Whether it’s getting stuck on a tricky math problem, feeling stuck in a relationship, or not making any progress on your goals, stuckness is a common human experience. It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of wallowing in feelings of indecision, worry, and overthinking, which can derail your life.
It’s important to remember that stuckness is often just a mindset, which can be changed by choosing new ways of thinking and seeing your situation. This can help you feel less overwhelmed and more in control of your circumstances.
Use similes to see your situation from a different perspective
It can be difficult to see our own situations in the same way we do other people’s. A simple simile can help you see the situation differently and make it more manageable. Using a simile can be as simple as imagining the situation from another person’s point of view, like a friend who is stuck or your childhood self.
Start by asking yourself a question about your situation that helps you shift perspectives. Try, “Is it possible for me to change things in my situation?” For example, if you’re not happy with your job or you don’t have the career success you want, ask yourself if you can find a way to see that situation in a more positive light.
Then, identify three tiny choices that are available to you right now and pick one of them. Those tiny choices can include taking a break, making an extra call to a friend or calling your boss to see how they’re doing.
You might also consider a meditation practice to help you relax and reset. Some meditation techniques include breathing deeply, listening to a guided meditation and visualization.
Choose a new focus for the next week or two, a goal that feels more attainable and realistic. If you’re feeling really stuck, it might be helpful to create a vision board of your ideal future. Then, create a list of the skills you’ll need to reach your goal and prioritize them.
Commit to a few short periods of work (say, 25 minutes) at a time and set yourself an amount of time that you can achieve. The Pomodoro technique is a good example of this, as it’s short enough to be manageable but long enough to help you stay focused and productive.
Switch to a more creative activity
If you’re feeling particularly stuck, it might be helpful to switch out your usual tasks for something that will be more fun and engaging. For example, if you’re struggling with procrastination at work, try doing something creative, such as writing a story or playing a musical instrument.
Alternatively, you could create a task list and write down all the things that you need to do and take them one by one. This can help you see how many small steps are needed to reach your goal and can also be a great way to get motivated again.