When you feel like you should just be happy with something, put up with whatever makes you miserable, or you feel like you don’t have choices, you may be feeling stuck in life. If it’s work, home, or life in general, you can make changes and get unstuck.
Feeling stuck in life means you feel like you don’t have choices, or there’s something about your life that has you in a rut. Common areas for feeling stuck are work, life, and emotions that get us feeling stuck in life and can be changed with motivation and willingness to make changes.
Are you bored or unhappy with your current job or just feel like there must be something else out there? Are you looking for a change, a way out?
What Does It Mean To Feel Stuck in Life?
When you feel stuck in life, it means that you feel like there’s no other place to go. There are no choices. Whether it’s in your career, where you live, or your general life and current state of emotions-you can feel stuck in life when you can’t see that changes can and should be made.
Feeling stuck in life can refer to a sense of being trapped or being unable to progress in life. It often may include feeling unfulfilled or like you’re standing still or lacking direction. People may experience this sense of being stuck in various aspects of their lives, including:
- Personal growth
- Life satisfaction
Areas in Life Where People Feel Stuck
There are multiple areas in life where people can feel stuck. Personal, professional, mental, and in general are all common places to feel stuck.
Career is a common place where people feel stuck. It could be due to education needs, monetary needs, even comfort level can keep people feeling stuck in their career. Often times, advancing in a career requires further education-and that (usually) costs money. It’s already challenging to cover all the bills from month to month, and changing careers or positions could affect that ability. If one is comfortable in a job it can be difficult to decide to make a change. Change is scary-as is rejection.
Life can also get us feeling stuck where we’re at. We get stuck in a home because we signed a lease, are paying a mortgage, need to be near work or school, or perhaps your partner/spouse is happy where they’re at. Maybe it’s a problem with drugs or alcohol, which is a difficult situation to be stuck in. There’s also our friends who are around us and doing the same things, and we don’t want to lose the social aspect.
Our life is the same from day to day and changing that could change many other things. We stay where we’re at in life because we’re comfortable and again-change is scary.
Emotionally we get stuck for several different reasons. If we experience a loss, we are saddened and don’t want to move on, forget, or feel like we’re leaving someone behind that we care a great deal about. It could be a traumatic event that brings us stress even after the fact. If it’s a mental illness, it’s easy to not seek help and continue with the same behaviors that assist us in the process of just “getting by”. This may be alright for a while, but in the long run it’s not healthy.
Our life is the same from day to day and changing that could change many other things.
What To Do When You Feel Stuck in Life
So you’ve identified that there’s a problem. Now you’re asking, what to do when you feel stuck in life? Let’s talk about how to make a change.
1. You must first be able to identify that you feel stuck in life. Perhaps you’re not happy with things in general, or you’re tired of the same thing day in and day out. Maybe you’re just in need of a minor change, but let’s figure out what it is.
2. Why do you feel stuck? Is it your work? Is it your neighborhood? Is it your relationship? Try to pin down what and where is making you feel stuck in life. Try journaling your thoughts, being more present, and pinning down your feelings with every action you take.
3. Be willing to make a change. You can’t expect others to change-you can ask but it usually doesn’t get you anywhere. Get outside of your comfort zone. Don’t fear change-without it, nothing changes. Change means personal and professional growth, and that’s always a good thing.
4. Figure out the what/why/how in regards to making that change. Do you need to go back to school? Do you need to change jobs? Do you need to ask for a reassignment, raise, promotion, or relocation? Is it time to pursue what you’ve always wanted to do? What would it take to get you there?
5. Don’t be afraid of student loans if you’re looking at furthering your education. There are good loans and bad loans, just as there are good schools and not-so-good schools. Be smart about taking out student loans-just because they offer you $20k for a semester doesn’t mean you accept that amount.
6. See what’s out there! Look at different neighborhoods, different homes, different jobs, even different careers. Talk with your partner/spouse about how they feel about you making a change. If they’re supportive, and if you’ve got the courage, make that change. Quit your job (or cut back your hours), try something new, take better care of yourself, relocate, whatever it is that can help you get unstuck.
7. Don’t burn your bridges. Leave adequate notice at work, fulfill your lease agreement, and don’t alienate people-you may need them in the future. That way if things don’t work out, you’ve got something to fall back on-a support system.
8. Work hard, be happy, and embrace change. You never know what it may bring you in life. Hopefully someday soon you’ll be able to look back and say “I did that!” and be so proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished.
How Do You Get Unstuck in Life?
In order to get unstuck in life, you’ve got to be willing to make a change. Sometimes it’s small, sometimes it’s big. It takes motivation, but also willingness to change or make changes.
What Causes a Person To Become Stuck?
When a person becomes stuck, it’s usually because they get comfortable. It’s comforting for some to have stability, constants, and a steady paycheck. As long as they’re able to pay the bills and buy the things they need (and want), they can simply become stagnant and maintain status quo.
How Do You Get Out of an Unmotivated Rut?
To get out of an unmotivated rut, it helps to find motivation. Sometimes it’s looking at the big picture and realizing “I’m unhappy with this…” or “This makes me miserable…” or even “I can’t do this anymore”. People are motivated by many different things: money, location, basic needs, dreams, etc. What’s your motivation? What makes you want to get out of your rut?
Here is a helpful Ted Talk that suggests first steps to successful change to getting unstuck.
Moments In Time Real People Have Felt Stuck
I asked several family and friends to name two times/moments in their life that, at some point, they have felt stuck, past or present. Here is what they shared and what I learned from the poll:
|Time/Moment of Being Stuck
|Tally of Family/Friends
|Work demands too high, pay too low
|Someone got promoted over me with less experience/tenure/education
|Unhappy in marriage
|Dislike my neighborhood
|Can’t find a job/don’t meet qualifications
|Unable to afford bills/rent/food
|Want to relocate but spouse/partner doesn’t
|Couldn’t pass a course/finish college
|Lack of coworker support in my new role
|No assistive resources available in my area
|Teenage son/daughter won’t speak to me
|Spouse has a drinking problem
|Aging parents deny they need help or assisted living
|Feelings/interests have changed
- Letting Go – How to Have More by Carrying Less
- The Art of Letting Go – Successful Techniques for Happiness
- Attachment Theory – Keys to Simple, Meaningful Relationships
- How To Let Go Of The Past – Insightful Benefits and Steps
- Let Go of Control – A Genuine Way to Feel More Free
- How To Disconnect – My Methods to Reflect and Recharge
We all experience feeling stuck in life at one time or another-it’s almost inevitable. It’s only human to want to stay in the same place, same job, same life-even if it doesn’t make us happy-because it’s comfortable. With motivation and a little bit of courage, we can make any change we want and do or be whatever we dream of and want most. What will you change in your life?