I want to change, but… Why we get stuck and how to get “unstuck”
Are you feeling stuck? It’s easy to get in a rut and it can feel frustrating. You can get stuck in a relationship, a career, your health, or the mundane routine of day-to-day life. You can also get stuck in worry, afraid to make a decision or change something in your life. Or maybe you’re disappointed with how a particular situation turned out, and it just feels too hard to move on. Regardless of the cause, feeling stuck comes along with wanting change or wanting more.
When we get stuck, we often wait for external change to happen. However, real and meaningful change doesn’t happen to us, it has to come from within us. Change can feel daunting, scary or painful, but it’s necessary for getting unstuck. In the long run, feeling stuck can lead to positive change if you’re willing to do something about it.
Try these five strategies when you feel stuck:
1. Let go of the past.
Are you thinking about events that happened in the past or maybe you are blaming yourself or others for things that didn’t turn out the way you hoped? Ask yourself why you are stuck on these memories or events, and what you can do to live with them, accept them, and move forward. You can’t undo the past, but you can choose to let go and move on.
2. Change your perspective.
Getting unstuck requires you to see your reality in new ways so that you can change the way you feel about your circumstances. To gain a new perspective, meditate or spend time alone so that you can reflect on why you feel stuck. If you can, spend time in nature or take a break from your daily routine to clear your mind and get distance from your current situation. Open yourself up to new ideas through inspiring books and podcasts and incorporate physical activity, like walks into your daily routine. All of these changes will help you gain a new perspective on the future and all that is possible.
3. Start with small changes.
Change stimulates different parts of the brain that improve creativity and clarity, allowing you to gain a new perspective. You can start small by changing one part of your daily routine. It can be something like how your start your morning or how you wind down at night. You can also rearrange things in your house or try a new exercise routine. You might be tempted to skip the little things because they don’t always seem important in the big picture. But after a while, an accumulation of small changes will help you get closer to your goals, and you will start to feel unstuck.
4. Believe in yourself.
The first step to believing in yourself is to recognize your self-doubt. Tune in to your inner voice and how you react to situations. Change limiting self-talk like, “I can’t,” or “I don’t know” with “I can’t do that yet, but I’m working on it,” or “I don’t know now, but I will.” Make a list of your strengths and past successes, to remind yourself that you are capable when you start to doubt yourself.
5. Seek out help.
If you find that you are unable to change unhealthy thought patterns, consider reaching out to a therapist to help you figure out why you are stuck, and to find ways to get unstuck. Feeling stuck can be part of a mental health disorder that can be effectively treated with therapy. Having professional support as you work to change limiting beliefs can be helpful. Sometimes asking for help can be the most hopeful and powerful step you can take.
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miquel Ruiz
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Contributed by: Dr. Alisa Houseknecht