What to do when you feel stuck in life

Feeling stuck in life is suffocating.

When you’re stuck, without motion in your relationships, career or personal life, it can feel as though everything still moving around you is merely compacting the problem. Such is the case when we see no movement and yet our responsibilities continue to grow regardless. It’s no wonder the inclination arises to fold in on oneself and retreat as deeply as possible, both mentally and emotionally.

When most people retreat, they do it as a means to escape or hide, rather than to uncover a way out of their circumstances. Being mammals, we will always find some comfort in a dark, undisturbed corner, and from time to time we should allow ourselves this luxury. When we really want to solve a problem however, assigning our retreats as a time to explore our inner workings, beliefs and patterns, is its most effective use. Too often the solution to our disease in life is searched for externally, when what we need to do is step away, be still and ask ourselves some pertinent questions.

When you feel like there is no way forward for you, or as though you’ve exhausted all options, my suggestion is that you stop trying. Sometimes the act of struggling against life can in itself create so much internal resistance, that any solution will become buried in the energy of that struggle. By stopping and giving yourself space to exist alongside a problem, instead of inside it, you allow the possibility of realigning with the things that can help it. You stop drowning out your next best move.

In my experience, people are rarely, truly stuck. More often than this we are;

  • disconnected with our intuition
  • fearful of the options we do have
  • lacking awareness of a pattern or belief that is holding us back

The very idea of being stuck has a finality to it. There is no way in, except the way you unfortunately managed to find, and no way out. A useful exercise is to change your description of the situation and disassociate your problem from such a loaded term. For example, “I don’t know what to do about my career, I feel stuck”, becomes “I am unhappy in my job and want to find a new one”. One of these sentences opens a door to choices you can make, the other does not.

Describe your situation exactly as it is and should you need to retreat into yourself, do so in the search for both stillness and answers, not escapism. In stillness there is the possibility of resolution and at very least, respite. Escapism will simply give you a longer journey back to the same problem.

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