How often do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, discouraged and not making the progress you want to be making?
Let’s just say we have a leeeetle bit of experience with this…
So I sat down and came up with this list of common reasons people get stuck – from our personal archives, ugh.
1. Mindset of lack
When we believe we don’t have enough – whether it’s money, time, space, organization, self-discipline, faith, or whatever else it might be, we’re giving that “lack” power over us.
The truth is that lack is grounded in perception, not reality.
If “lack” had any real power, there would be no inspiring stories of overcoming.
You have the power – it’s all about whether you recognize it or not, and what you choose to give that power to.
2. Too much stuff
It’s sort of ironic, really, that a mindset of “lack” tends to result in a glut of stuff.
Most of us have spent way too many years cramming our lives fuller and fuller – of possessions, obligations, and time-wasters.
What we really want is buried under all the plates we’re trying to keep spinning – we have to be willing to put down the plates that aren’t serving us or enriching our lives (eliminate the unnecessary so we’re able to maximize our focus on the important stuff).
Back in the day it was “keeping up with the Joneses”. Now thanks to the internet, and social media in particular, it’s keeping up with the Joneses, the Smiths, the Johnsons, the Williams, the Browns, the Stewarts, the Jenkins, etc. etc!
Except that’s stupid.
Why do we take snippets of other people’s lives and try to mesh them together into one “perfect” life in our minds that we feel bad if we’re not living up to?
Rarely do we even stop to consider the “whys” of what we subconsciously think we should keep up with!
Confidence squashes comparison.
When you know who you are and why you do what you do, your awareness of what other people are doing can shift from highlighting your insecurities or sending you on a guilt-trip, to inspiring you with new ideas and what’s possible!
4. Unclear purpose
So many of us start out living life by default – just doing the next thing that people do, without taking time to consider what we actually want our lives to be about.
This results in lots of floundering around, chasing after too many different things, never feeling deep down like we’re really making progress.
Determining an overall life theme or direction makes decisions easier, makes you more productive and efficient, and greatly enriches your day-to-day life.
Also important to note, if the purpose we attach ourselves to isn’t bigger than ourselves, we will find we quickly feel meaningless or adrift again.
5. The “someday” trap
How many things are you waiting to do or be until everything is lined up perfectly?
Sometimes we lie to ourselves about why we can’t do or be something yet because we’re scared to try or don’t know how to start or feel like it’s not worth it.
We have to give ourselves grace to start small.
There is almost always a way to work toward your goals and dreams little by little, doing just one small thing each day. You’ll always be further ahead a year down the road than if you had waited to start, and those efforts are almost always compounding.
6. Analysis paralysis
We think we want more options, but I don’t know how many times I’ve stood in the aisle of a store staring at 10 versions of the same product, wishing there were like 2 so I didn’t feel obligated to spend more time comparing to pick the “right” thing.
Obviously that’s a simple example (more related to number 7 – decision fatigue), but the problem pops up in many areas of our lives – we get stuck trying to weigh our options, afraid of making the wrong choice. (Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil much?)
It’s so easy to forget that not making a decision is a decision.
This one really boils down to fear, plain and simple.
Letting go of the need to try to control things and being able to trust that Good/Love/God has your back is the best way to kill this obstacle – “perfect love casts out fear“.
7. Decision fatigue
We have a million decisions to make every day, from when to get out of bed, to what to wear, to what to eat, to which posts to “like” on social media, etc. etc. etc.
You probably don’t really think about all of those types of little things as decisions, but they are, and the more packed our lives are, the more decisions we’re constantly making.
Even if we don’t necessarily notice it, it’s exhausting, sometimes to the point that we end up feeling overwhelmed and stuck in survival mode.
The good thing is, there’s much we can simplify in our everyday decisions.
It’s why some people narrow down their wardrobe to only a small selection, choose to eat very simply, create routines in their days, etc.
When you start to experience the benefits of simplifying, you get motivated to find more and more decisions you can make “once and for all” (or at least for a specified period of time that allows you to focus on other more important stuff).
And truthfully, it’s amazing how many daily decisions can be simplified when you get creative.
8. Indiscriminate “yes”s
When we feel like we need to please everyone who asks us to do something, we often end up losing ourselves and feeling stuck doing a bunch of stuff that isn’t life-giving.
The sneaky thing is, it might not even necessarily be things people outright asked us to do – much of it may be expectations we subconsciously picked up or put on ourselves without realizing it.
It’s important to take stock and recognize everything we’re allowing into our lives that doesn’t serve us, and remember that saying “yes” to one thing always, always means saying “no” to something else… we just rarely take time to realize it.
9. Negative perception
Our vision for the future is obscured when we wear glasses of failure, regret, guilt, insecurity, or victimization.
When we believe there are things we need to achieve in order to be worthy of love and success, we doom ourselves to a life of struggle and striving because someone else will always appear more worthy or successful.
When we don’t take responsibility for our own outlook, blaming others or our circumstances (see number 1 – mindset of lack), we take away our own power to move forward.
We have to renew our minds with truth about who we are and what we have right now – this is a huge, gradual paradigm shift.
10. Hand-me-down formulas
While there is certainly wisdom to be gained and strategies to be gleaned from others’ experience, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for much in life.
We can’t just try to mimic what we see others doing – we need to have our own personal “why” and adjust our methods to what is most authentic for us – otherwise we’re setting ourselves up for anger and resentment.
Whew, that’s a lot of “stuck”! Which ones do you identify with most?
David said he thinks we could write a book expanding on each of these. I suggested maybe we’ll just start with some supplemental posts, so be looking for those at some point 😉
Also, please let us know if you think of anything we’ve missed!