What can you do when you’re feeling stuck in life?
We all have times when we feel stuck, as if we are wading through mud or glued to the point in life we are at and can’t see a time when we might be able to move forward. Whether it’s trying to get fit, lose weight, stop smoking, change jobs, make changes in relationships – it can feel hard to see a way forward.
Here are a few ideas how you could find a route out and some things which may help when you’re feeling stuck.
Do you want to change?
This is the big question to ask yourself. It may be that you feel really motivated to make changes in your life and that is great, hopefully some of the tools mentioned will help you along the way.
It may be that the pish to change is coming from those around them. If that sounds like you, it can be helpful to translate the goal into something that you really care about. What you would like to do with the money, time, relationship, energy or opportunity created by this change.
How motivated are you? Would you benefit from looking at things differently?
Is there anything good about the habit or the situation?
What does the habit give you? Look behind any habit or situation that you find yourself locked into. For example, smoking can be a way to create downtime, diffuse anger or relax. Eating can be used to damp down emotions we find difficult to deal with or as a reward. Difficulties in relationships at work or home can be family patterns replaying themselves. Once you understand what the habit or situation is doing for you it is easier to work out how you can achieve that in a more positive way.
How much has the habit become part of me?
We often define ourselves by what we do rather than who we really are. Be it our jobs, our family roles, our habits, our health issues, etc. And whilst these are all important, they are not the whole picture. If we consider ourselves to be stuck in this way, we miss an opportunity to change. Taking a moment to reflect on how you see yourself and what defines you, is a really opportunity to deepen the sense of who you really are and what makes you tick.
What’s blocking the change?
When you are trying to make a change, one of the things stopping this will be the way we have lived our lives already. The habit or situation we would like to change is part of our everyday reality. Our lives then fit around it, holding it all in place.
It can be useful to consider what triggers a habit or behaviour– such as times of day, certain places, and particular people. Think about how you can manage that and if you can find a more positive way to achieve what the unhelpful habit or situation was a response to.
Also notice what or who constrains us. Notice where the positive and negative influences in your life are and maybe try to maximise your positive exposures, especially at the beginning of your process to bring about change.
At the start the mountain that sits in front of you, which represents change, can seem too steep to climb. Of course, It is likely that you will feel hungry at times if you are eating less and wanting to lose weight. You may feel fractious if you are stopping smoking, or apprehensive if you are looking at making changes in your life around work or relationships. See these feelings as messages that you are on track, even if you are feeling stuck – stay with it. These feelings will pass as you move towards your goal.
What else can you do to support yourself?
Working through these points, you may have areas where you feel strong and the areas where a bit of support could be helpful. Identify and work through the emotional and practical issues in a way that works for you. Changing how you think about an issue will help to work through and beyond it. Try to get the support of others if you can, but use your own motivation to be the fuel you need to make the change.
If you find you are failing to see or feel progress, look at what is getting in the way. If it is practical work with it. If it is deeper in terms of your sense of self – who you are, your self-esteem or the direction of life, then there is help and support out there.
Do it NOW!
How many times do we say we will make a change next week, next month, on January 1sy next year? Sometimes now isn’t the right time and that’s OK. But often this is a stalling behaviour, and we are protecting ourselves from the possibility of failure.
A useful and positive way to work with this is to imagine yourself years down the line – if you have made the changes, and if you haven’t. Focus on what life will be like once you’ve made the change. Which version do you prefer?
Remedies to help
I always say there is a remedy for everything and of course there are remedies to help us for identifying and moving through change. If you would like to know more or have support, do get in touch.