Whether you’re trying to get healthy, lose weight, change careers, or improve a relationship—there’s probably an area of your life now that feels stuck. And if you’re anything like me, the more you try to motivate yourself toward change, the more stuck you start to feel.
So what do you do when you can’t get started?
There are times when the question isn’t What should I do next, but rather How do I get going? When I’m in that place, I’ve learned to ask myself a few key questions to help me get unstuck and back on the road to living the life I truly want.
Check out my questions and let’s see if we can get unstuck together!
1. What makes me feel healthy / happy / relaxed / successful?
In order to get moving in a direction it’s often helpful to figure out where you need to go. Pause for a few minutes and reflect on what it means to have what you think you want. It’s not enough to say I want a more loving relationship, you have to paint a mental picture of what that really means to you.
2. Why do I want this?
Sometimes we stay we're stuck because we think we should want the goal we set out for ourselves. We are bombarded with so many messages about who and what we should be and often those external voices set our standards for us. By asking yourself why you want something, you get an opportunity to assess if the thing you're after is really of value to you or just about meeting others' expectations.
3. Why don’t I want to move forward?
Just as important as asking why you want change, you must take time to figure out why you don’t want to change. We all have reasons, often rooted in fear, shame, or guilt, that staying stuck feels safe or familiar. Give yourself permission to explore those feelings without judgment or negative self-talk. You’ll be surprised by what you learn and how it can help you grow.
4. What’s the story I tell myself about why I can’t move forward?
We live our lives by a narrative, a story that we tell ourselves about who we are and why our life is the way it is. The downside is that we're often unaware of the story we're telling and how it keeps us trapped in the same routines and unhealthy patterns. The good news is that stories are meant to be revised, so if you don’t like what you discover, you can always change it.
5. What’s really true and what do I want to do about it?
Once you can identify the story that contributes to where you are now, it’s time to do some fact checking. The stories we live by are made up of a multitude of experiences and often carry over from our past. What used to be true about who you are, what you’re capable of, or what your relationships are like may no longer be accurate. By comparing your internal story to the reality of your life now, you give yourself permission to let go of the unhelpful messages and create new ones based in the present.
These questions are not a magic wand. They will not take you from "stagnant" to "living your dream life" overnight but they offer a new way of seeing yourself and your situation. And sometimes a new perspective is exactly what you need to get unstuck and start changing your life.