What To Do When Feeling Stuck In Your Life

Feeling stuck? You know that feeling of not knowing what to do or what direction to go in?  

For example, do you have a dream in your heart, a dream that's on your mind all the time but you don’t know where or how to begin?

Do you have too many ideas and don’t know which one to choose?

Or maybe you have to make a major decision but are afraid you're going to make the wrong one?

These are just some of the situations we find ourselves wrestling with when feeling stagnated or stuck in our lives. When we feel stuck, we can start to experience other things like increased stress and anxiety. Feeling frustrated and overwhelmed are also common when we can't seem to figure out what we should do. When we don't know what to do but know we need to do something, our fears and doubts are fed even more, making deciding that much harder.

I have been to that place many times. On occasion, I still visit Stuck Road, especially when I take my eyes off my purpose and dreams. I get lost in the vacuum of fear and doubt that at times threatens to suck me up. 

But what I have found is that when I refocus my mind and become silent, listening to my inner voice, I am reminded of what direction I need to take and that feeling of being stuck, the tight grip it seemed to have on me is released.

I believe the answers to many, if not all, of the stuck places we find ourselves are already within us. It is often just a matter of clearing out all the noise outside of us, so we can really hear and discern what we need to do, decide to do it, and then take action.

Here are some quick tips to help you get unstuck so you can get to the business of living your dreams and making the changes you want to see in your life.

Acknowledge what you are feeling and why you are feeling it. The quicker you own it for what it is, the quicker you can begin to do the things needed to move forward. Acknowledge what is underneath that feeling of being stuck. Ask yourself some hard questions. Am I afraid because of what people will think if I make this choice? Or if I do make this choice does it mean that I will lose some people in my life? Am I afraid of being alone? When we can be real with ourselves, we can start to take the necessary steps to create the changes we want for our lives.

Pray. Prayer, time and time again, has helped to release me from feeling stuck. Prayer is communicating with God what he already knows, but at the moment, you are bringing him into whatever situation is going on in your life. Prayer also makes you feel better. Once you are done, you feel like the 100 lb weight of stagnation has been lifted. And because prayer is a dialogue between you and God, be open to what he has to say to remove that feeling of being stuck. 

Let go of excuses. Often times we become stuck because we have created this laundry list of why something can’t or won’t happen. Instead of creating a list that outlines why something is impossible, create a list highlighting all the reasons why something is possible.

Challenge what you think of yourself. If you feel stuck because you have some doubts about yourself and your abilities, identify each one and confront them head-on. For example, if you are critical of your physical appearance, challenge yourself to find one thing that you love about your body and make it your focus. Or recall all the times you have been successful no matter what it may have been. Regularly remind yourself of all things that make you great, just as you are.

Accept that failure is a good thing. Everything you do will not be met with success; this is just a simple reality of life. So instead of letting the fear of failure keep you from moving forward, allow it to be your teacher. Failure is a character builder and each time you fail, view it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. Failure stretches us, challenges us, and ultimately helps to shape us into becoming better versions of ourselves.

Do the hard things. It is often not that we are necessarily stuck in our life; it is because we are resisting doing the hard things we know we need to do. When we practice resistance to what life is calling us to, we experience the feeling of stagnation.

Do something with your hands. One thing I have found helpful when I feel stuck is to create some “art.” Now I am not an artist, but I am a person who likes to create collages and doodle images. When I am actively engaged using my hands to create, I feel better, no longer hemmed up by fear and doubt. My mind and body are more relaxed because I have released all the tension built up inside of me up until that point.

Just decide. If you have been delaying making a decision because you don’t know what to really do, sometimes you just have to decide and put your faith into action. What often keeps us stuck in these types of situations is trying to figure out how it is all going to work out.  We can’t ever know for sure how anything will turn out. There will be times when you just simply won’t know if what you are doing is the right thing until you do it. And if, in the end, the decision turns out to be the wrong one, you get to make a different choice.

Ask for help. Going to someone you trust who can give you a different perspective is a great way to get unstuck. Sometimes they will confirm what you already know; other times, they will provide you with a new way of seeing your situation.

Take in the fresh air.  Spending some time in nature has a way of making life make sense. Maybe it’s the picturesque mountains, or walking in the green grass, or the soothing sound of the ocean, whatever it is, being outside has a way of helping to release that feeling of being stuck.

Do something new. Do you do the same things every day in the same way? Drive to work the same route? Eat lunch in the same restaurant? Listen to the same radio station? Read the same genre of books? Hang out with the same group of friends? To get unstuck, sometimes you need to shake your life up a bit. Pick one area of your life and do something different. When we expose ourselves to different people, places, and things, we open the door to new ideas and experiences to come in, which could help us to get unstuck.

If you feel stuck in your life, engage in one or more of the ideas above and send me a quick email or post a comment about your experience. I would love to hear from you.


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