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Getting Unstuck and Living Your Best Life!

Personal Development  By: Katie Lister

January 17, 2024

Are you feeling stuck in life? Are you interested in Getting Unstuck? Nothing seems to work anymore, both personally and at work. If this is you, getting unstuck is what you must do to get your own life moving again.

Hi, I am Katie Lister, a practicing Registered Nurse and the founder of Growth Gals. This article will provide the information you need on getting unstuck, living in the present moment, and leading a successful life.

Table of Contents

What Does Getting Unstuck Mean?

Feeling unmotivated and stuck and unable to move forward, which can harm your mental and emotional health. Daily tasks may seem dull and draining, making it hard to focus on personal goals and self-care. Learning all about getting unstuck is the best way to move forward in life and thrive.  

This feeling of being stuck can persist and intensify over time, leading some to settle while others choose to get unstuck. Getting unstuck means making changes to move forward, which can be difficult, especially if you’ve been living a certain way for a long time.

Getting Unstuck – Signs of Being Stuck

“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” Mandy Hale

Being stuck comes with numerous signs that we sometimes ignore. Some of these signs include:

·       Lack of Motivation

Are you feeling low on energy and motivation? Do you find yourself unable to get excited about anything? Have you turned to bad habits, addictions, and cravings? If so, it might signal that you are stuck in a rut. Studies have shown that people who are depressed often have a different perception of the world than others.  They lack motivation and cannot get excited or even notice upbeat music.

When you are stuck in a rut, the world can feel muted, and everything seems to be in black and white instead of being vibrant and colorful. Our perception of things can significantly affect how we see the world.

·       You Neglect Your Well-Being and Health

Your thoughts and feelings can affect your physical and mental health. Neglecting your self-care and healthy habits can cause a decline in your overall well-being, eventually showing in your appearance and behaviours.

The feeling of being stuck in a rut may slowly creep in, impacting all aspects of your life. It’s essential to prioritize your well-being to avoid its adverse effects on your work and personal life.

·       You are Stuck in the Past 

We all get nostalgic about the past. However, these nostalgic feelings should never be a substitute for present-day and real-life experiences. If you often find yourself dwelling on the past with nostalgia and longing, it may indicate that you are stuck in an undesirable situation.

·       Avoiding Challenges

When you constantly avoid real life challenges and stay in your comfort zone, you are not growing but stuck in a rut. The comfort zone makes you feel safe, unbothered, and resistant to change.

Effects of Feeling Stuck

Feeling stuck in a rut has many adverse effects on your mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. Stillness or non-activity breeds tension. When we have tension, we restrict bodily functions like digestion, circulation, and the nervous system.

·       Stress and Anxiety

Feeling stuck can cause physical symptoms due to the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which occurs as a result of stress and anxiety. You may experience an increased heart rate, tension headaches, or digestive issues. Over time, these symptoms may become serious health issues.

·       Weight Loss or Gain

When feeling stuck, your eating habits may change. Some people lose their appetites and eat less, leading to weight loss. Some stressed people eat and turn to food for comfort, leading to massive weight gain. These eating habits may even become severe eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia that can lead to long-term effects on both your physical and mental health.

·       Sleeping Issues

Feeling stuck leaves you in a mental turmoil that can cause insomnia. Your mind is constantly filled with worries and thoughts, making it hard to sleep or stay asleep. Lack of sleep leads to decreased cognitive abilities, extreme fatigue, and more stress.

·       Emotional Turmoil

The feeling of being stuck can lead to depression, irritability, or a lack of motivation. This can worsen physical symptoms, creating a complex cycle to break.

·       Weakness of Immune System 

Your body’s immune system can weaken due to chronic stress, resulting in frequent infections and longer healing times.

Getting Unstuck

Getting into a rut does not happen overnight. You never see it coming until it’s too late. Once you realize your situation, the best way to solve the problem is to face it head-on.

Everyone has goals, and when you stop reaching for them, and decision-making becomes a problem, you must wake up and change your life. You can do numerous things to get out of the rut, and here are a few of my favorites.

Find Your Life Purpose

Most people go through life without ever knowing their life purpose. Your life purpose is more than your goals, job, or responsibilities. Your purpose is that thing that makes you come alive or what you are most passionate about. Your life purpose could be:

  • Animal or environmental protection
  • Helping others overcome their problems
  • Fighting injustice
  • Music or Art
  • Whatever else that makes you happy

Nothing is cast in stone, and if you are no longer passionate about what your life purpose used to be, you can always change it. To consider what your life purpose is, ask yourself:

  • What makes you happy?
  • What used to make you happy then, and what makes you happy now?
  • What do you enjoy doing that makes you lose track of time? Who inspires you and why?
  • What are you good at?

Believe in Yourself

The saying that everything begins in the mind is accurate. The brain is a potent tool; if you believe you can achieve your goals, you are more likely to succeed. Refocus your negative self-talk by listing your strengths and reframing your statements in a positive light. Use “I can do it” instead of “I can’t do it”.

Remember that your procrastination and limiting beliefs and fears are the only things preventing you from achieving your goals. Start by acknowledging your self-doubt or imposter syndrome. Write down all your successes and breakthroughs to remind yourself that you can take on new challenges and become a problem solving guru.

Practice Self Care

‘I feel like I’m stuck in a rut or experiencing burnout.’ If this sounds like you, practicing self-care is the best way to combat the feeling. Start by taking small steps and read some self-help books to find out how to best change your life. The first step to better mental health is self-compassion. How well and how often have you been practicing self care?

Eat well, sleep enough, exercise daily, and keep the company of people with whom you can open up and who support you emotionally. Read books, listen to a podcast, or do anything that makes you happy. If you are religious or spiritual, seeking God or a higher being might also be a form of self-care

Take small steps towards taking care of yourself, and it will give you the energy to look forward to a better life.

Experience the Outdoors

Research shows that experiencing the outdoors has a positive impact on our brains. One study linked nature walks to decreased depression, improved mental health, and reduced stress. The next time you feel down, take a walk and take the beauty and freedom of nature and the world around you. Being outside also enhances your creativity; it’s no wonder authors love to take long walks outside!

Take Small Steps

Change stimulates the parts of our brains that bring clarity and improve creativity. Start with small steps such as changing your house arrangement and routines or even making new friends. These small steps seem very insignificant, but they play a huge role. Many small changes will help you fulfill your short-term and long-term goals, helping you stop feeling stuck.

Forget the Past

Have you been dwelling on things that happened in the past? Are you having trouble forgiving yourself for the mistakes you made back then? Do you blame yourself for things that didn’t go as planned? Consider why you’re stuck in the past and how you can learn to accept your mistakes and move on. Remember that what’s done is done, and the past can’t be changed. It’s essential to forgive yourself and move forward.

Listen to a Podcast

Listening to a podcast about overcoming obstacles can be inspiring. Sometimes, you might feel alone in this getting stuck experience, but you are not. Get out of your comfort zone and listen to podcasts like:

  • Getting Unstuck by Sharon Courtot on health and fitness
  • Beautiful Writers Podcast hosted by Linda Sivertsen, also known as Book Mama for Creative Motivation
  • Switch, Pivot or Quit, hosted by Ahyiana Angel for career motivation and many others

Do Whatever Makes You Truly Happy 

Being unhappy and feeling stuck is a way of subconsciously telling you to do what makes you happy. Sometimes, people are stuck with doing things that make them miserable because they feel like they do not have a choice. We always have a choice.

Choose what makes you happy. If you are stuck doing a job in the finance department while you feel you want to pursue art, do the right thing and pursue art. While you may not quit your job because you need the money, find time and do art. They say that your passion should make you money, and when the art starts paying off, you will have achieved what you dreamed of.

Books to Read on Getting Unstuck


Many authors have penned books that can help you on getting unstuck. In her audiobook “Getting Unstuck: Breaking Your Habitual Patterns and Encountering Naked Reality,” American Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön shares a Tibetan teaching to help recognize and deal with the discomfort that leads us to react negatively and turn to harmful habits and addictions.

She teaches us to have a critical mind, recognize urges, and approach everything with kindness and humor, fostering acceptance of our insecurities and humans experiences.

Pema Chödrön also teaches the 4Rs of dealing with urges: recognition, reframing, relaxation, and resolve. By recognizing and reframing our habits, we can develop a lighter and more playful approach to them, leading to greater peace and happiness. The book is an excellent guide to getting unstuck. It is readily available on Amazon for anyone who wants to learn more about getting unstuck.

Also available on Amazon and deliverable to Canada is American author Timothy Butler’s book, “Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths.” Butler is a researcher and business psychologist who offers us his strategies for getting unstuck in your career or personal life. He recommends:

  • Recognizing when you are stuck and the state of the situation
  • Reigniting your imagination
  • Recognizing the patterns in your life
  • Taking action

Butler draws from numerous stories of people who have successfully exited the getting-stuck stalemate. Getting unstuck is not about perfectionism, but trying your best.

Another great book on getting unstuck is “Getting Unstuck: Break Free of the Plateau Effect” by Hugh Thompson and Bob Sullivan. You can order the book on Amazon, whether you are in New York or Canada.

The two authors ask what happens when you work more but without results. Thompson and Sullivan show you the types of plateaus that can make you get stuck and how to overcome them. 

The two American authors use case studies of failures and successes, including Google, Derek Jeter, and Blockbuster. The book identifies how to avoid mistakes and adopt effective habits for success. If you are feeling stuck in a rut, then this book will change your life for the better!

Growth Gals Can Help You Get Unstuck!

We have exciting news for all the fantastic women who want to get unstuck! Are you seeking a way to explore your true self, values, and aspirations? Look no further than Growth Gals. It is a supportive community of like-minded women that can assist you in getting unstuck.

Follow @growthgals_ on Instagram to stay updated on our goal-setting journals, coaching, and support groups. Also, remember to check out our newsletter for the latest tips and tricks on personal growth. Join us now and begin your journey towards self-improvement.

In Conclusion

Feeling stuck in life is a common experience many people go through, but it is possible to break free from it with some effort. The first step is to recognize the signs, such as feeling unmotivated, losing interest in things that used to excite you, avoiding challenges, or neglecting self-care. Once you notice these signs, it’s time to take action.

Start by finding your life purpose and believing in yourself. Your self-perception is critical to the process, so practice self-care, spend time outdoors, and let go of the past. You can also seek inspiration from podcasts and books on how others have overcome being stuck. Wishing you all the best on your journey to finding your Zen!

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