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How to keep moving forward when you’re feeling stuck

feeling stuck
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

It seems like every three months I go through a period of feeling stuck. These times are, thankfully, short-lived, since I’ve learned how to get myself going again.

Maybe you’re feeling stuck in small ways like me, or your stuck-ness looks more like needing a career change or leaving a relationship.

Either way, the following strategies will help you move forward when you’re feeling stuck.

Surrender

Our instinct when we feel stuck is to keep pushing. When a strategy is not working we double down instead of changing course.

This could be due to the sunk cost fallacy. We’ve invested so much time or money, we can’t accept we’ve wasted it.

But letting go of what’s not working is never a waste. Because everything we do teaches us something we’ll use later in our journey.

When I feel myself pushing harder out of frustration when things aren’t working, I know it’s time to stop and give it to God.

Journal

Are you writing about what you want? In my experience, writing down my goals and objectives increases my chance of reaching them.

There’s evidence that writing things down makes them more likely to happen. Writing down what you want to achieve gives those dreams more power.

Focus

Are you trying to do too many things at once? Have you defined what really matters to you, or are your scrambling around in the dark?

This simple exercise will help you focus on the few things that really need your attention.

Once you get clear on what you want, that laser focus will help you move forward in those few areas that matter most to you.

Let go of what people think

move forward feeling stuck

Are you staying in a job or relationship because you’re attached to the social rewards?

Are you terrified of being seen as a failure? More motivated by what others might think than what lights you up inside?

When your external motivation drives you more than your internal yearnings, it’s time to make an adjustment.

Do one thing

It’s tempting for us to get mired in all the things we have to do. Paralysis results when we can’t do it all, so we do nothing.

Craft a to-do list with one thing and do that one thing. The small action will get you out of your rut and motivate you to keep going.

Forget long to-do lists that never get done. Think lists with 1-3 items per day. Set yourself up for success and see your motivation soar.

I know about Brian Tracy’s Eat the Frog metaphor but I don’t agree with it. Go for the low-hanging fruit instead. If your one thing is some huge meaningful project, you’ll only create more paralysis.

Figure out your core values

Often we’re feeling stuck and unmotivated because our lives are misaligned with who we are inside. You might need time to figure out your likes and dislikes if you’ve spent too much time catering to others.

That means re-connecting with what brings you joy and makes you feel most like you. Drilling down to your core values and using them as a GPS to guide your decisions will keep you on track for a more fulfilling life.

If we don’t know our values, we let life happen to us. We let other people dictate the direction of our days rather than taking charge of the steering wheel.

Once you know what matters to you, you can begin saying yes to things that align with those values and no to the things that don’t.

This makes you feel more in control and confident, which improves your motivation. You become the person of integrity and substance you’re called to be.

The lethargy and unhealthy coping mechanisms that held you back will shrink as you step into your excellence.

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