“Feeling stuck in life” – that feeling that we all know. When you are in a situation that you hate but you don’t know how to get out of.
It may be a job that feels monotonous or purposeless, but you need the money to pay the bills.Or it could be the business or career you have been working very hard at but, it just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. It could be a relationship where you feel unloved but you stay for the sake of the children/family/parents/society.
If any of these sound familiar, you are not alone. All of us struggle with these or similar situations, which seem to take over our lives and there seems to be no way out. The worst thing about feeling “stuck” is, that it is generally in a part of our lives that matters a lot to us and we have to deal with everyday. As a result it starts draining, what one of my clients define as, our “life-blood”. Even if that sound a bit dramatic, there is no denying that situations like these are stressful and take a toll on our emotional and mental energy
What gets you stuck to start with?
It is easy to lay the blame on the situation or the environment but the fact is that we are equally responsible for what create in our life. So watching out for some of these subconscious behaviours could save you a lot of trouble. After all prevention is better than cure.
- The Ostrich Approach: The ostrich is known to bury its head in the sand when faced with a threat with the hope that the predator will go away. Obviously this doesn’t work too well for the ostrich. Similarly we often use work and other excuses to avoid looking at things that bothers us. Something doesn’t feel right and we know it but we pretend everything is fine or just ignore it hoping it will go away. If a job, relationship or situation in life does not feel right first acknowledge that it is not okay!
- Getting thrown Off by the “Big” hurdle: We often look at a situation and feel that there is no way we can change it “because” of the effect it may have on something else. For e.g you don’t like the job but if you were to quit you won’t be able to pay the bills or maybe the job market is bad and you won’t find another job. Once that thought gets set in our mind we start focussing all our energy into why we cant get what we want and how we will never be able to get over the problem. Now the focus becomes the problem and not the solution. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
- Treating what is meant to be a comma like a full stop: When things are bad it is easy to think that they will never change. Fortunately whether we like it or not things do change. This can work two ways. The problem causing your situation may solve itself. The boss you hate so much may move on to another job. Or you not making the relevant changes will land you in bigger problems. The partner you hate, but still live with for financial security decides to leave you!
- Not defining unstuck: Often knowing something is wrong is not the same as knowing what is right. So if you don’t like what you have it is important to get some level of clarity on what is right. On the surface it may be difficult to know “exactly” what you want but you can define what you think it should be like. So if your current job is a bore what would an interesting job be like? What kind of work would it involve? How would it feel like? What is your ideal relationship like? What would your partner be like? Try and get as precise as you can. Because when unstuck comes along it is important that you are able to recognise it.
“Feeling stuck in life is a mind illusion. The only thing that is really stuck is your thinking” – Cari Raunch