Why you’re stuck in life

Last week I delved into the topic about “stop talking and start doing“.

It got me thinking about how someone gets into that mindset, or even why we sometimes can feel stuck. 

Feeling like you’re in a constant cycle or on autopilot.

According to Psych Central, there are several reasons you might be feeling like that.

The most common causes are: 

  • Overload/ Burnout
  • Fear/ Imposter Syndrome
  • Socioeconomics- limited resources
  • Closed Mind- not broadening horizons
  • Unrealistic Expectations
  • Mental Health
  • Bad Habits
  • Lack of Purpose

Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

A small change could be all you need – even if all you change is your effort.

Comfort zones shrink imagination.

One thing I love about camping: it forces you to be a little uncomfortable.

If it’s raining while you’re camping, you’re getting wet, there’s no choice about it.

If you were at home when this happened, you’d probably be curled up on the couch, not going outside, much less going outside just to brush your teeth. 

But when you’re in the wilderness you’re forced to do something and that’s fine. You might be a little uncomfortable, but it needs to be done so you tough it out. 

It’s those little nudges out of your comfort zone that turn fear into power.

Your body actually needs to be stressed to grow.

Stress is a good thing, and I’m not talking about the type of mental stress than what we normally think of.

There’s good stress and bad stress. 

Summa Health states that, “good stress is short-term and it inspires and motivates you, focuses your energy and enhances performance.”

Think about when you ride a roller coaster, compete in a competition or even a first date. 

Bad stress, however, “is the kind that wears you out, leaves you jittery and is harmful to your health. “

Bad stress, or distress, can lead to anxiety, confusion, poor concentration and decreased performance.

It’s about leveraging the good kind of stress to maximize your performance.

You’ve probably heard “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. 

This applies to muscles, brain activity, certain skills, etc.  That’s why it’s crucial for elderly people to stay active.

Your mind and body turns into fog and flab without use.

Think about what happens to a garden if you stop tilling the soil and weeding it? It gets overrun and disheveled. Cars rust and rot if they sit.

One of the reasons I emphasize weight training so much is that it can help you through times of burnout and depression.

The hole will only get deeper if you don’t move. Even if you don’t feel better right away, hope is closer within reach if you keep moving.

Comparison is the thief of all joy

Another reason why you could feel stuck – comparison is stealing your joy. 

It’s easy to do with social media. Get inspired and then slammed to ground when seeing how someone is further ahead of you.

We like to play the victim, but taking ownership of your circumstances transfers power back to you.

In other words, hold yourself accountable. Be disciplined. 

Did you doom scroll social today instead of write?

Did you have a few more drinks last night instead of getting up early?

It isn’t about a magical routine. It’s about aligning your actions with your intentions. 

This is different than “beating yourself up”.

Here’s a personal example from this week:

I got sick this week.

Bad luck, huh?

I blamed myself, actually.

I traveled too much, didn’t sleep enough, didn’t eat right, drank too much and mentally wore myself out the week before.

Why do I feel better about owning that?

I may not be able prevent everything, but I have the power to fix many of the contributing factors. I’m not a victim. These margins make a huge difference in the long run. 

It’s freeing to have ownership over your misfortunes. 

Check out Jocko Willink’s book for more on Extreme Ownership.

I’ll go more into some exercises on how to keep yourself aligned in the coming weeks.

In the mean time, drink some coffee outside and instead of thinking about your to do list, think of 3 things from the previous day you are thankful for.