Every year I have periods where I feel like I’m stuck – where I feel like my life should be different than it is. In the absence of what I want and where I want to be, it will appear that I’ve lost everything and I’m not going anywhere.
Looking back, I can acknowledge that feeling “stuck” was simply a label I gave to that period in time where I didn’t feel the impetus of forward momentum. While it’s easy to retrospectively recognize that being “stuck” is a perception of life, when you’re actually in the feeling of “being stuck,” it’s not so easy to get unstuck and shift that perception.
Being stuck is like quicksand. The more you try to get out, the more you fight feeling stuck, the deeper you sink.
When you’re that stuck in your own shit, try as you might, you may not be able to shift your perception or lift yourself up – or even think you have the ability to do so. Such has been the case for me these past few weeks, to the point where it’s been a real struggle for me to leave my house. What’s been keeping me afloat and has also afforded me the opportunity to be present and tap into my heart and mind – my internal source of motivation – has been what I’m calling my backpack of support:
- The love and appreciation from one of my mentors reminded me how valued I am and how much I matter – and just how needed those small tokens of appreciation are in the lives of others.
- A small act of being pulled to the front of the room during class reminded me I hadn’t lost everything and that I could still give the best of me. In fact, this small act had nothing to do with where I was standing in the room and everything to do with what it called up inside of me, what it enabled me to push through when I wanted to give up.
- Heartfelt conversations with friends, where they shared their struggles and reminded me of my light, renewed my sense of purpose.
We all have periods where we feel stuck, not enough and where we’ll want to give up. It will sometimes appear to us that we’ve lost everything and we have nothing left to give. In those moments where we are feeling discouraged and demotivated, our opportunity is two-fold:
- to recognize and appreciate our backpack of support – our external sources of motivation. Sometimes being stuck and losing sight of our backpack of support allows us to see what we’ve taken for granted.
- to be present and tap into our heart and mind – our internal sources of motivation. Sometimes it may take the push from the outside to bring us back in, but it’s only when we go inside that we have the power to push ourselves back up on our feet and take the next smallest step.
Sometimes the hardest part of being stuck is recognizing you can’t get unstuck in one swooping motion. It’s recognizing that sometimes you have to take the next smallest step, then the next. And that the next smallest step might be acknowledging you’re stuck. It might be acknowledging and appreciating your backpack of support. Or, it might even be forcing yourself to do the thing you don’t feel like doing, like say, writing that newsletter 😉
No matter where you find yourself this week, know that you’re not alone and that I’m incredibly grateful for you.