It’s such a common experience to have periods of feeling stuck. You may feel stuck in a job, line of work, relationship or stage of life. The most common thing I hear from my clients is the phenomenon of being ‘stuck in a rut’ – when you’re caught in a repetitive cycle of the same thoughts, feelings and behaviours and you can’t seem to break free.
When you are feeling stuck, it’s a sign you need to reconnect with yourself, shift your mindset and create change. This may be a change in situation or just a change in perspective, either way is equally as meaningful. If you find yourself feeling stuck, here are some steps you can take to break the cycle of doubt, indecision and fear that prevents you from gaining clarity and taking authentic action in your life.
Reconnect with your authentic core
You can get into ruts quite easily if you don’t engage in practices that connect you to yourself. When you create space to tap into your authentic core, you can start to align yourself with what’s important and focus on re-energising yourself to take action.
To connect to your authentic core involves self-reflection. Answering the following questions is a good place to start:
- What are my core values and am I living in alignment with them?
- What activities or experiences make me lose track of time because I enjoy them so much?
- What are my short and long-term goals?
- What accomplishments am I most proud of and why?
- What does success mean to me, and how do I measure it in various aspects of my life?
- What kind of person do I want to become, and what steps can I take to move closer to that vision?
Understand what’s blocking you
Sometimes it can feel like two steps forward one step back because there are obstacles blocking you from getting clarity and forging ahead. These can be internal factors like your self-sabotaging tendencies and external factors like the type of people you surround yourself with.
Take the time to get real with yourself on what’s blocking you and set up some boundaries that help you manage them. A good place to start is by doing an audit on your own negative thought patterns, habits, fears and insecurities and the relationships and environments you’re in that may be unhealthy, toxic or draining. See what is misaligned to your authentic core and brainstorm small actions you can take to start getting unstuck.
Visualise the future
Once you have an understanding of your core values and goals as well as what’s blocking you from moving forward in an aligned way, spend some time visualising the future you want to create for yourself.
Visualisation is a powerful technique that can ignite motivation, confidence, focus and clarity. When you engage in visualization, your brain interprets the mental imagery as a real experience. This process activates the same neural pathways that would be stimulated during the actual event so the more you visualise it the more realistic and therefore possible it becomes.
Nurture a supportive mindset & community
When you nurture a supportive mindset and community you get out of ruts quicker and are less likely to feel stuck in the future. Design a mindset that feels supportive to you and helps you to work through decisions and challenges when they arise. Bear in mind that practicing gratitude, cultivating optimism and taking perspective are all – when practiced regularly – scientifically proven to improve wellbeing and set you up for success in life.
It is equally important to surround yourself with people and places that lift you up and inspire you. Your ability to work through transitions and challenges skyrockets when you have access to trusted individuals that listen and guide you and environments that captivate and inspire you. A change in environment, even for a short period of time can do wonders for your sense of clarity and peace of mind.