Updated: Oct 4
In this post, I would like to answer one of the most common questions my clients ask me:
“What do you do when you begin feeling stuck in life?”
Let me begin by indicating that feeling stuck is a completely unnatural state because we, like any other living organism, are meant to be in constant motion, growing, changing, and evolving. If we are feeling stuck, it means that we, in some way, are preventing this natural process. And although it may seem like we are doing everything we can to break through, nothing is helping. There are several reasons why you may be feeling stuck and we are going to identify some of them. We will also select easy and effective strategies that will get you unstuck.
Reason #1 – Lack of Goals
You see, if you are feeling stuck, it may be because you have nothing to reach for. You are just tangled up in your routine, day in and day out. You are so busy with your daily responsibilities that you barely have the energy to keep it together, let alone bring something new onto the picture. Maybe, you feel so hopeless that you don’t even bother to set any goals or make plans for the future to avoid disappointment if things don’t work out.
Actually, not having any goals is what will keep you stuck. This is how it works in life, in order for us to activate the motion, we need something to move towards because we are always pulled towards what we want. For example, if you want a particular car, you start seeing that model anywhere you go, you hear people talk about it, and it even appears in movies you watch. When we clearly and fearlessly identify what we desire, we naturally begin to gravitate to it.
So, what is the solution? Yes, get a pen and paper and start setting some goals for yourself.
If deciding on your goals seems challenging, you can start with a simpler task. I advise my clients who can’t set clear goals for themselves, to first identify their values and priorities in life. What’s important to you? Once you clarify that what is important, then write three examples that would represent the subject of your importance in your life.
For example: if being productive is important, then your examples may include:
1) Getting a promotion at work
2) Cooking a homemade meal for the family 4 times a week
3) Decluttering your garage
And just like that, now you have 3 new goals to move towards. You see, your goals don’t have to be fight-the-world-hunger kind of goals, they just have to excite you and get you moving.
Reason #2 - The Running Away Mode
The running away mode happens, when you do set your goals, but they are set in reverse. Let me explain. You see, in order for you to notice any kind of improvement in your life, you not only need to set your goals, but you also need to do it correctly. I am not referring to SMART goals, although you are more than welcome to utilize this strategy, I am talking about the moving-away-from VS moving-towards goal-setting styles. An example of a moving-away-from goal would be something like “I don’t want to be ill” or “I don’t want to be poor”. When you are setting your goals in this fashion, you are actually chaining yourself to the discomfort you are trying to get away from. Although it may seem like you are running pretty fast to only realize that you are running in circles around the discomfort you were so determined to eliminate. When you are saying “I don’t want to be ill” or “I don’t want to be poor” you, without suspecting it, are holding onto the illness or poverty, and not improving at all or improving very slowly. This is why you feel stuck.
Solution: Restructure your goals. Simply decide what you want to have, or be, or do. If you do not want to be poor, begin affirming that you want to be wealthy.
Please note that restructuring your goals also includes your self-talk and conversations with others. The chances are that by now you have already formed a strong habit to state your goals in this errored manner. Begin monitoring the way you express yourself in relationship to your goals.
And if you want to be even more advanced, do not be afraid to utilize the SMART goal-setting model:
Here is an example of SMART goal: I want to lose 10 lb in 3 months by changing my diet and exercising.
This goal is being Specific by stating how you are planning to execute your goal (the opposite of that would be "I want to lose 10 lb" because there can be many ways to do it besides just improving your eating habits and exercise routine). The goal is M