The Biggest Reason for Feeling "Stuck" and How to Get Over It
"Stuck" is not a permanent condition
We have all been there at one time or another. You drag out of bed feeling and begin thinking of all the reasons NOT to get your day started. With each passing minute, you feel less and less motivated. Welcome to the "My life sucks!" zone. You are not alone! 40% of people officially hate their job! Staying in this zone is deadly. It can color all parts of your life and lead you into the worst pit of all: depression. In Ashley Stahl's post on Forbes.com, "Hate Your Job: Here's What It's Costing You":
Stress at work causes depression and anxiety. One study even suggests that being unemployed can be better for your mental health than being at a bad job.
Staying in this dead zone will cause you to grow pessimistic and critical. Failing to get unstuck can begin negatively impacting your relationships both professional and personal. At one point in my life, I felt really stuck. I was working a dead-end job and didn't have enough money at the end of my month. I couldn't figure out how I got into that situation. This is often how getting stuck works. You don't see it coming until you get there. At my lowest point, I said to myself, "This is not fair!" Then I immediately heard my Mother's words inside my head, "Baby, life is not fair." I was officially ready to get unstuck.
So how do you get free yourself from being stuck?
Life is good except when it is not.
The first step to getting unstuck is to stop making your situation about "them" and make it about you.
"Having full ownership over our actions and results involves the ability to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly." Cye Wakeman, Personal Accountability and Workplace Happiness
One of the most significant obstacles to getting unstuck in any situation is the failure to take personal responsibility for the situation you are in. Your current case is the product of the decisions that you have made (or decided not to make). And it is through making different decisions that you will get beyond this dead zone. Stepping into your power requires you to make a firm decision now: I will NOT remain stuck another day! You have to become sick and tired of being sick and tired. When you get there, you are ready for a change.
Some people change when they see the light. Other people change when they feel the heat.
I have had a few sticky situations in my life. Times like when I felt like life was happening to me and I had no control. Believing that you have no control is what is called a "victim's mentality."
"The victim grates on you with a poor-me attitude, and is allergic to taking responsibility for their actions. People are always against them, the reason for their unhappiness. They portray themselves as unfortunates who demand rescuing, and they will make you into their therapist. As a friend, you want to help, but you become overwhelmed by their endless tales of woe: A boyfriend stormed out…again; a mother doesn’t understand; a diva-boss was ungrateful. When you suggest how to put an end to the pity party, they’ll say, “Yes…but,” then launch into more unsolvable gripes. These vampires may be so clingy they stick to you like flypaper." Judith Orloth MD, Strategies to Deal with a Victim Mentality
You have to make a decision to stop being the victim and give up on the attention that you get from playing the victim. Do you really want to be known among your friends as the "vampire"?
Once you have decided to take full accountability for making new decisions, it is time for you to G.R.O.W. Goals. Set your sights on where you want to be. Reality. Determine your current reality. Options. Figure out your options. Will. Decide what you will do to reach your goals. Growing beyond where you are is not easy. I have said it a million times - "Change is hard!" This is why you should never try to G.R.O.W. alone. You need a team to help get you from where you are to where you want to be. Do you have a friend who is stuck? Don't get dragged into their negative narrative. You can ask these questions to help them get unstuck:
What do you want to see happen? What would this situation look like if it were "fixed"?
What are the barriers or obstacles that are keeping you stuck?
What are your options?
What will you do next? Let's talk about it again in X days.
The most difficult part of this is identifying options. When we are really stuck, we tend to not to see the options that can be obvious to others. This is where I good mentor or life coach can help. Mentors and coaches can give you a detached perspective that will help you see what you may be missing. I eventually got unstuck. I trusted friend told me, "You don't have to stay here. You have so many options. Just go do what is in your heart. I support you." The next week, I signed up for college. I wish that I could say my days of being "stuck" and looking back ended. The truth is that I had many hard days ahead trying to balance attending college full-time with being a mother of two, then three children. Did I mention that change is hard? But looking back now I can tell you that it was worth every minute. Decide today that you will get unstuck. Decide today that you will help someone else get unstuck. It just may be the first day of a change that matters. I am cheering for you!