Do you feel stuck in a part of your life? Like, you know there’s a better or more efficient or productive way to show up, but you are confused on how to do it, leaving you feeling stuck?
In a world that celebrates outward success, it can be extremely challenging to provide ourselves with space and time needed to understand our inner world and why we feel stuck. Over time, this suppresses our inner genius and leads us to become ambivalent, have ruminating thoughts, and experience overwhelming anxiety and frustration.
Fortunately, there is a way through!
In this article, I discuss 5 fundamental, and often subconscious, reasons why people end up feeling stuck in life, how this unintentionally blocks our true potential, and what to do about it.
1. Lack of possibility or perspective
“Stuck means being unable to move, or being set in a particular position, place, or way of thinking; unable to change or get away from a situation*”
We can be trapped in a situation or even a way of thinking. This leaves us unable to see another way, move (literally or metaphorically), or change. And, it usually leads to repeating the same situation or thinking, over and over again.
A fish doesn’t know it’s in water – Derek Sivers
Most often, when we are stuck, it’s because we are deeply attached to a story. This makes it difficult to see other possibilities or the bigger picture. The best remedies, to help us see the alternative perspective and get out of our own story, are:
- Take a break. This creates space between you and your story, and by switching activities, you loosen your attachment to the perspective you’re holding.
- Zoom out. Try to think as general about the situation as possible.
- Try-on different perspectives. For example, think of how your best friend would approach the situation. What might he/she do differently? Or, check-out “The Work” by Byron Katie – a great and practical tool to identify and question the thoughts that cause your suffering.
2. Being stuck secretly serves you
There are usually deep psychological and emotional reasons that drive us to cling to a certain routine. Plus, the known is comfortable. But our comfort zones can become a great permission slip (and excuse!) to not face ourselves, do the work, perform or take accountability of our life. This leads us to reinforce our stuckness.
As well, our routines can be indicators of what we need. Take stress eating, for example. We use food to make ourselves feel better, satisfying an emotional need – like relief from tensions – versus physical hunger. We don’t actually need the food, but we do need something, even if it’s deeply covered under layers of our subconscious. Instead of continuing to put food in your mouth, ask yourself “What need is food filling”?
Opening up to yourself, and to others, about which routines or situations you’re clinging to may be the hardest thing you’ve done. But when you are honest about which parts of life are sticky, there becomes nothing to hide behind and no need to continue to play out this comfortable pattern. And by doing so, new possibilities open up on how to meet your needs in a way that better supports your potential.
So, when you are really stuck, ask yourself, “How is being stuck serving me? What needs does it meet?”
I dare you to be brutally honest with yourself.
3. Contradicting beliefs
Have you ever wanted something but feel you are making little progress in chasing your dreams? To cope, you try to do more – working even harder or pushing feelings of stuckness deep down to avoid their own disappointment.
The truth is, there are underlying, often contradicting, beliefs that are blocking our ability to achieve the goal. For example, someone who is searching for a new job may want financial stability but also deep-down feels they need some rest and time off. Or, someone who desperately wants intimacy also believes relationships will take their freedom away.
To face your contradicting beliefs:
- Write down the goal you are struggling to reach. For example, I want a relationship, a new job, etc.
- Close your eyes, breathe deeply and ask yourself: “Why don’t I want a relationship or new job?
- Notice what is the first thought that pops into your mind.
When we are sending contradictory, or mixed, messages to the universe, it doesn’t know to which one to listen.
4. Not knowing yourself
I believe all problems stem from not knowing ourselves! This usually starts from an early age, most often at a point where our needs were not met. Beyond this, we are frequently told what our needs SHOULD BE, which furthers the problem of not knowing who we are. For example, we are told: what is success, how we should live, how we should behave and what we should want, etc. At some point, our unique self is lost and we become a by-product of the system. We lose our ability to follow our own intuition; and we can hardly name or understand what we feel, becoming disconnected from our body.
Self-awareness is the first, and one of the most essential, steps to reconnect with ourselves. By slowing down and becoming present, we begin to see critical information from our surroundings, our body and our heart that is communicating with us all the time. It also allows us to see where we unnecessarily involve ourselves in others’ drama, fall trap to societal “shoulds” and play out our own limiting beliefs or insecurities. Or, when we shift to autopilot, missing what is happening…here and now.
The universe is constantly communicating with you. If you don’t hear the whispers, it will speak louder and louder until it smacks you in the face.
5. Lack of authenticity and personal definition of success
Every person in this world has a unique energetic blueprint; and set of genes, skills, desires, needs, learnings, purpose, etc. Sadly, society suggests “one size fits all,” forcing us to adapt ourselves to fit in, feel safe, and accepted.
We become copies of what we perceive as successful in others!
Unfortunately, “the right” path ends up leaving us feeling lost, confused and drained of energy. When we don’t have clarity on our personal life vision, personal definition of success, it’s easy to go in multiple directions, struggle to make decisions, or feel unexcited and uncentered. It’s easy for others tell you what to do or who to be.
This goes beyond a job. It’s our personal life signature. It’s our unique way of being and expressing ourselves without censorship. It’s something you would do even if you weren’t paid; something that, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t not to do or to be because it’s just who you are. This is your truth and life path. And when you are inline with your own innate nature, synchronicities effortlessly flow and your life path reveals itself with deep fulfillment in every cell of your body.
If you haven’t unlocked your full potential, it’s because you spend your time, energy and emotional resources on things which do not serve you. This is something directly within your control which you can change.
Make this year’s goal to tap into who you really are.
Stop compromising yourself, and instead unravel your true potential and live a life aligned with your purpose and legacy. Because, if not now, when?
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You do not have to struggle alone. Alone we can go just so far…