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Ten Simple Tricks to Stay “Stuck”

This week I thought I’d stay on the theme, similar to “foolproof ways to increase anxiety” and “surefire ways to stay depressed” and write about ways you can ensure you stay good and stuck in life.  Turns out, staying “stuck” is pretty darn easy, too…and here are just a few ways you can stay comfortably stagnant in life.

  1. Avoid taking risks: Since big changes involve a certain amount of risk, you’ll want to make sure to avoid these risks if you want things to stay exactly the same.  You can’t win if you don’t play, so just don’t play.  Investing time, money, or energy into new projects may lead to an unwanted payoffs.  
  2. Goals – nope:  Setting specific and measurable goals for yourself will only serve as a road map for getting “unstuck” and out of your rut.  If you’re hoping to stay right where you are, just kind of continue wandering around without any real clear direction.  The years will continue slipping away and before you know it, it will all be too late.  
  3. Avoid asking for help: Asking for help and surrounding yourself with support from others who have done what you want to do might be really counterproductive to staying “stuck”.  Also, remember that most people who are knowledgeable and passionate about things they have been successful with usually really love to share about themselves and how they have been able to do the things they’ve done.  They might be just what you DON’T need in terms of learning and moving forward.  
  4. Overanalyze the hell out of decisions: Instead of taking one small step forward and figuring things out as you go, make sure to over-analyze every small decision.  Constantly question your judgement and remain in a kind of “analysis paralysis”  by realizing that you won’t ever know the exact best option.  If you ever do get around to accidentally making a decision, constantly question whether or not it was the best decision you could have made for yourself.  
  5. Care lots about what other people think about you:  This one is important.  Maintain your image.  Think about what everyone might think or say about things you want to do with your life.  Recognize that even though your decisions probably have zero impact on most or all of these people, that their little opinion about you is so VERY important. 
  6. Stay firmly within your comfort zone: Avoid risk of failure or rejection. Don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable. Vulnerability, after all, comes with risk (which I’ve already advised to avoid) and may lead to positive change, healthier relationships, and deeper connections with others.  Even though failure and rejection are often necessary realities that allow us to learn and grow, they can cause some real discomfort and we want to stay as comfortable as humanly possible.  
  7. Expect perfection:  Set some unrealistic expectations and standards for yourself.  Expect nothing less than perfection.  If you do this, you’ll see why it’s pointless to take on anything meaningful or new.  After all, your unrealistic standards will be impossible to meet…so why even try?
  8. Overwhelm yourself by looking too far into the future:  You’ve got some dreams and goals, but working towards them by taking small incremental steps will only get in the way of staying in a state of complacency.  I recommend getting overwhelmed by thinking too far into the future…It also helps to remind yourself of all of the things you don’t yet know how to do to meet those goals.   View these goals as abstract and out-of-reach things that will certainly be far too overwhelming to even begin tackling.  
  9. Do what everybody expects you to do:  Listen to family, friends, and society.  Stick with the status quo.  Be predictable and safe.  Think inside the box and comply with the expectations of the world instead of what it is that you might want for yourself. You’ve only got this one life, so it might as well be boring.
  10. Avoid therapy: As I’ve mentioned in some previous articles, therapy can be risky if you’re hoping to avoid any healthy and powerful changes.  The accountability and goal-oriented nature that the setting can provide, makes it difficult to continue putting things off.  

As you can see, it’s pretty easy to stay stuck if you follow my ten simple tricks and put off contacting me right now to get started! There’s always tomorrow 🙂 

Joel Schmidt, MA, LMHC

Float on Counseling, LLC is located in the Carrollwood area of Tampa on North Dale Mabry Hwy and offers solution-focused, goal-oriented, and structured counseling to help get you unstuck!





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