If you’re feeling stuck in life, these 8 habits could be to blame

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So, you’re feeling stuck in life.

Congratulations! This is actually the perfect place to be.

Why?

Because it means the only thing you can do now is to get unstuck. Which in turn means a huge personal transformation is just around the corner.

Some amazing things are coming.

Of course, a glow-up isn’t just going to fall in your lap from the sky. The speed with which you soar to new heights depends on how much work you’re willing to put in, and what’s maybe even more important, which habits you’re willing to let go of.

So, without further ado…If you’re feeling stuck in life, these 8 habits could be to blame.

1) Letting yourself get swallowed up by routine

Work, eat, watch TV, sleep. Work, eat, watch TV, sleep. Work, eat, watch TV, sleep.

Do I need to say anything more?

While routines can be very beneficial for mental health – they have the potential to lower your stress levels, for instance – a routine must be something that brings you comfort, not something that sucks your soul dry until you feel like sleeping is more fun than being awake.

When I used to work various hospitality jobs, the routine I set up for myself was depleting me of all motivation. I felt too exhausted to push my life in new and exciting directions because all I could do after coming home from work was eat, watch a brain-numbing reality TV show, and go to sleep.

Then I decided to pursue my passions before work, not after it. This way, I devoted all my best energy to what I truly enjoyed – writing a novel and learning new languages – before my workday truly began.

Routine is easy. It’s convenient. But it can also lull you into a sense of comfort that soon turns into a heavy burden.

Add some sparkle into your life. Do new things. Develop in new directions. Pour your energy into stuff that makes you feel alive.

2) Choosing the path of least resistance

Speaking of routines and convenience, another habit that makes people feel stuck in life is complacency. If you feel like you’ve already peaked, what’s the point in trying harder?

Here’s the truth, though: you’ve never peaked and you never will. Life is a constant climb up the mountain. You can never reach the top; you can only go higher than ever before and enjoy the view.

A friend once told me, “There is always more space for growth.”

No matter how far you’ve come, you can always push yourself harder. Reach higher. Be better.

All you have to do is choose what’s challenging, not what’s easy.

3) Seeing obstacles instead of challenges

When things get hard, the way you approach your situation is absolutely crucial.

You can whine over your misfortune, hide from the obstacle in front of you, and stay stuck in one place out of fear.

Or you can thank the Universe for pushing you toward another chance at growth and take it up on the offer.

The choice is yours.

As for me, I love viewing every hardship as a potential challenge. I don’t want to play life on easy mode. I want to have a full and immersive experience. Falling to your knees from time to time is an inherent part of that.

When something bad happens, I just accept it’s part of the plot. And when I’m done crying, I pick myself back up and face the challenge head-on.

Everything’s character development.

4) Pushing your dreams into the distant land of “one day”

“One day, I’d like to have a business.”

“One day, I’m going to be a writer.”

“One day, I’ll be really fit.”

Right. Which day is it going to be, though? So far, it kind of seems like “one day” translates to “anytime that’s not now”, which means “never” because you only ever live in the present.

If you’re looking for the absolute best way to stay stuck in life, procrastinate on your dreams and goals. If you want to be a writer, don’t write. If you want to be fit, watch Netflix instead of working out. And if you want to have a business, make imprudent financial decisions.

Seriously, though. “One day” doesn’t exist. It’s an idea you’ve constructed in your mind in order to shake off all sense of responsibility in the here and now.

If you want to do something, start today.

5) Letting valuable time slip through your fingers

I once decided to track how much time I spent on each activity throughout the week.

The results were kind of crazy – how the hell did I even manage to spend so long scrolling on Instagram?! Those hours could have gone into writing a book, coming up with business ideas, or going on a hiking trip into nature, yet I wasted them on watching other people have a good time.

Social media isn’t all bad, of course. Sometimes, it’s nice to unwind for a little bit. 

But realizing how much time you’re spending on things that aren’t pushing you forward in life can be a real shock to the system.

Time is the most valuable resource you have. Use it wisely. Take advantage of timers and calendars, measure the time you spend on every activity, and see where your time is truly going.

If you swap out half an hour of TikTok for half an hour of language learning every day, you might be fluent in French a year from now on.

6) Living in the past

Ah, remember the good old days when you had nothing to worry about and everything was just…easy?

I don’t. I’m very much aware of the fact that what we think of as “the good old days” was a time just like any other, with its own problems, worries, and uncertainties.

There’s nothing inherently better about the past. It’s your sense of nostalgia that’s painting it in brighter colors, changing your perception, blurring your memory, and keeping you stuck.

You’ll never be fifteen again. So what?

Every stage of life comes with its own pros and cons. Focus on what’s within your power to change – the present moment.

7) Clinging to your sense of identity

Humans love categories. We love sorting things into neat and tidy drawers that make logical sense. Our own identity included.

Experience has taught you to view yourself in a certain light. You are the kind of person who’s “anxious” or “chill”. You are “good at maths” and “bad at languages”. You are this and that, that or this.

But the story you’re telling yourself about who you are may be exactly what’s keeping you stuck. The brain is a powerful machine, and how you think of your sense of self matters a great deal.

If you spend each day reminding yourself how anxious you are, your anxiety will most likely grow. But if you learn to tell yourself you are open to new experiences and are becoming more confident, your behavior might follow suit.

Change is one of the few constants in life. Be open to it.

8) Waiting for the right time

If I got a brick each time someone said, “I’ll start on Monday”, I’d be living in a castle.

Here’s the deal. Time is completely arbitrary. It’s a made-up concept. Just like money, time only works the way it does because we all agree to follow it.

Sometime in the past, people decided that Monday signaled the beginning of the work week. But if you had no time-bound commitments, it wouldn’t matter where the week begins and ends. There wouldn’t even *be* a week. Or a month. Or a year.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you start on Monday or Thursday or Unicornday.

All that matters is that you stop procrastinating on your goals.

Do you know what the best time to take action usually is?

Today.

Stop waiting.

Denisa Cerna

Hi! I’m a fiction author and a non-fiction freelance writer with a passion for personal development, mental health, and all things psychology. I have a graduate degree in Comparative Literature MA and I spend most of my time reading, travelling, and – shocker – writing. I’m always on a quest to better understand the inner workings of the human mind and I love sharing my insights with the world. If any of my articles change your life for the better… mission accomplished.
Get in touch at denisacerna.writing@gmail.com or find me on LinkedIn.

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