I’ve experienced several stages in life where I thought that God must have played tricks on me. Changing my corporate jobs from one company to another with higher salary didn’t seem to be the ultimate solution to lead me to happiness in life, but perpetual puzzlement. I was working diligently as everyone else, yet the feeling of getting trapped and lack of fulfillment was haunting me crazy.
I had tried taking maximum care of myself by going to fine-dining restaurants, social engagements, movies, monthly pedicure/manicures, shopping, etc., but something was apparently missing. While numbing out by overworking, I kept wondering how long exactly will I go on living this way. “What’s next for me?”
Too bad, “What’s next for me?” is not included in any of the four critical questions I’m about to share with you. :)) We’ve all experienced times like this – feeling lost and disoriented about where we are heading and simply feel, S-T-U-C-K.
The bottleneck occurs because we are afraid of making a “wrong” decision. But have you wondered, what if there is no such a thing called “a wrong decision”? What if every decision we’ve made in life is as perfect as it has been?
I was turning 36 years old when I took stock of my life (during my near-deaf experience), and luckily, by realizing that I do not want to die with an emptiness inside, things started to shift.
I’d like to share with you four critical questions to help guide you out of feeling stuck so perhaps you can initiate positive change in your life.
1. Self-Awareness: Are you honest with yourself?
The truth is we are all afraid of the unknown to some degrees or another. Living a life without risk seems to be a logical thing to do. However, after a period, it seems more comfortable to remain where we are than to move on. If you really want to get unstuck from the current situation, it’s important to look fear straight into the eyes. Don’t worry; you will survive.
Try deep diving at least four layers of WHY. Being honest with ourselves is essential in self-discovery. Don’t judge any answer that comes up. You will gain clarity around what’s the root cause you are dealing with.
Please ban these 3 words: I-Don’t-Know. It’s like closing the doors from any possibility and keep your higher wisdom away from helping you.
- What are you most afraid of?
- Financial security. Why is that important?
- I want to be happy and enjoy life without worry. Ok, and why is that important?
- I feel recognized. And why is feeling acknowledged so important?
- So I can prove my self-worth and don’t have to keep up with the Joneses. And why is keeping up with the Joneses important now?
- I continue to get more love and approval if I can make it.
2. Self-Care: What kind of thoughts are you feeding yourself every day?
Well, you exercise, eat well, enjoy your weekly spa, occasional shopping splurge and actively engage in social events. These are all great self-care tips from the surface. But what I mean by self-care here is the level of mental & emotional support that you can give to yourself.
Thoughts create feelings. Feelings trigger actions (or inactions). If you want to get unstuck, the first step is to minimize your mind from negative self-talks on a regular basis. It takes practice, but remember that practice makes better (not perfect).
You can start from catching yourself saying “I am so lost and frustrated,” to “I know I am a bit confused and feel stuck, but I am willing to figure it out no matter what!” Then, start looking for a minimum of 3 things that you are the most grateful for that day. Any 3 things will do the magic. Slowly but consciously replace all fear-based thoughts (resentment, regret, bitterness) with daily gratitude. Then, start feeling your emotional difference.
3. Self-Acceptance: Are you willing to let go of all expectation?
The fact is that every single moment serves a unique purpose, even if you absolutely hate the feeling of stuck in a rut. But along my journey, something I’ve noticed is that the longer I feel trapped, the more I choose to surrender to it, then the more I actually learned when I come out of it. It is the darkest periods of my life that have taught me the most about myself.
Learn to drop self-imposing limitations like “I should’ve become ultra-successful in X years,” “I have to make sure this is the right way to go,” or “I better achieve this or else…” that will not help you but hinder you from reaching your potential.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether you feel trapped for a week or a year. As long as you do the best you can with what you have (including getting confused), the process will unfold itself. Don’t feel guilty about not being able to figure everything out all at once. Allow time and be patient. Sure, you might still feel the anxiety, but it doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy yourself during your discovery stage. :))
If you’re prone to self-criticism, you can spend some time to reflect back on anything you have achieved in life up till now before desperately seeking for the next big move? Try listing out 30 accomplishments that you are proud of (big or small) and begin to feel the shift. Your higher self will appreciate your acknowledgment, I promise.
4. Self-Empowerment: Are you challenging yourself enough?
Everything in life is about balancing the Yin (feminine energy: associated with the heart, wisdom, and feeling) and Yang (masculine energy: associated with intellect, knowledge, and the capacities of the mind).
Both the Yin and Yang energies are equally important, and there is an art form to allowing them to coexist within you and to be expressed through you.
After gentle check-in within yourself about the previous 3 questions, you can let the Yang energy take place to support you. Reaching your full potential and moving past psychological deadlocks requires challenging yourself. Do you have a set of conscious daily routines that prepares you to initiate any positive change in life?
This can be as easy as committing to loudly say a positive mantra 3 times every morning when you wake up, listening to your favorite piece of music (not sad songs, please) for 5-10 minutes or even taking a 15-minute brisk walk around your neighborhood.
Create one that resonates with your body, mind, and spirit. Even if it’s a bit challenging at the beginning, when you stick with it long enough, you’ll end up with a habit you can keep to re-engineer a better you.
Your desires are like a painting that you create upon the canvas of your life. Like any artist, we must decide what the background, theme, and foreground will be within our picture. Take time to contemplate but remember: If you don’t make a decision, that’s the same thing as deciding that everything shall remain the same.
Last but not least, a love mantra from Louise Hay:
“I am in the process of positive change. I am unfolding in fulfilling ways. Only good can come to me. I now express health, happiness, prosperity and peace of mind.”
Sending you lots of love, joy, peace and happiness,