Whether you’re stuck in your job, your home or in a relationship, it’s a frustrating and emotionally draining situation. However, even if there are reasons why you can’t change your situation or employer, there are things you can do about your feeling of being stuck. And it’s important that you do so because there are long-term adverse consequences if you don’t.
Why It’s Important To Get Unstuck
The feeling of being stuck is a sign that you are suffering from self-limiting beliefs and the belief that you aren’t capable of improving your situation. Getting unstuck requires working through negative thought patterns to achieve not only your goals but also your dreams.
It’s important because it involves a lot more than the boredom or futility you might feel at an unwanted job. Getting unstuck also requires an understanding that change happens within you and that you are the one who has to effectuate a response to the external factors that are causing your feeling of being stuck. This is powerful. You may not be able to change your environment, but understanding that you have the ability to change the way you respond to and interact with that environment can do wonders for your attitude and mental health. The result is not just limited to your job; it can affect your entire outlook on life.
What It Means To Be Stuck
Humans are hardwired to favor comfort. Being stuck caters to that desire because the certainty and control of being stuck let you avoid uncomfortable challenges, new learning and uncertain results. However, because success typically involves getting out of your comfort zone, you’re going to have to do some of this emotional and psychological rewiring or risk being stuck forever.
If you are stuck, you may experience physical sensations, like an ache telling you that you need to get moving. But how do you do that when nothing feels like the right thing to do? You probably have no desire to move if you’re experiencing brain fog, unusual fatigue, an inability to focus, restlessness, anxiety or a combination of these. Being stuck starts with feeling stuck. Negative thoughts can keep you down, while a positive viewpoint can help set you free. Whatever makes you feel stuck, there are options and solutions.
What To Do To Get Unstuck
First of all, almost everything you do starts with a thought. This is why emotional intelligence training and self-awareness are crucial to your success and your happiness. You have to address the genesis of that thought, along with its antecedents and circumstances.
Focus on what inspires you.
If you dislike your job or a project in which you feel stuck, look for the parts of it that make you feel good or, if no part of it makes you feel good, the part that makes you feel the least bad. You’re probably already doing that part as much as you can, so now you have to quit thinking about less desirable aspects and think as much as you can about the best parts. The next time you’re thinking with dread about what’s making you feel stuck, force yourself to change your focus. Direct your thoughts instead to the least undesirable aspects of the matter.
Consider your purpose.
Many people live the dreams or desires that others have ascribed to them. As a result, they get stuck in situations they never really should have been in the first place. So, think carefully about how you got to where you are. Were you following your passions or someone else’s? If you’re stuck because you have not been authentic, putting yourself first can help you get moving again.
This is not just about your career but also your attitudes and all you do in life. Your purpose is an essential part of the antidote to being stuck. It’s the mission statement that gets you out of bed. If you haven’t already, spend some time determining exactly what your purpose in life is and deciding what you need to do to live in accord with that purpose.
Let go of the past.
Judging yourself too harshly can lead to excessive worrying, low self-worth and depletion of self-efficacy. Be honest about whether or not you are blaming others for a situation you are unhappy about. Whether it was someone else’s fault or not, holding onto blame will not fix it. Get unstuck by accepting whatever happened in the past, learning from it and moving on to more rewarding endeavors.
Listen to your intuition.
The key to getting unstuck may well be within you. Call it your heart. Call it your gut. Wherever it is for you, intuition is a powerful guide. Take some quiet time to honestly consider what you feel about your situation and how you could get more from your life.
To have better relationships, love yourself.
The better you understand yourself, the better you will understand others. Likewise, if you want to have better relationships, first be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for any perceived mistakes you have made, and look forward to making a brighter future.
To have better relationships, let go.
Consider whether a relationship inspires you or drains you. Sometimes, you need to admit that a relationship is not working for you and move on. Spending more time with people who energize you and make you feel motivated will help you get unstuck. Spending less time with negative people will not destroy them but sticking with them could cause you to lose your chance to pursue your dreams.
I can’t guarantee that adopting one or more of these tactics to get unstuck will do the trick for you, but they have worked for many before you and have a high probability of working for you also. Give them a try. You have nothing to lose but your boredom and discontent.
This article was originally published in Forbes.
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