Feeling stuck is a feeling we probably all know. In fact, feeling stuck in life is probably part of how we keep moving forward. It is, however, important to know how to manage it and move on, or it will otherwise just worsen over time, keeping you from being productive, and in a negative state of mind
“When we feel stuck, going nowhere – even starting to slip backward – we may actually be backing up to get a running start”Dan Millman
Sometimes you feel like you’ve tried everything in life, but there’s just no change at all. This can lead to frustration because you get the feeling of being unable to resolve the situation. You feel lost.
Why do we feel stuck?
Feeling stuck is only a perception of the mind and it does not actually represent reality. However, sometimes feeling stuck is necessary: it is a sign that something in your life has to change.
When faced with a problem, many of us become afraid and insecure, this occurs because it forces us to step out of our comfort zone. This is why we often need something or someone to push us out of it. And it might just be ourselves.
There are no shortcuts or loopholes to get out of this feeling of being stuck. There are, however, ways to ease the feeling and flourish, allowing ourselves the successful beings we thrive to become. Here are ten tips to achieve a better life.
1. Focus on commitment, not motivation
It is important to realize how committed you are to your goal, and what you are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve it. If you are fully committed, motivation will follow right behind.
2. Seek knowledge, not results
As they say, what’s important in the end is the journey and not the destination. Focusing on the excitement of discovery, exploring, experimenting and improving will keep your motivation fueled. If you just focus on the result, your motivation will die the moment you hit a bump on the road. Keep in mind what you are learning along the journey, and what can be improved.
3. Make the journey fun
Make it feel like you are playing a game; let it be exciting and entertaining. If you take things too seriously, you will probably carry around a heavy emotional weight which will cause you to lose perspective and start from zero.
4. Get rid of stagnating thoughts
How our mind works is a big line of domino pieces just waiting to fall over causing a big chain of repercussions. Our thoughts influence our feelings, and these in turn influence how we view things. As human beings we are emotionally intelligent enough to choose what thoughts to focus on, and we have two choices: focusing on the negative thoughts, those that will make us feel stuck all over again; or the positive ones, those that will encourage us and make us move forward.
5. Use your imagination
Once you have been able to get rid of the negative thoughts, the next step is using your imagination. Usually when things are well, we tend to feel good, and positive; but once things go south, we immediately start experiencing difficulties and are invaded with negative thoughts. This must change, and is essential to becoming successful in life.
You have to change your situation. If you keep bringing yourself down over and over again, you will actually start believing it. Negative thoughts will evoke negative feelings. So now it’s a matter of imagination. “Fake it ’till you make it”, as saying goes. You can always find a way to learn from a bad experience. Think positive and positive things will follow.
6. Stop being nice to yourself
Motivation means actions and actions means results. When this is not the case, we often prefer being nice to ourselves and remove us from a difficult situation. We rather wait for an opportunity to come up; for the perfect timing.
While this happens we drive ourselves into stagnation, which can often result in anxiety and even depression. It’s important to challenge ourselves, even if it might frighten us.
7. Get rid of distractions
Trivial distractions will always stand in the way of our achievements, especially simple things we’d rather do instead. This is procrastinating. We need to get rid of this and focus on new challenges that will help us grow. Learn to focus. A great tip to get rid of distractions is writing down a list of trivial things that just waste your time, and sticking to not doing them.
8. Stop relying on others
Never ever expect others to do your work for you. Everyone has their own stuff to get through. You’re the only one who can make you truly happy, so focus on you.
It is important to have a simple three-step-plan: when will you do what and how. Following these three points, fill your weekly calendar with precisely what you have to do, when you will do it and how you will do it. It is essential to schedule. After, you should review how the days went, realize what you’ve learned, and what can be improved.
10. Protect yourself from burnout
Being motivated is good, but not so much until the point where you burn out. Look at yourself in the mirror; try to auto-criticize yourself and identify when your mind and body need to rest. Include relaxation and time for fun into your schedule: create a diversity of tasks to fulfill and keep switching between the different types. Switch between creative and logical activities; between working alone and in group. Change up the locations from time to time.
Meditating is also a great way to clear your mind and relax. Even just taking deep breaths will help your mind from going all over the place. Take the time to take care not only of your body, but also of your mind. It is the motor that keeps your whole system going, don’t forget that.