So You’re Feeling Stuck? Here’s What to Do
What to do when You’re Feeling Stuck
We all have times when we’re feeling “stuck”. We are overwhelmed and unable to make a decision. Sometimes it’s because we’re afraid of making the wrong decision so we fear making any decision. Sometime’s it’s because there are too many decisions in front of us and we are paralyzed by all the choices. The reality is that it’s the in-between and it can be scary. When we are between choices or paths it can sometimes be unclear of which way is the right way to go.
Do you know how you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time……
Many people will tell you to go back and try to figure out how you got stuck in the first place. I disagree, I think moving forward is the first order of business. You can spend a lot of energy trying to retrace your steps, going in a circle, or even going backwards, but right now you need to focus on moving forward.
Try These Tips
A Brain Dump
Try a brain dump when you’re feeling stuck. I get a piece of paper and get it all out there. Everything that’s on my mind. I give myself 30 minutes and just get it all down on paper. It doesn’t have to make sense, it doesn’t have to be shared with anyone else but it will free your mind to get it all out of your head. Sometimes that’s all it takes, just getting it out of your head. It’s like your brain can give a sigh of relief to not have to store it all anymore.
Is this decision something you “should” do or feel “obligated” to do? Sometimes our head is telling us to go one way and our heart is saying another. It’s not always easy to separate whether you are basing a decision on what is expected from you or what will make you happy. We all have obligations, and not all of them are going to bring us joy, but is this a decision that you feel obligated to because it’s good for you or because it’s good for someone else?
Try saying it out loud and replacing the “I should” or “I need” with “I want” and see how that makes you feel. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that maybe we aren’t really stuck, maybe we just think we are and speaking it out loud brings our mind back in line. “I should” can be disguised as other’s expectations. “I need” and “I want” can be easily confused and saying it out loud can help clarify.
Remember that nothing is permanent. You can be certain that change will happen – to you and around you. Sometimes sitting still can bring about peace. Occasionally I feel stuck because I’m waiting for other events to happen, and time is the key to a change. Once I’ve decided something in my life needs to change I want it to be done already, I don’t want to wait for the process to unfold. If this is the case and I’m in a holding pattern, I like to get active – go for a walk, do a deep clean, or get a good dance party happening. Activity can be a distraction but it can also get those endorphins flowing.
Make the decision to get unstuck – say “I’m ready to move on”. Say it out loud.
Take action, any action – go for a walk, exercise, make a list. Even doing some busy work will help your mind, organize a drawer, clean off your desk. Washing dishes is one of my least favorite activities, but when I’m stressed I actually enjoy the warm water, the repetition, and not thinking.
Let it Go
Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Those thoughts we have rolling around in our heads and those messages that we replay in our minds are not always kind. Check the message you’re telling yourself and see if it’s something that you’d say to a friend…..is it uplifting or is it deflating? Is it supportive or would it bring them down? If it’s not something you would tell another person, why would you say it to yourself? We all have to make a concerted effort to quiet that voice, and replace the message with something uplifting and encouraging.
If you Skipped to the Bottom for the Quick Read……
Quick Action Steps:
- Recognize and own your feelings
- Focus on your breathing – in through your mouth and out through your nose
- Try a brain dump or journaling (try this)
- Change your phrase from “I should” to “I want” and see where it leads you
- Be active – anything to get your heart racing and clear your head