A friend said that she didn’t understand why she felt stuck in life. “I am in a rut,” she announced precipitously. The conclusion was that life felt colorless and stagnated. We all tend to get into a funk like this in life. Maybe your career stalled and you don’t have the motivation to forge ahead with another job or you feel that you can’t do better in your relationships. What happens is people become depressed and out-of-sort as a result. As people, we are hard-wired to set up goals and to build our dreams. Yet, we allow our timetables and circumstances to break us. There are patterns that we develop in the interim–some patterns are good while the others are inferior. Mediocracy is being cemented by fear, procrastination, dissatisfaction and most likely a lack of confidence. We need to seek permanent satisfaction that will anchor us and that comes from within, meaning, we need to make the decision to move forward. Are you being left behind? If you feel like the friend that we mentioned, then it’s time to take a stand.
We have no purpose.
Life is too short to just exist. At its core, if you have no purpose in your life or passion–you are just walking around like a deflated balloon. Pay attention to things that come naturally to you. Get out some paper and start writing down ideas. By doing this, you will find something that you can do that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning. Test out your ideas and work to find an outlet for you. This can be volunteering, going back to school or starting a business. Whatever happened along the way to drown your purpose out–it is time to move on. Stop being a bystander in life and get into the game.
Why do people remain in the same situation for years? The answer is simple–they never got out of the rut to take risks. This can be moving to another city or changing jobs, but many people allow fear to dominate them from moving with earnest. Rather than seeing fear as something intrinsically repugnant, make it work for you. “We just get into more of an irrational jumble when self-doubt comes along that you are a failure or life is over as you know it. These are false, faulty and misleading inner voices that need to be suffocated,” best-selling author Joyce Meyer wrote. Without taking risks you will lead a pretty mundane life. Think of facing fear as an exercise. The more you face it, the more you will become bolder, stronger and bypass those disturbances.
Let the past go.
What limiting beliefs do you tend to keep going over from the past? Without letting the disappointment go and unforgiveness go, we will never march forward. Author Alex Blackwell wrote that we need to look forward when we are tempted to look back in the rear-view mirror. “Many times, the problem with being fixated on yesterday is that you see yourself a certain way, as being a certain way.” Focus on the good, not what is wrong or what could go wrong as you can’t control everything in your life. Don’t allow people or things to hold you back. If you need help in this area seek professional advice in order to find healing. There is nothing wrong with sorting through what was done to you. Yet, hanging onto the bitterness suspends improvement. This one is tricky, especially if you never let things roll off your back. Victory in this area will take time but will be noticeable.
Change things up.
When we change our inner life, we can then witness an outer change. Do you eat at the same restaurants and take the same route to work? Shake things up by going to different places to eat or take an another route to work for a change of scenery. If there is a book you want to write, a class you want to take or a hobby that you’ve put off for years, set aside the excuses and go for it. “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future,” President John F. Kennedy said. The same holds true today. You need to come to a place of wanting change to happen. Without change, you will be on a continuum of boredom and will remain unfulfilled.
Pay attention to your patterns.
Being stuck is a symptom of bad habits. What patterns do you see in your relationships or in your daily actions? If you notice that you are repeating the same bad habits that cause you stress or that take away happiness–you need to make a detour. Start setting goals that you can tackle weekly and then slowly build upon them with bigger goals to overcome unfruitful patterns. If something is not working anymore, just move on.
We have to shoulder the burden by taking a stand. If you are on the hamster wheel of life, it is time to take the power back and jump off. But you need to make the move. Are you willing to make it happen?