Feeling Stuck in Life? 4 Common Reasons AND How to Get Unstuck

Jordan Brown

I see this a lot.

On social media. In real life. Conversations I overhear.

People feel stuck in place.

They don’t think they can make forward momentum in their lives.

It’s a tough position to be in.

It can feel all-consuming, a heavy feeling that wraps around you like a wet blanket.

There are many reasons why you might be feeling stuck in life.

And there are also potential solutions.

There’s no overnight cure, but maybe you can feel better in three sleeps. Or four sleeps? Who knows?

But you’ll never know if you don’t continue the search for the right information.

So let’s get started.

Feeling Stuck Reason 1: You Think There’s No Hope for Any Change

bearded man with hand on head feeling stuck in life
Feeling stuck in life can be absolutely awful.

Feeling stuck starts with your thoughts. If you think you’re stuck, you’re stuck. It’s as simple — and as complicated — as that.

Thoughts create your situation. They frame how you see the world. They are, in fact, the foundation of your current paradigm. It’s so easy to use your thoughts to create a convenient narrative about why you can’t go anywhere. I’ve done it all the time. But the problem with that is that it’s NOT true. There’s always something that you can do.

Negative thinking is a slippery slope. In a way, it’s adaptive. It keeps you in place, in your perceived safety. When you think yourself into a corner, you don’t have to go anywhere. The ego wants that because your ego wants to keep you safe and secure. Every time that I’ve told myself that there’s no hope is because, deep down, I’m scared, and my silly brain thinks that moving through fear will lead to my destruction.

It’s simply not true.

Potential Solutions to Get Unstuck From Your Mindset

Here are a few things to try if you feel that there is no hope of any change in your life.

  1. Realize that you are the one who created these thoughts, and you can be the one to create new thoughts. If you start thinking about possibilities, might you start to see possibilities?
  2. Talk to someone who you see as NOT stuck. What do they think that you don’t? How did they create so many opportunities in their life?
  3. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself. If you’re tired and dehydrated, it’s only natural to think negative thoughts. The body and the mind are related, and your brain will pull from your physical state to think thoughts that it feels relate to your physical feelings.

Let’s move on to the next reason.

Feeling Stuck Reason 2: You’re Stuck in a Dead-End Job

Maybe you hate your job. So many people do. What can you do if that’s the case? It’s hopeless, right?

Wrong. You have more power than you realize. You’re not stuck in a prison working for extremely low wages even though it might feel like it at times. There are probably small ways that you can create some opportunity for yourself.

But it’s totally understandable. You spend so much of your life at work that, if you hate what you do, it can have a profound negative impact on your life.

For many people, work becomes life. If you love what you do, this is fine. But if you hate your work, you hate your life.

It’s time to get your life back.

Potential Solutions to Get Unstuck at Work

  1. Focus your thoughts on the tasks that you enjoy. There has to be something about your job that brings you joy. Even if it’s the small amounts of time that you get by yourself when you’re cleaning up. Could you use that time to create a new future for yourself? Could that be your own private space to mentally create a new reality? Likewise, focus your full attention on these joyful tasks. There are going to be times in your work that you hate. Thankfully, you get to choose your attitude during the times that you enjoy.
  2. Always look for other opportunities. This might be viewed as shady by some, but I think it’s realistic. You are a valuable human being with real skills. You should always be scanning the horizon to see how you can best offer those skills. You’re not required to be in one job until the end of time. You can go somewhere else. It’s often an outdated mental model, likely handed down to you when you were young, that is telling you that you can’t go anywhere. You can. It may not be a perfect opportunity, but you can make incremental moves in your life. Before you know it, you’re doing work you love.

Feeling Stuck Reason 3: You Don’t Like Where You Live

This is a big one. If you don’t like the community you live in, it’s very easy to feel stuck in place.

Communities have their own character. There are people who do similar jobs and say similar things. There are the same buildings you see every day. There’s the weather. There’s the way clouds hang over your head. There’s the way the clouds don’t hang over your head. You get the point. There are things about your current location that are a real drag.

So drag your butt to your favorite place in your community, and let’s see if we can change this.

Potential Solutions to Get Unstuck From Your Location

  1. It’s awfully hard to just pick up and move. I just made a big move from Virginia to Montana because I missed the mountains too much, but it took a real financial toll on me. It was a risk, but it’s paying off because of how much happier I am. I have so much more energy now. But I don’t have special powers. I decided I needed to do this for myself, and I made a plan to do it. What would it take for you to do the same, if that’s what you wanted to do? Could you write out a preliminary plan? You might realize that, even though it would be quite difficult, you actually could move to another place.
  2. Ok, ok. I get it. Not everyone can do this. What if you really are stuck in your physical location? If that’s the case, try this. Find the people who feel like you. The feeling of being stuck is so common. There really should be “I’m Stuck” Support Groups all over the world. Maybe you could create one? Seriously. Go on to Meetup or any other meetup site online and see if you can figure out what’s going in your community. If there’s nothing there, create one. I guarantee you that there would be others who would come out to talk with you about how stuck they feel. Just the act of connecting with other people can be enough to get some new thoughts brewing.

Feeling Stuck Reason 4: Your Relationships Are Draining You

three women in business clothes talking about feeling stuck
Your relationships could definitely be making you feel stuck in life.

I’ve had some relationships in my life that were completely energy-draining. They were totally one-sided. I knew I needed to cut them off, but I just couldn’t. They were safe. They were familiar. Still, they made me feel stuck.

It’s quite possible that you have some relationships like this. What do you do in this situation? It’s not like you can just sneeze in your friends’ faces and say sayonara!

We need connection. Humans are wired for it. But your first and most important relationship is the one that you have with yourself. If you’re not treating yourself well, how can you expect others to do the same? How can you even attract the right people to you if you don’t know what you deserve?

All committed relationships with others start with the commitment you make to yourself. With that in mind, here are some ways to make positive changes create happy, healthy relationships in your life.

Potential Solutions to Get Unstuck in Your Relationships

  1. Take a step back. Assess your current relationships. If they are not bringing you joy, it’s time to do something about it. This is especially true if you have a long history of bad behavior from another person. The goal of long-term relationships is long-term happiness. Relationships should become better over time--not worse.
  2. Think about the qualities you like in other people. Do the majority of the people you spend time with possess those qualities? If not, why not? What can you do about it?
  3. Take a risk. Try to make a new friend. It feels so awkward as an adult. I know this. But you have to do it. Channel your inner child and ask someone if they want to grab coffee or just meet up anywhere to chat about your shared interests at some point. What’s the worst that could happen? They say no? People LOVE talking about things they’re interested in. It’s basically all humans do. Step out there and make the offer.

In Conclusion - The Path to Stop Feeling Stuck in Life

Your thoughts. Your job. Your community. Your relationships.

All of these paint a pretty complete picture of why you might be feeling stuck. The thing is, you have latent power available to change each of these realities. If you start small, you can begin to chip away at what’s holding you back. Before you know it, you’re a human being emerging from the statue that you’ve been living in.

Becoming human again is what it’s all about.

Regain your humanity by realizing just how much possibility you still have.

And then seize the moment and do something about it.