Have you been feeling stuck lately?
It can feel discouraging when we’re in a moment in our life where we feel trapped, or like we’re unable to grow. The good news? It’s a perfectly normal feeling, and it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. On a basic level, humans need variety! It helps keep things interesting and engaging for us. And in the last year and a half, while we certainly have had to adapt to new changes, they aren’t necessarily changes that have made us feel like we have a lot of room for growth.
The changes you’ve had to adapt to in the last year might be making you feel even more stagnant than you were before–so much of our life has been restricted. And, while there are positive changes happening as people continue to get vaccinated, and precautions get adjusted as COVID risks increase or decrease, that unpredictability can make it hard to plan ahead and decide on what you think the right next course of action is.
And all of this can lead you to feeling stuck!
So what do you do when you’re feeling stuck? The first thing to do is explore that feeling. While you may just want to jump into action, making big changes without exploring how those changes are going to serve you might not actually help address this feeling.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when you’re feeling stuck:
What is this feeling telling me?
That feeling of being “stuck” is trying to tell you something. It could be letting you know that you’re unhappy or unsatisfied with some aspect of your life. If you’re stuck, there is usually an undercurrent of impatience, the idea that you don’t want to be where you are anymore. This feeling, while unpleasant to experience, might actually just be telling you that you’re ready for new challenges and new opportunities for growth. It’s a sign that you’re ready for change–you just have to explore what change that is.
Where is this feeling coming from?
There are a lot of reasons you may be feeling stuck. Some might be things you can do something about, others might not. So it’s important to figure out where the feeling is coming from, so that you can determine what changes are actually in your control and which are not. For example, if you’re feeling stuck in your job, you can do some things about that! You can have a conversation with your boss about the issues you’re having, what you’d like to be doing, etc. Or you can look for job or education opportunities that can help you continue to grow! Of course there are things that can prevent you from making changes, if you can’t afford to make a change or take a risk financially, that’s important to identify too. Determining what is in your control and what is not can help you make empowered choices and allow yourself to let go of the weight of what you can’t change.
Some other things to remember when you’re feeling stuck:
No one choice will determine your entire future:
It’s okay if what you decide is right for you right now, and down the line you need to change things up again. You don’t know where you’ll be in the future, so you can’t only make decisions based on where you hope you’ll be–you also have to make decisions that reflect where you are now. Trust that in the time between now and the future, you will continue to work on yourself, and will have the ability to recognize when you need to make a change in the future
It’s okay to try a small change first:
Changes are scary! You don’t have to change everything about your life, or make a big change you’re not really ready for just because you’re feeling stuck. You can start with something small! For example, if you’re feeling stuck socially, instead of going out and trying a bunch of new things, just pick one club to attend regularly! Or, if you’re thinking of going back to school, start with just a single class and see how that feels before signing up for an entire program.
Don’t overthink it:
Even when you’re feeling stuck there might be things in your life that bring you joy/fulfilment that you’re just not considering. Do you have small hobbies that you enjoy? Or, think of what your day typically consists of. Is there something you do regularly that makes you feel happier or less stuck?
Can you calibrate how you spend your time to weight it more heavily toward activities that already fulfill you? That can be another simple way to make changes without feeling like you’re taking on too much risk.
If you’re looking for more support, we can help! Come talk to our counselors today for more support.