About five years ago I felt completely stuck in my life. Most days I just did the minimum necessary to get by. Each day looked much like the last.
I was working a job I’d never wanted. While there were parts of the job I’d come to appreciate—namely, some of the people—the stress of working under poor management, low pay, and years of fighting to get enough sleep on third shift had taken their toll.
My husband and I had purchased an old house to fix up. I loved the house’s character, but the projects were never-ending. I was so tired of living in a construction zone.
I almost always felt too drained to bother working on the things that usually interested me. I rarely sewed. I didn’t even read much anymore. We stopped planning fun things to do. It was easier to sit in front of the TV.
My husband and I both applied for jobs that had the potential to change our situation. Each rejection sapped more of my hope that anything would ever be different. I felt like I was waiting for something, but I didn’t know what it was. Over time I stopped believing it would ever come.
Instead of looking for possibilities or trying something new to pull myself out of the rut, I resigned myself to the idea that I was incapable of changing anything and that nothing would ever get better.
Eventually, my husband did get a new job that took us to a different city and shook us out of the patterns we’d fallen into. Once there was a reason to get moving, life became more interesting again.
After finishing all those lingering house projects and selling our home, we spent our free time exploring our new city. I renewed my interest in reading and tried writing for the first time in years. I focused on developing my sewing skills. I started sleeping better.
Of course, the newness didn’t last forever. Even though many aspects of our situation have improved I still get stuck from time to time.
There are times when my mind is overflowing with things I want to share with you. Then I’ll go through a stretch when I can’t think of anything worth writing about and worry that I’ve permanently used up all my ideas.
Sometimes we watch too much TV because it’s easier than deciding on something more interesting to do.
There are times when I feel like I’m really growing and learning and times when I seem to be running up against the same issues over and over.
The thing I’m realizing is that we all get stuck sometimes. Life has a natural ebb and flow. I don’t need to make it my goal to never feel stuck. But when I am stuck, I don’t want to just wait for something to change.
Over the past few years, I’ve been learning ways to recognize when I’m stuck and gently get myself moving again. I created a destuckifying toolkit for myself so that I have possibilities to reach for when I start to worry that I’ve hit a dead end.
I can’t give you a secret formula to keep you from ever getting stuck again, but I can help you support yourself through the process. Whether we’re stuck in one little area or our entire lives seem to be standing still, we don’t have to just wonder whether things will ever get better.
We’re all different and my toolkit might not hold the tools you need most. Instead, I put together a guide to walk you through creating your own personalized destuckifying toolkit. You can get it here for free, along with access to the entire Self-Trust Library.
I’d love to know…when have you felt particularly stuck? What helped you get moving again?