Have you ever thought, “I wish I could just let go and move on”?
Sometimes it feels like our whole life is on hold and we’re waiting for something to happen; something good or something bad…we’re not sure what but we’re waiting all the same.
But how long do you wait? And is waiting doing you any good? While you wait, the clock keeps ticking and your life moves forward. Whether you are enjoying living in your world or not, it makes no difference to time. So wouldn’t you rather make the most of the rest of your life? Of course you do!
But when you’re feeling lost, uncertain or are trying to recover from a major loss, we sometimes get a bit stuck. When people say they feel stuck it’s because they have come to a crossroads in their life’s journey. And many people get to that intersection because something monumental has happened in their life and it’s left them wondering, “Who am I in this changed environment and now what am I going to do to make my life feel like it has purpose again?”
Feeling lost and uncertain is scary but doesn’t need to be a permanent state of being.
Here’s some steps you can take to begin the process of getting “unstuck”.
1. Make a decision that things are going to be different now
If you’re reading this then you’ve already made the first move to getting unstuck — you are looking for ways to move ahead. Congratulations! But to make it a permanent pursuit and not something you’re playing with, the next step is to make a commitment, to yourself. If you’re fed up with how things have been up to now, make the decision that it’s time to change and acknowledge you are now taking control of your life. Then say to yourself, “I have decided I’ve had enough. I am now choosing to see there can be a different way to live my life. And even though I’m not sure yet what my future holds, I am willing to open my mind to new things.”
2. Accept the things you can’t change
“The only thing constant in life is change.” Remember that famous saying? Sometimes you just have to accept that change is the natural order of things. Nothing can stay the same forever. And sometimes that change is not welcome in our life but once it has happened, it’s now the past. You can’t change the past, you only have influence over what happens from now on. When you accept that change is inevitable, and that you sometimes have no control of the outcome of that change, the only thing for you to do is make the most of the current situation and make a decision about what you will do from now on.
3. Control what you can control
There are some things you can control and some things you can’t. The only thing you are fully in control of is yourself: your thoughts, feelings, decisions, actions and reactions. Learn to be in control of yourself and how you live your life, and you control your whole world. Other people’s thoughts, feelings, decisions, actions and reactions may have an impact on you but they aren’t something you have any influence over. So if you understand how to stay calm and unruffled, no matter what happens to you, you have all the power!
4. Problem solve the things you can’t control
When things don’t go the way you want them to go, or you are faced with a difficult situation, the best way to regain control is to find a solution to the problem. There are always at least three possible solutions to every problem, you just have to find the best ones for you. Get creative, brainstorm ideas. Ask yourself, “How can I make this better for me?” and then write down your thoughts or your potential solutions. Looking at difficult situations in this way helps you to feel more in control because you are acting as the survivor, not the victim. Of course, some of your ideas may not be realistic but you will find at least a few potential solutions to explore.
5. Get good at making decisions so you feel able to move forward with more confidence
Sometimes we feel stuck because we’re too afraid to do things differently, or afraid of the outcome of our decisions. “What if it doesn’t work out the way I’d hoped?” The best way to make a good decision is to be prepared for whatever the outcome is…whether it goes in your favour or not. Always have a Plan B and that way, regardless of the outcome, you will always know what to do. After you’ve made a plan of what you’ll do for “Plan B”, you’ll be able to say with confidence, “If my decision’s outcome works out this way, I’ll do this. If my decision’s outcome goes that way, I’ll do that.” Either way, you are moving forward, and that’s better than staying stuck!
6. Progress with caution but don’t allow fear to hold you back
If you are always too frightened to go outside your comfort zone you will never move anywhere. Life BEGINS at the edge of your comfort zone! Being reckless is not a wise choice but being cautious means you’ve checked for real danger…then proceeding with care. Most of our fears are not real fears, they are our perception of what MIGHT happen. When you identify any real danger, by doing your homework and making sure you’ve put steps in place to reduce any negative outcomes, then you can proceed forward with care. It’s like when you cross the road, you look both ways first before stepping off the pavement. Then you don’t close your eyes and make a dash for it, you walk across with caution and continue to check as you go. It’s the same with life. Don’t NOT step into life…instead look both ways and proceed with care.
7. Make a start by taking a baby step…then another step…then another step
The problem most people have when thinking about doing something new is they feel they must do it perfectly first time. But how many people have won an Olympic gold medal the first time they tried the sport? None! They needed to learn how to do it first, then they practised a lot. The most important thing to do is to start. Find a small thing to do that takes you in the right direction and get good at that. Then when you feel you have accomplished that, move to the next stage. How do you build a house? One brick at a time! Once the foundation is set, you can build to the next level. And so it is with your life…build it up, one small bit at a time. Stop the stopping and start the starting. That’s the key to getting ahead.
8. Make some goals
If you start out on a journey and don’t know where you want to go, where will you end up? Getting lost or going around in circles! In life we need to know where we want to go and then we can make a plan for how to get there. Once you have a goal, then break it down into small action steps. Exactly what are the things you need to practically do to make this goal come to fruition?
9. Get support
The other really important step to moving forward when you feel stuck, is to get others involved to help you. If you’re not strong enough yet to make yourself do what you need to do, but you know that getting unstuck and achieving some goals is really important to you, go and get yourself someone who will support you to do it. This person (or group of people) are your best insurance policy! They can be there to hold your hand when you’re unsure, kick your butt when you get lazy or want to give up, and will cheer for you and celebrate with you when you get things right. There’s nothing like accountability to keep you honest and motivated!
You are never really stuck in your life but it sure can feel like it sometimes. Take each of these nine steps and put them into place, and you’ll soon be off enjoying the beauty of your life once more.