Sometimes life is all smooth sailing, and other times it can feel like we’re navigating through thick mud. During difficult times we might wonder: How did I end up here? Why does it all feel so hard? Will I ever get that break?
When we end up in stuck places, it’s challenging to know how to get back to calm waters. It’s hard to see how we will regain our sense that all is well. The challenges feel hard and draining and we can feel stuck without an end in sight.
Getting to that other side in our personal life, professional life or our overall sense of joy for life – can feel out of reach.
I get it, I’ve been there (more than once) in all areas of life. Catching that lucky break can feel like a roller coaster of a waiting game. Waiting for something external to shift before we experience relief, only amplifies feeling stuck and disempowered.
Over time, I’ve learned if I still feel stuck in the mud after putting in my best effort, it’s a sign to turn the page and start fresh.
Turning the page can be helpful with big obstacles in life and it can also bring relief to the small day to day jams we get caught up in.
Turning the page is surrendering to what is hard. It’s saying, I don’t know what to do with this storm I’m in, so I’m going to turn the page and start fresh.
When we’ve stayed in the agony long enough, it’s about saying enough is enough. I can’t change what is, but I can see life before me with new perspective. I can begin a new chapter – one that isn’t bogged down by my current frame of reality.
Here are the three strategies I use to move through stuck places and turn the page to begin fresh.
1. Start With Where You Are
Think: Presence and gratitude.
When we feel stuck, starting with where we are might seem like a lost cause – after all we feel stuck! But, starting with where we are is really about presence and gratitude. We can shelf the story about our current circumstances, and instead bring to mind all the things (I mean all the things) we are grateful for.
List them out loud, on paper, to yourself or to a loved one. Create new energy around what is good about life. Consider everything that is before you in this moment.
What can you see, hear, smell, taste and touch?
If it’s helpful, keep it basic to bring your awareness to a level that’s in sync with the moment you’re in. Then allow your mind to expand out to the more detailed and abstract reasons why life is good. Allow it all to sink in. Marvel in the magic of your surroundings and notice how this complicated and beautiful thing called life is actually a gift.
Turning the page isn’t about ignoring or denying truths. It’s about choosing to not become swallowed by them. We are all participants in life. How we choose to participate in our own unique life journey is our superpower.
It’s easier to shift our mindset when we start with where we are right now in this moment. Simply focus on gratitude.
Think: Strong connected relationship with yourself and your truth.
Our perception of our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. When we make a habit of checking in with ourselves on a daily basis, we become familiar with the tapestry of our inner world. Then when we feel like we are being swallowed by challenges in our external world, we can venture inward and see what might need shifting.
When searching for answers on how to unstick ourselves or be happier, our usual default is to look outside of ourselves before venturing inward.
As a society, we put too much power in the hands of our external world and not enough faith in our inner guide. We are all so incredibly resourceful. The more we check in before we look outside, the easier it is to stick on the path that feels best for us. The easier it also becomes to move through stuck places and make steps forward in alignment with our authentic selves.
With practice, our perception of our outer world can be influenced by our inner world from a more conscious place. This is an empowering stance and one that can move us out of feeling stuck.
Building and maintaining strong relationships with ourselves begins with regular self-reflection. How we practice self-reflection is a personal preference. Some people like to journal, others practice quiet meditation. Connecting inward might come easily when you are in nature, or enjoying a favorite activity.
Perhaps, checking in with yourself is something you like to do at the start of your day, at the end of your day – maybe it’s something you’ll do periodically throughout the day. The point here is to regularly practice self-reflection in a way that what works best for you.
Building strong relationships with other people, is the same as building one with yourself. It takes time, consistency, patience, trust, humour and loyalty – above all it takes love.
3. Train Your Mind to Turn on a Dime
Think: Choice, perspective, empowerment.
‘To turn on a dime’ has to do with our ability to quickly adjust and shift with what’s before us, so we stay on our highest path. Our highest path considers that happiness and well-being are critical components of a life well-lived and loved.
Our perspective creates our experience of life. Our choice to adjust our perspective is our source of power. When we witness our ability to shift perspective and turn the page, we build more faith in ourselves. The more we open up to the idea of shifting our perspective, the easier it becomes to turn on a dime and not become stuck for long.
These questions can fuel a shift in perspective and ease stuck places. The idea is to create a bit of space and have an honest conversation with yourself. If this process speaks to you, take your time and use these question prompts as a starting place:
- What do I want to feel?
- Why do I want to feel that? Why is that important to me now?
- What is one step I can take right now that will move me closer to my desired feeling?
- How might moving closer to my core desired feeling influence other aspects of my day?
- Then when you’ve taken that step, what’s the next step? (remember to stay focused on what you do want, not what you don’t)
These empowering questions help us course-correct to stay on our highest path. It’s all about knowing how you want to feel and tapping into your inner compass to get there.
Ask the right questions and trust you’ll have the answers and next best steps for you. We may not choose the storms in life, but we have a say in how we weather them. You’ve got this.
How might turning the page change the course of your day?
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Originally published at emilymadill.com