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How to Get Unstuck in Life

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.

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:

How to get unstuck in life can be a problem when we don’t even know what we want to do? So how can you get unstuck in life when you don't even know the direction to go? Here are the strategies that have worked for me.

This post contains affiliate links; read my full disclosure policy here.

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.

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.

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!

Love, Sara


Feeling Stuck in Life?

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Lifestyle Blogger and Influencer at My Think Big Life
If you are ready to get UNSTUCK then contact me about coaching. With years of experience and gentle tactics, I have helped hundreds of people make positive change in their lives.

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.
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{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Summer June 15, 2016, 5:33 am

    This is very true! Baby steps are all it takes. I’ve been there before. It’s not a good feeling, but it’s definitely not a permanent place.

    • Sara June 16, 2016, 11:24 am

      I hear you Summer! I’ve accomplished a lot in my life with baby steps.

  • Sheryl June 16, 2016, 11:05 am

    I so agree with what you have said here. Sometimes we simply need to do SOMETHING. It can often feel like we aren’t moving when changing our focus is what we need.

    • Sara June 23, 2016, 9:20 am

      Hi Sheryl. It’s so much easier to wait for motivation or inspiration. But it’s in the doing something that we sometimes find our motivation or inspiration.

  • Dian June 23, 2016, 5:36 pm

    WOW! This has been one of the best articles I’ve read on the subject of getting unstuck. Most of them are so long and drawn out, with so many complicated steps that you’re discouraged before you ever start.
    This one has given me the notion that there is hope…even for someone like me. Thank you.

    • Sara June 24, 2016, 7:06 am

      Dian, there is hope, especially if you have the intention to get unstuck. It all starts with hope, belief, and intention. And I’m with you on getting frustrated with complicated processes! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Bronnie - Maid In Australia July 17, 2016, 7:44 pm

    Great advice. I’m currently stuck and I know the answer is writing a list (for me) and committing to that block of time each day. It’s hard, but I have to start somewhere.

    • Sara July 18, 2016, 12:52 pm

      Start as small as you need to start easily! I find it’s more about consistency rather than making big chunks of time.

      Thanks for visiting.

  • Jeannette de Luna August 6, 2016, 2:45 am

    I will surely try this 15 min. timer thing and I will share this with my coachees. Thank you!

    • Sara August 6, 2016, 1:32 pm

      Hi Jeannette. Thanks for the comment. Small incremental actions really work if done consistently. I hope it helps you as much as it helps me!

  • Sara August 18, 2016, 11:37 am

    I am a big fan of committing 15 minute everyday to self-improvement. I find myself trying to tackle massive projects all at once, but the idea of spending a small, set amount of time each day to one or two would be much more productive, and easier to work into my life at a full-time rate. Love this post!

    • Sara August 18, 2016, 1:38 pm

      Thanks Sara! Sometimes when I have TOO many ideas coming at me at once, it helps if I assign 15 or 20 minutes to each one. And massive projects, yeah, I definitely have to start small to get those going.

  • Christy August 20, 2016, 3:37 pm

    I really needed this. Thank you so much!

    • Sara August 22, 2016, 9:47 am

      Christy, I’m so happy it helped!

  • Susan September 5, 2016, 6:44 pm

    This was amazing read, definitely something to start working on.

  • SuzAnne Keifer November 11, 2016, 8:11 pm

    I really enjoyed your article. As I have been stuck for months.
    I plan on trying your idea of setting a timer. Here is hoping it works??

    • Sara November 15, 2016, 1:13 pm

      Hi SuzAnne, I hope it works too! I honestly find that any small effort, made consistently will get me unstuck. It might not feel like it at first but eventually those tiny efforts add up and gain some momentum. Sending good thoughts your way!

  • Rosie December 12, 2016, 5:39 pm

    Wow it is crazy the day I had I a bad dream about my divorce I happen to see this. Thank you so much, you have no idea how much this helped me out so much, I actually started tearing up, thank you so much for helping me out.

    • Sara December 12, 2016, 6:23 pm

      Rosie, I am so glad it helped you! Going through a divorce is absolutely the worst–no matter why. Always, be kind to yourself and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  • Logica January 10, 2017, 10:36 pm

    This is something I should start doing, I have a few things I want to spend a bit of time on each day, setting a timer sounds like a good option. Thanks!

    • Sara January 11, 2017, 4:50 am

      It really is a great option to get things moving. Even a small amount of time, as long as it’s consistent, will add up and allow you to accomplish things that are important to you.

  • Sumaiya January 11, 2017, 10:16 pm

    Sara, thanks for the article, it’s been almost eleven months and nothings really working…I don’t know what to do…i am try your timer idea…thanks once again……….

    • Sara January 12, 2017, 10:25 am

      I hope it helps. It’s been a lifesaver for me. Progress made slowly is still progress!

  • Sandra April 2, 2017, 8:15 am

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I shall start setting my timer everyday! I can’t wait to start. Many blessings.☺

    • Sara April 2, 2017, 8:33 pm

      Sandra–I swear by it. Though, I sometimes forget about it. But it really does help. Wish you all the best. Sara

  • Katie July 28, 2017, 3:44 pm

    Such good advice. Starting is the hardest thing, and the thought of having to commit to only 15 minutes makes anything doable.

    • Sara August 5, 2017, 11:49 am

      Thanks Kate! I always seem to have to sneak things through my resistance.

  • Nikhita August 23, 2017, 2:14 am

    A simple and easy to way to get you started.
    Thank you for sharing it with us.?

  • Natalie November 1, 2017, 1:35 pm

    Thanks Sara – really good to get a starting point – the timer tip is very positive.

    • Sara November 7, 2017, 4:32 pm

      The timer is my secret weapon for getting things done. It really does work great!

  • Nicole December 15, 2017, 6:51 pm

    Hi Sara:
    Thank you so much for this great advice. I’ve felt stuck for almost 2 years now and desperately need to move forward in 2018. Rather than showing up and doing small things, I have allowed my feelings to paralyze me and nothing has gotten done. I appreciate your tips. I am considering starting a lifestyle blog to get all this stuff out of my head. I cannot possibly be the only person who feels this way and desires positive momentum in life. Be blessed.

    • Sara December 16, 2017, 10:34 am

      Hi Nicole. Thanks for the note! Little things done consistently really do add up. I started my blog with anything but a Think Big Life. It helped me articulate all the stuff I really did know and could share. I say go for it!

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