Sunday, 8 December 2019

13 self-compassionate things that you can do when you feel stuck in life

Person in front of a window
Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Life progress is like an addictive drug. We always crave it and do everything in order to get it. We keep pushing ourselves to the extreme to maintain steady life progress. You know, moving through life, achieving our goals and constantly improving.

It's almost as if moving in life is something you should always be doing. You are wired to work tirelessly to prove your worth. Unfortunately, the expectation for immediate progress can have a negative effect on your mental well-being.

I'm sure that you have already been at the point of realization that constant progress is impossible. At some point, you can get stuck, unable to move from where you are. It's like getting surrounded by unbreakable walls. You can keep hitting them, but they just won't break. The most difficult thing at these points is not knowing what lies behind those walls. We fear what we don't know, especially when it comes to our life journey.

Life is not easy, it does not morph to your wishes. I often feel like there is a ticking time bomb inside of me, I feel like that if I'm not progressing - I'm wasting away. When we experience a sense of limited progress, it may be difficult to perceive success. It can get frustrating, lack of progress can make you feel desperate. It can make you question your life decisions and worth. 

This post will discuss some ways to accept the times when you get are stuck in life. I will also describe how to deal with a lack of progress with self-compassion, instead of self-criticism.

13 self-compassionate things that you can do when you feel stuck in life 

1. Tackle your fear of the unknown

Lack of progress is terrifying. When you are stuck in life, life can get a bit confusing, as if it's shrouded in fog.  It is in your nature to be afraid of the unknown, especially when it comes to your life progress. You need to tackle your fear of the unknown and accept the normality of not progressing in life. Sometimes it just takes time to get to where you want to be.

2. Focus on your journey, not just the destination 

When your focus is directed toward achieving a set goal, getting stuck in life can be distressing. It's far better to focus on the journey itself and not the destination. Accept that life is not a smooth path, and you may need to unexpectedly change your direction. Try to see life as an adventure, even the times where you are taken off your course.

3. Do not lose track of your progress 

It's completely natural to see yourself in a pessimistic, overly critical perspective. Your self-criticism gets into overdrive especially during periods of stillness. Being stuck in life can trigger judgmental thoughts about your past achievements, it can make you feel like a failure.

As a result, you can easily lose track of your past progress - you know the things that you have done in order to be where you are right now. To cope with feeling stuck in life, do not lose track of your past progress. Stop treating your effort as something meaningless. You need to elevate yourself more, instead of bringing yourself down.

4. Try not to be too perfectionistic 

Perfectionism can flip from a healthy, motivational outlook to a pressure inducing monster. You need to have a good balance. Perfectionistic life goals are also quite unrealistic and take a lot of time to achieve. When you are stuck in life, try to adjust your goals and limit your perfectionism. Unfortunately, we are rarely told that it's okay to be mediocre. We don't have to climb mountains to make a mark in the world. Even you existing here right now, at this moment, is a miracle.

5. You don't have to impress people to be good 

Admit it, we care a lot about what other people think, to the point where you may want to progress in order to impress people. You may rely on other people's opinions and recognition in order to feel good. Shake yourself away from this mindset. You don't have to impress people with your growth and incredible achievements. Why let other people define your worth? Getting stuck in life does not mean that you are a failure.  

6. Remember that life is too short to be negative 

This bit of advice is quite straightforward, remember that life is too short to be negative. If you overthink too much that you don't like where you are in life, that you want to move forward, that the things that are happening to you are simply not good, this taints your mind with negativity. I'm not saying you should feel bad for having negative thoughts or getting frustrated over getting stuck in life, but you should recognize when to let go of these thoughts. 

Hands silhouette over a sunset
Photo by Samer Daboul on Pexels 

7. Find your meaning in life 

Not having any meaning in your life can make you feel confused, especially if you get stuck in life. I know that figuring out your life meaning is quite complicated, but your meaning does not have to be complex. 

You just need to be passionate about something. Try to extend your life meaning beyond things like being successful. For instance, work on a hobby or get involved in improving your skills. When your life meaning revolves around success, you risk being more affected by periods of stagnation. 

8. Try not to fall into the traps of competition 

Everyone is too obsessed about wanting to be better than everyone else around them. This is partially due to our insecure nature. Our achievements tend to contribute to your perception of status, or in other words 'social rank'. Falling into the traps of social competition can lead to stress-related to your progress in life. You need to stop competing and start to live for yourself instead. 

9. Realize that progress comes with time 

Not experiencing any progress in life when you want to can feel like the end of the world. After all, you don't want to waste time, you want to improve yourself, you want to feel like your effort is worth it. Realize that sometimes all you need to have is patience, because progress comes with time. Good things come for those who wait. 

10. Being stuck in life doesn't mean that you are moving backward 

As I have mentioned, lack of progress makes me panic, it can feel like my life is crumbling into little pieces. Over time I have learned to understand that when I'm stuck, it does not mean that I am moving backward from my goals. It's a simple mindset change, but it can make a lot of difference for your well-being. 

12. Think about your life satisfaction 

There is a difference between perceiving life progress and life satisfaction. If you are not satisfied in life, it does not matter whether you are progressing or stuck in life. It can lead to a never-ending cycle of disappointment. Perhaps you are not frustrated by lack of progress, it could be that the thing that is bothering you is the fact that you are not satisfied in your life in general. 

Try doing new things, changing your environment more often, hanging out with different people. Think about the things that make you happy. Doing the same things over and over again will not make you satisfied in life. 

13. Understand that life progress is dynamic 

Life progress is not a smooth ride, it is different for everyone. Don't worry about getting stuck in life, because progress in life is dynamic. It's okay to stop and start, that's just how life is. Believe in yourself and accept where you are right now. Start living in the moment instead of focusing on where you want to be. 

There you have it, here are the ways to cope with feeling stuck in life. Lack of progress can be extremely distressing and it can damage your self-worth. That's why it is important to accept your life as it is, be mindful, be grateful and patient. 

You need to live your life for your own happiness and not for other people. Social competition can put a lot of pressure on you! 

Everyone gets stuck in life, you are not the only one, the struggle that you are experiencing is a shared one. 

How do you cope with feeling stuck in life? 

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  1. These are such great tips. I think staying on track with your progress and not getting caught up with perfectionism are two really important ones. It doesn't matter if you haven't met your goals yet as long as you're making progress x


  2. Tacke the unknown!
    That is by far my favorite thing on this list. There is nothing like stepping out to face the unknown to discover new things about yourself and also to grow.

  3. This is so great! I hope everyone gets a chance to read your wise words!

  4. Great tips - all really important things to think about when we're feeling stuck. Which all of us will do at some point! x


  5. I really liked this; I think it's important to always try and be positive as negativity can really bring you down x

  6. What a great blog idea! It can be so hard when it feels like everyone is pushing forward. I feel like you always have to be working toward some massive goal and as you said any time not doing something is 'wasted'. But then where does that leave us in terms of self-care? I loved these ideas especially about competition!

  7. It is such a long journey for me but I love to read these reminders. feeling positive and trying to see the glass half full is so worth it.

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  8. Thanks for sharing. We all could use these reminders every so often


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