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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. I know how important it is to be able to make progress on goals and projects that are important to you and I want to share some of the things that have helped me.

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. Here is a powerful way to help you 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. Getting unstuck may even feel impossible.

What Does Being Stuck Look Like

  • You have no energy
  • Lack motivation to do things
  • Physical issues are holding you back
  • Life feels boring
  • You feel like you are missing out

The Downside of Being Stuck

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.

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.

The sad part of her situation is that she feels called to do something. And she’s not doing it, year after year.

Not only does she feel bad; the world is missing out on a unique contribution that only she can make.

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.

How to Get Unstuck in Life

Sometimes it is the little things that make the biggest difference. Trying a new way of doing things can help budge you from feeling stuck to feeling like you have a life that matters.

To get you started, I’m sharing a process that worked for me at my lowest point in my life.

Because it worked so well, I continue to use it whenever I feel stuck with a project or something I have put off for a while.

5 Steps to Get Unstuck in Life

Step One: Be Kind to Yourself

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?

Step Two: Pick Something to Do

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.

Whatever you decide to start with is fine. The skills and habits you practice, will work for anything.

You’ll get all the benefits by going through this process with ANY thing you choose and commit to.

Step Three: Commit to 15 Minutes a Day

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.

Step Four: Don’t Wait for Motivation or Energy

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.

One mistake that those who don’t get things done is that they wait to feel motivated to do something.

The real secret to accomplishment and getting unstuck is working whether you “feel like it” or not. You just set the timer and do it.

It might sound simple but it is a game-changer.

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.

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

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.

It is about creating a new feeling, the feeling of accomplishing things in your life.

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.

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.

Through consistent daily commitment, I have written about so many things that are important to me and because of this, I have had to be accountable for living my life authentically.

Feeling stuck in life feels painful. However, it does not have to be a chronic or terminal feeling.

You can get unstuck and begin creating a life you love. Today.

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Keep showing up my friends,

Sara

Sara

Hi, I'm Sara! As a counselor and college advisor/coach, I've helped thousands of people make positive changes in their lives. Join me on the adventure of thinking big and living well!

39 Comments

  1. Michele Miller on March 18, 2019 at 8:37 am

    I am stuck. I’m going through a divorce and I gave up my career.
    I have been in my bed for about a year or so. Everyone says get over it.
    I am lost and I would like to move out of my bedroom.

    • Sara on March 31, 2019 at 8:08 pm

      You will! You are healing a huge grief. Start taking small steps and it will happen.

  2. Jackie on January 20, 2019 at 10:02 am

    I write as a hobby and recently started working on a story that I started 3yrs ago! At first my goal was 5k but now it’s 10k and as a writer I often get stuck all the time.(aka writers block) My grandfather has a lake in the neighborhood and I usually just go their I find it helpful to be able to relax near water.

  3. Lee on September 8, 2018 at 10:38 pm

    What you’ve said has given me some hope.
    I’ve recently discovered that the man who I thought was my best friend, my real love, would prefer to be intimate with prostitutes than me.
    At 52, my life needs to start over and feeling stuck is an understatement!
    Thank you. I was meant to find you today.

  4. How to Get the Life You Want - My Think Big Life on December 16, 2017 at 10:31 am

    […] at the difference that setting the intent to learn something and not quitting until I do, makes. Sometimes something I’ve struggled with for weeks will suddenly become clear very quickly after declaring my commitment to […]

  5. Nicole on December 15, 2017 at 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 on December 16, 2017 at 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!

  6. Natalie on November 1, 2017 at 1:35 pm

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

    • Sara on November 7, 2017 at 4:32 pm

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

  7. Blog Link Love - Just Only Home on September 26, 2017 at 10:00 am

    […] How to Get Unstuck in Life from My Think Big Life.  Because every one needs to get unstuck once in a while.  That’s especially true for me after a long winter! […]

  8. Nikhita on August 23, 2017 at 2:14 am

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

  9. Katie on July 28, 2017 at 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 on August 5, 2017 at 11:49 am

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

  10. Sandra on April 2, 2017 at 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 on April 2, 2017 at 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

  11. Sumaiya on January 11, 2017 at 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 on January 12, 2017 at 10:25 am

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

  12. Logica on January 10, 2017 at 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 on January 11, 2017 at 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.

  13. Rosie on December 12, 2016 at 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 on December 12, 2016 at 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.

  14. SuzAnne Keifer on November 11, 2016 at 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 on November 15, 2016 at 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!

  15. Susan on September 5, 2016 at 6:44 pm

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

  16. Christy on August 20, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    I really needed this. Thank you so much!

    • Sara on August 22, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Christy, I’m so happy it helped!

  17. Sara on August 18, 2016 at 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 on August 18, 2016 at 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.

  18. Jeannette de Luna on August 6, 2016 at 2:45 am

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

    • Sara on August 6, 2016 at 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!

  19. Bronnie - Maid In Australia on July 17, 2016 at 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 on July 18, 2016 at 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.

  20. […] Sara writes about how to get unstuck in life! […]

  21. Dian on June 23, 2016 at 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 on June 24, 2016 at 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.

  22. Sheryl on June 16, 2016 at 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 on June 23, 2016 at 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.

  23. Summer on June 15, 2016 at 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 on June 16, 2016 at 11:24 am

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

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Sara | MyThinkBigLife.com

Hi, I'm Sara and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having.

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