Do you feel stuck in a bad life situation? Here’s what to do.

5971c95a2e05e0d7efc074639aacc9a9It’s inevitable.

At some point in your life, you are going to sit down and feel like the energy has all been sucked out of you.

You realize that you have no idea what to do next. It feels like you have been spending your life working on all the wrong projects, chasing after all the wrong things and getting involved with all the wrong people.

You didn’t do it on purpose, of course not. You did the best you could at the time. You’ve been doing your best again and again and again, and it doesn’t seem to be working.

You feel stuck.

The question isn’t how you got here, or how it feels to be here right now.

The question is, what are you going to do about it?

It’s so tempting to try to suck it up and keep going. You tell yourself “it’s just a phase” and you try to push yourself to get up in the morning. It’s tempting to close our eyes and avoid dealing with it. I should know, I’ve been doing it for years. Take my word for it, this approach will only dig you deeper into the mess. One day you will wake up and wish you made the change 10 years ago.

You might already have tried every possible solution you can think of. Maybe you just don’t know what to do next. Maybe you know very well, but you just can’t. And either way, I am guessing that you’re feeling pretty bad about yourself. Beating ourselves up for not being good enough to solve our own problems doesn’t change anything at all.

It took me years to realize that not being good enough is a good thing. Because it’s when you realize that what you are doing isn’t working – and that your problem solving skills don’t measure up to your own needs – that’s when you are in a position to do something about it. And guess what, this has nothing to do with you not being good enough. It’s okay to realize you need some new strategies.

When you feel stuck and see no way out, you have to do something different to get different results. You have to be honest with yourself, learn how to make good decisions – and look for guidance outside of yourself. I’ll show you how.

Dare to be honest with yourself

Deep within you, you know what you need to do. After coaching close to a hundred women – I have yet to meet someone who didn’t have the answer within themselves. For some people, this knowledge may be readily accessible while for others it may take a little more digging.

The challenge is to find the courage and trust to know what we know. It really sucks when you have spent years working on a degree, a career, a relationship – and you know deep inside that this isn’t the right thing for you. The feeling is horrible! But would you rather feel bad for a limited time … or for the rest of your life?

A good strategy for finding this courage is to treat yourself like you would treat a friend who was about to tell you something deeply personal and emotional. Be trustworthy with yourself! Don’t judge, be accepting, be open and be calm when you share your truth with yourself. Some people find it easier to do this in writing. I recommend setting the scene by lighting candles, maybe take a hot bath. Pamper yourself and show your inner wise self that you are caring and loving – no matter what!

Base your decisions on a trusted source (it’s not what you think!)

When evaluating different options, it is easy to start with logic and work your way from there.

This is not a good approach for decision making.

You could have all the good reasons in the world, and still not be happy in a life situation. Actually, I am willing to bet that it was this kind of thinking that got you into this place from the beginning. Also, you could follow all the advice you have ever been given and still not succeed or make progress. Reasons and advice from others can only get you this far.

Instead, base your decisions on your feelings and on your body. Imagine the different choices you have and notice how your body feels when you envision each one. Do you feel relaxed and open? Or do you contract and tense up? Your body is a compass that will never lead you astray. Trust it!

Stop trying to find your way alone

It took me years to craft a life I am now happy with living. Through trial and error, I made a series of random choices – dropped commitments, took on new ones, moved, moved again, asked people for advice, followed it blindly, gave up and tried again. And then, something changed dramatically. I started healing, and to see my purpose and the meaning of my life clearer that I had ever done before. Finally, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and I was able to build my life from the inside and out.

What was different this time around?

I accepted that I couldn’t do it alone, and I made room in my life for both life coaching and therapy. Having someone to think aloud with gave me a whole new perspective on myself and my life. Just sharing the pain and frustation with someone who listened empathetically and gave me some new suggestions lifted the burden and helped me access the wisdom and strength within myself.

It’s so easy to overlook solutions and new strategies when we are dealing with something all alone. Sometimes the key to the locked door can be right in front of us while we are busy trying to break the door open with our bare hands.

There is help out there, and there is nothing wrong with asking for it. You deserve it! There are good people everywhere. Therapists, counsellors, life coaches, priests, organisations, hotlines, self-help groups, friends, family members – help is out there, even if you can’t find it at the first try. Don’t give up!

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