There comes a point in everyone’s life where we reach a fork in the road. It could be a career, it could be a relationship, it could be figuring out our life purpose. When we get to that point, and feel stuck, it’s the universe giving us a signal that things need to shake and move. Being stuck comes to us at different stages in our life and getting unstuck is a sign of growth. The danger is that if we’re not aware that we’re stuck, our lives could fly before us like the blink of an eye.
Fear is a deep-rooted cause of being stuck. Fear of the unknown, fear of survival, fear of rejection, fear of finances and fear of failure. I’m often reminded of a story I vaguely remember; it starts with a man coming to the edge of a cliff and rather than jumping to get to the other side, he thinks he needs to go back from where he started. Just then an angel comes before him and says, “Jump, and I will catch you.” How many of us will actually jump knowing that there’s nothing to fear because the angel is by our side. If we truly believe in our hearts that the universe is conspiring in our favour, jumping is not really a daunting experience. However, if we feel we lack support, we lack trust in ourselves, and we’re doomed to fail, jumping off the cliff is not an option. In fact, we take backward steps because we’re safer in our comfort zone and being in our comfort zone, risks are not needed.
Being stuck is similar—we get stuck because something in our soul is acting contrary to how and what we should be doing with our lives—and we can go on for years doing the contrary, but when the soul has had enough and wants to actualize itself, then we find our restlessness, our stuckness and that’s when we need to wake up. Yesterday, I had a wonderful opportunity to listen to a webinar by Elisa Balabram about getting unstuck. Sometimes, we may know these answers in our heart already, but when someone gives voice to those answers—and reinforces them—we have to take it as a sign that the universe is talking to us.
Recognize your fears and work through them. Pay attention to the signals your body gives you when you become fearful. But most of all face your fears. An example—someone you know wants to start their own business, but the fear of financial instability is daunting to them and that’s what makes them stuck. Working through that “named fear” and writing about it is important to get to a level of feeling comfortable with the uncertain.
We could find many excuses with being stuck: lack of time, lack of energy, lack of resources, and the most important—that we’re not good enough. Whatever it is that we’re stuck with, if we’re not tuned into it, it could lead us into a deep sort of depression. I call it depression because no matter how many opportunities that may present before us, we are unable to move. To move out of that depression, we need motivation to want to change our situation, and we need an eye opener. The latter sometimes comes to us in life situations—it could come to us in the form of a job loss, long-term unemployment, a death, a break up, a miscarriage, a birth of a child and major life changes. In life we’re always in the position of making choices. The choice to react, the choice to do nothing, and the choice to make a decision. When any of the above occurs, how we respond and the choices we make regarding these circumstances is what can contribute to being stuck in situations.
There’s a large creative force in each of us that needs to be unleashed. We don’t realize the vastness that exists within us and to me that’s one way of getting unstuck. By allowing that creative force to flow, we allow for room to grow. Then instead of reaching a fork in the road, we create many paths for ourselves. The road becomes vast and whatever situation we’re in won’t appear so bleak. But to do that our creative juices need to flow. What does being creative mean to you? Creativity is as important to me as breathing. Creativity for me means writing and being able to work on a project and share it with others. Creativity is essential to sustaining my life force and when that piece is stuck I know I’m in big trouble.
Support is all around us if we allow ourselves to feel it and believe in it—the only problem is lack of faith in ourselves. It doesn’t matter how many times people tell you that you’re creative, if you don’t feel it, it doesn’t matter. What matters is working through that inner critic so you can accept yourself and the genius you’re meant to be. Teachers are ever present if we allow ourselves to be open to them. They come to you in the form of a negative experience, they come to you in the form of an article, they come to you in the form of a friend, and lastly they come to you when you least expect them.
Lastly, if you hear something more than once take it as a sign. An example—since last year I’ve embarked on various 30-day challenges—even if the challenge didn’t yield the desired product—I came out of that challenge a better person and I took with me life lessons. Lesson: making a commitment with yourself for a specific number of days and holding yourself accountable for each day’s challenge gives you motivation, excitement, energy and passion. At the end of it, you’ve moved and shifted that unstuck energy in a positive direction.
Read more on this topic in LIFE IS CHANGE: Learn to let go of fear and accept change>>
Anjali Mani, LMSW, has a background in Interpersonal Violence, Trauma and Holistic living. She is passionate about Journaling as a Healing Tool and strongly encourages the use of writing as a healing tool. She has facilitated Workshops on the Therapeutic Benefits of Journal Writing and is also interested in Journaling as a Mindfulness Practice. For more information, visit her blog or Facebook page.