Have you ever felt like you are running in circles, not able to grasp the beginning or the end of the state you are in? Sitting at the bottom of the well surrounded by darkness, looking up for some beam of light with no guidance or stairs to get you out?
If you ever felt like the walls were closing in on you, then you know how it feels to be stuck.
Once you step into that vicious circle it appears that life is determined to only offer you lemons, but you can’t seem to find a way to make lemonade out of them. You’re depressed, going through days believing that nothing but a miracle will help you smile again. You’ve made some bad choices, missed what appear now as great opportunities, you feel like time has passed and there is nothing you can do to turn it back. Waking up in the morning knowing that you have to face yet another day at the bottom of the well sometimes brings you physical pain.
It seems like everything is lost.
But it’s not.
Things will get better. They always do, but you need to help yourself see that light shining above.
And here is some advice that will help you move and leave that vicious circle.
4 Steps to unstuck
First you have to take some time off from your everyday life, from those moments where you feel stuck. Unfortunately, not everybody has the opportunity to travel to a nice quiet place, but you can make a pause, take an hour off your busy schedule and sit in a quiet room all by yourself. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Relax your shoulders, and your jaw – we have a strong tendency to stiffen both our shoulders and jaw when under pressure which creates additional tension. Now:
There are no bad choices
Tell yourself that it is perfectly ok that you did what you did. There are no bad choices but only lessons. Some we learn from, some…well it is also fine if you flank the grade. How many times did you fall learning to walk? You did the best you could at the time. You didn’t know any better but now you do. You can’t change the past so stop beating yourself up because of it. Be brave and embrace your life with all the choices you have made.
And show yourself some love for the trying. See yourself as kid who tried to make his first French toast: the toast burned, the kitchen is a mess, you burnt your fingers, and are left with no breakfast. What would you do if you were to walk in on such a kid? Would you make him regret trying or would you take care of his burnt fingers and praise his initiative and effort? So do same for yourself. You are that kid: sometimes you succeed and sometimes you don’t.
Find the core of the ‘stuck’ feeling
Now when you are feeling fine about the choices you made, think of the area of your life where you feel most stuck. Find the thing that bothers you the most. There might be many things or just one, but find the one that is causing this feeling of suffocation. Take a long good look at it. See it from all sides. Don’t feel angry about it, but rather make friends with it. Try to figure out why it is there. Shake hands with it and move to the next step.
Imagine your life the way you would like it to be
Pretend you have a magic wand. Wave it around and make your “problem” disappear. See your life now. How does it look? How do you feel? Immerse yourself in this blessed feeling of living your life unstuck. See yourself smiling, being genuinely happy. Feel it in your bones and open your eyes.
Make a move to unstuck
With this heightened consciousness of knowing where you are and where you would like to be, think of the first move you can take towards the ‘unstuck’ life. It doesn’t have to be anything big, a small step, something that will be easy for you to do right away. It can be something that will take only 5 minutes to do, or a small change in your everyday routine that will be a small shift towards your goal. Think of more steps to take, but start with only one. Do anything, but it is important to move, to leave that vicious circle. Even the smallest step forward will bring the feeling of ease and sense of being in control. You’ll know you are in charge and are leading yourself towards unstuck and free life.