If you’ve found yourself saying “I feel stuck” when it comes to a particular area of your life, it’s usually a sign that it’s time to take a closer look at what’s going on.
Yes, there are times when we can feel as though we’re going round in circles – I’ll always be single, I’ll never get a break – and then BAM! You bump into the man (or woman) of your dreams on a crowded train. Or you get headhunted by your dream firm for the role that feels like it was made for you.
But more often than not, if you find yourself at a place where you feel as though you’re stuck, the route out of it involves a little more conscious effort on your part. It’s often a sign that you’ve come up against a recurring block or pattern that it’s time you figured out once and for all.
If you feel stuck, here’s where to start
Bring to mind an area of your life where you’re feeling blocked or challenged right now. It might not be at crisis point, but it’s not thriving or growing either. You’re treading water or going in circles – it feels like you’re stuck.
For Amanda, owner of an editing business, it was her work where she was really starting to feel that things weren’t working.
“I wanted to have more of an impact, and to feel like I knew where I was going. I felt like if I slowed down, everything would fall apart – but I wasn’t going anywhere.”
Can you relate? I know I’ve had times where I’ve really felt like a bit of a “husk”– as though I’d somehow lost the juicy, energised feeling that comes when you’re connected to your calling. For entrepreneurs, that can be deadly. We need to be able to connect to a vision that enables us to get energised and creative; that will allow us to innovate and flex our businesses to meet the demands of the marketplace.
And it can happen in other areas of your life, too. Maybe your relationship’s starting to feel really stale. You’re not fighting but you’re not exactly tearing each other’s clothes off, either.
Or you’re managing your kids, but not having the kind of fun you’d like to. Coursework and teenage arguments have taken over family play times.
Whatever it is you’re stuck with, here are 3 powerful questions to ask if you find yourself feeling stuck.
Saying “I feel stuck”? Try these 3 things
Ask yourself if you’re living in line with your values
One of the foundational elements of our Living the Change course is an exercise where we discover our values. It’s such an important thing to do, identifying what really matters most to you.
If you haven’t done it before, try scanning the books on your shelf – they’ll often reveal what you’re willing to spend time and energy on.
Getting clear on your values can reveal some surprising things. For example, in Amanda’s case she found that a couple of her values were in conflict. This is something a lot of us find, and it can lead to a “stuck” feeling when we find ourselves “pulled” in opposite directions.
“On my coaching call, we talked about one of the conflicts that had come up. I really wanted stability for my family, but I also wanted to be able to take risks and do things differently. So I started this little online makeup business. It’s just fun. And I’d never have done this before. It’s made me connect with so many people and have fun with it, and explore my creativity – I would never have done any of that.”
Figure out what your values are, and ask yourself if there are any that are moving in opposite directions. Maybe you’re craving adventure, but you also really value security, and you’ve ended up turning into a homebody.
How can you incorporate more of your values into your life? Can you find an outlet for any values that aren’t currently being met?
2. Do you need to do some inner work?
Amanda traced her stuckness back to a far more serious challenge she’d faced a few years previously.
“I’d got burned out a couple of years ago, and ended up with depression and anxiety. When I started Living the Change I’d recovered enough to start thinking about the future.
I’m the kind of person who reads everything. I’m always trying to learn and know more. And after being depressed, I just knew I had to start taking care of myself – especially because everyone was dependent on me.
The course really opened my eyes to the fact that, while I love the business – as editors for educational publishers we do a good job, we’re helping the next generation to learn – I’ve been doing it for a long time. And I’d lost some of my enthusiasm.
I knew what I needed to do, but I never really had the tools to do it. I’ve never been one for meditation and that kind of thing, but it’s so useful. Just listening to the meditations, some really surprising things came up. It’s been amazing. My mindset now is completely different.”
Like Amanda, a lot of us have an inkling that it’s time to explore some of what’s going on beneath the surface – and yet it can be hard to know exactly how to do that in a way that’s structured and sustainable.
Perhaps you’d like to explore 1:1 coaching so that you can work through what comes up with a trained professional.
When you’re feeling “stuck” it’s an ideal opportunity to investigate some of your subconscious blocks or inherited patterns. As Amanda realized, times of extreme burnout or depression aren’t the best time to begin doing the work of changing your mindset. But if you’ve come out of a challenging time and can’t seem to get your mojo back, getting some outside support could be the answer.
3. Are you in victim mode?
Amanda was really motivated to find some way to tap back into her proactivity. As the main breadwinner in her family, she had a powerful incentive to turn things around.
But for some of us, that path isn’t quite as clear. Instead of looking for extra support or seeking to educate ourselves about how we can change our behaviours, we can find ourselves sinking into “victim” mode. Signs you’re adopting a victim mindset include:
- Feeling that you’re not ‘good’ enough or ‘intelligent’ (or smart, or thin, or, or…) to change your situation – everyone else can do it, just not you.
- Blaming everyone around you for the things you want to change
- Telling yourself that you’re being silly for wanting more, and you should just be happy that you have the things you do
Victim is one of the disempowering archetypes that many women find themselves in. It can be exceptionally hard to find your way out of it by yourself, so if you feel as though “victim” is sapping your strength do reach out to a coach to see if she can provide you with some support – or connect with our Facebook group to find free support from our community.
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