So many of us would love to change our current circumstances. Whether it’s a relationship, career, or health, we have really good intentions but we fail to make a move for one reason or another. We know that we are in situations that are no longer beneficial or healthy for us, but we compensate and carry on, although exhaustingly. Many years go by and we look back and wish that we had done something a long time ago (then that, too, becomes an excuse). We are all guilty, no one is exempt. Over the past few years of working with clients and gathering information, I realize that there are many causes behind that “stuck-ness” that we have unintentionally agreed to live with. Here are three of the big ones:
- We make “stuck” feel better: Although we know there are many things in our lives that are no longer serving us or are negative to our health and spirit, we seem to keep doing them anyway. The best way to get caught in the trap is by sugar coating it with instant, yet temporary, gratification like shopping, alcohol, romance novels, binging, and daily to-do lists. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t enjoy life’s pleasures – absolutely we should! But when we begin to be controlled by them and use them to bridge our unhappiness throughout the day, that’s when we get stuck.
- We believe that being a “good person” will eventually bring fulfillment: Most people in this world are good. I know it’s hard to believe sometimes when we have toxic co-workers, crazy ex-spouses, and people that don’t know how to drive when it rains, but most people truly mean well and are willing to lend a hand when needed… which is great! However, how long have you been donating to your favorite charity, going to church on Sundays, working hard to support your family, taking care of your parents, being honest, making an effort to volunteer, driving your kids all over town…? The list of “nice” things we do all day is ENDLESS! So why is it that regardless of all our genuine intents to be a decent person in society that we feel like a hamster on a wheel? We continually think to ourselves that something will give… someday… and THEN everything will be “easy”. Being a good person is ALWAYS fantastic, it should go without saying. However, it keeps us stuck in the daily, predictable routine when we believe that that is what will someday bring us ultimate joy, happiness and success we’ve been searching for.
- It’s emotional: Imagine yourself SUPER excited to finally start making some changes in your life. Then, in typical fashion, that voice… you know, the same voice that is in your head immediately upon waking up in the morning? It’s the one that tells you to hit snooze 14 times… or to eat 7 candy bars at 2:30 in the afternoon. Well, that voice begins talking REALLY loud when you decide you want to start working on internal growth. Does any of this sound familiar?
- Guilt: Your family will suffer if you take time for yourself.
- Fear: You won’t make it on your own.
- Jealousy: Other people are lucky, you have a black cloud over your head.
- Doubt: People will start talking about you like you’re crazy, so don’t bother, stay where you are and be “safe”.
- Victim: Remember all those horrible things that happened to you as a child? You can’t possibly move forward after all that!
- And my personal favorite: You don’t know enough… you never went to college. Success is for people with degrees.
The good news is that we can beat this. We’re not moving mountains here, we just need to take the first step. It all starts with having the awareness around what keeps us stuck in the first place. It’s unbelievable the shift that occurs when we have more clarity and see things from a higher perspective.