying cry for me. If I feel curious about something, I roll with it and see where it leads me.
You never know where your curiosity will take you!
If you’re curious about something, that’s a sign...go explore it!
What you’re curious about may not lead you to do something that feels uncomfortable, but it might...that’s how you stretch yourself, so don’t let that stop you. Chase it anyway!
For example, one of my friends started out this year with a goal to have fresh flowers in her house every day because they make her happy. After several months of sticking to this plan and as Spring started to unfold, it lead her to try gardening.
She’d never considered gardening as something she might enjoy, but by following her curiosity to see what it’d be like to have flowers in her house every day, it lead her to a new interest - gardening. This may not necessarily be a new career option for her (but, who knows!), but at the very least, she’s found a new passion that releases stress and fills her with joy.
Whether you like it or not, YOU are responsible for your thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Where you are right now in life is a direct result of that trifecta.
If you’re not happy where you are, and you feel stuck, it’s also your responsibility to do something about it.
No one else can pull you out of the rut you’ve gotten yourself into, so you have to woman-up and do the work to climb over that ledge and reinvent your life.
Want some help in making this happen?
Getting started on turning over a new leaf, exploring new mindsets and ideas, and building the courage to change your reality isn’t always easy to get started.
But, if you’re ready to do the work, explore yourself, and take action, then let’s chat about working together.
If you’re not quite ready to take that step, but you want to be inspired to start looking at your life differently, face your fears, and create a life you love, then hop into my email community to get weekly emails where we dig in more on topics to help you find what’s missing, so you can find yourself.