I’m relatively sure at this point in my 32 years of life that the most uncomfortable place you can possibly be is any time in life you find yourself feeling stuck. Trapped. Stalled.
Recently, while having dinner with my friend Brittany, she shared with me how stuck she feels, aware that the life she has does not match the life she imagines, the life she wants, but yet doesn’t see a clear path to arrive there. Do I ever remember what that feels like. It is such a shitty, soul-sucking feeling. So helpless, so powerless to manifest what you want for yourself. When you don’t know what to do, you choose to do nothing, and before you know it, years of your life will have passed that have very little joy or risk or memory in them.
Getting unstuck is always the result of two things: changing your attitude and changing your situation, but one doesn’t always consistently come before the other. Sometimes it works from inside out, other times from outside in. I’ve now experienced both and truthfully, I like that it keeps me guessing.
To anyone feeling stuck, and to you, Brittany, I echo back all the bits of advice that were given to me this last year, when I didn’t know what to do about my intense unhappiness and lack of fulfillment in my life and was so afraid to make the wrong choices.
- Lean in to what you love and what makes you happy, even if it’s silly, and doors will open. For me, I wrote down in my journal that I missed gardening and months later I was embraced wholeheartedly by a family with a farm that’s been my heaven on earth, and the exposure to that lifestyle has joyfully cemented in me the realization that it is the future I want to work towards. Who would have imagined?
- Choose something, anything, which is true to yourself, and act on it. There isn’t anything more destructive to a potentially good life than the choice to do nothing at all in the absence of certainty. Start small if you must, but go big if you can. Even time you leap, even off a little hill rather than a mountain, it makes you stronger and more fearless.
- Accept grace. You won’t have it all figured out, and you will need help from others. Learning to accept the generosity and investment of others changes the game completely.
- Let go of pride and insecurity. No quote was more powerful to me than this: “People are going to judge you anyway, so you might as well be yourself.” Am I worried that when I decide to take new paths or change my mind the people in my world are going to think I failed or gave up or am a completely hopeless wanderer? Sure, for about a minute, and then I remember how gloriously happy my life has been since I found the confidence to step over that pothole. People may holler that you are making the most irrational, selfish, immature decisions, but check your heart, and if you get the green light, do it anyway.
I know you were probably looking for a five-step plan with graphs and charts, but my friends, that’s not how it works. Only you can write the details of your Getting Unstuck plan, but with a little gumption and a lot of trust in the unknown, you’ll be right here with me!