"How can I go forward when I don't know which way I'm facing."
If one thing in this life is certain, it's that change is inevitable. Despite this fact, there may be times in our lives when we feel stuck. We may feel stuck in a relationship, career, addiction, or any of a wide variety of potential situations.
This sense of being cemented on our personal journey can be frustrating and utterly discouraging.
However, these difficult feelings that are often associated with feeling stuck may not necessarily be a bad thing. Often, difficult feelings are indicators that we need to make a change and in this way, these feelings can serve as motivation to work towards personal growth. Similarly, a sense of being stuck in your life can serve the important purpose of encouraging you to actively find direction and work towards positive change. With this in mind, getting unstuck isn't always easy and these 5 steps are sure to guide you on your path to finding a better you!
1. Values Inventory
One definition of a value is a person's principles or standards of behavior. A value is also thought to be one's judgment of what is important in life. As you can imagine, taking a close look at your values and asking some important questions can provide some positive life direction. For example, are you living according to your values system and how might you more closely adhere to these values? With this, it can be helpful to reflect on your spiritual beliefs as well. Often, our spiritual beliefs create the foundation for a personal values system. Whether this is guided by a certain religious affiliation or through a collection of experiences that have affected your human spirit, living according to your values system or spiritual identity can be a very grounding process. In this first step of getting unstuck, identify your top 5 values and determine how you might live your life accordingly. It's worth noting, research has shown that living according to our personal values is associated with increased levels of happiness.
2. Engage in Community
Another supportive resource for getting unstuck relates to our connection with community. In community we might find inspiration for life direction, validation of our experience with feeling stuck and suggestions for moving forward. In addition, community that aligns with our values system can create opportunities to pursue common goals and interests. In this way, networking through validating and supportive relationships can provide a catalyst for personal growth. If you're hoping to get unstuck, engage in a community that aligns with your interests, values and personal goals. You might look for a spiritual community, a recreational group, or a simple book club. Check-out www.meetup.com to find community or social groups for almost any interest that you might have.
Now that you've found some direction from your personal values and supportive communities, taking some time to reflect can consolidate new ideas and better guide your next steps. Journaling can be an excellent tool for this type of reflection. You might write about your experiences in community or with a values inventory, or you might begin to brainstorm potential changes, specific interests and initial steps in pursuit of these ideas. Reflect on what motivates you or what your inspiration might be. Maybe you're motivated to make the world a better place or to be a healthier person. If meditation is your thing, spend some time meditating on these ideas. The point here is to take some time to think, notice what resonates with you and prepare yourself to make a plan to seek out the personal growth and change that you desire.
Next, its time to make a plan. Look into individual steps that you can to take to work towards getting unstuck and to accomplish your goals. Even the smallest of steps can be a start in the right direction. Use a calendar and/or planner to set dates for different related goals and make a to-do list to stay organized. Plan to change your routine and remember that in order to get unstuck, you may have to try something a bit different. After all, insanity is thought to be trying the same things and expecting different results. Let your friends and/or family know what your goals are and allow them to hold you accountable.
5. Take Action
Finally, its time to take action. Follow through with the plan you've set, remind yourself of what motivates and inspires you. Remember, change takes effort and taking action is that effort. As in the planning stage, keep in mind that even baby steps can build momentum towards reaching your goals. Additionally, it can be helpful to keep the end result in mind. Having some light and hope at the end of the tunnel can keep you moving forward. It can also be helpful to practice gratitude along the way. Gratitude has been shown to increase happiness and being grateful for even small steps in a positive direction can be encouraging. As you begin to progress, take the time to notice the positive emotions that often come with personal growth, allow these feelings to be a reward.
As you get going on your plan of action, you might notice that you aren't as stuck as you once felt. Possibilities are endless and change is constant. With a little intention and by implementing some practical steps it is possible to redirect change in a direction that will benefit you on your journey. Along the way, you might get discouraged. However, when this happens, reflect on your inspiration and engage in the community that aligns with your goals.
Change can be hard, but with these practical steps getting unstuck and working towards personal growth is absolutely possible.
If you find yourself continuously feeling stuck, you can always reach out to a qualified psychotherapist to work through any barriers that might be standing in your way.
"Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change."