May 28, 2024

Feeling “Stuck”? Here are 3 Ways to Move Through the Perceived Rut.


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Have you ever noticed how, sometimes, the harder we try, the further away we feel from moving forward?

While someone like Gary Vaynerchuk would say we’re not stuck, we’re just early in the process, this nagging sense of ongoing stagnation can be frustrating, draining and, at its worst, soul-destroying.

I promise you’re not alone

Firstly, if you feel “stuck” as you read this article, know you are not alone. Such feelings are relatively common and can relate to various aspects of life—career, relationships, personal development—and, if we’re really lucky (not!), all areas of our lives at once.

As I’ve engaged in more personal development work over the years, I’ve come to adjust my language around the thoughts and feelings I’d previously describe as feeling “stuck.” Whenever I start feeling agitated and like I am spinning my wheels, I see it as a sign that I’m ready for something new. This takes practice; however, my biggest learning is not to hold on to what was.

Change is often painful

Humans innately crave comfort; the problem is that nothing grows inside our comfort zone. With any goal I have ever aspired to, I’ve always found the pursuit more satisfying than obtaining the end goal. The feeling of satisfaction and contentment is fleeting, and soon enough, I find myself moving on to the next thing.

Here’s an example.

I published my first picture book in 2018. Across four years, most of my downtime went into finding a publisher (I quickly figured out that self-publishing was beyond me at that point) and waiting for the book’s release. I invested much time, energy, and money into the book because I genuinely believed in its core message (and still do!). The book release came and went, and while I rode the wave at the moment, that high was short-lived. Soon, I found myself reaching for the next goal.

And that example is no rarity; I can share other similar stories.

Moving through the weight of stagnation

I have deliberately chosen the words “moving through” rather than “breaking through” here. Even during the challenging phases, we are always exactly where we need to be. Every phase exists for a reason, and we can be so quick to attempt to “escape” any sense of discomfort. (I’m guilty of this, too, at times.) We must be patient enough to allow ourselves to move through whatever the Universe throws our way.

3 Ways to Move Through the Perceived Rut:

1. Double and triple-check your belief systems.

In today’s world, it’s easy to feel constantly behind everyone else. I’ve never been married, I don’t have kids, and I only recently moved into my own place. At 36, many would look at my life and assume I haven’t achieved anything worth having. In my early 20s, I truly believed something was “wrong” with me because I never actively searched for a partner or had my heart set on having kids; it’s not how I am wired.

Many of our beliefs stem from elsewhere, mainly from childhood and what we saw growing up. Once I hit 30 and started getting serious about personal development, analysing the past and breaking apart my beliefs became invaluable. One conclusion that speaks to me is that we will find whatever we search for, whether that’s a lack of belonging, emptiness, never feeling good enough, and so on.

2. Stop looking for the answers externally.

In business, in the past, I spent years searching for “that one formula or thing” that was the missing piece. And round and round in circles, I went. Business coach after business coach, course after course, and so on. Sure, people can share stories about what worked for them, but no one can hand you any formula and guarantee that it’ll work for you. Be wary of anyone who tells you otherwise.

Truthfully, most of us spend more time focusing on the outside world rather than looking after and building our foundation. Many things can come and go in life—relationships, jobs, money, social status—but we can’t lose the essence of who we are. Many people I speak with confess they yearn for safe connections, but how can we safely connect with others if we can’t connect safely with our own internal world?

3. Follow the whispers of your soul.

Humans attempt to logic-check everything. While there is a place for logic in our world, I often wonder how many things we deny ourselves simply because we’re incapable of thinking big enough to allow the wildest possibilities to unfold organically. How many times have you asked a loved one for advice about something deep down you already knew the answer to? Don’t worry, I do this too.

Most people are so busy moving from one task on their to-do list to the next that they do not have time to listen to their inner voice. When we create time for ourselves—whether that’s through journaling, meditation, strength training, nature, or something else—we start hearing our inner voice or soul speaking to us.

And when you trust those little nudges enough to follow them, you sometimes land on gold. For example, I recently discovered the work of India Vine (she teaches about all things manifestation, money, and mindset) through a fitness and lifestyle podcast (Danny Kennedy’s podcast, for the record). Who would think these two things have any logical connection?

Nothing in life is permanent. There is no value in making yourself miserable in pursuing any goal, regardless of what that goal is. I’ve had many moments in life when I viewed everything like one big home demolition job: it was much easier to knock everything down and start again than to try and renovate certain aspects of myself.


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