BY ALLY HAMILTON SEPTEMBER 19, 2013
Most of us feel stuck at one time or another. Life isn’t looking like the picture we had in our head, things aren’t flowing, and frustration and despair set in.
Of course, this only compounds the problem, because when you’re feeling listless, discouraged and depressed, it’s very hard to get motivated. Feeling paralyzed is awful, and doubting your ability to live a life that feels good can be a very isolating experience.
Here are three ways people tend to block themselves, along with three ways to drop-kick those blocks across your path so you can get moving again.
1. We compare ourselves to others.
Many people look around and feel “less than.” They see a peer who somehow seems to be living a life where things come easily, and they wonder why they aren’t getting the breaks. Or they elevate other people and think, I could never do that because I’m not as outgoing, or attractive, or [fill-in-the-blank].
We live in interesting times where much of our interaction takes place over the internet. It’s easy to feel like everyone else has this glossy, perfect life when you base it on status updates, pithy tweets or hazy Instagram pictures. Everyone suffers and everyone struggles. Most people just don’t post about it. I’m questioning my ability to have an impact on the world around me. or I’m wondering what I’m doing here. or I feel alone in a world that doesn’t make sense to me.
Most people are not going to post that.
The more we focus on what other people are doing or having or being, the less energy we have to shine. And I’m not suggesting you should feel better because everyone else feels confused, too. I’m saying life is so much about what we do with what we’re given. Your power lies in your response. And you can respond with fear and tell yourself you don’t measure up, or you can respond with love and direct your energy toward uncovering and sharing your own particular gifts.
If you’re having a rough day, that isn’t the time to troll Facebook, because you’ll probably end up feeling worse. Think about what you’re feeding yourself, and I don’t just mean your body. Think about what you’re feeding your mind and your heart, too. Everything we take in is food, it’s fuel, it’s energy. Feed yourself the stuff that strengthens you.
2. We live with a harsh inner dialogue.
I know many people who quit before they try. They ask themselves, Who am I to…? But the real question is, Who are you NOT to…?
It’s important to remember there are roughly seven billion people on the planet at this point, and only one YOU. You’re made up of about 100 trillion cells that have never come together in exactly the same way before, and won’t again. You have a particular song to sing, and if you don’t belt it out, that’s a song the world never gets to hear.
If you’re doubting whether or not you have something meaningful to offer, consider that no one but you has had your experiences, your memories, your ideas, your fears or your dreams. You have a unique perspective, although the themes of your life are likely to be universal. You never know how you might shine a light for someone else simply by sharing what’s in your heart. And the joy in this life comes through connection, through giving and opening and accepting. Feed a loving voice. Feed a voice you want to hang out with, and starve the voice that asks you “who you are” to do anything.
3. We procrastinate.
Many people have dreams and ideas and the pull to follow their hearts, but the effort to follow through on this can feel so daunting. The idea that things will have to change can also create a lot of fear. If you’re trying to make a huge shift in your life, small steps get the job done. If you look at the whole task, you’re likely to feel defeated before you begin.
You have an inner “yes” that you can trust. If that yes is pulling on you, it’s pointless to resist, because what you’re opposing is a life that’s going to feel good to you. Just do one small thing, take one positive step.
And keep putting one foot in front of the other. You don’t have to make it all happen today. But try to make something happen. That’s how you start to trust yourself and build the confidence required to make those big changes when you must. You watch yourself following that inner GPS, and you realize you can act on your own behalf, and that it feels right and good.