Do you feel like life is just passing you by? Like everyone around you is just moving forward with their lives, making all these big changes, and yet you’re here caught in a loop, stuck in the same old patterns and feeling so empty inside. If you’ve ever found yourself in this season of your life, this post will guide you through the steps on how to move forward in life when you feel stuck.
Two years ago, this was exactly how I felt. Every day felt like time was just passing me by. I mean I knew that I wanted something different. I was badly longing for a breakthrough but somehow, I felt like I was stuck in place, frozen and paralyzed.
Every day, I was just going through the motions of life on autopilot. Just aimlessly wandering without any sense of purpose and meaning. I felt so empty and hollow inside.
And honestly, feeling lost also made me feel bad about myself. I thought that after digging myself out of rock bottom, I was finally making headway. I thought that I was finally making these huge positive strides of improvement.
But then out of nowhere life hit me with another curveball, it seemed like suddenly my determination and motivation fizzled out and I find myself hitting a dead-end. I felt like I was going nowhere, and that made me feel like a total failure.
It made me doubt my capabilities and it made me start believing that I was never really good enough to improve my life. But I was wrong.
Because one of the things that I’ve learned from navigating that season of my life is, feeling stuck is not an indication of your capabilities or your worth. Everyone faces moments of uncertainty and the feeling of being stuck in a rut and it is not in any chance a validation of one’s abilities and value.
Instead of viewing this feeling as a bad thing, we can consider feeling stuck as the perfect opportunity for reinvention, growth and self improvement. And let me tell you, regardless of where you are in life right now, it’s never too late to take action and move forward.
You are capable of navigating through these moments and come out of the other side stronger and wiser. In this post, I will be sharing with you lessons and tips that I have learned while I was navigating the feeling of being stuck.
These lessons and tips have tremendously helped me move forward. I’m hoping that these will help you too!
How To Move Forward In Life When You Feel Stuck
1. Let Go Of What No Longer Serves You
Learning to let go of what no longer serves you is a crucial step in helping you break free from the feeling of being stuck. For the longest time, I was guilty of holding on to things and people that were no longer good for me just because they felt familiar and comfortable.
I wasn’t very good with change and so instead of letting go of the things, habits, and people that were only keeping me unhappy, I chose to hold on to them for as long as I can. I was so terrified of things changing that I’d rather just stay unhappy instead of opening myself up to change and all the uncertainties that come along with it.
But the thing is, if we continue to hold on to the things that are only dragging us down and keeping us unhappy, we are also missing out on the chance to create a space for new opportunities, growth, and inner peace.
Remember that time is fleeting. Let us not waste our life holding on to the things that are no longer bringing us joy just because they feel familiar. Let’s give ourselves the chance to break free from what is holding us back, rediscover ourselves, and say yes to new relationships and fresh opportunities that align with our values and goals.
I know that letting go is not easy. It is scary and overwhelming but it is so worth it. And please know that you have within you the strength and courage to let go of what’s no longer serving you and finally move forward with your life happier and fulfilled.
2. Reflect On Your Goals And Priorities
If you want to learn how to move forward in life when you feel stuck, one of the very first things that you have to do is to allow yourself some time to reflect. Reflecting allows you to revisit your goals and priorities.
I know that as we progress in life, along the way our priorities and goals may change that’s why it’s so important to take the time to reassess them and determine if they are still aligning with our values to make sure that we are really pursuing the things that truly matters to us.
Remember that your reflection will not be complete without taking action. Once you have allowed yourself the time needed to reflect on your goals and priorities, it’s time to set new goals and create a plan.
Break down your goals into actionable steps. Remember that there is nothing wrong with taking small steps. So please don’t hesitate to break down big tasks into small manageable ones.
When we break our goals into smaller tasks, we are making them feel less scary and overwhelming and much easier to achieve. Doing this will make it easier for us to follow through and stick with it.
3. Start With The Easiest Task
When I was trying to move forward and break free from the feeling of being stuck, one of the things that I struggled with was a lack of motivation to follow through with my goals and plans.
I was wrestling with self doubt and I was constantly questioning if my efforts were all in vain thinking that I wasn’t really good enough to turn my life around. And the thing that really helped me with these struggles is by starting with the easiest tasks.
Often when we are faced with a long to-do list, just the thought of doing all those tasks can be easily paralyzing and overwhelming. During those moments the best thing to do is to identify the easiest task. The task that requires the least effort.
Once you have identified the task, try working on it for a just short duration to combat the feeling of overwhelm. Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and commit yourself to work on the easiest task for that duration.
Doing this makes the first step less daunting and often, you will find yourself continuing even after your timer goes off. This will also give you that much-needed confidence and motivation boost once you’ve crossed the task off your to-do list.
4. Embrace Imperfections
Growing up, I was made to believe that mistakes were an indication of my worth and value and that it was a bad thing. So naturally, I did everything that I can to constantly be perfect and to avoid making a mistake thinking that this was the only way for me to be enough and worthy.
I held on to that belief for the longest time and let me tell you, living a life of constantly chasing perfection is so exhausting and mentally and emotionally draining. Constantly striving for perfection will only lead you to unhappiness and disappointment.
Because the reality is, regardless of how hard we try, human as we are we are all bound to make mistakes. Perfection is nothing but an illusion. Constantly pursuing it will often only paralyze us and prevent us from growing and unlocking our fullest potential.
One of the key steps in learning how to move forward in life when you feel stuck is by learning to embrace your imperfections and seeing mistakes as proof that you are trying, instead of a bad thing.
Remember that striving for excellence and perfection is two different things. While there’s no denying that striving for excellence is admirable, constantly pursuing and obsessing over perfection on the other hand can be paralyzing which can ultimately lead to us feeling stuck.
One of the kindest things that you can do is to set yourself free from the burden of constantly trying to be perfect and embrace yourself wholeheartedly, flaws and mistakes included.
Doing this does not only help you create a safe space where you are allowed to make mistakes, learn, grow, and continue to become the best possible version of yourself. It will also help you live authentically and meaningfully.
Here is a great post from Psychology Today that will help you learn how to embrace your imperfections.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Seek Advice Or Guidance
When we are struggling in life, most of us are guilty of wanting to figure everything out on our own. I’m certainly no stranger to this feeling.
When I was navigating the lowest point of my life, I didn’t want anyone to know what I was going through thinking that I will just end up burdening other people with my problems. So, I carried on and pretended that I was perfectly okay while deep inside I was struggling so badly.
But it was wrong for me to do that because one thing that I’ve learned is you will never be a burden to the people who truly love you. They want to help you. They want to listen to you and when they ask you how you are doing, they genuinely want to know how you’re feeling.
They may not always exactly understand what you’re going through but they will be more than willing to listen and help you navigate the challenges of life. You don’t have to go through it alone. Asking for help is never a sign of weakness.
When you’re feeling stuck, please don’t hesitate to reach out to someone that you trust. You’ll never know their insights might be just what you need to gain clarity and find a different perspective that’ll help you move forward in life.
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6. Break Away From Your Routine And Try Something New
We all fall into routines. They are comfortable and they make us feel safe and in control. But sometimes when we get caught up in the monotonous cycle of our routines, we may find ourselves just merely going through the motions of life without really engaging with it.
We become so complacent with it that we end up standing still and keeping ourselves from growing. When you feel stuck in life, one of the things that you can do to break free from that feeling is by shaking up your routine and trying something new.
I know that opening ourselves up to new things is not always exciting, sometimes it can also feel so daunting and terrifying that we just end up choosing to live our lives on autopilot instead of stepping outside our comfort zones.
This is exactly how I felt. I have always had this bad habit of wanting to control everything that’s why having a structured routine was so important for me because it gave me a sense that I was in control.
But the thing is, if we want to break free from the feeling of being stuck, we have to challenge ourselves to embrace new experiences and try new things. We need to have the courage to step outside our comfort zones and try something new.
If breaking away from your routine makes you feel overwhelmed, start small. You don’t have to make huge changes right away. You can maybe start by changing your morning routine.
Start your day by doing something different. It can be as simple as waking up early, taking a morning walk, or meditating. Anything that’ll help set a positive tone for the rest of your day.
7. Set Boundaries ( To Manage Your Time And Energy )
How many times have you overextended yourself to other people? How many times have you chosen to put your needs on the back burner and constantly said yes to things when you really wanted to say no?
I was guilty of this too. For the longest time, I was always constantly putting everyone else’s needs before my own. I was so afraid to say no, especially to the people that I love thinking that the only way for me to be enough and worthy was if I continually make myself useful to other people.
But the thing is, I didn’t realize that the more I allowed myself to be pulled into a million different directions and responsibilities, I was also slowly losing sight of who I was.
Setting boundaries allows you to say yes to opportunities that truly align with your goals and say no to things and people that would distract and keep you from your progress.
By setting boundaries around your time and attention, you regain focus on what truly matters to you. Ultimately helping you break free from the feeling of being stuck so you can finally move forward.
Please know that setting boundaries is not selfish. It’s not about shutting everyone down. It is about defining your limits, communicating your need, and protecting your well-being and inner peace.
8. Embrace Change
For most people, one of the main reasons why we fall into a rut or feel stuck in life is because we are so afraid to open ourselves up to change. We’d rather stay still than step outside our comfort zones and open ourselves up to change and uncertainties.
This is certainly what it felt for me. If you have read some of my other blog posts, I’m sure you know how apprehensive I am about change. I have always been scared of it. I loved being in control and change meant opening myself up to more uncertainties that makes me feel like I’m losing my sense of stability and control.
And that for me is terrifying. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I have chosen to stay still regardless of how unhappy I was just because it felt familiar and comfortable.
But when I was navigating the feeling of being lost, I knew that time is fleeting and our life is far too precious to spend it unhappy and unfulfilled. The more that we avoid change, the longer we are keeping ourselves stuck and unable to move forward.
Change is inevitable and the only way for us to truly live every moment of our lives and unlock our fullest potential is if we allow ourselves to finally see change as an opportunity for growth and reinvention instead of seeing it as a threat.
Change is not an enemy. It is one of the most vital steps that’ll help us break free from being lost and move forward with our lives in a clearer direction.
I know that it can be overwhelming, and that’s why please remember that change doesn’t have to be monumental. You don’t have to make big changes all at once. It’s perfectly okay to start by taking small and manageable steps.
Eventually, these small and easy steps that you choose to take every day will gradually lead you toward the bigger change that you envision.
9. Celebrate Your Wins
Feeling lost and being stuck in a rut has really dampen my self esteem. It made me think of myself as a failure. I started to question my abilities, and whether I even had what it takes to improve my life.
This is where celebrating your wins comes in. Sometimes when we are going through rough seasons in our lives, it’s easy to focus all our attention on everything that is going wrong. It’s easy to start doubting ourselves and start believing that we will never be able to turn our lives around.
That’s why it’s so important to celebrate your victories, big and small. It’s essential to remember that every step that you took forward, no matter how small, is a testament to your determination, abilities, and strength.
The more you recognize what you’re capable of, the more you’ll trust yourself to overcome obstacles and challenges. This will give you the motivation that you need to keep moving forward.
10. Practice Self Compassion ( Especially During Challenging Times )
When we go through difficulties, it’s easy to become our harshest critics. It’s easy to constantly put ourselves down, and beat ourselves up for every little mistake and shortcoming. But one of the best things that you can give yourself, especially during challenging times, is by offering yourself love, kindness, and compassion.
When I hit rock bottom, I too became my worst critic. I thought that by doing this I was making myself more accountable and more responsible. But truth be told, doing this did not make my situation any better.
For what it’s worth, it only made things worse because it made me feel so bad about myself. By constantly criticizing every little mistake and failure, I was also sabotaging my confidence and mental health.
It paralyzed me and it stopped me from pursuing my goals thinking that I didn’t have what it takes to achieve them. Please know that you deserve to give yourself the same amount of kindness, understanding, and compassion that you so freely give to others.
Instead of constantly criticizing yourself, give yourself love and patience. When you do this, you create a safe environment for yourself. An environment where you are allowed to make mistakes, learn and grow.
This will help you break free from your paralyzing fear of making mistakes and you can finally move forward in pursuing your goals.
Learning how to move forward in life when you feel stuck requires courage and determination. Things that you already have within you if you just believe in your unwavering potential and resilience.
Remember that being stuck is not a validation of your capabilities. Life will always be full of ups and downs and all of us will find ourselves in moments of uncertainty, just take a deep breath and know that you have what it takes to move forward and create the life that you love.
Yes, things may be hard right now and I know it may feel like things will never get better. But it does. Like everything else, change is constant and what you’re going through now is just temporary. Know that you are strong enough to withstand this and wise and brave enough to push through.
I believe in you!