Do you feel stalled in life? Completely stuck? Doubting yourself and your whole existence? Are you unable to move into any direction at all, waiting for something to happen so you can escape this feeling of dread? Feeling disappointed that nothing changes? Ever!
Are you worrying that unless things change soon you would explode, or you’d sink in despair and never recover? Have you tried to make something happen only to discover that whatever you try to change or influence turns into more of the same? More of the same utter stuck-ness!
Lets say you want a new job. The work you are doing now feel not just boring but it seems to be sucking life out of you. You don’t like your boss, or people you work with and everything about your job seems mundane and tedious. And it doesn’t pay enough either.
So how can you get yourself out of this rat and ALIVE again? And to get the new job too.
The first step is to acknowledge that feeling stuck is not quite what you think it is. Your feeling of stuck-ness has less to do with your boring work and more with where your mind goes every day. It has less to do with your situation and more to do with your thoughts.
You just have to take my word for it, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
Being stuck means that your mind goes back and forth between two thoughts: I want a new job AND I doubt whether it is possible. (or I want a new relationship, but i doubt whether it is possible). These thoughts contradict each other, they make you focus on two different things – like opposite intentions, and so you are going nowhere.
What’s more, when you feel stuck, it means that most of your thoughts are devoted to obstacles, doubts and in effect undermining your own dream. Even if you feel that all the doubts are realistic and justified, what you do in your head is utterly counterproductive. And it keeps you stuck.
And it is exhausting, isn’t it?
Imagine a long line, at one end of this line is your dream and on the other – your doubts. ‘Being stuck’ simply means that your mind goes from one to the other end of this line (with preference for the doubt site). Your mind ‘walks’ in circles and most of its attention goes towards worry, problems, worst case scenarios, and doubt.
For example, you may be thinking about what if you never find another job? What if you are not good enough at what you do? What if people will not like you? What if no one wants to employ you?
Or you may have regretful thoughts, maybe even blaming yourself for not doing things differently in the past. If only I did a different degree then…. If only I did things differently, then…. If I only I worked harder at school… If only… And this line of thinking makes things worse. It feels awful too.
The doubtful thoughts can be equally devastating when it is a relationship you are looking for rather than a job. Then, a whole range of mental negativity gets activated; I am too fat, too tall, too small, too boring, too negative, too this and too that to ever have a relationship. And i will never find the one. What if I am alone for the rest of my life? What if no one will even want me?
No matter what the doubts are, you are NOT stuck because your job is not changing or because there is no new relationship on a horizon. You are stuck because your mind oscillates between extreme ends, and the doubts get more air that the other end.
So the simple way to turn things around (and I promise it will start changing really quickly) is to give more air to your dream. Simple, doable, and in-your-control. While it may be difficult to make a partner or a job appear today, you can start thinking and feeling differently right now. What will it change? Everything! Trust me.
Wanting to know how to do it?
Let me ask you first, how often do you allow yourself to dream? Are you too rational and too cautious to allow yourself to build a vision for yourself? Are you clear about what YOU want?
What if you start writing, every day, about what you want and how you want the new job to make you feel? And if you allowed yourself to ease into an expectations that things will turn out well for you? And to believe that things can be immensely satisfying. Even to YOU!
Watch people in public life, politicians or activists. When they have a positive vision and focus on this vision, they really move things forward. They seem more charismatic, which means it is easy for them to convince the public and to bring people with them. On the other hand, these who just look back and complain about what hasn’t been working, criticize and grumble seem so much more tedious and lifeless. If they are politicians, they may still get votes, but things feel stifled, uninspiring, boring; they are neither charismatic nor able to move things very far.
It may sound like oversimplification, and you definitely don’t want to turn a blind eye on things that are not working. But all I am asking you to do here is to find more balanced approach, where your dream, your vision is getting more air than grumbling and complaining. Where your vision and hope gets more air than your fear. Every day.
You can start with the following exercise.
Take a piece of paper and write at the top How will my new job feel? (Or whatever it is you want to change).
And then write down several words like stimulating, easy, interesting, satisfying, fulfilling, interesting, fun. Don’t be too specific. Just focus on the question at hand. And choose words that resonate the most. And then ponder, for a short while, on the words you chose. What does fun mean to you? What does exiting mean to you? What does stimulating mean to you? Meeting new people, getting your teeth into something exciting? Feeling satisfied and proud of being yourself?
As you are doing this, the doubts will interrupt. At the beginning they will feel strong. But they will also become easier to recognize so you can see how exactly you sabotage yourself.
As doubts appear, simply relaxed and let them be. Do not fight them! Accept them for now. They had been here for a long time to… protect you. That’s right! They are stalling you now, and they will have to go. As you simply and gently let them be, they will start dissipating gradually.
Re-focus on excitement you want to feel, stimulation you want to experience, that it would be great to recapture some interest in to your life again. And then doubts will come up again. Accept them, they are here because they has been with you for a long time. Don’t fight them, don’t try to get rid of them.
Write down another question: How do I want to think or be instead?
Try to answer it in a way that leans towards the dream site of the line. You can say things like: I would prefer to trust that things can be better. I would like to trust more in my ability to find a perfect job, a job that is just right for me. That I can find something that would excite me, that would be the best match, that would help me to use my skills and talents and my abilities to do my job well. I want to find something that would be tailor-made for me, That would be perfect for me and that would be great fun to do. I want to find a job that would get me out of bed every day and make me feel like singing and jumping. I want to find a job that would interest me, a great balance of challenge and ease, a great balance of new and familiar, something I could do easily but also that would be interesting enough to make me proud that I can do it.
Next time you are doing this exercise some doubts may come up again, but after a few days you will find they start easing off. After a few days, you will start feeling less stuck and as you do new ideas will start crystallizing, you may start getting some glimpses of your future that will feel more hopeful, more positive. Eventually you will not be blinded by the doubt and so you will be able to see opportunities all around you. Because they have always been here.
Try it and leave a comment or ask a questions.