It has been over a decade since I have been working as a psychologist. You would conclude therefore that such a timeframe would have afforded me the opportunity to help hundreds of persons through some of the most difficult patches in their lives. I have been asked many times, what’s probably the most recurring issue, people are confronted with? And after careful consideration, it would be the feeling of being stuck in life and not really living a purposeful life. This undoubtedly ends up being the core of many other maladaptive behaviors, bad decisions, and a broken emotional state.
A recent study by Dr. Petsinger, on the topic of ‘being stuck’ revealed a dismal outlook. It showed 69% of the persons interviewed felt trapped in the same old routine and only 3 out of 10 felt happy with their lives…the general consensus was that people are feeling stuck. Some are feeling stuck in their careers, feeling like they’re too far along on one path to make a change. Some are feeling stuck in their personal lives. The struggle of their daily grind sucks most of their time and energy. As a result, their relationships, self-care, and personal goals get lost in the shuffle of their treadmill existence.
When the challenge of feeling stuck comes up, sometimes it doesn’t easily go away if at all. The feeling can become extremely intensified as time goes by and nothing is done to address it. The unfortunate reality is, many decide or choose to settle in their state, subconsciously without even realizing it, they end up pushing their dreams and goals further and further down.
Others, if the feeling of being stuck intensifies to an unbearable point, may choose to make changes. They may choose to pivot in their careers, even after years at a successful job. They may end up making big changes in their relationships, or start putting their fitness at a higher priority. They may make drastic changes to finally feel free. These changes can be incredibly difficult to make, especially if a person has lived many years in a certain lifestyle.
One of the first moves towards becoming unstuck is to ascertain why you got stuck in the first place. We all have many voices speaking their expectations over our lives. Many often get to a point where their try to please so many people, that they end up losing themselves altogether. It is easy to create ‘False objectives’, where the focus is on working towards goals that don’t align with who you are as a person; the casualty being that you lose your sense of purpose.
Living a life of False Objectives can cause people to feel very stuck and frustrated. You can end up building lives that are very “successful” according to society; but if you’ve built your life based on False Objectives, you’re not going to feel fulfilled. You’ll end up feeling stuck doing a job or in a career that brings no joy or satisfaction.
Another very real cause of feeling stuck is not knowing who you are. If you don’t understand how you’re innately wired – your strengths, your gifts, your talents, your passions – it’s tough to make decisions that enable you to maximize those. It is difficult to reach your full potential if you don’t know who you are as a person. The big question is how do you become unstuck?