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Why we get Stuck – And Steps to Getting “Unstuck”

Are you feeling stuck?  If so, you know it’s a frustrating feeling.  Whether in the context of a relationship, a career, or the mundane routine of day-to-day life, it comes along with wanting change – or wanting more.  You might feel like you’re on the treadmill of life – moving along, but not really getting anywhere.  Other times, it feels more like facing a multi-pronged fork in the road – being faced with several options or possible decisions to make, but with no idea as to which you should choose.  The fear of picking the wrong one can lead to no action at all.  Regardless of what it is that has you stuck, feeling stuck is actually a good thing and can lead to positive change if you’re willing to do something about it.  After all, you only feel stuck because you’re at a place in your life where you know something has to be done.  Although it won’t be easy, with some reflection and readiness for change, you can get unstuck.

Follow the steps below for getting “Unstuck”

1 – Figure out what has you feeling stuck.  Are you unhappy with a relationship or career?  Are you craving change?  Lacking meaning, purpose, or a sense of fulfillment? Having a hard time deciding what to do next with your life?  Maybe you’re feeling like you’re capable or more, but not sure where to start.  Regardless of the underlying reasons for feeling stuck, it’s important to define the problem.  For example:  “I’m unhappy in my career and want to make a change”.

2 -Identify the reasons for wanting to make a change.  Are you bored, unfulfilled, or unchallenged?  Are your relationships or way of life unhealthy? Are you stressed out? Emotionally drained?

3 – Explore your options.  Make a list of the various things you could possibly do to do to change your current circumstances.  If you’re in an unhappy relationship, for example, your options might be to 1) Work on the relationship with your partner, 2) Leave the relationship, or 3) Find better ways of coping with the difficulties within the relationship.

4 – Identify the barriers to making change.  Think about what it is that may be holding you back or limiting your ability to make change.  Fear and uncertainty often hold people back.  Other times it’s things like financial ability, education-level, family obligations, physical limitations, pressure from those around you, concerns about what people will think, negative or distorted thinking patterns, or unresolved mental health issues (such as anxiety or depression).

5 – Consider ways around barriers.  Once you’ve established barriers, it’s important to figure out ways around those things that are standing in your way.  Don’t allow barriers to be excuses for staying stuck.  Sure, they might make change difficult, but there are usually ways of getting around them.  This might require thinking outside-of-the box, trying new things, brainstorming, being creative about possibilities, and being willing to step outside of your comfort zone.

6 – Make a pros/cons list. If you are having a hard time making a big decision, make a pros and cons list.  If you’re stuck between two options, write pros and and cons for option A and the pros and cons for option B.  Seeing this on paper might help bring some clarity.

7 – Talk it out.  Discuss some of the work you’ve done with a trusted friend, family member, mentor, or professional counselor.  Make sure you do this with someone who is willing to listen and to be objective.  You’re looking for perspective, not advice.  After all, you know what’s best for you.  You have the answers.  You just need to find them. Speaking to a counselor can really help you work through the steps outlined above.  In therapy, you’ll have accountability and be able to develop an action plan for change.

8 – Develop an action plan. Create goals based on the action you’ve decided to take.  Outline the steps you’ll need to take to meet those goals along with realistic time frames for meeting them.

9 -Take action. Once you’ve developed an action plan, with steps you’ll need to take in order to meet your goals, start with the first step!  Refer to your action plan regularly as a way of checking in on progress and making sure you continue to move forward.

If you’re considering therapy to help get you unstuck, feel free to send us a message with as little or as much detail as you feel comfortable with.  You can also call or text 727-258-5231.

Our office is located on North Dale Mabry Hwy in the Carrollwood area of Tampa, Florida.

Check out our Services, Frequently Asked Questions, and Rates for more information.  Once you’ve reached out, we’ll walk you through all the steps and make it easy to get your first session scheduled.

Joel Schmidt, MA, LMHC

Float on Counseling, LLC – Individual Counseling Services in a private, relaxed, and non-judgmental setting. 

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