Do you feel stuck?
If you had to think about that question, you’re probably stuck.
Lots of people feel stuck because they are in transition. They are uncertain about the future direction of their work or life, but at the same time they are certain they no longer want to be on their current path.
If you’re feeling stuck, what’s holding you back?
Not sure how to put your “stuck” feelings into words?
I’ve talked to hundreds of people about why they feel stuck. From my experience that feeling can be attributed to 5 different limiting mindsets or “stuck” mindsets.
The 5 Stuck Mindsets
You have no idea you are even stuck or you are suffering from one of the limiting mindsets!
When people notice you’ve changed (and not in a good way), it’s a huge indicator of being stuck!
Losing or gaining weight, increased anxiety, moodiness, negative thoughts, lack of interest in your passions, social withdrawal, drinking more alcohol and chronic fatigue are some of the warning signs.
You might be so deep into your work abyss that you are completely unaware of the physical and emotional toll it has taken on you. Your mind is locked into a loop of negative and frustrated thoughts with no end in sight.
Unawareness is the worst form of being stuck. You have no clue you are wasting precious energy fighting to stay on a career path that no longer fulfills you. Transitioning toward more meaningful work might be a more effective use of your energy.
You can’t seem to get started on the change you want to make in your life. You have no idea how to begin.
Most humans don’t like change. It’s hard. We go out of our way to avoid it.
There is comfort in going along with the status quo or feeling content.
Staying the course on cruise control takes a lot less energy than forging a new path in life (at least in the short term). You’ve got figured everything out (or so you think you do). You are coasting. Life is good. Why change it?
On the other hand, you might not be happy and know you need some change in your career or life. However, where do you begin? You feel overwhelmed by all the possible options, so you do nothing at all.
Either way you get paralyzed by inertia leaving you stuck in your career. (I’ve been stuck on my career path for up to 5 years! Don’t make the same mistake!)
Eventually your career path will change. I was laid off 16 years ago and had no choice in the matter. Do you want to get unstuck on your terms or have it decided for you by an outside force like me?
You are stuck because you are waiting for someone else or something else to decide your fate. You’ve given all the power away to someone else to make that decision for you.
When you want change in your career and you have to ask permission for it, then you are stuck my friend. So what exactly do I mean?
When you want more money and have to ask for a raise, but don’t get it.
You might be stuck.
When you can’t start your new business without acquiring lots of debt first, instead of looking for alternative ways to fund it.
You might be stuck.
When you want to work from home one day a week, but your boss gets to decide the most productive use of your time.
You might be stuck.
When you only know how to apply for a job, instead of creating one for yourself.
You might be stuck.
Stop asking for permission and take control of your career. Do what works for you. Take action. Decide when, where and how you want to make the change you desire. It takes lots of work, but trust me it’s worth it!
4) A Missing Piece
You have more than a vague idea of how you want to change your career path, but you get stuck because you are missing a key ingredient to execute your plan.
Missing pieces come in lots of different forms:
- You might not have the right connections.
- You lack the necessary research or knowledge.
- You don’t have enough money.
- You don’t have enough time because of a previous commitment or obligation.
You do have a choice. You can either view the one missing piece that is holding you back from executing your plan for change as an insurmountable obstacle or merely a problem to be solved.
If you want the change bad enough, you’ll find a way to acquire the missing piece you need.
5) Unchallenged Assumptions
You make assumptions about why you can’t get started or make the big change you want in your life.
When assumptions aren’t tested they become excuses. We blame the assumption as the reason for holding us back when in reality we aren’t holding ourselves accountable. We aren’t being honest with ourselves. We’re scared.
If you are serious about lifestyle design and finding more meaningful work, test your assumptions by seeking out alternative perspectives and approaches.
How to Reframe Your Mindset
Once you understand which of the limiting mindsets is keeping you stuck, then you can figure out the best strategy for getting you unstuck.
The most effective method for reframing your mindset it to get out of your own head and seek alternative perspectives. Try some of these self-improvement challenges.
Keep a Journal
If you sense you might be unaware of just how stuck you are, then track your most prominent negative thoughts and your most positive thoughts each day by writing them in a journal or by keeping notes on your phone. (I believe writing is the #1 self-awareness habit.)
Take Imperfect Action
If you are suffering from inertia, then schedule 15 minutes each day to take an imperfect action to design your ideal lifestyle.
Imperfect action is better than no action at all. At the very least you’ll learn something about yourself.
Remember, perfection is a limitation. It’s not progress.
List Alternative Perspectives
When you are waiting for permission to take action it is because you can only see one course of action. Get unstuck by challenging yourself to list as many different alternatives as possible to overcome your obstacle or to make your big change happen.
Hang With Like-Minded People
If you are feeling stuck because you are missing a piece to your success puzzle, then start hanging out with people who are doing what you want to do. They can guide you more quickly to your missing pieces than going it alone.