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Image: Men pushing a van which is stuck in the mud. A metaphor for being stuck in life.

What To Do If You’re Feeling Stuck in Life

This article by Tatiana Azman was originally published on Mindvalley.

If you’re feeling stuck in life, friend, please know that we understand.

As wonderful, exciting, and colorful as this life is, there are times when we all feel like we’re playing a never-ending game of Monopoly. We keep landing on Apathy Avenue, paying rent to the owner called Life as we see our soul (a.k.a. Monopoly money) slowly dwindling.

The good thing is, you don’t need to stay there. Here’s the why, when, and what to do with the feeling of “stuck” so that you can go on to create the life you love.

Image: Men pushing a van which is stuck in the mud. A metaphor for being stuck in life.
Source: Unsplash

Why Do You Feel Stuck in Life?

“Feeling stuck” is a fairly broad term. But here, we’re using it to mean feeling unmotivated and in a state of apathy.

And there are many reasons why you may feel this way. It could stem from:

  • The desire for a change, like a new job or improving your health. And then, losing the motivation to do anything about it.
  • Wanting to do something exciting, like bungee jumping or reading a book a day. And then, you talk yourself out of it.
  • Indecisiveness, worrying, overthinking, and constantly wishing that things could be better or different.

With the lifestyles we’ve been accustomed to, this feeling is inevitable. And there are plenty of stats out there to show for it.

So whether it’s about your career, relationships, or life in general, it’s not only important to be consciously aware of why you feel this way, but also when you do.

When Do You Feel Stuck in Life?

There are times when we allow ourselves to fall into “stuckness.” Bad habits, for example, are one way down that dark road.

However, there are other times when it’s beyond our control, like the pandemic, for instance. In fact, a 2021 global study by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence found that over 75% of people struggle with flipping to a positive script. 

Other times when you may feel stuck in life include:

  • Your needs, wants, and hopes have evolved.
  • You compare yourself to others.
  • You’ve been put in your discomfort zone.
  • Your relationships, passion, health and wellness, and service to others aren’t aligned with your values.
  • You’re afraid to expand the premise of your life.

These moments can happen at any stage of your life. So here are some things you can do to get unstuck.

Side note: if it starts getting in the way of your ability to cope with day-to-day activities, it’s always a good idea to speak to a healthcare professional.

3 Things to Do to Get Unstuck in Life

Now the golden question remains: how do you get yourself unstuck? 

Googling some uplifting quotes may help, but it’s often not sustainable. So, here are three things you can do that can help.

Identify your limiting beliefs or emotions

For many of us, when we’re feeling stuck in life, we become anxious. We feel the need to move or find distractions so we don’t have to deal with whatever is making us feel this way. But, like quicksand, the more you move, the faster you sink.

Jon Butcher knows all too well about anxiety and the stress of living a life where he always felt stuck. He and his wife, Missy went on to create Lifebook, where they planned, sculpted, and mapped out what their lives would look like if they were fulfilled in love, career, and everything in between.

The first step in knowing what you want is knowing who you are,” says Missy. “You have to bring consciousness to yourself, to your own feelings, to your insights.”

So, sit with your emotions so you can find out the limiting beliefs that are causing you to feel stuck in the first place. You can try:

Oh yes, it will be incredibly uncomfortable, but there are no shortcuts to self-mastery. It’s a layer-by-layer process you have to get through.

An extraordinary life is not easy — it’s not easily won, it’s not easily achieved. It’s a hero’s journey,” explains Missy and Jon. “Greatness requires great effort.”

Clarify your vision and align your goals to them

This point is always easier said than done.

And for many people, the idea of living a life of joy, success, and abundance is terrifying (scroll back up to “Identify Your Limiting Beliefs or Emotions”). But self-development calls for you to go easy on yourself with all the self-love you can muster up in the moment and with no judgment.

Our one job on this planet, if we have any big cosmic job, is to literally do the best we can with what we’ve been given. And we’re made for it,” says the Butchers.

They suggest setting clearly defined goals for the 12 categories of life that are specific and measurable. By doing so, you’ll be able to gauge how close or far you are from reaching them.

You’ll also be able to identify what you want to accomplish specifically, who you’ll need in your life to achieve it, and establish any potential setbacks that may arise as well as what you need to overcome them. 

So, ask yourself:

  • When you look at your life vision, are you asking enough of yourself or are you playing small?
  • Is this vision achievable or are you asking too much of yourself?
  • Are you willing to pay the price that this life vision will require?
  • Will the achievement of your life vision (and the journey to get there) make you truly happy and truly fulfilled?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions, you’re on the right track to your ideal life.

(And if not, you may want to reflect on your goals and tweak them. Don’t fret though; it’s not that you did it wrong. Sometimes, we’re so caught up setting goals and moving towards them that we forget to assess those goals and see if they’re really right for us.) 

Align your habits with your vision

“One step at a time” is how the saying goes. In terms of your life vision, it’s about the steps you’re taking right now.

Getting in touch with the habits that will most support your life vision is a massively powerful thing to do,” says Jon.

What are the small daily behaviors that will support your life vision? We’re talking teeny-tiny here, like drinking a glass of water when you wake up, taking a few minutes to list down your gratitude, or even putting your phone in the other room before you go to bed.

Choose 12 simple habits, one for each category, to do every day. And if you really want to step up your game, find a habit tracker app that suits you (Vishen, founder and CEO of Mindvalley, uses this one himself). At the end of the month, you can see how well you’re doing as well as review which habits work for you and which do not.

Missy explains, “whatever you do in the present moment is how your life ends up being.” And those things are what add up ultimately to your goals and life vision.

Your Life Unstuck

When you’re not used to being confident, confidence feels like arrogance. When you’re used to being passive, assertiveness feels like aggression. When you’re not used to getting your needs met, prioritizing yourself feels selfish. Your comfort zone is not a good benchmark.

— @leadershipfeed / Instagram

Now, it’s good and all to create a life vision, write down the 12 life categories goals, and establish daily habits. (It’s important to be personally responsible, after all.)

But what happens when you have bad days? How do you motivate yourself to keep going, especially if you fall into a dark moment (because sh*t happens, right…)?

It comes down to your purpose. “If you have a strong enough purpose, you will climb any mountain, you will cover any distance, you will cross any barrier,” Jon explains. “Nothing will be able to stop you.

The Butchers suggest finding something, anything to get you out of the negative state. For Missy, it’s listing things she’s grateful for. For you, it might be meditation or spending time with your children… or giving Mindvalley’s Lifebook a try, where Jon, Missy, and the Mindvalley tribe can help you find the thing (or things) that gets your life unstuck.

Everything we do in life is meant for one thing — to make us happy

-Jon
  • Mindvalley

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Published: March 11, 2022

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