Here you sit, pretty miserable and alone, feeling stuck in life and knowing that you need to make some changes.
Your job has gotten beyond stressful; your relationship is on the rocks; you gained back all 40 pounds that you tried so hard to lose; your best friend and confidant has moved away.
But you don’t move. Why are you feeling stuck in life? Well, it’s because you are telling yourself some pretty powerful lies about not having what it takes to make those changes. You may be guilty of one, some, or all of these lies – there’s 11 of them.
1. I’m Just Too Tired to Think about It Now.
Troubles and bad situations do make us tired – we are exhausted just stressing over them. The problem with this lie (and it really is a lie), is that you will be just as tired tomorrow and the next day. If your best friend who moved away suddenly came in town and wanted to get together, you wouldn’t be too tired. So, if you know a change you need to make, then look at that change in the same way. Once it’s made, it will be just like your best friend being back.
2. I Don’t Have the Money/Time (or whatever) to Do This Right Now.
So, when will you have the money or the time? The one thing about humans is this: if they really want something, they will do everything it takes to go after that – unless they are feeling stuck in life just like you. If you want out of that really horrible job, then you may have to go back to school and retrain for some new skills before you seek something new. And you are broke and too tired. No, actually you aren’t. There are ways to pay for school; you are tired because you are stuck. Start with one night class and begin to see how amazingly awake you will be on those evenings that it meets! Just one step – success begets success.
3. I’ve Haven’t Done This Before and I Might Get it Wrong.
Wow. How many things in your life have you done for the first time? Did this stop you from getting your driver’s license or getting your degree? Did this stop you from applying for and getting the job you now hate? And yes, you might get it wrong. But what is the worst that could happen if you do? You will still be breathing. One woman stayed in a job she hated for 16 years because she worried about making a bad move. Staying where she was, was the bad move. Could a new job be any worse? And if it was, could she move again?
4. Other People are Worse Off Than Me – I Should Be Grateful.
Yes, there are people suffering from terrible diseases, and starving too. They are indeed worse off than you. And we should all be grateful for what we have. At the same time, however, starving, diseased people have no way to change their situations right now. If they could, they would. And you DO have the power to change yours. If you are in an abusive, controlling relationship, then get out of it. Think of how those starving people would walk miles if there were great food to be had. If they can walk miles, certainly you can.
5. This Move (Change) Will be Too Hard.
You’ve got the chance to apply for a job for more pay and better benefits, but you will have to move to another city if you get it. Your mind is telling you that this will just be too hard to do. Think of all that this will mean – leaving your friends; packing up and going to a strange place; finding a place to live; and all of that with the stress of starting a new job. Really? People do this every day. There is something deeper going on here, and it is that you have become comfortable in your “stuckness.” It is familiar and therefore secure, no matter how bad feeling stuck in life may be.
6. I Need to Take Some Time to Think About This.
Okay. How much time do you need? How long have you already been thinking about this? If your life change is quitting your job and going into business for yourself, for example, chances are you have been thinking about this for quite some time. If you keep thinking about, it becomes no more than wishful thinking, and no success ever has come from that. Get your ducks in a row. Save money, develop your plan, and do your research. All of these things will move you toward that change. Taking these preparatory steps gets you moving in the right direction.
7. I’m Too Set in My Ways and I Just Have Accepted the Way Things Are.
There is a part in all of us that says change is just not in my future anymore. We do get comfortable, even in our pain. So, if you have told yourself that you will always be fat, that you need to accept it, you have abdicated to your “pain.” But to tell yourself that you are just too “set in your ways” is a lie. No one is set in their ways until they are dead. You may be able to move if you can find a support partner or partners to “pump you up” and keep you motivated to pursue a weight loss program.
8. This Change is Just Too Unrealistic for Me.
What this lie tells you is that your reality is just what you have right now and nothing more or less. Why is that? Do you believe that your circumstances cannot be changed in any way? This lie is really insidious because it causes you to totally ignore the reality that people change their circumstances every day. Single mothers go back to school and graduate; people who hate their jobs find new ones; those who are in abusive relationships get out and start new, happier lives. Look around you. The reality is that you can change your circumstances.
9. I’ll Make Changes After Just One More Time.
I’ll start my diet tomorrow; I will really look for a new place to live and get out of this relationship this weekend; I’ll start a job search next week. Delay, delay, a delay is such an easy thing. There are always things that come up that just let you delay and keep doing what you are doing. Every day you can tell yourself the same lie, and every day you will make another decision to continue feeling stuck in life. Until you take a step, even a tiny step, you will stay in the lie. Turn down dessert today; pull up that resume and start updating it tonight – just a small step.
10. I Need to Please Others.
Here is one of the worst lies of all. The lie is not so much that others will criticize a life change you make – the lie is that this should be important to you and that this should control what decisions you make. The question you have to ask yourself is – whose life is this? If you believe that it is your parents’ life, or your partner’s life, or your boss’s or co-workers’ lives, then you have accepted the lie. People who are stuck in the trap of pleasing others are also stuck in life and cannot make positive life changes. Everyone else likes them just where they are.
11. I’m Past Caring Anymore.
Really, this may be somewhat true if you have tried to make some life changes and they have failed. You updated that resume and you applied for other positions. But you only got a couple of interviews and then did not get any offer. You tried 3 diets and they didn’t work for you. That’s disappointing to be sure. But consider this: J.K. Rowling got over 200 rejections before a publisher finally took her first Harry Potter book. And your mind can tell you that you really don’t care, but if you dig deeper, you will find that you do. It’s just part of the human spirit.
Lots of people think that others who don’t make positive life changes are just lazy. In trust, laziness has very little to do with it. Getting into a “comfort zone” with our self-ascribed lies is not laziness – each lie has to be confronted and defeated by a new truth.
In rare cases, this lie might be true. Most times, however, it’s a lie you’re telling yourself because the challenges are huge, the work is hard, or you haven’t seen results yet. Persistence and consistency are the keys to stopping feeling stuck in life and making life changes work.
You will stop feeling stuck in life and see results if you keep going.
Keep in mind that the only reason you’re on the path to life change is because you did care — you cared very much. If you practice awareness of these negative thoughts (or weeds) in your mind that push you off track and make you feel stuck in life, you’ll be on your way to planting new ones that will ensure you flourish and grow.
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Author Bio: Julie Ellis is an experienced freelance writer, marketer, and passionate traveler. As a business writer, she’s been featured on such websites as Business2Community, SocialMediaToday, jeffbullas.com, and others. When she’s not engaged in helping her customers and students, you can find her reading articles and books of young writers and attending marketing conferences. Follow Julie’s Twitter and Google+ to learn more about academic and business writing skills.
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