Do you feel stuck in life? There are at least 12 reasons why you may feel stuck and lost in life. There are so many people who go through life feeling trapped in their circumstances, and stuck in a rut. They feel like there is something more they want in life but just can’t seem to make any progress in changing their circumstances. They can’t or don’t know how to break out and go after the life they want.
What causes people to feel this nagging feeling that they are stuck? How do you get to that point of lived helplessness?
First of all, change is difficult and many people fear change. Sometimes it is just easy to deal with the life you know than going off in a different direction where you may not know what you will find.
But that is not the only reason that causes one to get stuck in life. Life is complex. So there are many reasons why one can find themselves feeling unfulfilled, unmotivated, purposeless, and stuck in life. As can be expected being stuck in a rut can be so very frustrating and makes life pretty much flavorless and drub.
The sad thing about staying stuck is that if you don’t address it and beat it, you settle into a mediocre less than life and you do not reach your full potential. No one really wants that, yet many people just settle.
So let’s examine the reasons that lead one to feel stuck and lost in life, so we can also learn how to move forward and live life with zest and purpose.
Let’s dive in and talk about these roadblocks that cause life to feel like one is helplessly trapped in a quagmire.
Okay. Here are the major reasons why people get stuck in life.
Major reasons why you feel stuck in Life
You may feel stuck in life because you are overthinking everything.
I will be honest with you. I tend to overthink a whole lot. Yup! I am working on it. Do you want to do something that would move your life forward, but you are going round and round in circles from one scenario of negative results to another? One roadblock to another?
Do you tend to see all the things that can go wrong when you take a certain action towards a change you want? These are signs of overthinking and these keep you feeling stuck in that rut.
Promise me that you will focus more on the things that can go right when you take that action you need to. I am slowly working on this and I can tell you it helps.
So plan and dive in and do that thing you want and start living for real. The key is to think more of what can go right instead of all of what can go wrong. It took me a whole year in the wrong job making less because I was afraid of changing my job.
Once I did, all the things I was afraid of didn’t happen, and I am better of than I was. Go for the change you want. Don’t keep going back and forth thinking, what about this or that and the other. These things will work themselves out. They may not even matter eventually.
You self sabotage
Self-sabotage will definitely keep you stuck. There are many reasons that make people self-sabotage and you will need to dig deeper into the reasons you are self-sabotaging.
In many cases self-sabotage is sneaky but if you start many things and don’t finish, that is one sign of self-sabotage. Or every time you have a relationship you somehow don’t believe someone loves you as they say or you feel you are not that loveable so you break it off. That is also a sign of self-sabotage. These and many more keep you from living a happy and fulfilled life.
You may self-sabotage because the change you need is big and therefore scary. But to move forward past feeling stuck in a rut, you must learn to stop self-sabotaging. See this post here where I address self-sabotage in detail.
Having limiting beliefs is keeping you stuck
Do you find yourself saying all the things you can’t do or are not capable of? Do you talk negatively about yourself putting yourself down? These unfortunately are messages you send to your brain and your brain believes what you tell it often.
This gives you reasons not to move forward, not to start that new thing you want to do, or go after that dream life you want. So watch closely what beliefs you hold about yourself and what you say out loud about your abilities.
Start changing your belief system about yourself. Talk to yourself like you talk to those you love. This is a great element of self-love. And you must learn to love yourself more to be the best you can be in this world. That doesn’t mean you become selfish. No. It means that you need to be kind to yourself.
If you find you hold negative beliefs about yourself, here is a great resource to help you learn to change your negative thinking. I also love this Positive Thinking Workbook. When it comes to silencing that pesky inner mind critic you need to do all you can to overcome that self-defeating habit. Use it to learn to actively rephrase your negative thoughts.
If our most important relationships are with the wrong people, this is a sure way of feeling stuck in life.
Take for example a boyfriend or husband or wife who talks negatively every time you want to go after a certain goal or dream. If they discourage you or put your abilities down, they are wrong for you. These types of people prevent you from pursuing your dreams.
The most important people in our lives may also be the biggest problem. We believe that they want the best for us. But they may not know what is good for us. They may believe in the average way of life. You know…go to -school-find a good-job-get married kind of progression. But that may be wrong for you.
Sometimes we get entangled with people who are really going nowhere in life. We must be mindful of our friendships and associations.
If the people we associate with are also stuck they may want us to stay stuck with them. This is dangerous and can lead to a stuck in a rut discontented life.
So, gauge and analyze your relationships. Are they supportive, challenging, encouraging? A good friend should point out the errors of your ways and should encourage and be your biggest cheerleader.
If not, ditch that comfort zone and find people who believe in you, who are determined, kind, and are developing themselves too.
You are living other peoples expectations of you
Now, this is one way to really get you stuck when you are not truly living for yourself. Are your choices your own or are you living according to the dictates of others?
These others may be your parents in some cases these are our earliest life determiners. Maybe they wanted you to choose a certain career, go to a certain college, choose a particular major, marry a particular person.
Or maybe it is society at large. Are you afraid of doing something close to your heart and you are now living an uninspired life? Are you worried about being judged by those close to you or just society in general? These things can lead to discontent, unhappiness, and feeling lost, stuck and purposeless-unfulfilled.
Living for others is exhausting and depleting. It takes so much more effort. Look deeply into your life and look at the choices you have made.
Are these your choices, or were they somehow chosen for you? What would you change if you could live authentically as you?
Then commit to that change and start implementing what you need to live as your real self. When you do that life will feel lighter, and happier and you will no longer feel stuck. Being authentic is so liberating, but so scary sometimes. But happiness comes when we are true to ourselves.
You are stuck because you tend to be a perfectionist
Have you heard of the saying “start before you are ready? ” Perfectionism can get you stuck and prevent you from moving forward. If you wait until everything is perfect and every piece is in place then you may never get there.
Life is just not that easy. It is messy, and so is the journey to the life you want in many a case.
Don’t wait until you know everything about the thing you want to do. Learn as you go. Begin now and the knowledge and ease will come gradually. That is why you find mentors and books and resources to show you the way.
You are caught in analysis paralysis
Oh, the many people who get stuck because they analyze every detail in the process and somehow feel inadequate, and so they freeze. They become paralyzed in indecision or fear and get stuck.
They think about what the change involves and it all may feel too much. And because they feel inadequate they stop before they begin. Do you get caught in analysis paralysis?
This is called resistance.
And resistance comes strongly when we start or try to go after the very goals that would make the biggest difference in our lives.
That strong resistance is actually a good thing. Really. That resistance is sending you the message that you are on the right path, and that is the very thing you were meant for, made for. So go for it. One small step at a time, and you will beat analysis paralysis and resistance.
Don’t let analysis paralysis kill your dreams. Start today. Take the tiniest step forward today. And another tomorrow and just keep going and moving forward one tiny step at a time and you will beat analysis paralysis.
When you overcome resistance life starts to unfold in the most amazing way and you find you are no longer stuck.
Procrastination will keep you stuck in life. If you postpone the things that matter, those goals that would get you from the present “meh,” life to a fabulous fulfilled life, you can stay stuck forever. Procrastination is really another part of the resistance.
If you simply say you will do it tomorrow, or the next day, next week, or next month, you feel better. We don’t think we have given up in this case. We give ourselves that hope that yes, we are still in the game, and still committed to our goals, but we do nothing about it.
We just postpone it and therefore never achieve the goals and therefore our dreams. This is dangerous. This is a way to stay stagnant and stuck in the quagmire of a life that is less than authentic and or fulfilling.
Procrastination is easy. Learn how to finally beat procrastination and build the life you want. Read this post for more on crushing procrastination habits.
Related post: How to Get Rid of Your Procrastination Habit for Good.
You have been caught in the cult of the average
You have heard that you are very much like the five people you hung out with the most. It is the same concept here except in this case you look around and everyone around you is living some sort of mediocre life.
They are average. You know, they have enough to eat, a good respectable job, a comfortable place to live and the like. And nothing wrong with that if that is what you want.
But that is not what you want, or you would not be feeling stuck.
You want more than the average.
And it is not to say that you want to get rich.
Money is nice but it is not everything. You may want more money, but then again your dream may be something more different. It may be that you want to travel, go to faraway lands and live among some exotic people.
Maybe you feel called to go start a girls’ school in a third-world country or an orphanage.
Maybe you want to be a monk or nun. You want to do something extra ordinally. Maybe you want to change careers, but all around you scoff at it because “who thinks they can make money blogging?” How laughable! An artist? Writer? You will starve, they say.
They say you have a good job in a good company. Do you want to waste such a good opportunity? You had a good education. How can you throw that away?
Don’t listen to these naysayers. Avoid being caught in the cult of the average. Go after what you want. Again, I say learn, look for mentors, and rise from an average to an extraordinary life. Be you. Surprise everyone by making it big in whichever way you choose.
If you are caught in this cult of the average, watch this TED talk on living with passion and purpose. Stop being mediocre and living a default life. Stop being just fine.
You are stuck because you live in the past
Sometimes, the past begets the present. But being so caught up in what happened in the past that you cant move forward and live the life you would like is limiting. It can lead to a jaded and unhappy life.
Did you make mistakes in the past? Everyone has.
Now, not all mistakes are equal. Some are major. Go see a therapist and work on those so you can move past them. Read thoughtful self-development books that will open your eyes and your mind. Get guidance to overcome the major hurdles you have encountered to go past the mistakes you have made.
Have you tried to change and fail in the past? Remember my friend, there are no failures in life. Only lessons. Learn the lessons and use that knowledge positively to fuel the change you need. Remember, ” you don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying there.”
You see, we hardly ever see the struggle that goes before success in others. We only see the final results in many cases.
So we think, well, it must be easy for those other people. But they too struggled. They failed many times over before the success we see. So don’t let your past failures stop you. Use them to forge your path.
13 Books That Will Inspire You to Live Your Best Life
Lack of self-awareness
Being self-aware is so important. This is your guide for your life and honoring who you are is what makes life livable and not just tolerated.
So go inwards. Do the inner work and ask, what are your values? What do you stand for? What are your personal preferences? What is the one thing you would be thrilled to achieve in life? Do you have a vision for your life? What is it?
Self-awareness also means knowing your strengths and weakness. Are you easily distracted? Do you have shiny object syndrome? Do you start things but don’t finish?
What are your strengths? Are you a good writer? A speaker? Do have an amazing love for animals? Are you a great cook? Use this knowledge to use your strengths and to minimize even overcome your weakness.
Put in place ways to keep your focus if easily distracted. For example, you can install apps to keep you on task.
Become self-aware. Start a journal and list your strengths, weaknesses, and passions. Then from there draft a plan of action. Start extricating yourself from the current situation making you feel stuck. Then pursue your passions relentlessly.
You are feeling stuck due to a lack of information
So you want to change your life and go in a completely new direction but you don’t know where to start? This is an easy fix. Find the information you need.
Let’s for example talk about blogging. Blogging is complex. I am the last person likely to start a blog. It is quite a complex undertaking, I have found.
There is a lot of technical things that go into operating a blog. I knew nothing but I was compelled by this great need to start a blog. So I did research and I was relentless I earned.
I did all the tech things, and I am still learning. I am learning other things too in the process.
Try to also invest in the knowledge you need. Buy books. Read on it. There is information on everything you can think of. But learn to discriminate and don’t drown in information overload which is easy in a world saturated with information.
Again, find mentors and others who have done what you want and learn. You must start by educating yourself to go past stuck to thriving. You can change your circumstances and live an authentic, deeply satisfying life. Start today.
Being stuck in life is awful, and really sad because we all have the potential to live a life that is amazing, a life that excites us to wake up every morning.
But so many of us spend every day feeling unfulfilled, feeling something is lacking, that life is bland. Many people then just give up and miss on the extraordinary experience of a life well-lived. So promise yourself today to get in touch with your inner self.
Get that journal out and write freely what an amazing day would be like for you. Write about your wishes and dreams and how you would love to live your life. Write about the obstacles you feel are preventing you, and then plan on how to overcome these problems.
Start with one small step at a time. Join groups of like-minded people. Do your research and begin putting in place the pieces that will eventually get you to the life you were meant to live.
Be extraordinary. I believe in you. You were meant for great things. Get yourself out of that rut and live authentically.
Tell me in the comments. Do you feel stuck in life? Why do you think you are stuck?
How to Get Out of a Rut When You Feel Lost and Stuck
16 Signs You Need a Major Life Change
18 Ways to Know When You are Self Sabotaging
How to Love Yourself More
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