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Maria Connolly, LPC Facebook Facebook Facebook

Feeling Stuck? When Life Happens, Look For Exciting, New Opportunities!

Feeling stuck makes us feel powerless, yet you can turn these times into exciting new opportunities that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Let me reframe this into a water analogy: Harness the eddies in the stream of life to break through to the next level.Feeling stuck makes us feel powerless, yet you can turn these times into exciting new opportunities that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Let me reframe this into a water analogy: Harness the eddies in the stream of life to break through to the next level.

Nature demonstrates that water must be in motion to remain healthy. You’ve undoubtedly seen a stagnant puddle or pond – it’s not appealing! Since we’re composed of 60+% water, it only makes sense that we feel better when we aren’t stagnant.

But being in motion is not enough. Even in fast-moving streams, you’ll find that some eddies collect driftwood or other types of debris. Likewise, you may get caught in the eddies in the stream of life. These eddies slow you down. Sometimes you may feel stuck inside a mini-whirlpool. You may feel like your life is spinning out of control, and you can’t stop it. Or you feel so busy, but at the same time, you know you’re going nowhere.

Perhaps you’ve experienced one of these natural eddies:

  • I can’t start my own company – I need a regular job to pay the bills.
  • I don’t have the time, skills, or money for marketing.
  • I have so many competing commitments; how can I fit one more thing in?
  • I’m doing everything myself; do I have what it takes to sustain my work?

Feeling stuck is part of moving forward

Embracing moments of feeling stuck is intrinsic to progressing ahead. Remember, a sensation is merely that—a sensation, not a definitive reality. When you perceive yourself as stuck, it hinders your momentum. However, this perception is not a fixed truth. You’re in a constant state of motion, even if it seems sluggish at times. Thus, altering your feelings or perspectives regarding the circumstance can change your energy and propel you forward along the currents of life.

If life happens and it’s not going according to your plan, then perhaps it’s time to consider whether that plan wasn’t fully formed in the best way to support the person you are. 

For example, one of my clients, Sarah, was ramping up her online business. She was gaining traction, getting a lot of leads, and increasing her client base, but then her mom’s health took a turn for the worse. Sarah was so conflicted! She wanted to be there for her mom, but she didn’t want to lose the momentum of her business. What would you do in this circumstance? In a moment, I’ll share what we discussed and what Sarah decided to do.

Ask your coach or mentor for objective feedback when you're feeling stuck.I understand those conflicting states. I’ve felt it, too, especially when launching a new aspect of my business or finding and fulfilling my vision. Life is full of challenges that could hold us back or keep us stuck. We deal with nagging self-doubt over our competence or feeling overwhelmed by responsibility. We get sucked into our eddies, those swirling pools where self-confidence is limited.

I’ve learned that it’s good to take a step back and examine the situation from someone else’s point of view. This process has been most enlightening for me when I share it with one of my mentors or coaches. Yes, I hire mentors and coaches, too! I’ve experienced the transformational power of getting a second opinion, as it were. Fresh eyes always see new things. That’s why I’m so passionate about coaching others.

When life happens, start looking for the lessons.

Here are three main lessons I’ve learned, and perhaps they’ll help you see your situation from a new perspective. (You can find more lessons learned in previous blog posts, Lessons To Be Learned From Life Challenges, Overcoming Fear of Failure – One of the Most Valuable Lessons Learned in Life, and A Letter to My Younger Self – Life Lessons Worth Learning.)

  1. Rather than judging yourself as unproductive, indecisive, or some other unhelpful naming, accept this as a time for you to observe.
  2.  Mindfully reassess your self-care. You wouldn’t be giving weight toward negative judgments if you felt balanced, centered, and whole. Mindfully look for what’s made you off-kilter, and then practice more self-forgiveness, compassion, and nurturing.
  3. Fill in the gaps of what you don’t know. Often, we feel stuck because we haven’t developed the skills we need for this new situation. Be compassionate and recognize that you can’t know everything. It’s not a judgment against you that you don’t know. Learning new things is what gives life its zing.

I shared these things with Sarah, and this is how she used the information:

She determined that being with her mom was a priority. She scaled back her business a little bit and added more self-care so she’d have the strength to deal with the situation. In the case of family obligations, some people need to be the actual caregiver. Other people determine that it’s more important to remain in the role of family, giving love and support while hiring a professional caregiver. In Sarah’s case, her mom became terminal, so she decided to get assistance. She moved nearer her mom to spend as much time with her as possible. 

Sarah was later able to pick up and run her business more authentically. She had a tried-and-true self-care routine. Spending this extra time with her mom allowed her to resolve some unfinished business. She also reflected on what was most important to her. 

This new-found connection with herself showed up in her ability to make deeper connections with her clients. They notice a real difference and are now ultra-loyal to her. Their word-of-mouth praise is drawing in as much business as she wants.

Did life put her in a hard place? Yes! But she kept moving forward at her adjusted pace, which put her way out front in the long run.

Progress happens in stages. When you use those eddies to slow down, reflect, and regroup, they become opportunities, not barriers. Take advantage of pausing in your eddy to summon your internal capacity and call forth the outer support to swim out of that eddy! Eddies are growth opportunities.

Here’s the best news of all!  In the ocean, the swirling eddies cause nutrients that are normally found in colder, deeper waters to rise. This provides food for creatures that live near the surface. What’s swirling below the surface of your eddy, and how can you use it to break through to your next stage?

Any life plan is made better through the practice of mindfulness. I invite you to learn how Somatic Coaching can help you tune into what your body is telling you and how you can give it exactly what it needs when it needs it. And if you’d like an objective perspective on your situation, please contact me and schedule a 30-minute complimentary consultation to see if we’re a good fit for working together.

Your “Dream Big, Start Small” here’s the one thing you can do today.

Feeling stuck indicates your self-care is out of balance

Feeling stuck is usually accompanied by frustration and overwhelm. Adjusting your self-care routine (getting more exercise, better nutrition, or improving your self-talk) can ground you and refocus your energy. If you’re in one of life’s eddies, be compassionate with yourself. It’s your time to regroup, recenter, reassess, and open yourself up for new opportunities. 

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