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You hear it all the time. You might have heard a friend use this when referring to themselves. You may have a family member who has said it. Maybe you have even used this word to describe yourself. Or maybe, sadly, you’ve had someone else describe you this way.
What does it mean to be stuck?
It feels like such a cloudy word that means something different for everyone. And it can mean entirely different things from person to person, but everyone who defines themselves as “stuck” has one thing in common:
You are not making progress.
No progress = Being stuck.
Stuck = No progress.
And no progress feels bad. Its not right for us not to be progressing. We are meant to be constantly evolving and growing, bettering and challenging ourselves.
Being stuck can feel like quicksand, slow moving, and the more you try to move (in the wrong way), the more you move away from progress.
So how do you know you are stuck?
Here are 10 signs you are stuck:
You have dreams, you’re just not going for them.
You know what you want (or you kind of know what you want, you have ideas, you’ve toyed with it, you see others doing the thing that you want to do and the thought crosses your mind that you should be doing it too). You have dreams. You know who you really are inside, your true authentic self. You’re just not doing anything about it. You’re acting. You are doing what you think you should be doing. You dream, you just don’t go for it. You know who you are, you’re just not being you. You’re fitting yourself into a box that someone else put around you because they thought it was right for you. Well, they’re wrong. And you’re stuck in that box.
>> Amazing article alert! Are You Brave Enough To Do What You Long To In Your Life? Find Out By Kathy Caprino <<
Your job isn’t your career.
I remember when I realized when my job wasn’t my career and how it was my semantics that defined this realization. I would say, “I work at a money management firm” or “I work at a school.” It wasn’t until I could say, “I AM a therapist, “ and “I AM a life coach” that I realized that I had found a career.
But what is the difference between a job and a career?
A job is something you do because you need to do something. A job is a way to pay the bills. A job is something that gives you money so you can do the things you want to do.
A career is something you feel passionate about. A career is something you dedicate your life to. A career is a representation of who you are. A career is something you believe in and want others to believe in as well. A career makes you feel alive and fulfilled.
You make just enough money to get by.
You are constantly checking out your bank account, worried about what you might see. You shy away from activities with friends because you can’t afford it. You rarely take vacations or do something nice for yourself. You are doing anything and everything to make sure your bills are paid, you might even work a few different jobs.
You’re in a relationship, but you avoid any conversation of the future.
You may have a partner. They may be great. You may have a lot of fun, but for some reason, you never bring up the future. Maybe you never even really think about the future. You don’t imagine your life with them long-term. You say, “I just want to be in the now,” “I want to stay in the moment” etc. But in reality, you’re avoiding something. You’re avoiding the fact that this person might not be your forever person. The person might be wonderful, but they might be safe. [sometimes safe is great and right and perfect for you, but other times safe is easy, comfortable, doesn’t challenge you to be stronger, better, etc.]. The person might take care of you, be super sweet, and hang on your every word, but they don’t light a fire in you.
You’re in a relationship, but your partner avoids any conversations about the future.
This one can be really hard to swallow if you believe this person is your forever person, but sometimes you can be in a relationship where the other person is the one that doesn’t talk about the future. They avoid any discussion of what’s next. Sure, they might make plans for trips or activities, but when it comes to long-term, they’re not there yet. They shy away from the “moving in” talk, or you rarely spend holidays together, and don’t even think about the idea of marriage. You have fun together, you have similar friends, you spend all your time on the weekends out with others, but that is all your relationship is: fun.
You’re in a relationship, but you fight all the time about the same things.
This is a big one when it comes to being stuck in relationships: progress. I don’t really believe in relationships where people say they “never fight.” Come on, really? To me, there’s no way, but maybe that’s because I’m a challenger and I like to be challenged, but I believe that in a true deep relationship there are going to be times when you disagree or someone does something wrong. There are constant “misses” in relationships, but the key is that when you “miss” your partner, you learn from it, so that you don’t “miss” them in the same way again.
You’re not in a relationship and you want to be.
You’re alone. Or you’re going on date after date and not finding someone who clicks. You’ve had relationships in the past, but they just didn’t find a way to work out. Or you’ve never really had any strong or lasting relationships. You haven’t let anyone “in” or for some reason you keep letting the wrong people “in.” You’re too picky or not picky enough.
You’re not in a relationship and you don’t want to be.
I know, this sounds silly, because if you don’t want to be in a relationship and you’re not, then how are you stuck? Well, I think people who say they don’t want to be in a relationship are just making excuses or protecting themselves from getting hurt or being vulnerable. [its a completely different story when someone is going through a break-up or healing from a previous relationship or going through a deeper journey of self discovery – then I believe its healthy to not want to be in a relationship]. I don’t believe we are meant to spend life alone, so when someone is single, has been single for a long time, and tells me that they like it that way, I call bull@#$. That is a big indication to me that they are stuck in something deeper within themselves. Usually this can be fear of a past relationship replaying itself, or getting hurt, hurting someone else, or opening up to another.
Your health is not what it should be.
You’ve tried (or maybe not tried at all) to eat healthy, work out and exercise, meditate, etc. but nothing seems to work. You may even be on the thinner side, but you feel weak. You don’t feel strong in your body. You are tired going up a flight of stairs. You may be overweight. You are stuck at a certain weight and you can’t seem to lose those last 10 pounds. Family members may say they are worried about your health. You may be anxious or depressed. You may be obsessed about food.
Whatever your particular situation is with health, when you’re stuck, you’re not at your optimal. You’re not feeling your best. When you feel healthy, you feel like you can accomplish anything. Work becomes easier. Your self esteem and self confidence is higher.
You have a low self esteem.
Your self talk is constantly negative, you’re incessantly comparing yourself to others, and you don’t believe that you deserve whatever it is that you want. You let others, partners, friends, and family, take advantage of you. You believe that you will always be stuck, that being stuck is just who you are. You don’t speak up for yourself and you settle for relationships that are mediocre. You may feel passionate about something, but you don’t share it with others because you don’t think they will care.
If you identify with any of these signs, its ok, because you’re not alone.
We all go through phases of being stuck and unstuck, but the key is recognizing it, and taking action.
I’ve made a workbook just for guiding you through your stuckness.
It is designed to help you identify the areas in your life where you feel stuck and brainstorm ways to make changes so that you can no longer feel stuck.
It is by no means a one sized fits all workbook, but can help you to think critically about your stuckness, so that you can take steps towards change and begin to pave a path towards thriving.
This workbook is not the end of your journey, it is the beginning.
I have made this document a fillable PDF so that you can get to work right now without running to your nearest printer.
I have something you will love.
A weekly email course where each week deep dives into a new affirmation, gives you ideas for action-steps to FEEL that affirmation and manifest it in your life, take steps towards THRIVING, and be your BEST SELF.
You will also receive self care tips, inpiration, and self discovery questions to help you explore who you are and how to move forward in your life, get UNSTUCK and start THRIVING.
You're going to LOVE it.