It wasn’t too long ago when I thought I lost my ability to thrive. I felt stuck, in a rut, and — let’s be real — I wasn’t doing much to change my habits. I was blaming everyone and their mom on my problems and I thought I was doing everything to fix it, but when someone would question my complaint, I would immediately come up with an excuse. I wanted my life to change, yet, I was too scared to do it. And honestly, as I look back, I don’t know what I was afraid of.
However, it wasn’t too long ago when I finally took the plunge. I became fed up with my life and decided to take it back. I buckled up my boots and started to tackle my issues one by one. I stopped hiding behind my fears and started asking for what I wanted and what I believed I deserved. And when I did, I felt alive—as if I’d just awaken from a year long coma. To be honest, it was scary to do, but in the midst of the doubt I imagined what my life would be like if I didn’t make those changes, and, frankly, it scared me to my core. So while I’m still developing the strength to lead the life I want, I found some ways to help you (and me!) feel empowered to free yourself from feeling stuck in your own life.
1. Stop complaining.
Viewing your life in a more positive light can dramatically influence how you decide to lead it. If you’re always complaining and placing blame on everyone else, nothing will get accomplished because you’re allowing yourself to be complacent.
When you complain to others, you’re subconsciously seeking empathy from them; you hope others will understand what you’re going through. This act could validate your emotions, which in return, could prevent you from changing. Rather than complaining, take that negative emotion and turn it into something good. You can transform that energy to help propel yourself forward. In that moment, be determined to make the change to go after what you want and deserve.
Change your perspective so you can be more mindful of your surroundings. Doing so may permit you to be more grateful and influence you to go after a better life.
2. Be honest with yourself.
You won’t be able to make any changes unless you choose to be honest with yourself. You won’t help yourself or your future if you continue to live in a bubble, pretending everything is out of your control. Ask yourself the hard questions. Be vulnerable in your answers. While it might be hard to face your current reality, it’s important to figure out what you like (and don’t like!) so you know where to direct your life.
3. Remind yourself that you have the ability to choose.
When you’re feeling stuck in a rut, you may forget that you actually have the ability to change things. Sometimes, it’s easy to believe that the world is determining your path for you, like you have no say in the matter, and the only thing you can do is wait for the world to change it. The thing is, you are the only person standing in your way if you want things to be different. You are the person to do it. Trust me—you’re stronger than you think.
4. Continue to look forward.
Sometimes it’s easier to live in the past when you don’t want to deal with the present. But if you want to move forward, you need to stop focusing on past mistakes. This way of thinking can paralyze and prevent you from finding happiness. You may even begin to believe that you don’t deserve to live a better life. Opt to find solutions, ditch your mundane daily routine, and try something different. The more you push yourself, the better you may feel.
5. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Your journey is yours and yours alone. Just because you wish you could have someone else’s life doesn’t mean you should go down their same path. Comparing yourself to someone else will prevent you from moving forward. You may question your purpose and stop yourself from pursuing anything because you may be afraid to fail. But remember: That person is doing well because they worked hard to get there. If you’re curious about a person’s career, ask for an informational interview to find out what they did to get the life they have.
6. Be kind to yourself.
It’s completely natural to feel stuck every now and then. Life is about pushing through the rubble, so you can become strong. However, just because you’re feeling stuck doesn’t mean you should beat yourself up. Feeling helpless, doubting yourself, and engaging in negative self-talk will deter you from making any changes. When you feel stuck, treat yourself like you would your best friend. Be kind to your emotional state and try to reevaluate your goals. While you do want to be honest, you don’t want to question your abilities or lose faith in yourself. Allow yourself peace while you are stuck; you’ll find your way soon.