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How to get unstuck and move forward

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There comes a time in everyone’s life when they feel overwhelmed, confused, depressed, in a funk, or just plain “stuck” – it happens to the best of us! It can be hard to get “unstuck” on our own, especially if it is our best thinking and acting that got us into a funk to begin with.

Why do we get stuck sometimes?

The reason we get stuck is because this is real life and not a fairytale where some conflict is overcome and everyone lives happily ever after. Real life doesn’t always go according to plan.   We can’t give people a copy of a script and expect them to follow their lines and act the way we want them to. No matter how hard we work, we don’t always have control over the outcomes.   At the end of the day, life is not always fair.

There are so many reasons we get stuck. Here are 6:

  • We simply cannot accept the outcomes of a situation and move on.
  • We believe we should be something or someone we are not.
  • We’ve compromised our values and settled for less.
  • We’re creatures of habit, we get into a comfort zone and are afraid or unwilling to step out of it.
  • We feel guilty or shameful about being stuck so we beat ourselves up.   Negativity only reinforces whatever is not working and keeps us stuck.
  • We repeat a pattern over and over again, thinking “this time” the results will be different, but they never are. In fact, many times they get worse.

Advice to help you get out of a rut today!

Regardless of why we are stuck, what matters most is “how does one get unstuck and move forward with their life?”   Deciding to take some action is the first step to getting out of a rut.

  • Let Go!: When we resist accepting things for what they are vs. what we want it to be, we suffer. It is healthy to experience our emotions, even sadness and disappointment, but getting trapped by them is destructive. Holding on to anger, grief, or guilt is living in the past and robs us of the ability to experience joy in the now. Acceptance is often the key to peacefulness.
  • Think small: Looking at the whole situation can be really overwhelming and cause analysis paralysis (overthinking something so much you cannot make a move).   Even the smallest step moving in the right direction will get you closer to your goal than waiting for the perfect execution. Start with small manageable changes and they will gradually become bigger, more impactful ones.
  • Get an attitude adjustment: Instead of looking at situations as problems, think of them as challenges and make solving them a game.   No matter how bad things seem, there is always something worse and much to be grateful for; instead of feeling like you have to do something, tell yourself you get to and see how much better it feels. This works for everything.   Try and focus on what’s right instead of what’s wrong; this will give you an energy boost to move forward.
  • Don’t go it alone:   Chances are your best thinking is in part why you are in a funk.   No shame or judgement; we all do the best we can with what we have to work with.   The problem is, we all have “blind spots” too and having a support system that is both objective and honest will shed a new perspective on things in the most helpful way.
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and act: Insanity is often defined as “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result”. If you want a different result, do something different! Sometimes just doing something is different.   Don’t worry if it’s not your ultimate best plan, as long as it is in line with your final goal. Even the best ideas and plans mean nothing if not followed up with action.

Remember, you are not alone! We all get stuck from time to time. The longer we stay stuck the harder it may seem to breakthrough. However, the change you wish for is possible as long as you are willing to make it happen.

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