Life is hard in the best of times. For those of us who have gotten stuck, it can be pretty miserable. Here are 5 ways to get Unstuck in life that have worked for me.
You know what it feels like to be “stuck”,
- Repeating the same bad decision over and over again
- Can’t follow through with your plans
- You let people take advantage of you
- You are not where you thought you would be “by now”
- You live with the thought “is this all there is”? yet you don’t know why you are stuck and therefore can’t get unstuck
To learn how to get UNSTUCK in life we will look at
- Your belief system and related self-talk
- Your ability to forgive
- Your level of gratefulness
- Your ability to dream for the future
- Your ability to set healthy boundaries
There are three reasons why people change;
They have learned a lot.
They have suffered enough.
They got tired of always the same thing.
HOW TO GET UNSTUCK IN LIFE BY LOOKING AT
YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM AND SELF TALK
Would it surprise you to learn that most often we are “stuck” because of the beliefs we hold? All of us have what some call, an “inner critic”, which is the voice that whispers in our ears, shouts in our face –
- YOU CAN’T DO THAT
- YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH
- YOU AREN’T SMART ENOUGH
- NO ONE WOULD EVER HIRE YOU
Our inner critic speaks from the things we believe deep down inside. These deep-held beliefs are so central to how we view life that we seldom ever question them. They seem so true and feel so a part of us that we build a life around them. Some of these beliefs are good and positive, but the ones holding you back that are hurting your life are UNTRUE.
The false beliefs we have influence our ability to forgive, be grateful, set boundaries, dream for the future and affect the quality of our self-talk. All of these areas influence and amplify our problem of being “stuck”.
So the first action step to getting “unstuck” is monitoring and then correcting your self-talk. Negative self-talk sets you up for an unhealthy emotional inner life. While positive self-talk brings emotional healing and health.
Your self-talk is all the words you say to yourself all of the time; it is what we listen to in order to hear our misbeliefs.
Negative self-talk can sound like this.
- When you look in the mirror and think you are ugly, fat, old.
- When you face a challenge and you say to yourself – you are crazy for trying this, you know you can’t do this.
- When a friend disappoints you and you hear – there must be something wrong with me.
- When you make a mistake – I never do anything right.
If you tell yourself “I can’t do anything right”, you’ll believe it and when you believe something your actions will confirm it. Thus you will find yourself making lots of mistakes and just not getting anything right.
Our negative self-talk is most often based on beliefs about ourselves, others and the world that are NOT TRUE.
The less clearly we see the reality of the world
the more our minds are befuddled by falsehood, misperceptions and illusions
the less able we will be to determine correct courses of action and make wise decisions.
A good place to start to get an idea of whether you have a problem with negative self-talk is to click here for my Self-Talk Assessment.
After you discover what your most common negative statements are or the misbeliefs you hold, you need to begin to challenge them.
Correcting your misbeliefs is a Two-step process
- Knowing and fighting the lies in your life
- Taking the leap toward mental and emotional health by filling those lie-sized holes with truth.
Find out more about how combat the falsehoods that are holding you back. You can read more about Self-Talk here.
HOW TO GET UNSTUCK IN LIFE BY
How can unforgiveness keep us stuck? Let’s first decide what it means to forgive.
According to Merriam-Webster forgive means-
- To cease to feel resentment against (an offender)
- To give up resentment of
- To grant pardon to (a person)
We see from this definition that when we forgive we are:
- Letting go of resentment.
- Letting go of the sense that someone “owes” us something.
- A mental and emotional decision that takes place inside us.
- It is not waiting for the right time or when we feel like letting go of an offense.
How in the heck does that relate to being stuck?
When we hold on to unforgiveness and hold grudges we are actively and deliberately holding on to;
Those emotions are very controlling and often derail a person’s ability to enjoy life.
Forgiveness is a choice that you make for yourself. You may never see or speak to the offender again, they may even have died.
When you forgive an offense you release
- The resentment
- The anger
- The desire for revenge and
- The pain the offense brought
Freeing yourself from these negative feelings makes room for
- Interest in life
- Emotional health
When you live with unforgiveness you let the pain define you.
Forgiveness brings you healing and a new definition for your life.
There is a lot more to be said about forgiveness:
- What forgiveness is not
- How to forgive
- What to do if the offender is not sorry for his/her actions
Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars.
You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.
HOW TO GET UNSTUCK IN LIFE BY
Gratefulness is also a catalyst to being able to move forward in life.
Merriam-Webster gives this definition for grateful –
- Warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received
- Expressing gratitude
- Pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing
Being grateful is another deliberate act of the will.
It is a mindset of –
- Appreciating simple pleasures
- Counting your blessings
- Acknowledgment of everything you receive.
It is a mindset that sees life as a miraculous gift and always being aware of the abundance already present in your life. Being grateful shifts your thinking from what you lack to all that you have.
Studies show that being thankful:
- Makes people happier
- Makes people more resilient
- Strengthens relationships
- Improves health
- Reduces stress
- Improves mental, physical and spiritual health
“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you’, that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart
Studies by Dr. Emmons, who has been studying gratitude for a decade, found that those who practice gratefulness had their happiness levels increase by 25%. His studies also show that grateful people tend:
- To be more creative
- Bounce back faster from adversity
- Have a stronger immune system
- Have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratefulness
It would seem obvious with those kinds of benefits from this choice, you will have a greater ability to get “unstuck”.
To dig deeper into gratefulness, how to choose it, more benefits from it check out my blog on gratefulness.
HOW TO GET UNSTUCK IN LIFE BY DREAMING AGAIN
Many people who are “stuck” in life have another problem in common; they have stopped dreaming about their future. They have given up or forgotten what it is like to anticipate something in their lives.
How does this happen to a person?
Some of the causes are that they:
- Have been disappointed in life
- Have believed their self-talk that nothing good will ever happen to them
- Drained themselves with poor or no boundaries
- Have lived with a very controlling person
Why is learning to dream a part of getting unstuck?
Dreaming for the future literally connects you with
- Your innermost desires
- A life worth living
- Your true potential
- A life of fewer regrets
- Intense moments of happiness and satisfaction
I believe that for those people who are consciously unaware of their
- And desires that there is a way to reach them.
Inside every person is a place that generates these longings. Sometimes these hopes, dreams, and desires need to be nudged to the surface.
I have come up with a “nudging” plan. This is an abbreviate version to find the full plan on my dreaming again blog
- First, just brainstorm
- Jot down any and all ideas you can come up with about fun things to do or something your dreamed about as a young person.
- Take as much time as it takes
- Mull over your list for a while
- Rewrite your list and sort the ideas into categories
- Pick one- a doable one, not an outrageous on.
- Research what it will take to get it done.
- This includes a budget
- Set a time to achieve or do the dream.
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
HOW TO GET UNSTUCK IN LIFE BY SETTING BOUNDARIES
Getting unstuck in life also takes setting healthy boundaries in your life.
What are boundaries?
- Limits set on others
- Rules of behavior that show where I end and you begin
- Understanding what is your responsibility and what is another’s responsibility
What are the benefits of boundaries?
Protection for unsafe relationships
- Gain control over your personal space, body, emotions and thoughts
- Improved self-esteem
- Freedom from another’s unrealistic needs and expectations
Where in your life do you need boundaries?
- Your personal space
- Your belongings
- Your time
- Your money
- Your energy
- Your sexuality
- Your thoughts
You can be a loving and generous person and still have healthy boundaries. In fact, when you love and give from good boundaries it is truly love and generosity and not actions that are forced from obligation.
What happens to you when you have poor boundaries?
- Your needs go unmet
- You lose a sense of who you are and what you are feeling
- You take every personally
- You have no time for yourself and your activities
Some reasons you have weak boundaries:
- Afraid of rejection
- Afraid of hurting someone’s feelings
- Afraid of someone’s anger
How do tell if you have weak boundaries?
- You can’t say no
- You feel you must always make other happy
- Can’t make decisions
- Your energy is so drained you can’t tend to yourself
How can you set good boundaries?
- Choose your limits
- Your basic human rights should become part of your boundaries
- Listen to your feelings of resentment and discomfort
- You must be firm and consistent when you set your limits
Remember to tell others what YOU are going to do,
instead of telling them what they HAVE to do.
I have written much more on how and why to set Boundaries to read the full blog on boundaries.
You can get UNSTUCK.
You can live a life of healthy forward movement.
You may not need to work on all the above mentioned areas
To the voice in my head.
I am not listening to you anymore.
You are not nice to me.
Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have
been any different. It’s accepting the past for what it was and using this moment in time to help yourself move forward.
Spend the day appreciating every little thing that comes your way,
and you’ll end the day feeling deeply grateful for your life.
- Dreaming for the future
There’s not an expiration date on your dreams,
so take a deep breath and try again. #KYLO
- Setting boundaries
While you can’t control someone’s negative behavior,
you can control how long you participate in it.
Choose one that seems urgent, or stands out to you or seems like an easy one to start with.
Read the blog linked with the area you want to start on.
Just the fact that you read this means you are READY for change.
Please reach out to me if you feel like you might need help with this new way of life.
Nothing makes me happier than for a person to be living the life that they were designed for.
Here are links to 5 steps to getting unstuck