This week I spoke to my friend Leith McKay, host of a podcast called Finding Me about how to navigate through the feeling of being "stuck". What does the word "stuck" mean to you?
I found two definitions that made sense to me:
Stuck: unable to move, or set in a particular position, place or way of thinking
Stuck: in a difficult situation, or unable to change or get away from a situation
I have experienced both definitions of stuck and I can honestly say feeling stuck sucks.
After my chat with Leith, I found myself thinking about why we feel stuck in the first place. Sometimes it is because of an actual situation we are in. When my husband was really ill for all those years, there were many moments whenI felt stuck. I wanted things to be different than they were. I wished I could close my eyes, click my heels three times and make it so. But stuck in that situation I was.
Other times, we become stuck in old ways of thinking. This is equally painful as there is nothing physically stopping us from changing things, but somehow we can't get out of our own way. We may feel frustrated or a bit anxious, but feel unable to move forward even though we're not satisfied with where we are. I've felt like this when I was in a job I enjoyed but wasn't completely aligned with where I saw my future. It was a good job and the thought of letting it go was downright frightening.
How does the feeling of being stuck show up for you? For me feeling stuck ranges from feelings of frustration to listlessness to dissatisfaction.
So how do we unstuck (or is it unstick?) ourselves?
1. We accept the problem, situation or circumstances. Someone we love is ill, our child is home-bound because of lockdowns, a relationship is not working out, we aren't happy in our job. We can't move on to solutions if we don't accept the problem. Sometimes the only thing we need to accept is that we're not feeling aligned or content, even if we don't yet know why.
2. We listen to what's in our heart. The thing is deep down, you know what it is that you desire. You know what it is that you need. We just need to give ourselves the space and quiet to listen to what's in our heart. The wisdom is within us. Maybe we haven't been listening because we're afraid of the floodgates opening - once you know what you need, now you actually have to go about getting it. So we stop ourselves from even getting to that point.
3. We write it down. Writing it down is a way of being honest with yourself. Before you take your thoughts and feelings and form them to communicate to someone else, you need to articulate them to yourself. Sit down with a pretty journal, and write down what's in your heart. Without judgement, write down what you truly desire.
4. We find our community. It is very important that you find the right people to share your dreams and desires with. At this point they are still very delicate, fragile even. One wrong comment and they might just retreat back into their shell. Find a friend or person in your life who will listen with an open heart. Sometimes this might not be someone who is very close to you but instead is someone you intuitively know will get it.
5. We start taking inspired action. Once we've gotten clear on where we are and where we want to go, we start taking steps from the place of our vision instead of from our feeling of "stuckness". Through those years that my husband was ill, there were times I felt anything but inspired. But when I focused on what lit me up, I was able to move forward. During those years before my husband died, I started a blog, that led me to meet a friend with whom I started a beautiful business with.
Can you relate to feeling stuck? Send me a message at email@example.com with the word "STUCK" and let me share with you something I'm working on to support women like you.
Founder, All You Are