We all have periods throughout our lives where we get stuck in a rut. Whether we’ve fallen short of the goals we’ve set for ourselves, suffered a blow to our self-esteem, endured a painful breakup, or we’re going through a challenging transition to a new phase in our lives, it can be difficult to find the motivation to move forward. Why? Because we’re waiting for someone or something to lift us out of our funk. We get stuck in our comfort zone, and fail to realize that true change has to happen from within. Relying on external events can be extremely limiting as it strips you of your power, making it harder to live a fulfilled and happy life. If you’re feeling stuck, we’re sharing 8 tips to empower you to take control and move forward below!
8 Ways to Move Forward When You’re Feeling Stuck
If you want to know how to get unstuck in life, you need to know why you’re feeling stuck in the first place. Unfortunately, the reasons aren’t always obvious, so you may need to do some soul searching before you find your answer. A great way to do this is to identify the thoughts and feelings you have during episodes in which you feel ‘stuck’, and then track the things that occur before and after you experience them. Making a conscious effort to dig deep will help you determine if there are any consistencies, allowing you to formulate a plan of action to change the things that are holding you back.
If you’re having trouble identifying the reason behind your feelings, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you stuck in the past?
- Do you know what your purpose is?
- Do you feel as though you have little control over a certain aspect of your life?
- Are you allowing fear of failure to hold you back?
- Do you spend a lot of time comparing yourself to others?
- Are the people around you holding you back?
2. LET GO
Once you’ve identified the reason(s) you’re feeling stuck, make a commitment to yourself to let it go. Whether you’re holding onto feelings of failure, regret, sadness, defeat, or anger, acknowledge that these emotions are no longer serving you. Allow yourself to feel all of the negative emotions that have taken up residence in your body one last time, and then do whatever it is you need to do to move forward. Accept the fact that you may never receive the apology you’re looking for, distance yourself from the people who are holding you back, surround yourself with people who boost your self-confidence, engage in regular self-care, and seek the help of a trained therapist if needed.
3. TAKE A BREAK
Whether it’s 5 minutes of meditation, an hour-long sweat sesh at the gym, or a week away with your girlfriends, taking a break is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your mental well-being when you’re feeling stuck. I know this sounds counter-productive, but if you’re trying to get unstuck in life, sometimes the best thing you can do is unplug. The time away will help you clear your head, put things into perspective, re-assess and re-prioritize, and feel more focused and in control.
4. FIND YOUR WHY
If you’re trying to figure out how to get unstuck, you’ve probably heard an expert (or 3) discuss the importance of knowing your ‘why’. Having a clear purpose creates meaning – it gives your life a sense of direction, and influences your goals and behaviors each day. If you’re unsure what your ‘why’ is, think about the things that excite you. What gets you out of bed in the morning? What are the things you excel at most? How do you want to add value to the world and the community you live in? What kind of a person do you want to be? What do you want to be remembered for? What legacy do you want to leave behind? All of these questions will help you define your purpose, which will allow you to move forward, focus on the things that matter most, and boost your motivation.
5. COMMIT TO CHANGE
Another simple but helpful tip to try if you’re feeling stuck is to admit you’re in a rut and commit to finding a way out of it. Once you know why you’re feeling the way you are and you’ve taken the time to find your purpose, the only thing holding you back is your mindset. Your only limit is you, so stop wishing and start doing!
6. GET OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE
If you want more in life but simultaneously struggle with fear of failure, commit to doing something every day that scares you. While it can be tempting to stay within your comfort zone where things feel safe and familiar, remember that growth and opportunity live beyond that. Staying stagnant won’t help you achieve your dreams and goals! Identify little things you can do on the daily to help you push past your fear and feel more empowered, and build slowly over time to keep the momentum going.
7. PURSUE A PASSION PROJECT
Not all of us have the freedom and flexibility to quit our day jobs and pursue our dreams full time, but don’t allow that to stop you from doing the things that light your soul on fire. Whether it’s blogging, photography, baking, or a home renovation project, find something you’re passionate about and make time for it! It will do wonders for your soul, and will add meaning and purpose to your days, which can help you lift yourself out of a funk when you’re feeling stuck.
8. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
One of my least favorite parts of social media is that it is extremely one-sided as most of us only share the positive parts of our lives on our Instagram pages. Rather than sharing all of our insecurities, we use photoshop and filters to fool the world into thinking we’re perfect. And while there’s something to be said about focusing on the good instead of the bad, this unrealistic portrayal of perfection makes us question ourselves, causing us to feel stuck. My suggestion? Ignore it. We all have our own unique strengths and weaknesses, and instead of competing with strangers on the internet, compete with the person you were yesterday instead.
If you’re feeling stuck, I hope the tips and ideas in this post help motivate you to dig deeper, let go of the things that are holding you back, find your purpose, and transform your life!