Just So You Know, It’s Okay To Feel Stuck Every Now And Then

A teenager looks out the window with a hand on mouth and elbows on the railing.
胡 卓亨 / Unsplash

It’s okay to feel stuck. We don’t talk about that enough. Probably because we’re all trying to show the world how put together we can be. Because we want to live up to expectations. Because we perceive everyone else to be doing so much more than we are, in a way that looks easier than what we’re experiencing at any given moment. It’s easy to look around and only see the victories of others, the favorable end results. But seldom do we try to imagine their roadblocks, how long it actually took them to get to the place where we so desperately wish we could be.

We look at people succeeding and in turn shrink inside of ourselves. We ruminate. We compare without knowing backstories. And as a result, we feel even more stuck than we did in the first place.

What no one tells you, even the ones who have made it to the other side, is that feeling stuck is okay. It’s normal. Sometimes it’s even something that needs to happen. And it’s okay to wallow for a bit. It’s okay to take a hard look at where you are and admit it’s not where you want or need to be. There are so many drops in life and most of the time all you can do is ride the not-so-great parts out.

There are going to be times when you feel like a failure, when you become convinced you’ve been fooling yourself this entire time. When you feel so incredibly stupid for ever thinking you could be more than what you started out as. You’re going to look at every successful person you’ve ever admired and think “not me.”

The truth is that success never comes easy. It’s not a straight line forever climbing upward. It’s okay to feel stuck, but don’t ever lose sight. Be disappointed for a little while, but never let yourself forget that in order to get what you want, you’re going to have to fight and scratch like hell to get it. You’re going to have reach out as far as you can and grab it like it’s something that’s always belonged to you.

Let that stuck feeling shake you out of your rut. Let it inspire you. Find solace in the fact that feeling stuck means you’re trying, that you have a vision of where you want to get and a brief outline of how to get there.

Flesh out a map in your mind. That stuck feeling is your starting point, your new beginning. Build a ladder. Grasp each rung and climb out of the hole you feel you’re in. Mark your destination with an X and plan your path to getting there. Jot down notes when you have an idea. Wake up early each morning and get started when your mind is fresh. Take care of yourself. Evaluate that path.

Realize that stuck is not synonymous with forever.

Because being stuck doesn’t make you a failure. It means your mind is working, that you’re willing to recognize the fact that there’s more out there for you. Take the idea of success in your hands. Start with what you have and keep building.

Take “can’t” and turn it to “will”.

Take “stuck” and replace it with “flight.” TC mark

A writer of creative non-fiction who drinks copious amounts of coffee.

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