Feeling stuck is not a nice place to be, especially if you have been there for a long time. Cambridge dictionary defines stuck as ‘being unable to move from a particular position or place or unable to change a situation.’ As you can imagine feeling like you are unable to change a situation takes a toll on a person’s mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. What can you do when you are weary from the ‘stuckness?’ Here’s five tips:
- ASSESS the Situation HONESTLY. Over time we can filter our perceptions about what we are experiencing. We use defence mechanisms to help us deal with situations and that can jade or skew our clarity. Our perceptions can keep us from being honest with ourselves. What is the truth of our situation? What is going on and what can we do about it?
- NON-JUDGMENTAL Stance. Try to look at your situation without bias and judgment. We are often our own worst enemies — judging our feelings as being wrong or stupid rather than just noticing what we are feeling. A situation can feel hopeless and despairing and it’s okay to feel those feelings. Don’t skip over them and go to shaming yourself for not just ‘being grateful.’ Think about viewing it as ‘that’s just how I’m feeling.’
- VALIDATE the Emotions. Whether you think the emotions are legit, they are there for a reason. Validating emotions doesn’t mean that we let them take over — car jacking us and driving us where we don’t want to go! It means affirming the feelings that we have and giving them the decency of listening to what they are wanting to tell us.
- CHECK YOUR WILL. Often when we are stuck there is a point where we become willful. Willfulness, also known as defiance or rebellion, puts us in a place of digging our heels in. We move away from a position of willingness and refuse to do things that could bring change and be helpful. There is actually a skill called ‘willingness vs. willfulness.’ This is where we notice when we are being willful and stop to ask ourselves what we would do differently if we were willing.
- CHOOSE Wisely. When we feel stuck we often don’t want to try anything else. We are weary and discouraged. However, there are always choices we can make which do offer us some level of empowerment. Viktor Frankl in his imprisonment in Nazi Germany wrote “when we are no longer able to change a situation — we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Being in a stuck place does not mean things are impossible, in means you are feeling stuck! Thankfully there are ways to get unstuck. Sometimes we just need to admit we are stuck so we can get more strategic with our next step. Be encouraged — there is hope.