Making a Change When You Feel Stuck

Updated on December 14, 2017
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I'm a counselor and freelance writer with years of online writing experience. My writing covers a large range of topics.

Emotions Affect Us

Everything that happens to us from the moment we are born affects us emotionally on some level. Our emotions want a voice. Even when we don’t pay attention or don’t want to acknowledge our feelings, they still remain. Silently, every emotion sits within us, and even if we don’t acknowledge them, they won’t ever go away.

When an event happens, especially stressful ones, the emotions we don’t deal with become trapped. When we push our emotions away, we don’t allow ourselves to feel and experience them.

"Change is the end result of all true learning."—Leo Buscaglia

Trapped Emotions and Feeling Stuck

Trapped emotions make us stuck. In all likelihood, we didn’t let these emotions out because we didn’t feel safe. Emotions may have been overwhelming for us, or we might not understand them.

When do we let our emotions out?

  • When we have coping skills.

  • When we have support.

  • When we compartmentalize the events and the emotions.

  • When we have held them back too long or too much.

  • When we believe we can handle them.

  • When they are familiar.

What happens when our emotions are stuck?

  • It can cause physical reactions.

  • We freeze.

  • We don’t make good decisions.

  • We repeat the same life events.

  • It causes other emotions, such as anxiety, depression, and other emotions.

  • Distorted thinking.

  • Dissatisfaction.

  • Avoidance.

  • Shame, guilt, grief, self-blame.

  • Lower self-esteem.

  • Confusion.

  • Overwhelmed.

  • Frustration.

  • Other negative emotions.

Realize Your Potential

Being Stuck

You may feel stuck because your potential feels greater than the results you are getting from your efforts. You are much more talented, much more able, much more ambitious, much more than average.

Yet, somehow you are stuck in a life that isn’t the life you would write for yourself. The things you want for yourself is not what you are getting. You may even know how to get it, but you hold yourself back. You want to do more, but you don’t do it.

What do you really want? What are your real desires and dreams? What at your gut level is so powerful that nothing will stop you from getting what you want?

Well, you might not have this drive. You may have suppressed it. You may feel you don’t deserve your desires. Success and self-satisfaction resides within you. It is your choice to deny yourself or attempt to pursue your dreams.

The Motivation to Change

Every action begins with a thought. Thoughts are our perspective. The energy within you, at the depths of your soul, is the key to tap into the change you want. What you have always done can be different and you can create the life you want for yourself. Your motivation is the engine that makes things happen. Motivation is the reason for doing. When you find the motivation, you will find the reason and the want to make the change.

We get stuck because we don’t allow ourselves to have what we want. We stop ourselves because of our core beliefs. Core beliefs are the rules we adopted when we were little to make sense of our world. We do a disservice to ourselves because on a deeper level, we believe don’t deserve the things we want. The power of change is within you. There is hope. It isn’t easy. It is hard to change what you have always done.

Change Is Hard, Good, and Necessary

How to Get Unstuck

Here is some help to get unstuck, make progress, and feel satisfaction and success in the things you do going forward:

  • Acknowledge you are stuck—let yourself feel all the emotions—frustration, anger, depression, anxiety, and all the other feelings that come with being stagnant. Perhaps you feel as though you are watching the world pass you by and getting nowhere.

  • Awareness of what you have been doing. Take responsibility for where you are, how you are procrastinating, and how you got there.

  • Accept you are stuck. Tell yourself you don’t want this anymore. You want change. It isn’t easy to admit you are stuck. You may not want to deal with the uncomfortable feelings this brings up. If you don’t, you will stay on the same trajectory you have always been on.

  • Look ahead. What do you see, what do you want, what will you allow yourself to have?

  • Help yourself to seek change. Look for support, go to a mental health therapist, do even the smallest thing that will bring you a sense of satisfaction

Change is hard. We often resist change because it brings us to the unfamiliar. So, how scared are you of getting unstuck? How powerful are your thoughts about living your life the same way today, tomorrow, and your whole future? If you want something more for yourself, you have to take a risk. What is the worst thing this risk is?

There Are Reasons We Don't Change

Our Perceptions and Change

Sometimes, our mind makes it worse than it really is. Your life is your own responsibility. No one is going to make the change for you. It begins with a thought, a belief, a change in perception, and the faith that you will land just right, even if things don’t go perfectly. Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change. Change the way you do things, and the things you do will cause change. Change always brings change.

When you decide the things you are doing are not working for you anymore, you will change. Wanting to change is an invitation to grow. We grow through introspection, reflection, self-acceptance, awareness, and insight. It is hard work. It takes a belief in yourself and a belief that the change you want is better than what you have now.

Motivation and channeling your energy into something that brings results through consistent effort and following through will make change happen.

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."—George Bernard Shaw

Why Do We Get Stuck?

Sometimes, we get stuck because we do what is comfortable, or because we don’t have the support from others we believe we need. This leads us to flawed thinking which keeps us stuck. When we believe we have no choices, we don’t do anything.

The choice for change is up to you, not anyone else. What you think is comfortable is an illusion. You believe you are comfortable because you don’t know what the change will bring. Whether you have support from others or not, if you truly want to get unstuck, to make a change, you will soon see, it has nothing to do with anyone else. You are responsible for your own life and the way you live it. If you try something and it doesn’t work, you will find another way. You will have learned something and that learning lesson will take you somewhere. If you want someone’s help, you can learn to rely on yourself. When you do this, you will learn what you are capable of doing. Conceive, believe, achieve!

Reach Your Potential

Making a Change for the Better

Getting unstuck happens from change. Change happens by doing. Doing happens from motivation. Motivation happens from seeing a bigger picture. Seeing the bigger picture happens from realizing the value in doing.

Realizing the value in doing happens from knowing the purpose of doing. Knowing the purpose of doing makes it worthwhile. When you know it is really worthwhile, nothing will stop you. Each of these realizations is associated with feelings that will either stop you or make you move forward.

Sometimes we get stuck because we feel overwhelmed. When our thoughts are too much for ourselves, we push them away. Work on those overwhelming feelings one step at a time.

Sometimes we feel helpless, from feeling overwhelmed or from a lack of self confidence. This belief can become a self fulfilling prophecy, and causes us to stay where we have always been. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can make a difference by the little things you do.

Sometimes we get stuck because we feel worthless. We give other people and the events in our lives meaning that define our self worth. Whe we live up to someone else’s expectations we deny ourselves what we can really do. Let yourself know who you really are and gain strength to make the change you want from this.

Do You Feel Stuck

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What Make Change Most Difficult for You

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Get Unstuck and Seek the Possibilities

Changing Long-Held Beliefs

Changing long-held beliefs like, “I don’t matter,” or “I can’t,” will help you reverse the same thinking you have always had and guide you towards making change.

Sometimes we have internal conflicts that we struggle with. We get stuck because we did nothing, or let someone else decide for us. It is difficult to do things by yourself. The burdens are heavy when you must do things by yourself. It can make choices difficult or seem impossible at times. Sometimes we procrastinate because we don’t know what to do. Feeling isolated and alone can cause a feeling of hopelessness, depression, and anxiety. Other people can sometimes give us inspiration and motivation.

When we feel unsafe physically and emotionally, we look to protect and this can cause us to keep things the same out of fear of the unknown. Anxiety, disgust, grief, criticism, and lack of support are feelings that can keep us feeling stuck.

Stuck emotions make us stuck in our lives. You can work to heal yourself from being in a place you are to a place you want to be.

  • Find affirmations, confirmations, and inspirations from everything around you.

  • Rebalance your energy from negative thoughts to positive thoughts. Imagine the possibilities of achieving the things you want.

  • Believe you deserve more than what you have.

  • Take small steps step-by-step and the change will occur.

If you want the change, only you can make it happen. You are the captain of your life. You make choices every minute of every day. These choices will lead you somewhere. The decision of staying stuck or seeking change is up to you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


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    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Thanks, as always for your comments. Happy and Wonderful Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great suggestions for growth. Thanks for the reminder.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


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