I’ve noticed that many of my friends and I recently hit a place in life where we felt frustrated with our current situation. We weren’t happy or depressed — just not content with where we were or sure of how to do something different. I want to share my experience to see if it could help you get out of a similar rut.
Almost two years ago I wrote in my journal that I wanted to own a company that allowed me to travel and work from home. The company had to make at least 10k/month and not require me to manage many people. I’ve never wanted to be rich, just comfortable enough to travel, save, and live a life where I’m not looking at my bank balance.
Just a few months ago, I looked around and realized I was living the life I wrote about. I just hit my 12k/month goal while sitting on the couch of a friend in LA. I was supposed to be happy. Instead, I called my best friend and cried my eyes out.
Sometimes, there’s just something about life that can make us feel unsatisfied, filled with doubt, or like we’re not living exactly how we’re meant to. The worst part of this feeling is that you can’t really pinpoint what’s wrong or what you can do to change it. We feel stuck.
My friends regularly congratulated me on my success, but I always found some way to minimize their statements, because I was not happy. I was tired. I was stressed. I wished I were doing ANYTHING else, but what I was doing at that very moment. It wasn’t until later, did I get some sane advice from a friend who set me straight. I was telling her how frustrated I was with where I lived, with my work life, with my dating life, with ERRRTHANG and floated the idea of running off to Bali to write a book for a few months.
Her advice. Dayo, I love and support you, but if you don’t write now for enjoyment, what makes you think that you’ll enjoy it if you run away to Bali. YOU are unhappy in general.
Hmmmm. Homegirl had a point.
This got me to ask myself some important questions. What is it about my life as it is right now, that I am so unsatisfied with? Why is nothing ever enough? Why am I so scared? Why does work suck? Why do I hate where I’m living. Why am I always disappointed? Why am I upset with my friends? Why am I lazy? Why am I negative? Why am I lonely? And most importantly… How can I get unstuck?
I know many of you have felt similarly. In fact, I’ve gathered some of the most common characteristics of those who are stuck. Note, that these are general tendencies and not absolutes. See if you can find yourself in any of the following 7 Traits of The Stuck.
Difficulty Taking Action
Do you find it difficult to actually DO something? You have many desires, dreams, and goals, but freeze up when it’s time to actually execute something. Either you talk yourself out of the new direction, you convince yourself that this wasn’t the right fit for you, or you may even procrastinate until the opportunity passes. You always seem to be on the outside looking in as people take advantage of amazing opportunities. Whether it’s learning a new skill, taking on a challenge, or starting a new business, you know you can do it too, but it’s so hard for you to mobilize yourself to actually take action.
Be honest. Are you full of excuses? When a new idea or opportunity pops up are your first thoughts about why it won’t work, how difficult it is, or the hundreds of people who have tried and failed? Or maybe you feel drawn to the bad in every situation? This is all you and your friends talk about. Everyone is stupid, no one ever does it right, and people are generally bad. Or perhaps, you’re overwhelmed with how unlucky you are or even obsessed with how terrible the world is? (Trump is bad, so I’ll let that one slide.) Even when friends or coworkers try to point out the positive in a situation you can’t help but think of the negative.
Your Life Is Cray
Does your life feel chaotic? Do you find that you’re always in the middle of some crazy drama in your personal life or work? It’s like crazy experiences just seem to find you. You’re impulsive and emotional. You cuss people out. You have difficulty sticking to a plan or managing money. You can’t go a month without a disaster occurring such as a car problem, overdue bill, or trip to the hospital. Things are cray!
Inability To Relax In A Healthy Way
Do you feel stressed but can’t find a way to relax. When you’re not at work you’re thinking about all the things you have to do at home. When you’re at home you’re thinking about work. You don’t feel comfortable asking for help from friends or family. You feel guilty when you actually take a break. Or maybe your only breaks are unhealthy. You smoke weed every day, or drink ½ a bottle of wine on a weeknight, or perhaps you’re eating an entire pizza by yourself. Maybe you’re participating in some other compulsive behavior like stalking someone, trolling and leaving nasty comments on the internet, even going over a problem in your head for hours!
You don’t want to be around friends or family. You feel like they can’t understand you or what you’re going through. Or maybe you’re isolating yourself because you know you’re in a funk. You’re not in the mood to be shamed by friends or family. You don’t want people to motivate you right now, so you’re flaking out on the bday parties, opting out of social events, and spending a lot of time alone.
Looking For External Sources of Value
What’s most important to you is status, looks, and the latest Gucci bag. Your goals revolve around seeking fame, money, or sex to prove your are worthwhile. Your week is made when you hit 300 likes on an Instagram post. You love to talk about how amazing it is to be in a relationship with your single friends even though your partnership could use some work. You cuss out Toyota Corolla’s that take too long at the green light. You take perfectly curated pictures to show the brand name of your clothes. You travel for the pictures and not to enjoy the destination. You need other people to see that you have it in order to feel that you’ve done anything at all. You’re struggling on the inside, but everything looks nice on the outside.
Repeating The Same Behavior With The Same Outcome
You seem to find yourself in the same situation over and over again. Every man you’ve dated has cheated. You’re getting written up at work for the same reasons. Your friends are complaining about your continued flakiness. You’ve done the same diet a hundred times. You overwork yourself. You don’t speak up for yourself AGAIN. You’re just stuck doing the same old thing hoping that by magic things will be different this time.
Did you see yourself in any of these descriptions? You’ll probably find that some fit while others don’t. Just notice which traits you most strongly identify yourself with.
So how do you fix it? The first step to getting unstuck is to understand what being stuck looks like. If you see yourself in the traits above then you’re on the right track, but now what do you do? I’m not a guru, but I’d love to share a bit more of my journey that I’ve broken down into a 5-Step Process to getting unstuck. Here’s a quick runthrough
- Understand What Being Stuck Looks Like
- Ask The Hard Questions
- Show Up – Turn Understanding Into Action
- Take Care of The Basics
- Stay Open
These concepts are nuanced so it makes them a little difficult to write about. That’s why I’m teaching a free masterclass on September 14th entitled… you guessed it… How To Get Unstuck! During the class I’ll walk you through an ACTIONABLE 5-Step Process to help address those nagging feelings. Visit https://thesixof7.com/get-unstuck-class to register. See you on the class.