The new catch phrase sweeping the Internet is “being stuck.” What does being stuck actually mean? Basically, we all get into ruts where we feel helpless and out of control. A normal human response means we sometimes want to sit and wallow in our own pity party. But as the saying goes, “The show must go on.”
The only one who can get you unstuck is you. If you want to get your shit together and get back on track, it is within your control. Stop blaming others or feeling as if life keeps you back. You have the power to change things around you. If you take steps to change your behavior, you will instantly see a transformation in your life. [Read: What should I do with my life to make it better?]
#1 Let go. Those things keeping us stuck most often lie in the past. If you want to get your shit together, it takes letting go of your past. It doesn’t matter that your parents weren’t loving, or that your husband cheated on you. All of those things stay in the past. They lost their power to touch or affect you if you don’t allow them.
Make a commitment to leave the past where it belongs—in the past. Always stay focused on what the potential of the future holds, without clouding it with what you have witnessed or experienced in the past.
#2 Stop saying “I can’t.” One of the most destructive phrases in the human language is “I can’t.” Sure, there are times when you really can’t do something like be superhuman or cure cancer on your own. If you stop saying to yourself that you simply can’t change, turn things around, or make your life anything but what it is, then guess what? It will always be the same.
Just removing the phrase “I can’t” changes things dramatically. Like a personal roadblock, putting a limiting factor on your life never ends well or helps you to accomplish your goals. It only makes you give up before even trying. [Read: 19 life quotes to motivate you to live a better life]
#3 Take the reins. Stop waiting for a catalyst to change. The only thing motivating you to move forward is you. Wake up every day giving yourself a task. It doesn’t have to be grand like running a marathon; assign something as minute as the act of getting out of bed. Once accomplished, you will be able to move onto the next thing. Your goals grow bigger and bigger until you move past whatever limitation keeps you stuck.
#4 Clean up your mess. Both physically and mentally, clean up your mess. If your home is a mess, your workplace is a mess, and your car is barely driveable. It is difficult to focus and pay attention to what is important.
Look around, is your life in disarray and chaos physically? Usually, the condition of your environment reflects more of your emotional state. Start to clean up things physically, and you’ll instantly find more attic room in your thought process.
In the same respect, clean up your mess emotionally. If you have issues with someone or something, stop letting them fester and eat away at you. Resolve those things keeping you stuck and vow to make amends with people and situations in your life seeking to slow you down, stop you, or make it tough to find your focus. [Read: 12 ways to ignore someone who mentally stresses you]
It is much easier to get it all out in the open, put on your big boy pants, and just deal with it. Rather than hiding from it and allowing it to seethe inside.
#5 Think positively. If you are the “Eeyore” from Winnie-the-Poo type, it isn’t doing you any good. Sure, some people have worse luck than others, but experiences are only what you make of them.
If you have a tendency to be on the less than stellar end of most things, then look at the situation and try to find the silver lining. Even the most drastic and horrible of experiences have something positive to take from them. If you always search for the “poor me” aspect, then you are making a scenario where you expect the negative.
Expectations define outcomes, so unless you start to see positively, you most likely will continue to be confronted with hard times. [Read: 12 insightful lessons to help you have a better life]
#6 Find new people in your life. There are people in our lives who are toxic to us. If you are in a relationship that has you anxious, upset, or they generally just don’t make you feel good about yourself, it may be time to say goodbye.
Toxic people drag us down and make us feel hopeless. Being lonely by yourself sucks, but worse still, being lonely with someone. If you are with people who aren’t boosting you, then it is time to cut them loose and boost yourself. [Read: 12 ways to stop negative people from sapping your energy]
#7 Organize your surroundings by prioritizing. If you have 100 things to do, feeling stuck is normal. Being overwhelmed by our responsibilities makes us feel paralyzed. The best way to tackle too much on your plate, which makes you feel stuck, is by making a priority list and checking things off one by one.
Once you check off the first or second step, the rest becomes much less challenging. The more things you accomplish on your to-dos, the more confident you feel, the more positive you will be about accomplishing the rest, and the less baggage left hanging over your head.
#8 Make goals. If you have no goals, then you have no purpose.
A life without goals is nothing but treading water. If you want to get unstuck, try envisioning what you want out of life. If you want to have a successful career, make goals to get there. If you yearn to change something about your life, make goals to do it.
Goal setting is one of the best tools to getting unstuck. The key is to make the goals realistic, break them down so they aren’t pie in the sky, and stick with the program to get where you want to be. [Read: How to motivate yourself to do pretty much anything]
#9 Find the things about yourself you don’t like and change them. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves. Typically, those things cause us the most damage.
Instead of looking outside yourself for the reason things suck, do some introspection and see what about you that is making you miserable. Only you can change you, but sometimes you must soul-search to figure it out. Change requires your willingness to acknowledge it exists.
#10 Stop playing the martyr. Indulging in a pity party every once in a while is normal. If you constantly send out the invitation and people stop coming, stop wallowing now.
The world isn’t against you. Recognizing that allows you to reexamine what you might be doing to keep yourself stuck. No one makes you a martyr but you. In fact, that is the whole definition, someone who puts themselves in harm’s way for a specific goal. What is your goal? [Read: Am I being taken for granted? 16 discreet signs]
#11 Focus on only those things bringing positive outcomes. If you focus only on the negative, flush feeling hopeful or accomplished down the drain. When you see the positive things in your life and how you are responsible for them, it helps you feel less out of control and more in charge of your own future. Daily, take a look at the things that you did, how things ended positively, and take stock of what your contributions were to get you there. [Read: 11 simple ways to inspire the people around you]
#12 Stop playing the victim. When you play the victim, you blame other people in your life for what is happening to you. No one can do something to you unless you choose to stay and let them.
When we blame it on someone else, we create a scenario where we don’t have to take responsibility for our own actions. If you stop saying it is everyone else, and you are just an innocent bystander, the control is much more powerful than the blame. It helps you get to where you want to be.
#13 Get your vices under control. If you use alcohol or drugs to cover up your negative feelings, then you only further foster them. When we self-medicate, we create a scenario keeping us stuck.
Drugs and alcohol are depressants only dragging you down further and making you feel more out of control. Stop using vices *get help if needed* to make yourself feel better. Take real physical action to change things in your life. Instead of merely numbing yourself to things, change them. [Read: 12 simple things you do to make your life much worse]
#14 Stop blaming others. It is much easier to blame someone else for what they are doing to you than to stop and recognize you are staying in a position to let them. If your girlfriend constantly puts you down and makes you feel horrible, it is your fault for staying. If you walk away and refuse to be treated that way, sure, you run the risk of losing her. But what are you losing besides abuse and mistreatment?
In the same respect, if you have a man cheating on you, making you feel insignificant, or just not allowing you to be the best you you can be, it is time to move on. Being without them helps you get unstuck. They may have been the glue holding you down all along.
#15 Pay off your debts. Money troubles not only make you anxious, but they also ruin your livelihood. Take steps to get your finances and your debt under control. [Read: The lazy twentysomething’s guide to saving money]
If you are constantly being hounded, have bills hanging over your head, or just can’t seem to get ahead, then it is time to sit down and figure out a better plan. Ignoring things, especially financial debts, will not make them go away.
#16 Stop putting things in the closet. My four-year-old hated homework. I would go so far as to say that it was the bane of his existence. So, he decided he just wasn’t going to do it and stuck the papers in his closet. One day while putting his clothes away, I noticed all the crumpled up, blank pages.
Thinking that placing your issues to the side, they aren’t going to resurface, you create a mountain out of a molehill. Ignoring things until they are out of control or not fixable only makes them that much worse. It is okay to ask for help to get unstuck, it is not okay to pretend like it isn’t happening or that your problems will magically just disappear.
Getting your shit together is never easy. If it were, then we would all have our shit together. Staying stuck fulfills the self-fulfilling prophecy leading to a life filled with hopelessness and despair.
Introspection, self-examination, and honesty are three very difficult things. If you can stop and see how and what you are doing is keeping you where you are, then changing it becomes that much more reasonable and realistic.
[Read: Sabotaging your happiness – 12 ways most of us ruin our own lives]
To get your shit together you have to first find out what is keeping you stuck and learn to fix it, and realize that only you have the ability to change your future, even if it isn’t easy.
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A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...
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