Why We Can’t Seem to Move Forward and What to Do About It

Why do we sometimes feel like we're spinning our wheels in life, and what's the best way to get unstuck?

The method by which we respond to various stimuli determines the intensity of our emotions.

Dale Carnegie

All of us know the feeling of being buried alive by sludge.

Feeling confined, helpless, and confused is what you’re experiencing.

You’re considering a relocation. Really, you should. In fact, you must. Yet you cannot.

Feelings of anxiety, fear, and complete overload may follow.

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But what if, just what if, the problem isn’t getting stuck but rather our interpretation of it?

The Ugly Reality of Being Cornered

At various points during the year, I experience periods of what I can only describe as “stuck.”

When I really think about it, however, the sense of “being stuck” is only a label I give to a perfectly natural part of life.

It’s a slow time, with not much happening. I start to worry when I tell myself that things aren’t as they should be. In order to get things done, I force myself to start working, to come up with ideas, and to take action.

I call this inability to go forward “being stuck.”

Therefore, the only thing keeping me from getting out is my own imagination.

I’ve been feeling stuck for the last several months as I sit here and write this. The only change is that I’m beginning to accept it for what it is, so I fight it less.

We Get Stuck Because

You put yourself in a dilemma when you try to be someone you’re not. When you think things ought to be different than they really are.

I know I’m trying to mislead myself into doing something against my will when I start thinking of reasons why I “should,” “have to,” or “must” do it.

When I surrender my anxieties and embrace the quiet of this moment, things start to make sense. I now know that I can do nothing to change my situation in life. I can only focus on the things that life really presents me with.

Tips for Getting Stuck in This Trick

You may as well be stuck in quicksand. You’ll just hurt yourself worse by trying to get out.

My mindset always seeks to dominate, manipulate, and control others around me. Insecurity underlies all of the issues at hand. I want security in one’s financial situation, social acceptance, and uniqueness.

If I could only exert a little authority over my circumstances, I think everything would be OK.

I feel like I can take a deep breath again when I face reality. Here are the three things I do:

1. Do Not Persist

Accept your predicament when you can’t get out.

Internal thoughts and feelings that I am stuck and that something is wrong with me are not lost on me.

By giving my whole attention to the here and now, I can avoid getting stuck in a rut. There is just the label of a scenario, which is a label I have invented based on my expectations for my life’s course.

As I take in the whole scope of the situation, I heave a sigh of relief.

However, this does not mean that the feelings themselves will go away. I still struggle with anxiety on occasion, but it no longer controls my life.

I can see how ideas interact with each other. I can easily give in to any circumstance.

And although it’s still a work in progress, I’m becoming better at accepting reality for what it is. My tolerance for isolation is growing.

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The irony is that the situation we’re in disappears as soon as we realize we’re really enjoying ourselves, since it was all in our brains to begin with.

2. Take it Easy and Have Fun

In situations like this, there’s always one thing that stands out as the most appealing option. You do not have to settle for the status quo in every area of your life.

I am now reading some excellent novels. Right now, my child and I are having a blast. I’ve been passing the time by watching movies and TV shows (the British Sherlock episode is particularly good).

Sometimes I’ll compose articles like this one to put my thoughts and feelings into words.

What has to be done, gets done. However, following that, I gave myself permission to enjoy life.

During this moment, I find it easy to feel guilty since I believe I am not trying hard enough. But I’ve realized that I’m flourishing in this precarious environment.

This is just another example of how I become stuck in the story I tell myself.

I just can’t help being myself. I’m pitching in where I can right now. That will have to do.

In the meantime, it recommends taking it easy. In a relatively short period of time, the tide will change.

No one will make an exception for you. Do your best, but don’t be too harsh on yourself if you fall short.

3. Write

Writing is what I do when I can’t think of anything else to do.

I have no structure or strategy in place at the moment. In order to write, I pull out a piece of paper. I rather prefer writing by hand, even if it is slower and more tedious. I find that it helps me concentrate less than typing on the computer.

When I have a lot on my mind, I write it all down. Censorship is not tolerated. Never turn back now.

Even the less pleasant details are there.

As I continue to train, I am starting to see certain trends. It’s now clear to me that any effort on my part to change the status quo would be futile.

The more self-aware I am, the less of an emotional investment I have in holding on to this.

Realizing that you’re the cause of your own suffering allows you to start letting go of it once you reach the level of your mind where it’s happening.

The Thing I Regret Most

We invite suffering upon ourselves when we attempt to alter the course of events. That applies to all aspects of a person’s existence.

Attempts to improve the world around me only wind up eating away at me from the inside.

I used to fight it, but now I see it as a message that I need to let go and relax. Having accepted that I can only do what I can with the resources available to me, I have accepted that I cannot change anything else.

No forceful exertion is required. Because I am life, life itself continues on through me. And so it is.

Nothing or no one in the world sets me apart from anything else. I am the earth we all share. The stars and moon are me. To put it simply, I am you.

It puzzles me at times why we assume we are on our own in this world. Before being introduced into the world, we are cared for and safeguarded while still in the womb.

The trees in the forest can get help if they need it. Nonetheless, we are certain that we stand out as an anomaly. Are we? That is not what I think is happening.

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To put it simply, we believe that things in general are not as they should be. But the fact that reality doesn’t conform to your expectations proves that your perspective is flawed.

That’s the Way It Is

Whether you’ve been feeling stuck for a week or a year, there’s no need to keep feeling that way.

You make the most of what you have at your disposal.

One thing I have seen, however, is that the longer I am stuck and the more I give in to it, the more I get from the experience when I do get out.

In retrospect, it was the worst times in my life that taught me the most about myself.

The pursuit of success is no longer my only motivation. At times, it’s best to take things easy and allow them to unfold as they will.

These stretches are like the seasons changing. The weather is sunny. It’s snowing right now. The world is a place of light and gloom.

When you stop resisting and accept things as they are, you shift your viewpoint, which in turn alters your environment.

However, be mindful of adding another burden to your plate. Kindness toward oneself is a must. Let yourself come to a complete standstill.

Give yourself permission to fight it, because you will.

The outcome is satisfying.

Your MASTERY OF LIFE begins the moment you break through your prisons of self-created limitations and enter the inner worlds where creation begins.

-Dr. Jonathan Parker-

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