Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt emotionally, financially or spiritually stuck? Maybe you are even going through it now.
Well, everyone goes through times in life when we feel like we're walking through quicksand, unable to move forward, yet needing to, and perhaps even pressuring ourselves to take action (even if we know we won't follow through). Or sometimes, we are faced with the self-critical voice that tells us the choices we have been making recently aren’t really getting us anywhere. It can feel overwhelming and discouraging.
Today I want to explore one of the many powerful subconscious drives behind feeling stuck, and share three simple but powerful steps to move forward into a real sense of progress, no matter the facet of your life.
To begin, one of the most common reasons we feel stuck in our lives (in relationships, in our careers, with friends, and so on) is because our subconscious mind perceives that the choices available to us are not actually going to meet our needs. When this happens, these choices feel more like distractions than potential solutions, which can perpetuate feelings of frustration.
For example, say you are struggling with career issues. A new job prospect emerges, but you feel preemptively wary, and decide that it's not the right position, rather than exploring it as a viable possibility. And perhaps it isn't the right position, but in this case, the subconscious mind is likely at work, sabotaging a potentially positive outcome due to fear, anxiety, or another difficult emotion.
In short, feeling stuck is often a reflection of the powerlessness our mind or soul perceives in its current circumstances, and how it feels about it's capacity to meet it’s deepest needs. Whenever our subconscious perceives that even after making a decision the odds are our needs will remain unmet, it will feel paralyzed and in resistance to our conscious decision making.
Being stuck is essentially being out of alignment with ourselves. So use the following three questions to gain clarity and help yourself re-align with your emotional compass. Once you are more aware of the mechanism behind stuck-ness, you'll be better prepared to move into real progress:
1. “What is it that I'm really feeling right now?”
The first step to becoming un-stuck is emotional clarity.
Allow all of your emotions to surface no matter how uncomfortable they may be. Don't distract yourself from them; there is a lot of power in simply sitting with discomfort, allowing it to just be. These emotions could range from feeling anxiety and fear of failure to feeling uninspired and disconnected from your life.
The goal here is to listen with an attentive ear. If your feelings could speak, what would they be telling you? Give your feelings, no matter what they are, a healthy dose of compassion and acceptance, and refrain from emotion. Notice the fluctuations in intensity of different emotions, noticing when new ones arise and other ones subside. Let these variations lead you to peel back the layers that show you what your soul is really feeling.
2. “If I could have anything right now, what would it be?"
Frequently reconnecting to clarity around what you really want is essential to getting out of an energetic rut.
For example, you may feel very stuck in your business, knowing that you need to move forward. Yet subconsciously, you may be afraid that if you move forward, your schedule will become so busy that you wont be able to function. So you don't take action, rationalizing your inaction by telling yourself that your well-being is more important, without making room for possible alternative approaches.
These discrepancies create an impasse, where a part of you is leading forward and a part of you is slamming on the breaks.
But when you become aware of what may be holding you back, you can then work out a plan to grow your business that is also deeply supportive of your well-being, leaving you at ease to move forward.
3. “What are some possible next steps that I'd actually DO?"
Once you are in alignment with what you feel and what you truly want, you have powerful clarity to help you define the next steps you need to take. This is the difference between taking random action or taking inspired, deliberate action.
The focus here is literally on taking the very next small step or next few steps. If your mind starts propelling into the future with a large to-do list, you’ll quickly feel stuck again.
Focus on identifying specific, small outcomes that you want and schedule the next few steps to take action on.
Asking yourself these three questions on a continual basis will lead you to consistent, aligned action that builds sustainable momentum in your life.