How to get unstuck in life? Do you feel like you’re going nowhere? Are things not going your way? I get it. It’s a frustrating season to be in. With that said, let’s get a game plan to know how to navigate through these tough times. I’ve got five essential tools you’re going to want in your back pocket. Plus, read about my personal experience that wraps this all together. Let’s break free and keep moving forward.
Where I got stuck
In the autumn of 1998, I took a mountaineering class near Vail, Colorado. I felt lost in life and wanted to get back to nature to get a fresh perspective and restart. To say simply, I was seeking clarity in life. Being a young adult, I had the time to head to the mountains and take a breather; in a surprising way, I found a piece of my puzzle that helped me move forward.
My group consisted of eight people. The dynamics were a bit of a mishmash…many personalities and many opinions. As you know, this can make it very difficult in any situation. Survival tasks weren’t easy. We weren’t in cozy cabins with a coffeemaker. We had tarps to sleep under, water filter tablets, and food rations. Yes, I signed up for this!
A few challenges we embarked on were rock climbing, summiting a 12,500 ft. peak, learning how to identify a storm, experiencing solo time for two days, and knowing how to do search n’ rescue. All great stuff when you’re with the right people. It’s crazy how people can affect an experience and change its whole vibe.
On this particular day, our task was to follow a topographical map and use a compass to get to the next camp. Sounds simple, yet it was to be done without our guide and not follow a trail. According to our instructors, it was a six-hour trip. Easy peasy.
We got this, right?
The day started crisp yet sunny, things were looking good; the challenging aspect of this task was to follow the leader. You see, each person had to take a turn to lead the group. We had to follow their direction; needless to say, it was a mess.
Let me reiterate; being stuck in life isn’t all about our circumstances. Another factor that contributes to our situation is knowing WHO is around us. People matter. Are you around toxic people or encouraging and loving people? On this day, our instructors should have added a rule for everyone to shut their mouths! After six hours into our trek, the sky began to darken. A bit of panic settled into some folks, including me. We knew what was coming, we just didn’t know how powerful it would be.
Within minutes rain, hail, and wind pounded our bodies. It felt like the heavens opened up and barfed on us. We thought about quitting; yet, the risk of getting hyperthermic was high, and stopping would put us in danger. Our backpacks felt like cinder blocks and our boots were filled with water. We felt stuck. Exhausted from arguments, weather, and complaining, we wanted to signal our guides to find us…to give up.
Stuck and the power of the mind
Listen up friend; the mind is a powerhouse, meaning, when you feed the mind with doom and gloom, you’re going to get what you put into it. We were not in a good place. Yet, we didn’t want to give up. How were we going to change our attitude to keep moving forward? Someone knew what had to change.
This is how we got unstuck
Out of nowhere, someone yelled, “Come on Nina, hot drinks. Christy, dry socks. Seth, spaghetti!” That person was a genius. He rocked us from ‘stuck’ to ‘moving forward’; and all it took was a little visionary picture. We pictured ourselves eating a warm meal, sipping hot tea, and wearing dry socks. As we continued to hike, we kept talking about how good the spaghetti was going to taste and how cozy our feet would be in warm dry socks. This picture naturally encouraged us. Our attitudes shifted. We got along, laughed, and grew stronger. Our goal of being cozy became a reality within two hours.
5 essential tools how to get unstuck in life
The backpacking trip is a small example of what a new picture (vision) can do. Having a forward-thinking picture of our future is one of the keys to surviving in this complicated world, most importantly, through our personal storms.
Take a few minutes each day and think “big picture”. How are your decisions today going to affect tomorrow; and who will those decisions impact? Got down and journal what you want your future to look like and who is in that picture. Play around with ideas on how you’re going to get there.
Pray about where you are right now and where you want to go. Prayer is a very powerful tool that can change things. Prayer heals and it protects. When we are vulnerable, we need to be on alert. To rephrase, the Enemy has a hay day with our thoughts, attitudes, and who knows what else. Please, stand firm in Christ. I have a post on Spiritual Warfare you might want to check out.
Ask God to help you align with His will and to help you have perseverance.
3. Know your personal values
Line your vision up with your values, passions, and strengths. Personal values play a huge role in managing stress. Joy and confidence will fill us if our personal values align with our decisions. Be sure to check out: How to Reduce Stress in Your Life: 10 Breakthrough Tips
Ask yourself these questions: What is important to me? What do I love to do? What would be the best day ever? Values play such a big role in our happiness; pay attention to how you’re using them. To learn more about your personal values and to know what they are, I have a free exercise in Freebies.
Talk with someone who understands your big picture or what you’re aiming for. This is huge. Just talking with someone who genuinely listens and asks the right questions can be a game-changer. Certainly, do your homework before calling from a Google search. Simply, find a professional who you trust. Ask your church or a friend you trust.
5. Get creative
In times of how to get unstuck in life, get your hands busy and start crafting up a vision board. I personally like to call them a “Big Picture Board”. Put pictures with what you want to pursue to make it achievable and motivating. There is power in ‘seeing is believing. There is a free guide to making your Big Picture Board (vision board) in my Freebies.
Wrapping up how to get unstuck in life
Daniel Harkavy says, “Vision defines what you stand for, why you exist, and who you will become.” Having vision in a storm will make you stronger, wiser, and clearer about how to move forward.
This isn’t new news friends. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 to not put out the Spirit’s fire. Vision is bringing the picture out of our minds and experiencing it with our senses. The first step to how to get unstuck in life is to know you are stuck. The second is to want to get unstuck, this is where creating a vision for your future steps in and moves you forward. Know what you’re going after and envision it happening.
Before you go, check out these other great posts:
By CT Copyright © 2017 More Than Existence, All Rights Reserved.