It’s December, and for some people, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s time to get together with friends and family members we haven’t seen in ages, time to gather around the table eating elaborate dishes, time to listen to nostalgic music that bring back so many memories.
And yet for so many others, it’s the most dreaded time of the year. Time to get together with friends and family members we haven’t seen in ages, time to gather around the table eating elaborate dishes, time to listen to nostalgic music that bring back so many memories… you get the gist.
“For me, it’s a reminder I don’t feel like I have anything to bring to the table,” says Miriam, a 34-year-old graphic designer. “I just know I’m going to get the ‘when are you getting married?’ questions and the ‘are you still really trying to make that business happen?’ interrogation.
“I don’t know. It’s like I’m on autopilot or something. I’m just going through the motions. I’ve been feeling like that for a while, but since it’s the holidays and I’m readying myself for the questions, I’m asking myself the same thing.
“Why am I stuck?”
The truth is that everyone feels stuck sometimes, and there are a number of reasons why. Here are some of the most common:
Fear of uncertainty. Some of us wish we had a crystal ball to tell us what’s next and that everything’s going to be okay. Uncertainty can leave a lot of people scared and worried about taking the next step.
Burnout/overwhelm. This is a big one – when we feel like we’ve just been dealing with one major stressor after another, and nothing seems to be moving forward but only in a tornado of chaos, that can result in feeling stuck too. Some of us think of being stuck as being in a space of nothingness or boredom, but one can be just as stuck in a tumultuous reality that feels unforgiving.
Feeling purposeless or passionless. You may have heard this phrase before: what’s your why? Why do you do what you do? What makes you move forward?
When you don’t have a dream, when you don’t have goals, when you haven’t carved out a blueprint for your life path, you may feel uninspired. This lack of direction could very well be the reason you feel stuck. It’s not because you are stuck – it might just be because you haven’t given yourself a compass or a map for where to head to next.
Okay… so how do we get unstuck?
After you figure out the reason why you’re feeling as though you’re in your own reboot of Groundhog Day, now it’s on you to find the ways to get unstuck that work for you. Here are some suggestions.
Love yourself first. On a piece of paper, write out all the things you love about yourself. It could be the color of your eyes. It could be your sense of kindness. It could be taking pride in the hugs you give. When we’re stuck, we tend to focus on the yucky parts of ourselves – so writing down what makes us awesome is a great start to move forward.
Start a vision board. Do you know what you want for your life? What kind of job do you want to have? What kind of home? What about your health – do you want to gain weight, get toned, get healthier? What kind of people do you want to surround yourself with?
When you can visualize what you want, it’s that much easier to seek it. Too often, we think about the things we don’t want, and then are shocked when those things show up. That’s because without realizing it, we’re probably looking for those things! Try looking for the things that you DO want, and watch it all unfold.
Get responsible. Remember that while there’s a lot out there that seems to be out of our control, there’s a heck of a lot that is in our control. Didn’t get the job you wanted? Brush up on your interviewing skills, get networking, and build yourself a new LinkedIn profile. Broken heart? Date yourself, treat yourself to the things you wish a partner would give you, and enjoy the time learning about who you are now.