If you feel stuck, you must know that’s completely normal. Seriously. You’re not alone.
Especially if you’re in your late twenties and early thirties! Feeling stuck at this age is so popular it even has a name: Quarter-Life Crisis.
According to a study, the quarter-life crisis is defined by the press as “an identity crisis that leaves recent college graduates depressed, anxious, and full of doubt“.
This popular crisis is pretty much widespread; according to Businesswire, “nearly half of young Americans Have Experienced a Quarter-Life Crisis“.
Considering The United States has more than 300 million inhabitants, of which around 14% (almost 40 million inhabitants) belong to the 25-34-year-old group… that’s a lot of people going through a crisis.
Now, it all may sound like terrible news, but, actually, in my opinion, feeling stuck is a good thing: it’s a sign your mind and body are sending to let you know you’re not living up to your true potential and it’s time to do something about it.
However, I’d say that the worst part about this feeling isn’t the feeling itself; it’s its inherent part: not knowing what to do next.
I’ve already written a post about 15 Reasons Why You Feel Stuck In Life, which you should read before looking for ways to fix it.
Knowing exactly why you feel stuck is key to getting unstuck!
There are many things you can do to get unstuck in life, and I’ve listed them in this post.
You can try them all if you want, that’s a lot of fun, but I highly recommend you start with the one that resonates with you the most.
That way you’ll avoid the frustration caused by searching for your answers in the wrong places.
These are all methods I’ve personally used, in an unorganized way, to get unstuck in life.
I hope you find them useful and they help you get out of that nasty rut.
How To Get Unstuck: 12 Foolproof Ways To Get Unstuck
1. Practice self-discovery daily for a month
You can’t fix something if you don’t know where the problem is, right?
And the perfect tool to find what’s missing is journaling.
Journaling is an excellent exercise for self-development and mental health that consists of writing your thoughts, ideas, hopes, fears, and basically anything that crosses your mind.
However, if you’re stuck and you don’t know where to start getting unstuck in life, practicing free-style journaling can frustrate you.
Especially if you’re new to journaling.
This exercise can be particularly helpful if you ask yourself the right questions and elaborate from there.
That’s why practicing self-discovery journaling for a whole month can help you understand yourself and identify patterns.
If you’re interested, check out this post about 31 Journaling Prompts For Women Who Want To Know Themselves Better.
While you’re at it, why not practice journaling to uncover your biggest dreams as well?
Knowing where you are and where you want to be is the first step towards your new unstuck life 🙂
More posts you’ll love:
- Monthly Reflection: The 15 Top Questions You Should Ask Yourself At The End Of Every Month
- 5 Nonfiction Books That Changed My Life (And Why You Should Read Them Too)
2. Analyze your current habits and build new ones
As I’ve mentioned before, maybe you feel stuck because you’ve been doing the same things over and over again for years.
To know if that’s your case, take out your journal and think about your normal day. Just a regular day in your life.
Write down all the things you do from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed: How are your eating habits? Do you spend time in front of the TV every day? Do you read books? Which kind? Do you get enough rest? Who do you spend your time with? What are your most recurring thoughts?
I believe in the power of habits.
Small actions you perform every day have a powerful compound effect in your life.
And this effect can be more decisive than you may think.
This is an interesting and life-changing concept I learned from The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy.
In his book, Hardy examines the effects that daily habits have on people’s lives, for good or bad.
If you feel stuck and can’t pinpoint where you’re failing exactly, I highly recommend you check out his book.
Another writer that’s all about habits is James Clear.
Check out his blog in which he writes about habits and other interesting topics that can change your life.
He also has a book called Atomic Habits, which some people swear by.
I started reading it and found it to be pretty similar to The Compound Effect, which I had already read, so I never finished Atomic Habits, but maybe you want to read that one too.
3. Declutter your home
This one may sound a little weird considering the title of this post, I know.
But it sounds weird only if you don’t know the power of decluttering and organizing your house or any space in which you spend time on a regular basis.
Did you know that clutter takes up mental space and increases your levels of anxiety?
Sometimes the change we so desperately need is laying right there, outside of us, in the form of a huge physical mess surrounding us.
I once told you that I used to hate organizing and cleaning the house. I never had the energy or the time.
But then I discovered that it was a major reason why I was feeling so anxious and generally “uncomfortable”, as I used to describe it.
Once you’ve decluttered your space, trust me, you’ll find it’s way easier to think clearly about you, your future and your goals.
4. Learn how to rest and recharge
This one may also sound a little weird to some because resting is a natural thing, right?
But no, not everybody knows how to do it. And chances are, you feel stuck because you haven’t taken time to rest and assess everything you’re doing.
So, if you want to get unstuck in life, go ahead and do something fun and relaxing, at least for a day.
I know it’s hard for some of us, but try to forget about everything you have to do and just allow yourself to be.
You can’t imagine how much a stressed and cluttered mind can affect the way you make choices.
When you allow your mind to rest and you give yourself permission to do nothing, some things can become more clear.
The best part? You don’t need to go on a 6-month spiritual retreat. Trust me, just one day of a real relaxation can clear your mind.
5. Practice gratitude
You may feel stuck because you’re trapped in a negative space.
Make it a habit to list three things you’re grateful for every day and you’ll start seeing results almost immediately.
6. Start a challenge
Challenging yourself is one of the best ways to know what you’re made of.
Find an area in your life you wish to improve and then design an appropriate challenge. You may:
- eat healthy for a whole month;
- join aimlief’s 2-week challenge to change your life;
- quit coffee and/or for a week;
- or practice yoga for 30 days straight.
Maybe you think there’s no relation between feeling stuck and eating healthy.
First, eating healthy is always good for you, for a number of reasons.
One of them is that eating healthy improves your brain health, which reduces brain fog and helps you think more clearly.
Second, eating the right foods can help you improve your mood. Which, in turn, can help you feel more positive about your life in general and more motivated to change the things you don’t like.
There are many reasons why I recommend challenges! Challenges:
- are a great way to set specific goals, for a specific amount of time;
- sharpen your skills;
- help you know yourself better;
- give you something different to work for;
- bring out the best in you;
- make you stay committed;
- have a sweet reward waiting at the end because nothing compares to starting a challenge and finishing it.
You’ll be astonished at all the things you can achieve!
7. Make a list of everything you’ve accomplished so far
One of the main reasons why we feel stuck is because you compare your whole self to what you know about your peers.
And then we end up believing they’ve accomplished more, even though they’re as young as we are.
So, we end up thinking we’ve wasted our young years.
Somehow you can’t remember something valuable you’ve done.
That’s the reason why it’s a great idea to list all the things you’ve accomplished:
- create a timeline, starting when you were 17 or 18;
- list at least one accomplishment a year, from that age to the age you’re now.
It’s important to revise what you understand as an “accomplishment”.
Many people set the bar too high and they end up thinking that only curing cancer or winning a Nobel prize can be considered an accomplishment.
If that’s your case, you’re wrong.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, an accomplishment is “something that is successful, or that is achieved after a lot of work or effort”.
Think about all the times you pushed yourself and did the best you could. That’s what matters!
8. Stop comparing yourself to others
This topic is enough to write hundreds of books, I know.
It’s not easy at all to stop comparing yourself to others.
The trick I use is this one: Every time I find myself comparing myself to others, I think “I don’t know everything about that person. I only know what they want people to know, which, naturally, is their accomplishments”.
Thinking this helps me understand that others are human, just like me, and that they’ve made mistakes as well.
There’s nothing superhuman about them, and that makes me focus on myself.
9. Explore your passions
Follow my 25 Solid Steps To Find What You Really Love To Do and then start a learning challenge.
Once you’ve uncovered your passions, go ahead and enroll in a course and study for a whole month.
After that month, notice how you feel. Do you want to continue? Or do you want to try something else?
Exploring your passions is one of the most fun things we can do in life.
If you feel stuck, then it’s probably because you haven’t tried the things you like in a while.
Now it’s the perfect moment to start exploring your many passions.
10. Learn something new
If you stop learning, you stop growing.
And if you stop growing, well… you won’t only feel stuck; you’ll also be stuck!
Make a list of all the things you’d like to be better at, search the web for free courses, and start learning.
You can also check out classes on YouTube.
This doesn’t mean you’re suddenly changing careers or that you have to start devoting all your time to something new, it’s just a way to explore new things you may like.
11. Start small
Take action: None of this will work if you don’t get up and start implementing one of these solutions.
So, go ahead and choose one and commit to it entirely.
Just choose one, the one that resonates with you the most, and start small.
If you decide to enroll in an online course, don’t get too excited: enroll in only one. If you don’t like that one, then start another one.
But don’t make the mistake of trying to do too much too soon because that can leave you frustrated.
12. Talk it out
Stop carrying that weight with you everywhere you go.
And talk to someone you trust.
Chances are, that person is going to understand you because most of us go through this.
Or seek professional help if you need to! If feeling stuck is unbearably painful for you and you can’t find the strength to take action, maybe you want to seek help.
Remember there’s no shame in that. We’ve all needed help. One way or the other!
If you want to get unstuck, you need to take action.
This feeling won’t go away if you keep ignoring it and thinking that, eventually, you’ll get used to your life and start liking it.
If you do that, you’ll probably end up settling for less than you deserve and regretting it later.
There’s clearly something you don’t like about your current state and nobody’s going to take action for you.
Get unstuck using these foolproof steps I described earlier!
“Sometimes it takes an overwhelming breakdown to have an undeniable breakthrough” – Unknown