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Hi, I'm Shanice! I'm so glad you're here. I'm a mom of 3 (including twins), a self-care + time management coach, and a Communication professor. Her Guided Evolution® is a digital space dedicated to helping women make time for themselves and their personal growth.

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3 Reasons Why You Feel Stuck

 

I think feeling stuck and procrastinating on whatever goals or dreams you have often go hand-in-hand that is to say that they often occur together. For example, you may feel stuck in your job or career. You may hate your job and where you work, but you don’t fill out applications regularly or you aren’t actively trying to take the necessary steps to create a business. Or, you might feel stuck in a relationship.

At the same time, you are avoiding making a decision to continue the marriage or end the marriage, situationship, or friendship whatever. So, you’re procrastinating on that decision.

Or you may feel stuck in your life in general because you’re in the same routine. You may feel bored with life and like you do the same thing every day, and you hate the monotony, but you don’t really know what to do to get out of this feeling.

You might have thought about starting a hobby, or a side hustle, or exercising to help you better cope and break up the day. But you may not even have the energy to think about what steps you would need to take to start the hobby, or the side hustle, or you don’t feel like exercising most days. Whatever variety, I think when we feel stuck it can feel like a vicious cycle.

We feel disempowered, stuck, and we don’t know what to do. So, we procrastinate and don’t do anything. We stay stuck in the same place (job, career, relationship, unhelpful patterns). Rinse and repeat. I’ve been thinking about areas of my life where I feel stuck and like I’m not progressing as much as I want to.

And this episode is building off of that introspection, and what I’m experiencing. And I hope it might give you some insight into what might be keeping you in this place of feeling stuck, and disempowered.

  1. You aren’t aware of your thoughts.

You know, I say it all the time, I’m not a therapist. I am not training to be one. I’ve just been in therapy for a long time, I read a lot, and I recognize the power of thoughts. Our thoughts and our minds are so powerful. That’s part of why so much of therapy and psychology is focused on thoughts. A lot of times a shift in perspective and working with your own mind can be an empowering process. But if you are not even aware of your own thinking, it’s very difficult to intervene when your mind creates this reality or situation that doesn’t serve you.

If you’re feeling stuck, I’m guessing that you have a lot of thoughts that are disempowering. A lot of thoughts are causing you to see your life and your situation from a perspective that isn’t serving you. You may be thinking thoughts where you are focusing on the obstacles in front of you rather than looking for ways to work around the obstacles or think in terms of solutions. Let’s say for example that you feel stuck in your current job or career.

I feel like that’s pretty common for people. You may be experiencing a range of emotions like anger, frustration, and helplessness. You may not even know why you’re feeling this way. But the answer to why you feel stuck in your job is going to be linked to your thoughts and what you are thinking about the situation.

If you are thinking, “OMG I hate this job. And I know I’m not going to be able to find another job because the economy is trash. I hate this co-worker, he/she/they get on my nerves.” Of course, you are going to feel stuck and trapped! Your brain isn’t giving you any other options. Now, you may or may not actually be stuck in this job.

But if this is what’s on repeat in your mind, of course you’re going to feel stuck and not feel confident enough to start applying for jobs or starting a business, or doing whatever you can do to change the situation. That’s why I think it’s important to have that awareness and pay attention to what you are thinking when you feel stuck.

It can be powerful to recognize: “This situation is bothering me. Why is that? How am I thinking about this?” But if you don’t have this awareness…

And if you are completely unaware of how you are thinking about the situation that makes you feel stuck, in my experience, this can turn into what feels like an invisible obstacle. That lack of awareness of your thoughts is often the precursor for putting you in this place where you feel stuck in this cycle of self-doubt, fear, and confusion. And this cycle is what leads to the prolonged procrastination.

If you start to recognize that you are caught in a cycle of self-doubt and unproductive thought patterns, try to be compassionate with yourself. Awareness is often a necessary first step to getting unstuck.

2. You are getting caught up on minor tasks.

Another reason you might feel stuck is because you are getting caught up in minor things that keep you from moving forward. This often happens to me when I am doing something that is a long or multi-step process to complete. Some examples of this might be applying for a new job, or a promotion, applying to go back to school. That would be a long process of searching job ads or researching grad schools.

Doing paperwork, filling out applications, interviewing for the job or in some cases grad programs. You might put off scheduling an important meeting or connecting with someone new because you may have to jump through hoops to find or get their contact information.

You might get caught up on finding the right workout video (I do this a lot when practicing yoga), so you might skip your workout all together. It can literally be anything.

If you have a goal or a dream that you are struggling with and feel stuck in that area of your life, look at the little tasks that you may be getting caught up on and using as a reason to not move forward. One current example for me, is submitting my research for publication.

For at least two weeks, I was thinking, “Oh, I don’t know which journal I should submit this paper to.” Never mind the fact that it took me a grand total of 30-minutes to figure out which journal would be the best fit.

But I spent those couple of weeks stuck on this minor obstacle because I didn’t want to put myself in a position where I was going to feel uncomfortable and intimidated. In other words, it was just easier for me to use that minor obstacle, not knowing where to submit the paper, as a reason to procrastinate, which would make me feel even more stuck and disempowered.

So, I want you to think about the goals that you have, and think about the minor tasks that you might use as an excuse not to pursue your goals, and think about how this might be contributing to you feeling stuck.

3. The third reason, you feel stuck because you are not building confidence in yourself.

I looked up the definition of confidence. I got this definition from Oxford Languages. Confidence I defined as, “the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.” I really like that definition because I think confidence as a concept is pretty straight forward. I feel like confidence is often portrayed as this mysterious thing that you either have or you don’t have.

Confidence, in my view, is often framed as our ability to think we are attractive to other people or have value or worth. But I think the actual definition of confidence, “the feeling that you can rely on someone or something” as a concept makes a lot of sense.

Confidence is trusting yourself and believing that you can rely on yourself. I think most of us want to feel secure and want to feel confident. But I think confidence can feel so elusive and out of reach. I think confidence comes from setting a standard of consistency for yourself and following through on what you intended and said you would do for yourself.

Think about it like this. I want you to imagine that you are dating someone new. And this person that you’re dating is just not reliable. You make plans with that person, and they only show up about half the time. They are really flaky. They don’t text you back consistently. And you just develop this relationship with that person that is based on a presumption of doubt and the awareness that they ain’t ish, and you shouldn’t have any expectations.

Now, let’s imagine that you are dating someone who is really solid. They text you back immediately. They show up when they say they will. They are always there for you when you need to vent, and you know you can count on them. You start to develop an expectation that you can rely on that person, and they start to become someone who is really important to you.

I want you to think about those two relationships that I just described. Which one best describes the relationship you have with yourself?

Are you someone who says you are going to wake up and exercise, and you actually do it? Are you someone who decides that the job or career path you’re on is not in line with the personal evolution and vision that you have for yourself, and so you immediately start filling out job applications or set up an LLC?

Or are you someone who plans to wake up early and exercise, but ends up saying, whatever girl, I’m tired. I’m sleeping in for another 30 minutes. Or do you often say you are going to fill out job applications later on today, but then this evening rolls around and Netflix, Hulu, or mindless scrolling through IG feels like more of the move? If you are like most people (and me), you are probably a combination of both.

Sometimes you follow through, and sometimes you don’t. I say that because the consistency piece is often the hardest part. But those small decisions to wake up early, or fill out that application, or send that e-mail, those become opportunities to strengthen your consistency and ultimately your confidence.

Just like the solid relationship that most of us would want and expect from a partner in order to build trust, that is the same consistency we should strive for when we are trying to build confidence in ourselves. I think it will be really difficult to feel stuck if you were actively building your confidence. So, if you want to get unstuck, I think that mandates that keep those small, everyday commitments to yourself.

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Founded by Dr. Shanice Jones Cameron, Her Guided Evolution® is a digital platform dedicated to helping women (specifically moms) make more time for themselves. Instead of chasing productivity, the Her Guided Evolution® philosophy is aimed at helping women create more time for self-care, improving their mental health, and finding joy.

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