Stuck in life lately? It’s an awful feeling, isn’t it? It’s like being between two decisions: with the weight of ambiguity on your back, and the feeling of despair creeping in and out of your mood. Feeling stuck can be arduous, time-consuming, and depressing, even.
We get stuck for a variety of reasons. First, it’s hard to make big decisions. They take time and need careful thought and assessment. They take an enormous amount of energy and toll on our minds. It gets messy in there; all that back and forth.
We get trapped for a multitude of reasons. Some have a core belief that to make a decision, you need some sort of “sign”. A sign from the universe, perhaps. We throw our hands into fate or destiny and hope that some guiding force will show us the way. While that is a powerful theory, it is a huge dependent variable if you aren’t looking in the right places for the sign to reveal itself.
Another reason that we get stuck is sometimes it is easier NOT to make a decision, than actually make one. The simple truth about the human psyche is that we don’t like difficult feelings. Making a decision can conjure about those extremely hard feelings: anxiety, depression, anger, or fear – all extremely complicated emotions that we try to ward off.
While feeling stuck is terrible in its own right, sometimes, the change itself is so scary that staying stuck is a great runner up. If you’re stuck on a decision, a life goal, or a dream, here are five strategies to create movement.
5 Strategies for When You’re Feeling Stuck In Life
1. Challenge Assumptions
When we’re feeling stuck, we often believe that we’ve turned over every stone in our mind. However, what we often miss is looking at the stones themselves, and asking, “are those all of them?” Challenge your assumptions – every single one of them.
Write them down, and see if any new ideas come to you. Brainstorm “crazy” ideas and see if something new shakes out. The goal is to add to your list, not just keep ruminating on the ideas you’ve already come up with.
2. Talk Yourself Through Your Worst-Case Scenario
If you fear the worst might happen, then walk yourself through what you would do. How would you handle it? Could you survive? If the answer is YES, you will un-tether yourself from fear of the worst case happening – and move forward.
3. Learn About Courage
Being brave isn’t easy. Every single one of us has moments of weakness – but we also have moments of courage. Being courageous means doing something you are not comfortable doing – and doing it any way.
Like that of a toddler learning to go from one monkey bar to the next for the first time, you will have to release the old to get to the new. Allow yourself to be scared. If you fall flat on your face, believe that you will pick yourself up again.
4. Use Your Village
There are people in your circle of friends that are true confidants. They know you. They have your best intentions at heart. They are good listeners. They are unbiased. Not every one of your friends will fit this profile; most likely, just a select few. Go to your strongest allies, and get their input.
5. Create Your Vision
You must look beyond your short-term anxieties and create a vision for yourself one, two, or even five years down the road. Map it out in your mind. What do you see? Without looking at your horizon, you’ll end up feeling stuck as you look down at the choppy waters of life.