Feeling stuck can come from a variety of different places. You could feel stuck in your living situation or your job. You may see no way of getting out of the world you are living in whether it’s due to feeling that the world is against you or you’ve reached the height of your career. Well I’m telling you that you can get unstuck and that the world isn’t against you and your career has no limits other than the ones you set.
Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you!Tony Robbins
This past year for so many has been extremely tough because they’ve been stuck in the same space everyday with no change.
This is where I believe the key to not feeling stuck lies. It’s in the lack of change. Many of us don’t like change because of the anxiety that comes with it. The anxiety towards the change comes from our not knowing what that change will really cause.
A new way of looking at these changes is to take it in two steps and look at the fears behind why we are stopping ourselves from taking the actions to make the change and why we want to make the change in the first place.
So let’s look at an example of a change we want to make in our lives.
A big one that would be a very proactive move for many of us would be to spend more time away from other people to work on a passion, organize our thoughts or something of that sort which requires time away from other people self reflection.
Step 1 for looking at this change is to look at ALL the reasons that you are afraid of acting on this change. Just write them down, don’t tell yourself it’s a silly reason or that it’s not really relevant, whatever thing might be holding you from making this change write it down.
Some examples of fears to make the change are;
- Friends might think I don’t care about them and all the things that they care about and they may think that I’ve become self centered.
- I might miss out on something because I’m somewhere else.
- People might start to worry about me
Then we look at the fears you have if you don’t make this change. As above write down every fear no matter how big or small.
Some examples of fears to not make the change are;
- I’m going to be stuck doing the same stuff forever because I don’t take time to work on me or my passion.
- If I don’t start saying no to people and work on my passion I’m going to stay miserable and be resentful towards my friends.
- I’m going to be filled with regret in a few years because my passion is what everyone is into.
Now that you have aired out the fears that are driving you to want to change and preventing you from taking action, it’s time to see which is worse. A common fear in both is a fear of missing out or regret for not being a part of something so they cancel each other out.
I’ve got to make a big point here. No matter what you do you will miss out on some things while pursuing others, so prioritize which of the things you value more and don’t miss it. FOMO is not a good enough excuse to not do something unless it’s your child’s first steps that you’re gonna miss.
So the other fears here on the to not change list are the opinion of others. The first one is that you are becoming self centered. If self care and wanting to better yourself is being self centered then everyone needs to be more self centered, also if they think that what they care about is the things that everyone else should care about they are the ones who are really being self centered. The second fear is that people will be worried about you. This is brilliant, it’s nothing to be afraid of, this means that you have friends and family that genuinely care about you and just want to know that you are okay, so just give them some reassurances.
Now all that is left is the fears of not changing. Don’t try and discard these fears, use them as fuel to want to be a better person. Change is a driving force for betterment. Sometimes it’s good to run away from fear and sometimes it’s good to fight them, but unless you identify your fears and why you are holding yourself stuck in a situation then you probably won’t take actin unless someone else pushes you into it.
Lets make another quick example of how you can use this technique to get unstuck.
I can’t go wherever I want because I don’t know how to drive.
Fears about making the change.
- I might fail the test.
- I may have a crash.
- I’m going to be learning on busy roads and other drivers aren’t nice to learner drivers.
- I don’t know how I will afford it.
Fears about not making the change.
- I’m going to be dependent on other people to take me everywhere.
- I’m going to be on public transport forever.
- I’m not going to be able to do anything outside of my little bubble unless there is a regular bus route or it’s within walking/cycling distance.
- I’m going to have to walk in the rain forever.
- I’m going to get yearly colds because I’m out in all sorts of weather.
- If there is an emergency I’m not going to be able to get someone where they need to go.
- I’m going to put my back out carrying the shopping home like this every week.
- I’m going to continue to loss so much of my time because I have to walk places or wait on buses.
- I’m always gonna be anxious about making appointments on time because the buses aren’t reliable.
Do you see from this second example how the list of fears about making the change is much shorter than the list of reasons to stay stuck. Also if we look at both lists the top one is full of if’s, maybe’s or I don’t knows, whereas the second list is full of certainties.
Start by taking a small thing that you’ve been procrastinating from doing and make this type of list about it. If when you finish the list you don’t want to take immediate action to get unstuck from is then that thing probably wasn’t something you cared about doing anyway, try a different one and take action to change yourself and get out of the rut you’re stuck in.
If you want to get fit make a list about going to the gym. If you want to learn a new skill such as baking make a list (Plus who cares if you give your partner food poisoning).