That feeling of being stuck can be simply frustrating to you for a day or two or it can go on much longer and become a real problem. This is the best way I know how to get unstuck in life.
Feeling stuck or unable to move forward can be debilitating. It seems to feed on itself—the more stuck you feel; the less likely you are to take action. Sometimes it’s because you feel you have no energy or motivation. Sometimes it’s because of physical issues. Sometimes it’s your mental or emotional state. Or it can be a combination of any of those things.
It feels horrible. At heart, we know we’re alive because we’re supposed to be doing something. We’re supposed to contribute to the world we live in. The worst part of being stuck or not making progress is the feeling we’re letting ourselves and others down. We know we have something inside ourselves that is just dying to get out. But sometimes we don’t know how to do it.
If you aren’t even sure what you’re supposed to do, please read this post:
Last night I was talking to a dear friend who feels very stuck at the moment. I can empathize because I spent a good year or so feeling stuck after my divorce a couple of years back. Her situation is different but that dreadful feeling is similar. Even if you are making some progress you can feel like you are swimming through mud.
During and after my divorce, I felt like I was in a fog and unable to get anything done. Yet, I did manage to make progress and learned that it is possible, even during trying circumstances to not only get unstuck but to make actual headway on significant goals.
It’s not always fun! But in the end, it made a difference in my life, changed my beliefs about what I could accomplish, and ultimately gave me a process that I use even now.
When You Are Stuck
First of all, be kind to yourself. This is just a period of time in your life. I suspect that these times help gestate ideas and purpose. Who knows, maybe you just really need a rest? I got frustrated with myself sometimes because I felt like I would never recover or be of any use again.
Feeling stuck and unable to progress might mean that maybe, just maybe you need a rest! I think my spirit was worn out from pleasing people for the last thirty years. Maybe I needed to withdraw and rest my spirit for a time?
When It’s Time to Get Unstuck
No matter how you feel, there is probably one thing that you’d like to be working on or doing. That’s the thing that is always whispering in your ear that really, you need to be working on this. And no matter how many times you brush it off or try to ignore it, it doesn’t quite go away. Or maybe it’s staring you in the face every day, demanding that you do something.
This can be anything! It could be walking every day. Doing your taxes. Writing. Painting the living room. Cleaning your closet. It could be several things.
Just pick one or two to get started. Pick the one that seems easiest. Or pick the one that seems most important. Or pick the one that just seems like the right one. No matter what you decide on, the process is the same.
My Story of Being Stuck Big Time
During my divorce, I decided to start work on a resume writing certification. As a career advisor, I had been writing resumes for eight years and I was ready to take my skills to a new level.
For some reason, I picked the most rigorous, challenging resume writing certification process. It was the one that felt right. The only problem was, about half way through, as it was getting really difficult, I got stuck. I was floundering with one of the assignments.
What I started doing was setting my timer every day for 15 minutes and working on my project. Every day. For a while, it seemed like I was getting nowhere. However, after many days of this, my project did start taking shape, and I became less stuck. I continued with this method as needed for the completion of my certification. Not only did I complete my certification but the assignments I turned in, passed on the first try, which was unusual for this particular course.
Being stuck and using this process to get unstuck does not result in sloppy or crappy work. Not only will you make progress but you can still do quality work that you will be proud of!
Now, what is that thing you want to get done?
How to Get Unstuck in Life
Commit to starting it. Here’s the trick: commit to a very tiny block of time, each and every day. Set a timer and work on it every day for fifteen minutes. There may be days you end up doing more but don’t make that your goal. Your only goal is to do your fifteen minutes.
To be honest, I still use this method. Almost every blog post I write hits a time when I just don’t quite know where to take it. When I feel stuck, I just set a timer on that day and write anyway. I often exercise in smaller chunks because that allows me to not stress too much about it and just get it done.
At first, it might feel like it’s not enough time invested to make any progress. I promise you that is not the case! It’s common to think that if you can’t devote big periods of time to something that it’s not worth doing. That is simply not true!!!!
Consistent, everyday attention to one project does work—even when you don’t feel like doing it. Take “feeling motivated” out of the equation and just show up, set your timer, and do what you can in the period of time. Some days it will feel better than others.
How to get unstuck in life is not about how you feel every day. How to get unstuck in life is about showing up and doing something every day. Whether your goal or project is something you want to do or something you have to do, these steps will get you there.
If there are other aspects to feeling stuck that you’d like to hear about, feel free to comment below. It may end up being a three-part post. I have LOTS of experience with being stuck! 🙂
Keep showing up my friends! I love reading your comments and hearing how you are living your own Think Big Life. Please feel free to join the conversation below.
Writing this blog has been a huge part of getting unstuck for me. If you are thinking about starting a blog, I really encourage you to do it!
Feeling Stuck in Life?
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.