“When your Daemon is in charge, do not try to think consciously. Drift, wait, and obey.” — Rudyard Kipling
We’ve all been there.
We’ve all felt stuck, uninspired and unmotivated at times. When nothing feels exciting and engaging. When nothing lights your fire or can put a smile on your face. When all you want is to crawl back into bed and simply not deal with life.
I have those days from time to time. I question what the point of everything is. I question myself and what I’m able to contribute with. I question the projects I’m working on and if things will work out.
To feel stuck is frustrating, discouraging and energy-draining. But, what I’ve discovered is that these negative emotions we feel, always is a messenger in one way or another. It can be a sign that we’re heading in the wrong direction, that we’re pushing ourselves too hard or that we’re not acknowledging certain needs we have.
Problems are part of life. Problems push us to find solutions. Problems are what help us grow and expand. As Tony Robbins said, “The problem with problems is that we think we shouldn’t have any”.
We can’t always avoid ending up in dark places – nor should we as they are a catalyst for us to develop and evolve – but what we can avoid is staying there for too long. It’s our choice if we make it a quick rendezvous or if we decide to set up camp there.
Here is the most effective way I’ve found so far on how to move forward when you’re feeling stuck.
Don’t push your way out
When we desperately want things to change, we tend to force them to. Instead of waiting for that powerful pull, we tend to push. Like a little kid trying to bang the pieces of his puzzle into place when he can’t figure out the structure.
When I felt stuck in my previous job in Paris, my first response was to push my way out. I was uncomfortable and desperate for a change, so I convinced myself that if I only changed city and company everything would be different. So I applied for a similar position in London.
Just when I was about to go to the last interview, my boss at the time gave me some extremely valuable advice. He said: “I’m not saying this because I want you to stay, even though you know I want you to. I’m saying this because I care. Don’t change because you want to leave where you are, change because you want to go somewhere else.”
Basically, don’t walk away from something, walk towards something.
All choices have positive and negative aspects. There will always be new problems arising and if our action isn’t grounded in desire, we’ll soon end up wanting to change again, thinking that the grass is greener on the other side.
It’s a forced action, instead of pulled action.
When we feel stuck, we’re often urged into action, any kind of action. It’s like our mind is telling us, “Do something, ANYTHING, about this situation.”
Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t take that job, because I know now that it would only have been a temporary solution. It probably would have felt good for a while, but what I was looking for wasn’t a new job – I was looking for a different path.
Nothing good comes from forcing things into place. So instead of acting on that do-something-about-this-now voice, just observe it. Accept that you’re having a shitty day, week or month. Accept that you’re feeling stuck and that things aren’t ideal. Accept that you’re feeling frustrated, confused and disconnected from your guidance.
Simply: Stop fighting what is and come to peace with it. Allow yourself to feel all the negative emotions. Don’t resist them. Instead, surrender to them completely.
A tool to help you surrender is to agree to your negative thoughts. Yep, that’s right! To say to yourself, “Yes, I’m stuck” and “Yes, I don’t feel like doing anything”. Agreeing to them doesn’t mean that they are right. It simply means that you’re putting an end to your internal war. It’s when you’re fighting thoughts such as “I’m stuck” and try to prove them wrong that you also say you believe them. By accepting them completely, they lose their power over you. There is nothing more for them to prove and that’s when they can depart.
So the first step is to not push your way out of feeling stuck. But to simply say YES to the fact that you’re feeling stuck right now.
Let inspiration guide you
Once you’ve accepted where you are fully, you’re in a place to choose a new direction. To do that we invite inspiration. No matter if you’re an entrepreneur, photographer or yoga teacher – inspiration is key in creating a fulfilling and purposeful career.
Inspiration draws us in. Inspiration stirs our mind and makes action feel effortless. Inspiration awakens new possibilities and makes up a springboard for creativity. Jay Z said, “The most important thing is inspiration, as an artist if you’re not inspired you start thinking. When you start thinking you start forcing.”
Simply, take a step back and let yourself be swept into a different world. Don’t do it because you need to do it – do it because you enjoy it. (Yes, you are allowed to do that!)
You want to get pulled – not pushed – into action. Then when you feel ready, start taking small steps forward.
Work with inspired action
To feel stuck and unable to move forward sucks. Both you and I know that. It can make life feel like a black and white movie, when we know that there’s one in technicolor.
Don’t push away the difficult feelings, instead invite them in. Accept them fully and surrender to whatever is holding you down.
Then once you’re at peace with where you are, go look for inspiration. Find glimpses and pieces of what makes you curious and investigate that. Allow yourself to open up to new opportunities and make inspired action your new best friend.
Also, always remember this: You’re never really stuck. Life is always in motion.
What are your best tips on moving forward when you’re feeling stuck? Tell me below in the comments 🙂
Photo cred: Sofie Stenmark, Model: My Charlotte Lestander