It’s All Perception
“When we feel stuck, going nowhere — even starting to slip backward — we may actually be backing up to get a running start.” — Dan Millman
You’ve tried everything to improve your life, but nothing changes. Frustration ensues because you’re unable to resolve the situation.
Allow me to put your mind at ease over the coming paragraphs.
Here’s the good news.
Remaining stuck is only a perception and does not represent your actual reality.
Now the not-so-good news.
Feeling stuck is a sign something needs to change in your life. You might have an intuitive impulse to make those changes, but resist doing so for fear of change.
The key to overcome feeling stuck is to distance yourself from the drama to gain a wider perspective. That’s why taking a break is useful because you perceive your problem with a new mindset.
Albert Einstein said: “You can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it.” He was referring to developing a higher perspective to solve a problem formed by outdated thinking.
You need a new paradigm to conquer being stuck, otherwise you approach your difficulties with obsolete thinking.
The harder you try the less you are likely to see results, due to a change in conditions that have now progressed.
“Stuck on a problem? Step outside your head for a minute. How might your best friend approach the same problem? A scientist? A poet? A six-year-old? Your dog? A fresh solution — even a hilariously wrong one — might lead to a right one,” states author Victor J. Strecher in Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything.
Distance And Time Are The Antidote
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” — Henry Ford
Distance and time are two ingredients to transition from this state, since you gain clarity without being too invested in the outcome.
Journaling and talking to an unbiased person is beneficial to help you form a different opinion. What you consider stuck, is really a holding place to gather new information before embarking on a new adventure.
Alternatively, it may be the seed of an opportunity fertilising itself for something better to transpire.
I enjoy the title quote by author Dan Millman who wrote, Way Of The Peaceful Warrior. He states that being stuck is an opportunity to gain a running start. What may have worked in the past is no longer useful to get you to the next point in your life.
“Remember, we get stuck because we’ve lost touch with a bigger sense of things. We forget that our stuck place is not an obstacle but rather our exact path to freedom. Yet this is only true if we’re willing to bring awareness to it,” affirms author Ezra Bayda in The Authentic Life: Zen Wisdom for Living Free from Complacency and Fear.
Often, being stuck is life shepherding you to the next stage of your life.
As an example, consider a failed relationship where one partner cheats on the other. If the relationship dissolves, the person who instigated the infidelity might be remorseful for their actions and reflect on what caused them to behave this way.
If they don’t learn the lesson, they are stuck in the same destructive cycle like a mouse running on a mouse wheel not going anywhere.
However, if the person is remorseful, they will use this time to contemplate their actions and make amends to heal their negative actions. With any luck, they will have gained the awareness to transform their behaviour in the next relationship.
I appreciate the advice from author Dennis Merritt Jones who writes in Your Redefining Moments: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be: “When the next disappointment pops up on your pathway to the life of your dreams — and it will at some point — slow down and, rather than getting stuck, allow yourself time to dig deep and connect with that creative, tireless genius within who knows how to get past the brick wall.”
When you’re stuck, your judgement can be clouded by frustration. You may try to overcome your negative feelings, instead of gaining valuable insights minus the undesirable emotional states.
Excuses Keep You Stuck Further
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
To move forward, be honest with yourself and avoid hiding behind excuses. This creates a victim mindset and keeps you stuck further.
Based on my experience coaching individuals over the years, this is the hardest phase. To assume ownership of your choices means you’re held accountable for your actions.
This is empowering because accepting responsibility means to co-create your life’s story and change the cycle of destructive habits.
Embracing your circumstances is the first step to move beyond your current state. It doesn’t mean you like what’s happening, instead you accept that it’s taking place through you.
“Despite how stuck you may feel, you are here to dissolve the veil of denial with the power of your own loving support,” avows author Matt Kahn in: Whatever Arises, Love That.
It is wise to distance yourself from the chaos to impartially assess the situation. What could being stuck teach you? Be honest and avoid sugar-coating the answer to appease yourself.
I assure you, getting past being stuck pales into insignificance to feeling good about yourself. One is short lived while the other is a permanent resolution to your troubles.
Power is attained when you rise above your challenges.
Second, welcome your circumstances instead of expecting it to resolve itself. It seldom does, until you examine your actions and find a solution. A poor solution is better than running away from pain because at the very least, it’s a starting point towards self-empowerment.
Sometimes life forces your hand to help you gain a new level of understanding for your personal development.
Consider your current experience as an opportunity to a better way of life.
As the saying goes, if nothing changes, nothing changes. Ultimately, the answer to rising above your situation lies in your response.
Will you stay stuck or step into a rewarding life?
Only you and the passage of time will tell.