How to Move Forward in Life When You Feel Stuck
It can feel difficult to move forward in life when you feel stuck or are in a rut. Here are seven tips to get unstuck in life and get your life back on track.
Are you stuck in your life? You wake up feeling like crap, with nothing to look forward to?
Can you get unstuck in life? I believe you can and I am here to help you.
Or maybe you just think you’re too old to change and this is as good as it’s going to get.
This is what feeling stuck is like. You want to move forward but it feels like you are trying to move through mud.
Over the years, I’ve not only helped myself get unstuck but I’ve helped other women move forward and finally get unstuck in life.
I’m going to share some of my favorite mindset shifts that I use to get unstuck. These ideas may give you the motivation to get you unstuck and put you on the path to a lifetime of growth and discovery.
Why It is Important to Get Unstuck
Here’s my perspective on why it’s good for your mental health to get unstuck. It’s natural to want to stay in your comfort zone but this can eventually create burnout with your daily routine.
When you begin to look inward and take back your own power, then you can really make positive changes. This is so exciting! There is so much available to you right this very moment, just as you are, just where you are.
Despite your best efforts it may feel impossible in your particular situation to move in the right direction. But with small changes and self-compassion applied consistently you can not only get unstuck, but create new habits and a positive outlook as well.
How to Move Forward in Life When You Feel Stuck
You are worthy, just as you are right now
Really take some time with this one. You are perfectly worthy right now, just as you are. You are worthy no matter how old you are, how you look, how much money you have or don’t have, and despite how many mistakes you have made.
Nothing you do will ever make you more perfect and worthy than you are at this very moment.
But Sara, if I’m so perfect, why bother trying to change or get unstuck?
Because we are wired for growth and change. It’s in our DNA and our soul, and it calls us to learn and be more. When we resist or give up on growth, then we begin to stagnate.
Have you ever seen a house that no one lives in or a car that’s been abandoned? Over time, they begin to literally fall apart.
Homes, cars, and our bodies need occupants who take care of them, who do repairs and maintenance, and who add improvements as needed.
Accept that you are 100% worthy right now and also accept that because you are worthy, you must take care of yourself, maintain your body, emotions, and mind. You are that worthy!
Let go of the past to get unstuck
Sometimes I enjoy a little trip down Memory Lane, remembering my kids when they were little, special trips, or favorite pets.
Other times, I visit not so pleasant memories, bad relationships, hurtful things my parents did, or mistakes I made.
Good or bad, none of the things in the past are influencing my life today.
Sure, I like to think that I’ve learned from my past. But the reality is, that I learn in the present.
This is good, pay attention.
Everything that I do. Everything I think. Everything I learn. Everything is happening right now with my current brain. All the rest is just memories or thoughts.
And right now, with my mind, I have the power to think of my past in ways that serve me. Even better, I can just let most of it go and concentrate on now and the future.
This isn’t about forgetting or acting like you don’t have a past. However, it is about just letting it simply be the past, not good or bad. It’s just there.
All your power is right now.
Don’t blame other people for your feelings
Who is the cause of being stuck or other problems in your life?
Your mom? Your dad? Your spouse or partner? Your kids? Your mother-in-law? Your boss? A co-worker?
Every single day in coaching, I have clients that want to blame someone else for how they are feeling. This is totally normal.
It’s also totally not useful.
Blaming other people for how you feel and how you act, is never going to serve you. It will never help you get unstuck. In fact, the more you blame other people for how your life is, the more stuck you will remain.
But Sara, if you knew the whole story….
Yes, I get it. People do shitty things. People have done shitty things to you. You’ve done shitty things to other people.
For some reason, none of us act perfectly all the time. It’s actually impossible for every person, all the time, to act in a way that never offends, irritates, or bothers another person.
Yes, if you want all the people in your life to act, 100% of the time, in a way that never bothers, irritates, or offends you, then you have to believe that is even possible. Seriously, that just isn’t ever going to happen.
So, let’s all agree, that people are just going to act, and usually they are going to act in a way that makes sense to THEMSELVES. Not you.
People weren’t put on earth to satisfy your desire that everyone act in a way that feels good to you. That wouldn’t even be good for you!
Not ever going to happen.
However, you can begin right now, to quit blaming other people for how you think, feel, and act. Start taking responsibility for yourself.
This can be one of the hardest things to wrap your brain around. It is also the most liberating idea to accept and live by.
Humans are amazing when you quit expecting them all to behave and act the way you think they should.
Make decisions to when you want to get unstuck
Learning to make quick and definitive decisions is a game-changer. Unmade decisions are a HUGE waste of time and eat up a lot of mental energy.
Unmade decisions can cause a whole lot of problems in your life. Read here about Signs You Need to Make a Decision.
How many times have you agonized over a decision? Taking days, weeks, or months to make a decision?
Then you make it and wow, it feels so good! But maybe you go back for a little more misery by second-guessing yourself or having regrets which keeps you stuck.
Making decisions quickly and never second-guessing them is an amazing tool for getting unstuck and staying unstuck.
Here are 3 tips about decisions
When faced with a decision, resist the urge to think there is a right or wrong decision. There is just a decision.
You can decide, ahead of time, that whichever decision you make, you will do everything in your own power to make it the right one.
You will have your own back, and not second guess or regret your decision. Since you decided ahead of time that it was the right decision, you will support the decision you made.
Folks, this is going to change your life and keep it moving.
Clear your to-do list that’s keeping you stuck
One of the common reasons we stay stuck is because we have so many undone things that are like clutter in our brains.
Some of these undone things can act like a bottleneck in life and keep you from doing a lot of other things you want to do.
Undone things are like that. Maybe it’s not a big deal or maybe it is, but either way, it takes up mental energy.
So, get out your pen and paper and make a list of all that stuff that needs done. Some of it you will need to do and some you’ll need to hire out.
You don’t have to do it all today, but at the very least get it on paper. Then it can be fun to put it in order of easiest to most difficult.
Once you have your list, do a couple of the easy ones. I’ll bet you have a couple that take less than five minutes.
Doesn’t that feel amazing?
Now, start working through the list until it’s done. Even if you can’t get some things done right away, you can make a plan and schedule it for later. It’s so much fun to check off each item as you get it done.
- Make an appointment for dentist!
- Hire plumber to fix the leaky.
- Clean out the refrigerator.
- Throw away the mismatched socks.
- Weed the front yard garden.
- Organize my closet.
Doing this is super powerful. Prepare to be unstuck as you get all your things squared away.
Set a goal to help you move forward
One of the things I love about coaching is helping people reach goals. But to reach a goal, you have to set one first.
A lot of people resist setting goals.
Because if you don’t set a goal, then you reason, you’ll never have to feel bad about failing.
At least that’s how I imagine your brains are trying to convince you not to even try.
So, what you are doing is failing in advance by not even trying!
However, when you learn to reach goals, you’ll love setting them.
For the sake of this experiment, just set a goal. Here are some examples.
- Walk four times a week.
- Drink 64 oz. of water each day for a month.
- Write a short story.
- Keep a gratitude journal for a month.
Pick a goal that you can for sure reach, if you show up and take the action.
I purposely left losing weight off this list. Why?
Because you can show up, take great action, eat right, and still not lose weight in a particular time frame.
I also don’t include goals that include other people. Remember the secret earlier about other people? You just can’t count on them for goals either.
So, pick something that is something you want to do, stick with, and achieve. It needs to depend only on you.
The trick here is to stick with it, even when your mind gives you a million reasons why it isn’t important. Your brain will say, “What will it hurt to miss just one walk?” “Keeping a gratitude journal is silly, why bother?”
Write your goal down on paper. Look at it every day. And track your actions towards your goal.
Forget about being happy if you want to get unstuck in life
I know, I know. It’s what we all want. We want to be happy. And we are so sure that we will be if only…
- We could lose weight
- Our partners acted different
- We liked our jobs
- Our children were doing better
- We had more money
- Our health was better
- You know what I’m talking about!
Here’s the thing. None of those things will make you happy. Oh, sure, you’ll have happy moments, just like you do now. You’ll also have unhappy moments.
Happiness is a feeling and we can certainly train ourselves to be happier in general. However, no matter what you do, how much you weigh, or how much money you have, you will never be happy all the time.
In fact, it’s guaranteed by life, that you’ll feel unhappy a good portion of the time too.
So, get over the idea that being happy is the goal of life.
If it’s not feeling happy though, what is it?
Instead of false happiness, I have real goals!
- Creating a legacy of words that will outlive me.
- Being an example of what is possible for a woman over 50.
- Building strong and loving connections with other people.
- Learning and growing for my entire life.
Unfortunately, we tend to lump all our feelings into a few little buckets called: happy, sad, mad, and afraid. We call some of our feelings bad and some of them good.
They are ALL simply feelings. And there are hundreds more feelings to experience. When I think of my life goals above, I know that “happy” isn’t going to get me to any of those important goals.
Here’s some feelings that will: excited, committed, proud, curious, brave, adventuresome, uncomfortable, self-confident, courageous, vulnerable, and even scared at times.
The truth is that I enjoy happy as much as anyone. But I am not addicted to feeling it. The problem with wanting to be happy is that it creates behaviors that keep you stuck.
When we think something has gone wrong because we feel unhappy, we indulge in behaviors that produce some temporary pleasure but usually have some negative effects as well as slowing us done until we are stuck.
Some examples of behaviors we do that produce temporary pleasure but keep us stuck:
- Eating too much
- Over drinking
- Watching too much TV
- Scrolling through social media
Instead of living a REAL life contributing and creating, we addictively consume stuff that we think will make us feel better.
But you know, as well as I do, that none of those things make you happy or bring positive results in the long-term.
I’m not saying you can’t ever indulge but when it is a substitute or an escape, then it’s just not good for you.
Trying to be happy all the time will keep you feeling stuck big time!
How to Move Forward in Life
These are some of the best ways I know to get unstuck and move forward in life. They sound easy and sometimes they will feel easier than at other times.
You don’t have to solve everything all at once! Once you get unstuck in one area, you can often use what you learn to make changes in other areas.
I truly believe that each and every one of you has a contribution to make. Being stuck can feel miserable but it can also feel safe.
But I also think staying safe and stuck isn’t much of a way to live. What do you think?
Keep showing up my friends,
Ready to find out more?
Schedule a free consultation today.
Coach with Me!
Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! Big changes can happen with a shift in thinking. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.