People that feel stuck are more common than you think. I see comments and messages all the time online of people who report to be stuck and ask for help. The truth is no matter how successful we may be, at some point, we too will become stuck.
There have been several moments in my life where I’ve felt stuck and can relate to the feeling well. Two of these moments revolved around me trying to change my career and experience immense rejection in trying to do so.
I can also vividly remember feeling stuck when I finished school and didn’t know what to do which caused me to become an entrepreneur.
And the time I felt more stuck than ever was when I was crippled by an invisible illness that I later found out was anxiety and had no idea how to recover. I made the wrong choice, initially, and kept quiet about it.
Feeling stuck is guaranteed and it comes during different seasons of your life, and often when you least expect it.
So, if you feel stuck in life, what can you do?
1. See your situation for what it is
The way you perceive your life during those moments when you feel stuck will have a lot to do with how quickly you can recover.
If you fall into the trap of self-pity — or even worse, depression — the time it takes to get your stuff together is going to take a lot longer. Realize that your situation is similar to everybody else. You’re not the first person in the world to become stuck and you won’t be the last.
What you’re going through is normal and it will happen again later in life. In my case, I felt stuck last year and then this year I have reached the same position again. I’ve chosen to link the idea of being stuck with massive change, a major comeback and a chance to reinvent myself.
The strangest part is that after reading a biography on Tiger Woods and seeing his recent comeback, I’ve decided to link the rebuilding phase to his own timeline. Tiger has been an unlikely person who I’ve never met that has helped me see how to become unstuck when the odds are stacked against you. The same opportunity exists for you.
2. Get some external advice from someone that knows you
A lot of what it’s like to be unstuck happens in your head, and the pattern runs over and over. What helps when you experience this is to get some advice from someone that knows you well.
Tell this person that you are feeling stuck and ask them for their advice based on what they know about you. I did this the other day and a mentor completely broke my pattern by telling me three things that other people have said about me which proved to me that I could reinvent myself.
People that know you well will likely be able to pinpoint times when you’ve been stuck before and they will notice things that you do which you may not realize. I’ve also realized that people who know you will call you out on your own BS too which is helpful.
3. Reach out to someone you admire
Ask them what they did when they were stuck in life. People love sharing their stories and you may find the answer to your challenges in someone else’s story.
Having new people in your life is always a good way to find an alternative. Trying to solve the same problem of being stuck over and over with the same solutions is the definition of insanity as Einstein would say.
4. Visit a land far, far away
When I’ve felt stuck, I have found that seeing new cultures (especially ones that are less fortunate than your own) is a great way to become unstuck.
It’s hard to visit a place like Vietnam where people have hardly anything — and yet are still so happy — and come home and be pissed off or ungrateful. A lot of the feelings associated with being stuck come from a lack of gratitude.
You feel you’re stuck because you’ve forgotten what you already have.
If someone tried to take away everything you have, you might all of a sudden feel unstuck.
5. The real answer is do something
Whatever you do, don’t just sit there and do nothing while simultaneously feeling stuck in life. This approach will not help you and you’ll get more of those depressing feelings you’re already getting.
Think of being stuck like quicksand: if you stand there too long, your mouth will become full of sand, you won’t be able to breathe and this will lead to a painful and unnecessary death. Keep moving.
Talk to people. Do some exercise. Go to a few Meetups. Watch some documentaries. Engage in a few Facebook Groups.
Whatever you do, don’t stand still and continue to be stuck for no reason when the answer to your problem is not far away if you’ll only put the time in to search for it.
We all get stuck in life — the key is to get unstuck as quick as you can.