We’ve all experienced moments in our lives when we simply felt stuck in our current circumstances.
Perhaps it was a job that didn’t provide us with growth opportunities. Or maybe it was a relationship that lead nowhere. Or a living arrangement that no longer suited our needs.
So what can we do in such situations? How can we move on when we feel like we’ve just come across a dead-end road?
About one and a half years ago I found myself in the exact above description: I had a job which offered me a very good salary, but which I absolutely dreaded. I hated having to wake up in the morning just to go to work. And there were no advancement possibilities in sight either.
On top of that, I was also in a very nonsupporting relationship, that hadn’t any chance of evolving in what I desired.
So I ended up feeling stuck in those circumstances, while having no perspective with regards to my future.
I knew that I needed to do something, because the situation was getting increasingly uncomfortable. Even though there were forces which kept pulling me in opposite directions I understood that it was up to me to change my conditions.
I eventually quit my job and landed a new one which was much more suitable to my needs. I also decided to end the relationship and found myself attracting a better partner.
From my previous experience, I’ll share with you the steps you can take right now to start moving forward if you feel stuck.
1. Focus On What You CAN Control
One of the reasons why people feel stuck in their lives is because they feel as if though they have no control over their circumstances. They’re simply at the mercy of chance and fate. All that’s left for them to do is wait for something from the outside to change.
This is a pattern which I found with many people when they told me about their jobs. They had already become experts in what they did and were ready to advance. Still, the companies they worked in had very rigid structures, which prevented them from being promoted, unless someone from the upper management left their position.
It’s quite normal for them to feel stuck in such a situation, because they have absolutely no control over the process of promotion, nor to they know how much longer they need to wait until something from the outside moves.
The solution is to focus on things which ARE under your control. There are always some elements which you will be able to control directly.
For instance, if you are dissatisfied with your job, you can try talking about it with your direct manager, explaining the situation and looking for a common solution. If that doesn’t bring any results, you can start searching for a new job. Or, even better, you can start doing something on your own in your spare time.
Focus on what you can control and take action on that.
At times you may find that you have exhausted all your resources and there’s really nothing left for you to do. If that’s your case, know that you always have control over your attitude towards things.
If all else fails, then change your response to the situation. Take a new approach towards the elements you feel stuck in.
How can this benefit you?
For starters you will start noticing things which were previously unavailable to you. You may even come across opportunities which you refused to see in the first place.
Most of the time, changing your attitude will bring you a fresh perspective and new ideas, which you can then use as resources to start moving forward.
2. Take a Break
When you feel stuck and overwhelmed, it’s usually a good idea to take a break and detach from your situation completely. This will allow you to look back with new eyes and it will put you in a more empowered situation from which you can decide how you want to move on.
You can take a break even without taking a vacation. Simply stop thinking about your pressing issue and remove it completely from your mind whenever it pops up. Find ways to detach completely for a while and you will be able to regain clarity and make much better decisions.
3. Look for Solutions
The reason why I put this suggestion separately is because I’ve noticed that people usually have the tendency to dwell on their problems and to complain without doing anything to fix them.
Dwelling on problems only amplifies them and attracts even more problems. Try instead to find the best currently available solutions to your problems and focus on implementing them.
Be careful not to get stuck in analysis at this step. There is no perfect solution, but any solution is better than staying stuck. The consequences of your actions are usually much more scary in your mind than in reality. You can cope with more than you think, as long as you are focused on solutions and on improvement.
4. Take Action
Sometimes the problem isn’t the lack of solutions, but the lack of action. Many people see plenty of possible solutions to their problems, but are afraid to pursue them, because of the inherent risk.
Being stuck has a degree of comfort to it, because it feels familiar. You hate the situation, but you know it well. You got used to it and your emotional response may even fade in time, after reaching a certain threshold.
In my opinion, there is nothing worse than being stuck. Feeling lack of control can slowly lead to depression – and once you’re in depression, you start spiraling downwards. Do not underestimate this, as it will get worse in time.
The only solution to getting unstuck is really taking action NOW. Just pick one solution and focus on applying that one until you see some results.
You will find that as soon as you get going, you start releasing trapped energy. You will feel much better, even though it may sometimes be scary. But being afraid just means that you are growing and expanding, so enjoy every moment.
5. Have Fun
This can be a tough one, but it’s a vital step.
Sometimes change can be a slow process and implementing your solution can take longer than expected. As you bring about change, you must also focus on what you enjoy doing.
There are certainly some good things in your current situation – even though they might be overshadowed by all the negative issues. Turn your focus to them. Start looking at those things which you may take for granted and appreciate them.
Bring forth your sense of humor and start making fun of the whole process; it will make the whole process more fun . And it will accomplish exactly what is needed – it will help you get unstuck, even from daily routine.
You will notice that as soon as you stop taking things so seriously and as soon as you stop struggling, they will most often start changing by themselves.
So think of ways in which you can make fun of your current situation and watch the change happening.
Over To You
These are the steps I use to get unstuck, whenever I hit a roadblock in my life. I’d love to hear your take on this and what you do to get going when you feel stuck.
Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.