How to get unstuck and start living a happy life!
I’ve been stuck lots. Stuck in relationships not meant for me, stuck in jobs I hated and stuck in friendships that should have ended long ago. Thankfully, despite what I thought at the time, I overcame all the obstacles put in my way and have grown stronger and tried to learn from all my experiences. Here are some tips I have for getting unstuck in life that I have used and that work for me.
I will never forget one life changing day in mid-2000. I was lying in bed having a pity party. Poor me, I had no direction, was in a relationship that was dead, I hated my job, long story short, everything sucked. That day was so life changing for me because it was the first time that I can really remember having this moment of clarity and thinking, “Wow, I’m where I am because of the decisions I made.” That might be obvious to some people, but one thing I have noticed in my own life and just from observing others is, it is damn hard to stop and look at yourself and take accountability for where you are in your life.
When I was having my pity party that day, I sat there thinking of all the things that happened in my life up until that point and one thing I realized was, I was holding onto a lot of anger and making excuses. I was blaming things that happened to me on why I was in such a rut now.
Let go of the past and work on forgiveness.
This is one that I think is the most important but also can be the hardest. Whether you are forgiving yourself or forgiving others. Forgiveness is freeing. This one was a long process for me and it’s still one that I work on. One thing that I learned on this journey is that for me It didn’t really matter that people said they were sorry. It was me that had to forgive and move forward. Letting go of the past and forgiving doesn’t mean you forget what happened. It doesn’t mean that you act like it didn’t happen. Forgiveness doesn’t take away any feeling that you had about whatever transpired. When I began my journey of forgiveness, it was like having a new start. I could let go of the thoughts that I had carried for so many years about what I could or couldn’t do and start living with this whole new idea that I can create my own life. While I don’t have any quick tips for how to forgive- I feel it is such a huge personal journey. I do think seeking out help from therapists, pastors, or even reading books on the topic are a great way to start.
“It’s all in how you look at it”
My mom used to say this thing when I was younger. She would ask me if I wanted to know the secret to life and then gleefully say “It’s all in how you look at it.” It was super annoying when I was young and she occasionally still does this. I hate to admit it but she is right. Anytime you’re stuck in life, try to change your perspective. Try to look at your life and see every little thing you can be grateful for. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.
I like to work out to clear my mind, take a walk around my neighborhood, or chat with friends. Often when I’m feeling stuck, I notice that if I am constantly trying to figure out a solution to my problem I am just in this cycle of frustration and anxiousness.
Literally changing your perspective by shifting your thoughts elsewhere is something I have found helpful and I usually come back with a stress-free mind to tackle my solution. Taking a mental break from your problem allows you to come back with fresh eyes and a new way to look at it.
When you’re stuck in a rut, the idea of figuring out how to get unstuck can be so overwhelming that just thinking about what you need to do can make you want to crawl in bed with a pint of Ben and Jerrys and have a Netflix marathon of your favorite shows.
What I have found to be helpful is taking baby steps. There is a movie called What About Bob starring Bill Murray, if you haven’t seen it, it is worth the rent. It’s pretty funny if you like ‘90’s movies. In the movie, Bob basically overcomes all his fears by repeating the words Baby Steps and changing his old habits. This is something that I try to remember when I am feeling overwhelmed with all that I need to do or when I have a change in my life that I want to make.
Small steps every day towards your goals results in big changes. Try not to focus on the big “how” of “how the heck am I going to accomplish xyz”, but instead break down your goal into small mentally manageable steps. Making a change in life is hard and breaking that change into smaller goals is one way to stay not only motivated and inspired but also have a feeling of accomplishment. Baby steps. Baby steps.
Explore your whys and wants.
I used to want to be a Massage Therapist. I stopped telling people my dream because I usually got the same answer, “Eeew, you have to touch people! What if they are gross.” Or “Why do you have to go to school for that, it’s just rubbing.” So, for years I flopped in and out of college taking classes that I thought I should take and was trying to fill dreams of what I thought others wanted from me. It wasn’t until I ended a 7-year relationship that I literally (the next week) decided, I am going to do what I wanted to do. I found a school I loved, obtained licensure and started working in a spa. I loved it, stinky feet and all.
If you are feeling stuck try and figure out your why and your wants. What do you want for your life and why? How will you feel when you get it? Try writing down your fears, this was something that helped me understand why I was listening to what others wanted from me instead of what I wanted for myself.
Believe in yourself
I have been blessed with a great support system. I have family and friends that not only encourage me to go for what I want but they also support some of my crazy ideas! While I am so grateful for all this love, they have their own life and their own journey.
Belief in yourself is so important and there have been times in my life when I have felt very alone and did not feel as though I had a good support system. I had to believe in myself.
If you don’t have anyone you feel connected to here are some things you can try to boost your confidence and help you learn to believe in your abilities to conquer anything! I am a huge fan of affirmations, I repeat positive things to myself daily. Write down some affirmations and repeat them to yourself throughout the day. Simply jotting down and repeating, “I believe in me” several times a day can help remind you that you can do what you focus on.
Seek out information. Read books or articles on personal development and listen to podcasts. One of my go to resources for learning is Success Magazine. They have a great website with tons of articles on personal development and a podcast where some of the most successful people in the country share their tips on what has helped them become successful in their life.
Fake it. This is probably one of my favorites. I’m sure you have heard the phrase, “Fake it till you make it” well, I love that. I have done this a lot. Whenever I go into a situation feeling shy or not so confident, I try hard to project the qualities I desire to have. I love this one because when you do this a lot, those qualities that you desire suddenly become qualities that you have! You’re not really faking it you are just practicing!!
Let me know what helps you when you are feeling stuck in life! I am always looking to learn more!!