“There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world because you realize that there’s so much more to the book than the page that you were stuck on”
– Taryn Malik
No matter how self-aware we may think we are, we’ve all felt stuck at some point or another. Whether it comes in the form of a relationship rut, a creativity block, or the feeling as if we’ve’ve hit an overall slump, being stuck can make us feel as if the light at the end of the tunnel feels like light years away. Unfortunately, this feeling of stagnancy can be immobilizing, oppressive and may even lead us feeling depressed and helpless – as if we have no control over our lives.
The good news is, while being stuck may be inevitable, staying there doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 potent ways I have personally found to be effective in getting myself unstuck. I hope they prove to be as useful to free yourself from life’s pesky plateaus and get you back into living in the flow.
1. Take Action and Embrace Change
“In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety” – Abraham Maslow
Sometimes we feel stuck because we refuse to make a decision and/or take action on decisions that we believe to be important to us. We let our fear of making the wrong decision, our fear of failing – paralyze us. So we procrastinate, we resist and we find ourselves doing anything but make a decision and take action. Ironically, by doing so, we often end up causing ourselves even more pain and disappointments.
Realize that in order for us to create and live our best life, growth, progress, and change are essential. When we are feeling stuck, we are actually being presented with an opportunity to grow and expand. Hence the next time you are tempted to resist change and take action, remind yourself that while change maybe risky and painful, nothing is as painful than being stuck where you don’t belong.
2. Try something fresh and fun
Have you been wanting to take up a fun and new hobby but never really got around to it? well, here’s no better time than when you are feeling stuck to start!
Being immersed in movement and play really gets the flow of energy moving in your body and your life. Whether it’s signing up for a dance/ Muay Thai/ cooking class, let yourself indulge in something exciting, fun and new. By making time for play, you are likely to shift your attention to the thoughts that have plagued you with anxiety to the things that give you joy. Let yourself unwind and let go of your worries and you’ll soon find your groove back.
3. Let go of the past
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” – Anatole France
As much as we think we have made peace with the past, some of us still insist – consciously or not – to let our past act as an anchor that holds us back and weigh us down. We let our past mistakes define who we are, hence it is no surprise that we find ourselves in the same unhealthy patterns and unfortunate situations.
In order to move forward and give ourselves the freedom to become the person who we are meant to become, we must learn to let go of stories of the past that no longer serve us. When you decide to stop dwelling on these stories, you’ll realize more and more each day that you’re the one in control and gain back your freedom.
4. Step outside
When I’m feeling uninspired and experiencing a creativity block, I find that there’s no better cure than spending some time in the great outdoors. Whether I am taking a long stroll along the park or simply sitting out in the sun, being in proximity of the sights and sounds of nature never seem to fail to recharge my creativity tank.
If nature is not easily accessible where you are located, try changing up the location of your workspace. Why not check out a new, cozy coffee joint, often times, a simple change of scenery or your desk/office/ cubicle is just what you need to kick that creativity slump to the curb.
5. Change your thought patterns
When we feel as if we’ve lost our life mojo, it becomes all too easy to succumb to the feeling as if we’ll never get out of our slump. More often than not, we end up playing out our worst case scenarios in our minds, imagining our lives spiraling out of control – on loop. What we may not realize is that by obsessing over how bad the circumstances are, we are actually actively digging ourselves a deeper hole. As the old saying goes “energy flows where your attention goes”.
Whenever you find yourself dwelling in the unpleasantness of the situation, take a deep breath and remind yourself that feeling stuck is a state of mind. Make a conscious decision to shake off your negative thought patterns and insists on positivity. Decide right then and there that you are in charge of your thoughts and feelings. Remember that you always have the power to remain positive and hopeful regardless of what is happening around you.