How to keep moving forward in life when feeling stuck. Everyone gets into a funk sometimes! Even those really successful people who might initially look like they have it all. When those feelings strike and you find yourself flat, unmotivated, and despondent about what you’re trying to achieve, it can be really tough to move forward.
We have all felt stuck at some point in our lives. Perhaps you feel stuck right now. When that happens, it can feel impossible to keep moving forward toward your goals and dreams.
So, whatever your goal, try these tips that can move forward with your life.
Keep Moving Forward In Life When Feeling Stuck
Change Your State
Change your attitude by changing your state. This is a popular personal development technique for a good reason, and it can take all sorts of different forms.
For example, if you’ve been indoors a lot, step out of your house and spend the whole day outside.
If you’re feeling despondent, get your body moving by dancing or exercising. If you’re hearing the critical voices of others (or yourself), drown it out by putting on your most optimistic music and singing along.
In addition, reach out to people who make you feel good and who know your true self. Sometimes, just talking to them will be enough to shake you out of your funk.
Take a Step Back
Your first step forward when you feel stuck is to take a step back. Often, we try to get unstuck by pushing forward with sheer force or just trying harder. But as Einstein said,
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
Access a different level of thinking by assessing your current situation from a new viewpoint. Whenever I’m working with clients who feel stuck, this is the first thing I ask them to do.
I have them think about where they are, what got them here, and what they really want. When you step back from your life, career, and challenges and look from a bit of a distance, you see things from a different perspective.
Intuitively, when we feel stuck, whether it’s a problem at work or in relationships, our intuition tells us to step forwards, to force our way through the problem. However, what is often needed is to take a step back from the problem in order to see the bigger picture.
Imagine you are lost in the woods. You could keep moving forward, looking for your way out. You could panic and go in circles. You could head back the way you came.
Imagine instead that you could stop, take a deep breath, and zoom out from your situation. Imagine you could fly above it all as if you were in a helicopter and look down at yourself among the trees.
What could you see or notice differently from this perspective – a different route, people there to support you, the way out is closer than you thought?
Another way to zoom out is to look at your situation as a neutral observer. Imagine you’re a fly on the wall watching your life. What insights or advice would you give yourself?
Identify your goal
As David Welch, PhD, professor of political science at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and author of Decisions, Decisions: The Art of Effective Decision Making, explains, “People who aren’t self-reflective are going to end up making bad decisions because they don’t really know what they want in the first place.” Before you switch jobs, ask yourself: Do I really want a different career? Or do I just want a different boss? Don’t make a decision based on the wrong problem.
Block Out Negativity, And Take Ownership
If your current funk was partly triggered by the negativity of others (or by people telling you how you should behave), turn your full attention to your mission in life and to your vision of what your realized dream will look like.
Your life is under your full control, and no one else’s! After all, you know what’s best. Get in tune with the sense of trust you have in yourself, e.g. by repeating your most empowering affirmations or by writing down all the negative messages that have been bothering you and then writing down positive beliefs that counteract these limiting statements.
“A well-defined problem presents its own solution.”
For example, there are big differences between, “I feel stuck” and “I feel stuck because I’m overwhelmed with the details” or “I feel stuck because I’m worried what people are going to think of me.” Once you name it, you are more likely to be able to tame it and keep moving forward.
One of the most important questions I ask clients is, “What’s getting in the way?” When they answer, the next question is always, “What else?” We continue along this route until we feel we’ve gotten to the real, underlying issue(s).
Seek to uncover the underlying issues that are getting in your way and stopping you from progressing. You can do this by journaling, talking to someone who knows you well, or simply taking the time to ask yourself these questions.
Once you name it, perhaps the solution will then present and tame itself.
Once you have taken a step back, it is time to zoom back in and get specific. It is hard to move forward if you don’t know what the problem actually is. It’s like trying to score without knowing where the goalposts are.
It is important to get as specific as possible. Ask yourself, ‘What is really getting in the way?’ It might be that you are worried about what people will think. Ask yourself ‘Why?’ Why are you worried about what people will think? Keep getting deeper and more specific with each ‘why’. You can also try asking yourself ‘What else?’ What else is stopping you?
Let go of the past
Chances are you are looking at your future life through filters of fear and failures from your past. And this is what is holding you back from truly moving forward.
You need to realize that your past is exactly that, the past. This doesn’t mean that you should try and make yourself forget about your past. Because, firstly, it is pretty much impossible, and, secondly, the past has still taught you some valuable lessons. What you need to do is to let go of the negative emotions and limiting beliefs, so that they lose power over your future.
Reconnect to Your Why
Feeling stuck is often because you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture and what’s important. You’ve lost your why.
Why did you start this in the first place? What reasons, values, or passions drove you to make this change in your life? What picture do you have for yourself, your business, and your life?
By reminding yourself of your original intention and purpose, it gives you the intrinsic motivation to get back on track and move ahead.
Connecting to your deeper ‘why’ will be the fuel that keeps you going, even through tough times and roadblocks.
Whatever you’re stuck on right now, grab a journal and ask yourself: Why is this important to me? Why did I start this in the first place? What am I trying to achieve here, and why is that important to me?
Join the Fast-Track Class – Activate Your Motivation and the free focused-session will guide you to figure out this “why” and help you build your motivation drive and always stay motivated. Join the free class now!
Dig deep for options
Even when it seems like we are completely stuck, there are always options. Very often we shut options down before the idea has even fully formulated. Sit down and write a list or brainstorm of as many ideas as you can, even ones that sound far-fetched and ridiculous. When you have run out of ideas, push yourself to write down two more!
When you look down at your list, you might see options that aren’t possible, that aren’t enjoyable, or that aren’t perfect, but a lot of the time, there are no perfect solutions. We just have to pick the best option and move forward with it. Moving forward with a less than perfect solution is often better than being endlessly stuck.
If you’re stuck in a funk because you have a particular task you don’t want to tackle and you’re paralyzed by the thought, find something small that you can do in order to secure a “win.”
Small steps take you on long journeys. Break your biggest, unpleasant task down into lots of little sub-tasks and do at least one of them today. Even this act can help you feel like you’re moving forward and can make dreaded or intimidating tasks seem manageable. And if one of the broken down tasks looks too big, break that down as well!
It is important to find out what one big thing is holding you back. Everyone has something.
For example, it may be an old relationship or a dead end job. Do you know what’s yours?
Usually, when you know what it is and when you get rid of it, all the other small things (like doubts or toxic people) get out of your way much easier.
So ask yourself this, if you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
Got it? There you go. That’s the one thing you should work the hardest on. And don’t worry if you’re having trouble locating that one thing. Our Law of Attraction Toolkit has all the resources you need to start living your best life.
Brainstorm Your Options
We often feel stuck because we don’t see any way out from our current situation — we feel we don’t have what it takes to start opening up new doors and further our personal development.
By brainstorming ideas and possibilities, you expand your mind and open your thinking to finding a new solution. When you can see potential options, you won’t feel so trapped anymore.
This is not about deciding the one thing or making the right choice, it’s about allowing your creative mind to expand and see all the potential possibilities. We often dive straight into finding the right one and eliminate anything that doesn’t feel perfect.
That’s why so many people feel stuck. They are attempting to find the next right career, the best way to handle a situation, or the one perfect idea. This can lead to a lot of stress and analysis paralysis.
If you hate your career, what new potential careers are on your mind? List them all out — even the ones that seem unrealistic or silly.
If you’re unhappy in your relationship, what can you do? There are likely a lot more options than you’ve considered. What are they?
Make a list of options for your current situation – as crazy or “out there” as they might be. When you think you’ve thought of everything, ask yourself, “What other options are there?” This allows you to dig deeper and see ideas you might not have otherwise explored. Then, and only then, can you start to identify the way forward.
Shift your focus
Often when we are stuck, we need to take a complete break from trying to solve the problem. As Einstein said, we can’t solve the problem in the same frame of mind that the problem was created.
Do something completely different from whatever you were trying to do; go for a walk, run, or workout. Do some meditation, free flow writing, reading, or take a shower.
Stick To A Schedule
Being stuck in a funk usually involves inaction, so one of the best things you can do for yourself is to draw up a schedule and then stick to it religiously. Even if you don’t currently have a job (or you’re self-employed), figure out your “hours of operation” and commit to working your way through your task lists during these times.
Even just beginning with an hour a week, three nights a week is a great start! You can then gradually increase the amount of time you devote to working on your goals.
Take a Brain Break
When we take a brain break, it refreshes our thinking and helps us discover another solution to a problem or see a situation through a different lens. The brain break actually helps to incubate and process new information.
A great brain break is to do something physical that gets you in flow. Take a hike, a run, a walk around the block. Another well-known brain break is meditation — which has so many proven benefits
Let go of limiting beliefs
What are some of the limiting beliefs that might be holding you back? Everyone has limiting beliefs, they are often things that we grew up hearing or seeing around us. It might be that we don’t ask for what we want because we fear rejection. Ask yourself why you fear rejection. What is the worst that could happen? It might be that we don’t challenge ourselves because we fear failure. Why? What is the worst that could happen?