After a certain period of time, life can start to become stagnant. Many people describe this feeling as being “stuck.” Some people decide to give into their circumstances and make no attempts at changing their situations. Others would like to make changes but aren’t exactly sure where to get started. Leaving the issue unresolved can lead to a continuous cycle of staleness in their lives. Introspective thinking and questioning is always a useful way to get at the underlying causes of situations and circumstances. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re feeling stuck that may help you find a way to make the changes needed to be a happier person.
1. How much do you enjoy what you do for a living? One of the main reasons people feel stuck is because they’re working at a job that they aren’t fully engaged in. They may even find their work boring. Your career choice is an extremely important factor in your overall wellbeing. We spend a significant portion of our life working so we should carefully choose what we do for a living. Could the situation be improved by moving to a different department? Do you need to quit your job and start over? What would you enjoy doing? Is there a way you can translate your passion into a career?
2. How is your health? There is a definite correlation between your physical and mental health. Does the fact that you’re physically stagnant have anything to do with the fact that you’re mentally stagnant? It probably does. Ask yourself what you can start doing to increase the amount of exercise you’re doing. Be realistic with yourself. Ask yourself what amount of commitment you’re truly able to make and follow through with.
3. When is the last time you’ve gone outside of your comfort zone? Have you been playing it safe? When was the last time you tried to learn a new skill that you’re unfamiliar with? When was the last time you asserted yourself and spoke your mind when you knew you had something relevant to say? One of the reasons you may be feeling stuck is that you’re not reaching the outer edges of your comfort zone, which is the only way to grow as an individual.
4. What will happen if you continue to live this way? This involves some soul searching and telling yourself the harsh truths that you may need to hear. What will your life look like five, ten, or twenty years from now if you continue to do the things you’ve been doing? Do you like what you see? It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day routine and lose sight of the bigger picture. Taking a long view of your life will help you realize that what you do each day has a major impact on your future.
5. What have you been putting off? What are some of the things you say you’d like to try but haven’t attempted yet? Do you want to learn a new language, play an instrument, or travel? Dust off your bucket list and start making progress towards checking off some of the items on it.
6. Are you using your strengths? What are you good at? What are the skills and talents that are innate and unique to you? How often do you get to utilize these strengths? Is your career path aligned with your positive qualities? Many people feel that they know their strengths, but oftentimes they can be wrong. Take some time to do a self assessment and find out more about the qualities that make you a valuable asset. After you’ve figured that out, find a way to structure your life around these strengths. You can only build upon strength, and while it’s okay to sure up some of your weak spots, you can never truly build upon weakness.
7. What do you hate? We are often told to follow our passions and do what we love. We should also consider the things that we hate. What annoys you? What bothers you? What types of people do you dislike working for? What environments do you dislike being in? Avoiding negative situations can be just as beneficial as seeking positive ones.
8. What would you be doing if you had six months to live? What if you were told that your time on earth was limited? I’m sure you probably wouldn’t spend it sitting still and awaiting your final moments. You’d probably do all of the things you’ve been putting off. You may reach out to the people closest to you and spend as much time with them as possible. You would quickly figure out the most important areas that needed to be done and take action. One of the best ways to get unstuck is to realize that you truly don’t know how much time you have left on this planet and live accordingly.
9. What are you so afraid of? Get to the root of why you’re so afraid of making changes in your life. There are two types of people in this world – people who face their fears and people who don’t. The difference in the quality of their lives is dramatic. We’re all afraid of something. It takes courage to face your fears and push forward anyways. Is what you’re facing truly terrifying or is it all in your head? Has anyone else made it through a similar situation and done the things you’re afraid of? If so, it’s possible for you to face your fears and do them as well.
10. Who can you talk to? Is there a specific member of your family you can talk to help you work through your problems? Perhaps it’s a close friend. Do you need to seek professional help to resolve these feelings? Human beings are social animals for a reason. We developed social capabilities to improve our chances of survival. We need other people, and it is okay to ask others for assistance if you think they can help you.
11. What’s the first step I can take? Making changes and heading in a new direction can seem incredibly difficult. If you focus on the entire journey you’re never going to make any progress. Success comes from a long series of small events that build upon each other. Use the domino effect to achieve extraordinary results. You’ve probably seen an elaborate domino display before. The momentum from one domino carries over to the rest until they’ve all fallen to the floor. Treat each step in the process of changing like an individual domino and line them up accordingly. The trick is to figure out what do to first. Find the first domino and whack away at it until it falls.