What to do when you are feeling stuck
At times, we feel like we are stuck in a rut - nothing is happening for me. I am not moving forward. We feel disheartened and frustrated that we are not getting anywhere in life - same old same old.
Lasting change or transformation takes time and effort - more than any of us envisage at the outset. It takes daily effort, at both mental and physical level. Just because you tried last week or last month does not guarantee results or happiness today. A good friend shared a list of 5 big questions that he asks himself every day. 'How hard did I try today is the first one?' This is a great question and very challenging. When answered honestly, there is nowhere to hide. He has been using this question every day for 20 years and it is really working for him.
Progress takes daily effort and persistence. Moreover, engagement in what we are doing always makes us happier
Science tells us that people's minds wander 47 percent of the time. Based on my own experience, I feel it may be more than that! It is also proven that people who are present experience greater levels of happiness than people whose minds are wandering - even if what they are doing is sitting in traffic or other seemingly mundane tasks.
On reflection, this makes sense as we are more inclined to feel joy by heart when fully present to what is in front of us. We can be happy about many things in our minds but a deeper feeling sets in when the mind and body are in the one place - when we are fully in the moment.
I watched an interesting Ted-talk last week. It showed that the most important determinant of success is not talent or anything of that nature but grit. Grit is defined as courage, resolve and strength of character and will. Other powerful gritty words are: fortitude, tenacity and perseverance.
Feelings of progress and 'stuckness' cannot co-exist. Grit and feelings of being stuck cannot happen at the same time either. When progress stops, we feel stagnant. Progress is fundamental to happiness. Grit helps us progress and brings happiness too.
The feeling of progress comes from results; but more consistently from regular effort and engagement in what you are doing when it is related to what is important to you in life. Just because you tried last week does not give a feeling of progress today. Just because you ate a delicious cake last week does not make you feel full today. Just because you drank a pint last week won't make you feel merry now. The feeling of being satisfied by effort and progress and the feeling of being satisfied by food have their similarities.
As Benjamin Disraeli says: 'Action may not always bring happiness. But there is no happiness without Action.'
It is always darkest before the dawn. A feeling of 'stuckness' often comes before transformation and breakthrough. As we see our own patterns we decide that something has gone on long enough. We see the price we are paying for not acting. We see our own dissatisfaction and all of this helps us connect to our inner-grit.
To get unstuck, change your mood, take action, live in the now and focus on creating what you really want in life so you can feel you are progressing according to your purpose.
If you are feeling stuck and want to change it: incorporate this question: 'How hard did I try today?' and rate yourself out of 10. Ask daily and watch the results! Enjoy.