If you’re human, you’ve probably had moments where you feel stuck in your job, stuck in your relationship or just feel stuck in life in general. Frustrated. Disappointed. Off-track. Have you said it before? Thought it? Reached out for help because of it?
“I feel stuck.”
When you feel stuck, it can quickly turn into doubting yourself and feeling like your goals are out of reach.
Here’s what I need you to know: just because you feel stuck doesn’t mean you are stuck. There is so much you can do today to overcome the sense of being stuck.
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When my 12 Weeks to Transformation clients tell me they feel stuck, I remind them that often, claiming that we’re stuck is the equivalent to pulling our car off the side of the road, putting it in park, taking the key out of the ignition and then freaking out that we’re stuck.
You’re not stuck. You stopped. There is a difference.
Here are 5 reminders you can use to set yourself free.
- Don’t let how you feel about the problem overshadow what you can do to create the solution.
- Feeling stuck is vague and general. In specificity you will find your superpowers.
- Are you letting the problem lead? Stop following the struggle.
- You will feel more free when you let go of “life overgrowth”.
- Put someone else in your shoes.
Don’t let how you feel about the problem overshadow what you can do to create the solution.
This one might hurt a little, but here’s the truth: if you feel stuck, you’ve talked yourself into it. Seriously. You can, at any time, convince yourself that you’re stuck.
You can also convince yourself that you’re not stuck.
Let’s use a super-familiar example: weight loss.
If you focus on all the things you haven’t done and all the times you’ve given up or given in in the past, you might feel stuck. If you focus on all the things you don’t want to do or aren’t willing to do, you might feel stuck.
However, you could also choose to focus on all the opportunities for improvement you could choose today. You can choose to focus on baby steps that are possible. You can make a list of all things you are able and willing to do today that represent an improvement for you and pick goals for this day based on that list.
When you feel stuck, check yourself: are you focused on how you feel about the problem or are you focused on what you can do to bring about the solution?
Feeling stuck is vague and general. In specificity you can find your superpowers.
Thinking in generalities and being vague is one of the reasons you feel stuck.
There’s a huge difference between, “I feel stuck” and “I want to lose weight and I’m not doing the work. I feel stuck behind my excuses. My most common excuses include…”
Feeling stuck is your starting point, not your end point. In Chasing Cupcakes, one of the recurrent tools I suggest are questions. Here are a few questions you can use to move from generalities to specifics:
Why do you feel stuck?
What is it that you want?
Is there something you can do today to create progress?
What’s in the way?
If there was a solution, what would it look like?
Is there something you can adopt today, via your behaviors, to move closer to the solution?
Identify the thing you feel like you should be doing or the thing you wish you were doing and find a way to move in that direction today. Get specific about what is in the way and what your options for forward progress are. Be specific!
Are you letting the problem lead? Stop following the struggle.
In your thoughts and feelings, what’s out in front? The problem or the solution?
Are you thinking about the past patterns? The struggles? What’s in the way?
Don’t let the problem lead you. Lead with the solution.
I’m not suggesting that the problem and your feelings about it don’t exist, but choose to lead with the solution.
Recently, my roof was leaking. Though it had been “repaired” just a couple weeks earlier, it was leaking. Again. Water was all over the kitchen.
I won’t deny that my tendency was to lead with the problem:
I can’t believe this! It was just fixed! Why is this happening? The guy who fixed it screwed up! This is a disaster!
Leading with the problem makes you feel all sorts of negative emotions ranging from overwhelmed to infuriated.
Leading with the solution is empowering: what do we need to do to get this fixed?
Remove the fixation on the problem. Dial back the emotion that is problem-focused.
Lead with the solution: how do we make this right?
You will feel more free when you let go of life overgrowth.
Sometimes you feel stuck because you’re overwhelmed. There’s so much chaos in your thoughts, your feelings or your circumstances that the path to the solution is simply obstructed. You can’t see it.
I realized just how true and powerful this idea is the other day when I was pruning the apple trees on my property.
It’s been about 5 years since they were properly cut back. The limbs were overgrown, crossing over eachother and blocking the light.
The same thing happens in our lives. We add new obligations, commitments, tasks, responsibilities. We add fears, past experiences, pressures, goals.
At some point, we have to cut back. We have to take a look at our lives and identify what needs to go. What’s blocking the light? Where is there overgrowth?
Have you taken on additional responsibilities that you need to let go of? Are there things you can outsource? Are there grudges you can release? Resentment you’re willing to let go of? Fears you can stop focusing on?
Get rid of excess. Turn off the TV. Spend less time on social media. Clean out your fridge. Stop spending money on stupid stuff.
Clear your own path.
Put someone else in your shoes.
If someone else felt stuck in the same situation, how would you advise them? What steps would you encourage them to take? How would you help a friend or loved one if they were in your shoes?
Write down your advice.
Now, take it.
Stuck is a perspective. Stuck is a choice. You have options, including whether or not to continue telling yourself that you’re stuck.
Related episodes include:
If your excuses are why you feel stuck, check out my free strategy guide and audio on overcoming excuses!