By Louise Bauer Davoli
Do you drag your feet to work each day? Feel unchallenged or lack a clear picture of where you are headed? We all deal with being stuck at some point in our lives and in some area of our lives. Finding our way through work and creating a sense of purpose in our day-to-day job takes effort and focus.
The feeling of uncertainty and being aware of your unrest, unhappiness, and longing for something richer, more balanced and meaningful in any area of your life provides the first clue that you may be stuck. Feeling trapped; compromising your values; being immersed in thoughts from the past; all represent symptoms of being stuck. Thoughts of "there's got to be more than this" feeling bored, scared, protective, petty, exhausted, afraid, or unfulfilled and believing you can have a much more satisfying life are reflections of being stuck. Being stuck may begin with feelings of a dull ache, a nagging sensation tugging at your consciousness and awareness or an acute pain. Experiencing endless turmoil in relationships both at work and in your personal life are perhaps some of the most disturbing forms of being stuck.
Indicators of Being Stuck:
-Sense of helplessness
-Repetitive behavior and hoping for different outcome
Frequently experiencing a sense of helplessness is a key indicator about being stuck. People who stay stuck generally have difficulty motivating themselves to take action. This doesn't mean that people who feel helpless don't work hard. Frequently they work very hard at unrewarding or unpleasant jobs. It's just when they could improve their lives by stretching their minds, learning a new skill, or taking on a challenge that they become afraid or feel inertia overtake them.
Engaging in negative thinking such as, life is overwhelming and bad. Basically no excuse is too small. When considering a change the mind immediately goes to something negative – why it won't work, how hard it is, how it hasn't worked in the past etc. etc.
Keeping life chaotic is another sign of being stuck. When life is chaotic, it lacks focus and often moves from one calamity to another. People who are stuck often have a chaotic approach to problem solving, planning, and organizing their lives. They often get distracted and discouraged, fail to finish tasks, stick to a plan, or budget money for basics.
Repeat the same behavior over and over again and hope the outcome will be different. An example of this may entail nagging your partner, lecturing your children, running your business in a certain way, overeating, avoiding problems, being unhealthy, or being overly tired. People who stay stuck just keep doing the same old thing, hoping by magic there will be a new result, but it rarely happens.