Are You Stuck?

Have you ever felt stuck?

I’ve been having a little stuck period lately, and I know that it’s pretty common, so I hope you can relate. I think the “stuck” comes from a feeling that we want to move forward, but we’re not quite ready to let go of the past. There’s something keeping us from totally letting go, and that just ends up feeling like you’re on a hamster wheel or a treadmill mill and can’t move forward.

You don’t like where you are, so you want to move forward, but you’re afraid. I’ve been thinking about this since I’ve just kind of come through a stuck period myself.

It seems to me that the big three culprits on being stuck are guilt, shame, and fear.

I’ll just speak for myself, but I know that a lot of times when I feel stuck, it’s because I feel guilty doing the thing I want to do. I feel like I’m obligated to a job or my family or some outside thing to continue to do what I’ve been doing, even if it doesn’t bring me satisfaction.

I stay stuck because I don’t want to let anyone down. I feel guilty saying no. So that’s the first culprit that we have to fight against.

The way we fight against guilt is to have conversations. Most of the people around us love us and want us to be happy. If we can let go of the guilt, they’ll support us, but we have to recognize it and talk to them about it. Guilt is a big sticking point.

The second one is shame.  This is a real profound feeling of “I’m not good enough.”

The thing about it is, when I feel shame, I really don’t want to tell anyone because I’m afraid that everyone else will know that I am not as good as I think I am, or I’m a fraud, or they might find out my deep, dark secret, whatever that is.

That’s funny because I don’t really have any deep dark secrets. I’m just doing the best I can, but that’s kind of mind game that starts getting played when we deal with shame. And that leads to the stuck energy.

We stay doing what we’ve been doing so that we don’t have to stretch out of our comfort zone because then someone might found out that we’re not as good as we say we are. That’s shame.

The difference between guilt and shame is that guilt is situational. Guilt is, “I feel guilty about X. I feel guilty about this one thing.”

Shame is a more long-term thing. When we feel guilty long enough, we start to be ashamed. Shame is more of a mandate, not on a certain activity or an event, but on who we are.

The way to get around shame is kind of complicated, but it’s to cut ourselves a break.

I know it sounds really simple to do, but it’s not easy. We have to learn how to put ourselves first, to love ourselves and let ourselves take a break and do the thing we want to do. We need to connect with our purpose.

The last thing that usually keeps us stuck is fear. Whether it’s fear about money or fear of letting someone down or fear of other people’s judgment, it’s still fear.

The thing that gets us around that is courage. We have to get to know ourselves. You know, the word courage comes from the Latin word for heart. We have to go into our heart and find out what we really want and then follow it.

When we follow our heart, the universe rises up to meet us.

If you’re feeling stuck, reconnect with your purpose, remember what you’re really here to do. Remember what you really love and then have the courage to put yourself first.

About the author

Dr. Judy Morley has been described as a “human potential specialist.” Her years of experience in different arenas varies from being an advertising executive to a college professor to an executive to an entrepreneur and franchise owner.  Each of these positions has given her great insight into helping people find their authentic style of leadership.