Why Do We Get Stuck?

We often begin to feel stuck when we have lost sight of where we are going and what our purpose is.  We get too comfortable being comfortable and we fear any change.Furthermore, we are often surrounded by people who are just as stuck as we are.


What Does It Mean to Be Stuck?

Do you feel like you’re in a rut?

Do you feel unmotivated?

Do you fail to set or reach goals?

Do you depreciate your abilities?

Do you have trouble making decisions?

Do you find yourself worrying too much?

If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, you may be feeling stuck and wanting to get unstuck.

1. Let Go of Past Baggage

Why do we always seem stay stuck in or to the past? 

Well, for one thing, the past, no matter how pleasant or painful, is familiar to us. it is a comfort zone. Moving out of the past into the future involves change and change is uncomfortable. We don’t know if this change will be painful, so keeping one foot in the past, we can somehow anchor ourselves to what we know.

Another thing that keeps us tied to our past is our emotions. Memories trigger emotional responses and our emotions are crucial to our state of being. The future holds no memories and we  are emotionally disconnected to it.

What to do to let go of the past

  • Figure out what exactly is holding you back. Articulate what people, events or memories you are still emotionally tied to.
  • Articulate why you want to move forward. What are you trying to change or achieve?
  • Take stalk of and manage your emotions.
  • Develop new strategies. tell yourself a new story about who you are and where you are going.
  • Focus on learning and growing
  • Focus on adding value to others

2. Become Accountable to Yourself

Accountability and motivation go hand in hand. Together, they are desire and discipline. 

How can we be more accountable to ourselves?  I believe accountability  begins first with loving and respecting ourselves enough to do what is best for us. We need to know what is in our best interest and be committed to working toward this goal.  Knowing our “why” or our purpose is the foundation for any positive change. Why is change important and how will it bring improvement?

Once you have established your “why”, it is important to equip yourself with the right tools to keep yourself going in the right direction.

Here are some tools / strategies you can begin using:

  • Educate yourself with good books
  • Talk to people with similar goals and interests
  • Learn from trailblazers
  • Develop a self improvement plan
  • Make your plan a priority
  • Have a committed accountability buddy


3. Form Lasting Good Habits

Good habits are foundational to growth and improvement, just as bad habits are foundational to keeping us stuck in life. Bad habits are easy to develop. All we have to do is nothing at all. all we have to do is live our lives passively, taking and dodging the blows of life.

According to author James Clear Atomic Habits, there are four stages of habit development which create the backbone of every habit or behaviour.

  1. Cue – triggers the brain to begin
  2. Craving  – the source of motivation
  3. Response – the actual habit
  4. Reward – the end goal of a habit

All habits / behaviour are “driven by a desire to solve a problem”.

Either you want to achieve or obtain something, or you want to alleviate pain or discomfort.

The four stages are  what James Clear class the 4 Laws of Behaviour Change

He writes: “The key to creating good habits and breaking bad ones is to understand these fundamental laws and how to alter them to your specifications.

4. Stop Allowing Yourself to Be Controlled by the Opinions of Others

Most of us easily fall into the knee jerk reaction of letting what other people think of us influence our decisions and even our thoughts. But, when we give too much importance to what other people think, we spend a lot of wasted time trying to impress and please others, looking for their approval.  All this people pleasing and molding ourselves to the opinions and expectations of others stop us from being our true authentic selves. ultimately, we end up trusting ourselves less and others more.

Our lives are ours to live and we need to live our lives on our own terms. By doing this, our authentic selves can shine through and we can live freely, fully and abundantly.

Some things we need to stop doing

  • Stop projecting our fears and self inflicted judgements onto other people. Most people don’t are not thinking about us at all.
  • Stop comparing ourselves to other people. No one else is living our life and we are not living someone else’s life. 
  • Stop allowing people to invade our boundaries. We need to have solid personal boundaries and let people know when they have overstepped them.
  • Stop being afraid of failure. Everyone “fails” and actually failure is a learning opportunity. Don’t worry about what other people will think or say.
  • Stop handing our life over to others. We have to live with the decisions (and any regrets) concerning our own life. the only opinions that should matter to us are our own.


5. Allow Yourself to Think in New Ways

Most of the  time, when we feel “stuck”, it is because we are listening to the wrong information and the wrong voices (including the one going on in our mind).  If we are consuming a diet  of negative news, gossip from the negative Nancys of this world, doom and gloom, it is highly likely that we will internalize this information and add it to our own emotional baggage and end up with a cocktail of misguided mush.

We need to think in new and creative / positive ways. We need new strategies since the old ones are clearly not working for us. Here are some new strategies to help us think in new and more positive ways.

  • Reframe. Turn negative thought patterns around into positive. Turn “I can’t” and “it won’t” into “I can”  and “It will”.
  • Stop listening to your brain and start talking to it instead. Tell it what to think and what to believe.
  • Stop overthinking and take life at face value more often. Overthinking does not mean we are necessarily thinking better.
  • Start thinking in childlike, creative ways. Ask yourself the questions “Why not?” and “What if?”
  • Appreciate everything
  • Get a grip on the emotions. Emotions are our servants, not our masters.

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Check out this blog post 10 Habits that Are Sabotaging Your Future