Are you feeling stuck in life? Many people do. Sometimes it feels as if we simply cannot move on with our life. As if there was something that kept us from pursuing our dreams. Consequently, we feel limited and simply do not know what to do. We have no idea how to break free from the limitations that are imposed upon us. What is worse, we do not even know what it is that imposes these limitations on us. It’s quite scary to be confronted with an invisible obstacle you cannot seem to tackle. Even though the situation may seem hopeless, there’s much you can do about it. In fact, there are a variety of highly efficient tactics and powerful tricks you can use to free yourself from being stuck in a rut.
There’s an interesting aspect to the feeling of being stuck. Many people who report that they’re feeling overwhelmed, confused or stuck in a rut are—in many cases—quite talented, intelligent and ambitious. In fact, various brilliant people found themselves stuck in life, ranging from Albert Einstein to Walt Disney. These prominent examples show us that people who are feeling stuck in life still have the potential to accomplish a great deal in life IF they are able to overcome what is holding them back.
If you do not know how to precisely tackle the issue, breaking free from feeling stuck in life can be really difficult. The harder you try to get out of it, the more you’re getting stuck. That’s the big problem with being stuck in a rut. It gradually weakens your strength to get unstuck. The situation is comparable to the attempt of breaking free from quicksand. The more you struggle, the deeper you’ll get in it. But if you do know that the only way out of quicksand is to stop panicking, to lie on your back and to drag your feet out, the obstacle can be overcome.
The same holds true for feeling stuck in life. If you’re thinking really hard about your situation, you’ll find yourself walking around in a circle. It will get you nowhere. But like a comic figure that keeps walking around in circles, you’ll only create an ever deeper (mental) groove. There’s no point in overthinking the problem. In fact, continuously pondering about the problem will only get you deeper into the groove.
Breaking Free from Feeling Stuck in Life
So what you can you do to get unstuck? As we have already established, you won’t be able to break free by digging deeper. What is necessary is to find another approach that helps us to address the underlying issue.
We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
It doesn’t matter so much what obstacle is blocking your progress. What matters is that you learn to move forward despite being confronted with challenges. You have all the power you need to take the necessary steps to break out of the rut. However, every fiber of your body must be willing to effect this change. Breaking free from whatever holding you back is always a choice. Take this choice and learn to gain more control over your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.
Here’s what you can do to free yourself from being stuck in a rut.
1. Face your fears
People are unable to move forward because they are afraid.
Whatever we fear limits us. In many cases, fear prohibits us from making any further progress in life. We’re afraid of the unknown, which is why we (unconsciously) sabotage our own development. We learn to accept the situation we find ourselves in. It simply seems more comfortable to remain where we are than to move on. Living a life without risks might seem a logical thing to do. But after a certain time, we become so used to our comfort zone that it’ll be difficult to ever break free from it. Slowly but surely, we begin to realize that this habit led us to become stuck in life.
At some point in life, we simply became afraid of going any further. We gave in to our fears. We allowed fear to stop our progress in life.
If we want to get unstuck, it’s important to change how we perceive our fears. We might not be able to stop being afraid of that which is to come, but we can learn to control our fears:
- Acknowledge your fears, but do not allow them to limit you.
- Seek to confront that which you are afraid of.
- Running away from your fears will most likely make things worse.
- Keep pushing forward in spite of your fears.
- Don’t allow your fear of losing what you have to stop you from moving on.
- Be not afraid of the work and time it takes to affect change.
- Feel your fear and do it anyway.
Everyone on this planet, and I mean really everyone, has fears. It’s not something to be ashamed of. Instead, try to think about the worst possible outcome of that which is causing your anxiety. While you think about this outcome, try to realize that even if the worst-case scenario were to happen, you would still be able to find a way out.
There’s no need to be afraid of failure. Be concerned about not having the courage to try.
If you really want to initiate positive change in your life, let go of the feeling that you are helpless. Do not allow your perceived powerlessness discourage you from making a change in your life. Most likely, it’s just your fear trying to persuade you to do nothing about your situation.
2. Break your routine
Feeling stuck in life can be the result of unhealthy and restraining routines.
Developing a routine can be quite beneficial. It helps you to keep moving when the going gets tough. The development of habits will aid you to do quite complex things with the greatest ease. As such, routines provide you a fundament and structure you can work with.
While it’s certainly true that routine is helpful, it can also limit your progress in life. It can develop into restrictive rules and obligations difficult to break. Yet, we willingly abide these rules, because they give us a sense of security and control.
Moving on in life, however, requires us to break the existing structures from time to time. Breaking the rules gives us the opportunity to explore something out of the ordinary. It helps us to discover something new, surprising and exciting.
- Expand your horizon. Do something new every day.
- Avoid time-wasting and mindless routines. They prohibit your progress.
- Routinely break your routine. Make it a habit of exploring the unknown.
Break restricting routines whenever they need to be broken. Overcoming that what you’ve always done is really important. It will help you to break free from feeling stuck in life. Breaking out of the ordinary allows us to unstuck ourselves from everything that is keeping us behind. There is so much to be found outside your usual routine, you’ll only need the courage to explore it.
3. Effect change, one step at a time
If you’re feeling stuck in life, it’s important to overcome that which prevents you from moving forward. This might sound simple in theory, but it can become quite a struggle in real life. In fact, most people get overwhelmed by their attempts to break free from a rut. To them, it will seem as if they do everything they can, without ever accomplishing something.
For this reason, it’s not so important how much you do, but how you go about affecting change. Make sure to maintain your motivation by keeping a constant level of change. It’s better to tackle one problem after another than half-heartedly trying to address everything simultaneously. Not only will the sheer size of the problem overwhelm you, but it could also make you reluctant to truly free yourself.
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
Just don’t be too hard on yourself. Try to stick to one problem until it is solved. One problem after another. This way you can affect positive changes in your life step-by-step.
4. Overcome the perception of impossibilities
Feeling stuck in life can leave us not knowing what to do. It paralyzes us and diminishes our ability to see exciting new opportunities. Instead, we feel as if the options at hand are impossible to execute. We are torn between seemingly impossible options.
If every solution you can think of seems impossible to accomplish, you’ll get even more stuck. It’s an overwhelming situation. On one hand, you want to do something to affect change. On the other hand, everything that comes to mind seems unrealistic or impossible. As a result, you’re being pulled apart by multiple options that do not seem helpful to you.
Even though your situation may seem hopeless at times, there’s always something you can do about it. True impossibilities are very rare. It’s more likely that you’re simply overwhelmed by having too many choices.
As you can see, our thinking patterns can greatly contribute to the feeling of being stuck. If we think every option we have is impossible, no progress can be made. It’s our inflexibility what keeps us stuck. We might overthink the situation in our desperate attempt to maintain control over our life.
Instead of getting trapped by these thinking patterns, try to explore your options. It’s very likely that you already know a lot of directions you could move in. If that’s the case, try to find the one solution that you like the most and commit to the decision.
5. Be honest with yourself
Multiple times in my life I concluded, “My life is stuck.” Interestingly enough, I did not only know the reason for being stuck, I also knew—deep within myself—what I needed to do about my situation. The problem wasn’t so much that I couldn’t find a solution. Quite the contrary, there were many solutions and opportunities. I simply couldn’t come up with the necessary courage to implement one of these.
If we do want to break free from being stuck, it’s necessary to be honest with ourselves.
Astonishingly, we almost always have the answer within ourselves. It might take some time to discover it, but it’s always there. The problem is that we do not act upon this knowledge. We prefer to keep this answer locked within ourselves.
Have the courage to at least think about the possible solution. It might be challenging to even consider acknowledging that you took a wrong path in life. But ultimately, it might prove to be better than suffering from this decision for the rest of your life.
6. Change your perspective
When we feel stuck in life, we most certainly do not have a good overview of the situation. Unfortunately, the feeling of being stuck in a rut can heavily affect our perception of life. Instead of seeing a great deal of the broader perspective, our mind is imprisoned in a tiny little box.
It’s time to broaden your perspective!
Often times, we get stuck in life because we do not allow ourselves to become who we want to be. Instead, we adapt to the role various people expect us to play. We do not like it, but deep down we are convinced that it’s impossible to realize these dreams.
Time to break these negative beliefs.
Stop walking the same path you’ve always chosen. Explore new perspectives by taking other paths. Ask yourself what your real goals are. Explore what you’re passionate about. Discover what it is that truly energizes you. Find your true purpose in life. Challenge yourself to have a vision for your life.
All these things can fuel your motivation in the most astonishing ways. Discovering your vision and the pursuit of your passions can create a powerful drive. It can help you to liberate yourself from the vicious circle of being stuck.
By having the coverage to live your authentic self, you will liberate yourself.
7. Differentiate between feeling and fact
You feel as if you’re stuck in life. Therefore, you conclude that you cannot move on. Sometimes, however, our emotions might not be telling the (entire) truth. The inability to get unstuck may feel very real, but in the end, it’s just a feeling. And this very feeling creates our perception of the situation.
For this reason, it’s important to remind yourself that feelings are not facts. Try to look at your situation more objectively. Emotional responses might cloud your perception of reality. Feeling stuck in life could be a response to exaggerated expectations or mere fantasies.
Perhaps, if the situation is not that bad at all. It’s simply external influences that make you think you’re not moving on with life.
8. Avoid blaming others
It’s relatively easy to blame others when we feel stuck. While this is a great strategy to maintain peace of mind, it will contribute nothing to the solution of your problem. In the worst case, blaming others will get you even more stuck.
In almost every situation of life, you’ll most likely find someone else to blame. This person might give you the substitute sensation of having solved the problem. But in reality, nothing is solved.
Even though you’d like to find an external cause for your situation, try to seek that cause within yourself first. Try to take control over your life by not seeking the fault for your problems in others.
9. Stop comparing yourself to others
While it’s a natural tendency to compare yourself to other people, it’s not the best thing to do. While we think we compare ourselves in an objective manner, quite the contrary is the case. Our measures are superficial and unfair. In most situations, we take our weakest spots and compared these with people who are above-average in this area.
These comparisons are really not helpful. We’re simply too individual to compare ourselves with another. If you’re feeling stuck in life, try not to measure your life’s worth based on other people’s accomplishments. Measure your life based upon your own standards. Don’t just mindlessly adopt society’s definition of success, find your very own.
10. Stop making excuses
Excuses keep us from moving forward in life.
If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
Do not allow excuses to keep you right where you are. Stop trying to rationalize why you can’t get on with your life. Don’t focus on all the different reasons that keep you stuck. Shift your attention to what needs to be done to effect positive change.
In the end, the only one that is holding you back is yourself. Do not fall prey to the mistake of focusing all your attention on lousy excuses. Look for the steps you can take that will get you out of your situation.
11. Be grateful for what you have
We sometimes feel as if we’re not moving forward when we think we haven’t yet accomplished enough in life. As a result, we’re quite frustrated about our situation. If we do not succeed as much as we desire, it can feel as if we’re stuck in life.
Developing the habit of being grateful can help you to ease the feeling of being stuck. It helps us to rediscover what is beautiful about our life. Gratitude can also enable us to find what makes our life worth living. As a positive side effect, we spent a lot less time chasing evermore. Instead, we learn to find joy and fulfillment in everything we already have.
Ultimately, this is the way to truly relief yourself from the feeling of not being able to move on. So take yourself some time to count your blessings. Appreciate everything you’ve been given. Make it a daily practice and use it as the basis for a purpose driven life.
I hope you enjoyed this article about the 11 ways to break free from feeling stuck in life. What are your tricks to free yourself from being stuck in a rut? We’re excited to hear from you in the comment section below.