• Francis Fung | Career Coach

Feeling stuck? Here’s how to become unstuck

Updated: Jul 5, 2020

Putting it very simply, feeling stuck is when you feel unhappy.

When there’s a feeling inside you that feels you could or should be doing more; whether it’s in work, school or in a relationship.

So why do we even feel stuck? Where does that feeling of unhappiness come from?

Feeling stuck comes from when there’s a lack of progress in your life, or a feeling of lack of progress. In your mind, you feel you should be at a certain place, but in reality you’re somewhere else.

Let me set the scene with an example. At the start of the year you definitely had plans and thought you would be doing more. Expecting to have reached a certain position, living in a certain place or doing a certain job. It’s now the end of the year; time has flown by and things haven’t changed. Things have not progressed.

You’re doing what you’ve always done. You study or you go to work as normal. The year’s gone, and you’re asking “Am I just going to repeat this again next year? I’m in the same position as last year. How many years must I continue being in this same position?”

You might be feeling “Where’s is this all leading to? Where is my life going?”

You are lacking the feeling of progress. Progress is something that we need to feel happy. Progress equals growth and development. Progress is the feeling of moving forward in life. That’s when we feel happiest.

When there’s no progress, that’s when we feel stuck in the same place.So going back to the title, how do we become unstuck?

The first thing to do is to assess yourself.

Imagine you’re using Google Maps or Apple Maps, or whatever map application that you prefer. Imagine this map represents your life. You press the “where am I now” location button to find out where you are, right now. The location shown, is that where you wanted to be in your life right now?

Within this step, list down: Where you are, what you have, what you’re doing, the main things that brought you here. Anything else you feel relevant about where you are right now, and what’s making you unhappy. That’s how you assess your current situation. That’s the first step.

The second step is writing down your goal. Where do you want to get to?Again, using the analogy of maps, where is your end destination?You don’t have to plan the destination for the end of your life.

Start by planning the next one year. If that’s too far, plan the next half a year. Where do you want to be at the end of six months or a year? Write that on your list, as your goal, as your end destination. That’s where you want to go. That’s where you want to progress to.

About this second step of setting a destination. Don’t try to fix or don’t try to solve all the stuck areas in your life at once, otherwise you will become overwhelmed. We have to take it step by step.

Set one small goal for half a year or a year down the line. That goal could be money. It could be a job you want. It could be where you want to be in your relationships.

Set that one goal first of which you want to become unstuck. Write it down on the list. Now that you’ve assessed yourself and you’ve got an end goal to go to.

The third step is, you need to work out the steps in between. Again, using the map analogy, I’m going to use the term milestones.

These are points along the route, so you can occasionally check in with yourself, see where you are and how you’re doing, as you go towards your destination.

For example, you want to change job by the end of the year. The milestones in between, whether weekly or monthly, might be: update your CV or Resume, look for jobs that you’re interested in applying to, finding if you have the right skills for those jobs. If you do, great. If you don’t, what do you need to learn? Where do you need to improve to get those skills?

Or another example is Finances. Right now you’re in debt (current location). You want to pay off debts (end goal / destination).

What are the milestones in between? They might include: look at your incoming money and outgoing expenses, how much do you need to save, and when? What things do I need to cancel and stop spending money on? What knowledge or people or lessons do I need to help me reach my goal? Those are example of milestones to set out along your route.

While setting your milestones, you need to watch your tone of voice. You will inevitably be asking yourself some questions in your head while setting them.

“Is this even the right milestone? Do I have the ability to actually set this? I think I missing some skills. How do I….? Can I….? I don’t think that’s possible, maybe for others, but not for me.”

Naturally we will talk to ourselves in a more negative tone of voice, and this is something you have to be careful about.

For example, you want to be a designer. You’ll probably tell yourself you don’t have a portfolio, you don’t have experience, you’re not good at typography, you don’t have design sense, your work isn’t good enough? What makes you think you can be a designer?

All of these thoughts will block you again, leading to the unhappy stuck feeling. As deep down, you’ll still be feel “But I want to be a designer!”

So you have to talk to yourself in a positive way, in a positive tone of voice.

How do you talk to yourself in that positive way?

Using the examples above, you might say “I don’t know typography or design, but I can learn. I can take a course. I can watch YouTube videos about design basics. I can go to the library. I can read some blogs from that industry.”

There are so many ways to learn. There’s no reason that you can’t do anything nowadays. Simply type in “How do I…” on Google, and you’ll have an answer. On top of that, all of this info is free! There’s no reason to hold onto those thoughts of doubt.

You must talk to yourself positively. You cannot put yourself down.

You can’t say on the one hand, that you feel stuck and want to achieve a goal. But at the same time, telling yourself that you can’t do it. That just contradicts itself.

You have to tell yourself that you can, and set small, achievable goals as the milestones, and take it step by step.

You do not have to plot out the whole way perfectly. You can have rough guides, and that’s what these milestones are, rough guides. All the actual tiny, tiny steps in between, you have to take it step by step, day by day.

At the end of each day, quickly evaluate yourself. Did you do what you set out to do? If not, don’t judge yourself too harshly. Try again tomorrow. Try better tomorrow and try to stay on that path as closely as possible.

And if you don’t, it’s completely fine. That’s why on Google Maps, we’re allowed to assess where we are. We zoom out, we press the current location button, find where we are now. We can reassess that path. We reassess that route to the goal.

In reality, there are many, many different ways, and they can all lead to the same goal. To conclude, I think that’s pretty much it. There are three simple steps to becoming unstuck.

First, assess where you are on your life map. Zoom out, press find your location. See where you are in your life right now and assess is this where you want to be?

Second is setting the goal of where you want to be. A goal, so you have something to progress towards. Because as we said, progression equals growth and development, which equals happiness. Set yourself realistic goals though. Don’t set something that is crazily unachievable.

It’s good to be positive, it’s good to have belief and to believe in abundance and manifestation; but try not to set something that will make you feel let down.

For example, don’t put “I want to get out of debt, so a year later, I want to be a billionaire”. You might. And I hope you do! But to become a billionaire in a year, that’s something I would say is rather on the unrealistic side.

Set yourself something more realistic, something that you feel you can achieve with hard work and positivity. The milestones have to be achievable, so you can feel that you are making progress.

The final point is, setting the milestones in between. How you keep track of these milestones, is up to you. You can check in with yourself once a week, once a month. But do keep a track of where you are just to see if you’re heading towards those milestones.

So all that’s left is, in order to become unstuck, go and start and take action now. There’s only three simple steps.

Assess. Have an end goal. Set the milestones in between.

Get out a notepad. Get out a note on your phone. Start typing away. Just get some thoughts out. Stay positive. Take action. Read any blogs you need to read.

Go on YouTube and watch any videos that you need. Join a Facebook community etc. There are so many ways. But take some action and do something.

At least by the end of today, you will have made some progress. It might just be a tiny bit, but some progress is better than nothing.

Also, expect things to get better. You cannot have a negative attitude and expect things to change for the better.

You have to be positive. You have to know this is for the better and that the milestones you are setting are taking you in the right direction.

You have to believe things will get better.

So good luck with your goal setting. Good luck with becoming unstuck and I hope this blog has helped.

Let me know your comments, your thoughts. Leave me a message down below. You can find all my links to all my other social channels.

Find me, send a message. Always happy to help and connect.

Good luck with your goal setting. Have a good day!


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