When something is missing #2 - 7 tips to get unstuck

Written by Varouna Baroud on Friday, 08 December 2017. Posted in Self development

stuck

Take charge of the space between what is no longer and what is not yet

- Nancy Levin -

In our last article, we talked about how you can find yourself at a point in your life when you just feel stuck. Maybe something happened in your life that shifted your perspective and made you rethink you’re the choices you have been making. Maybe you feel stuck because that thing you always thought would eventually happen, still hasn’t happened and you are starting to feel concerned. Or maybe you have achieved everything you wanted, you are on the top of the success ladder but you now realize you leaned it against the wrong wall.Or you are just in a mid 20-ies, quarter life, midlife or other modern existential crises.

Whatever the reason may be, the result is the same: you feel stuck and unfulfilled.

As we already concluded, this is a natural part of life and there are no shortcuts to avoid the hard parts. But there are some things you can do, to make it a little easier and that will keep you from coming to a halt completely.

1. Sharing is caring

Even worse than struggling with something is the idea that you are alone in your struggle. Find at least one person that you can unabashedly share your ugliest inner thoughts and struggles with. Keeping everything to yourself will only make you feel worse.

Fear, shame, and guilt don’t like the limelight, so the more you let it out, the less these feelings will fester. And on top of that, by sharing your experience and your feelings, you might be of support to someone else dealing with the same challenges.

2. Stop telling yourself it is too late

Next step: stop brainwashing yourself with these negative thoughts!
Stop paralyzing yourself by ruminating on your fears.
Constantly telling yourself that time is ticking, it is too late or you missed your chance, is certainly not going to help.

To counterbalance these automatic negative thought patterns, start and end your day with positive affirmations. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself positive things about yourself and your life.

Affirmations are always stated in a positive manner like they are already true.
Some people believe this influences reality, maybe you don’t. But is it going to make you feel better than all those negative thoughts? Definitely. Dare to believe.! Dare to have hope! And know you are going to be ok regardless

3. Be realistic

Having hope doesn't mean you shouldn’t be realistic.
It is time to acknowledge that the latest generations have been indoctrinated with some pretty unrealistic and impractical views on life.

Where did you get the idea that life is fair? Who told you we always get what we want? The downside of this Oprah society of possibilities and hope is that we are told that everything is possible. But that doesn’t mean everything is actually going to happen if you just wish or visualize it hard enough. Random bad things happen to good people and reality is, you need to learn to deal with disappointments.

Sure, you can carve in time to feel sorry for yourself. Even better, take as much time as you want. But then what? Then you are going to have to deal with it. And the sooner you realize you are able to handle every outcome, the sooner you will find ways to get unstuck.

4. Switch it up

Just because the situation you are in, is not your fault doesn’t mean you can not take ownership. Ownership is not an admission of guilt. It is an admission of control.
If you keep doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same results. And if you keep thinking the same thoughts, you will end up feeling the same way.

So challenge yourself to explore what (thought) patterns lead to you being or feeling stuck and then....try to do something different!

For example: If you are looking for a deep connection, you can insist on being surprised by the umpteenth Tinder match only looking for a quick hook up. But maybe it is time to admit this is not the place you are going to meet that great guy even if it seems to be the only option to meet anyone with your busy work schedule en boring social life.

Or: You can keep being disappointed that every promising job turns out to brings you to the verge of a burn-out because the management is incompetent and your colleagues are only complaining. Or you can start taking chances in your application process and screen on values and culture as deciding factors instead of paycheck and status.

Figure out what you can and need to do that is different from what you did before. Go to different places, surround yourself with people, take different actions, that reflect what you are really aiming for.

Taking ownership can be difficult and painful. It means taking responsibility for consequences that you might have had no control over whatsoever. But is so liberating because it enables you to see and creates new opportunities that you couldn’t see before.photo 1502731315368 223bc423be2b

5. Keep growing

When you feel stuck, you stand still. That won’t bring you any closer to where you want to be. Even when where you want to seem impossible and far away right now, you can still actively work on getting there.
What do you need to learn to prepare yourself the best way you can? What do you have to do to optimize your chances to make whatever it is you are looking for happening.
Do you need to work on yourself, resolve issues, do a course, read a book?

When you want life to become meaningful (again), you do meaningful things. Set out a vision for yourself, that is independent of outside factors. Set goals for yourself that are within your control. It doesn’t have too big or perfect, just start somewhere

6. Stay present

It is tempting to give in to the woulda - coulda - shoulda syndrome.

If I finally had ... I would be...
If I only could...
I should have... then I would have...now.

These thoughts will do nothing more than block you. Engaging in these un-useful thoughts will lead to losing yourself in the past you can’t change and a future you can’t predict. And lack of control leads to anxiety and depression.

Practicing mindfulness in ways that suit you (sports, meditation, yoga, cooking, cleaning, being creative), helps to ground you in the present and will give you the peace of mind you need to keep moving forward.

7. Practice gratitude

You are not ungrateful for feeling stuck or feeling a void.
It is not a matter of getting over yourself.
On the contrary. This tip is about taking yourself seriously.

When you feel like you are missing a piece of the puzzle, you tend to focus more on that area. But focus per definition narrows your view. That makes you inclined to lose sight of the rest of the puzzle, the part that is a reflection of your strengths, capabilities and everything you have already accomplished.

No matter how bad you feel, how lost, how disappointed, how disillusioned you can feel at your worst, there is always something to be grateful for.
It is a huge cliche but that usually means it is true. Consciously focusing on positivity generates more positivity. Open arms can receive more than crossed arms!

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