You or someone you know feels stuck.
It’s not that they don’t have a job, or some hobbies, or friends. And it’s not even because they’re lazy, really—they’re doing a lot of things!
But they’re going around in circles, stuck in the same place, with the same people, with the same life.
In this article, I will give you definite signs that someone’s life is going nowhere (if this is you, use it as a starting point for self-reflection), and the small changes that can be done to get unstuck.
1) They’re stuck in the past.
Whether we like it or not, our past shapes and defines us.
Some of us are lucky enough to have gone through good things growing up, but many of us grow up burdened by many little scars. And those scars can hold you back.
For example, being raised by parents who played mean pranks on you might lead to you having issues trusting people.
Being laughed at for being “too emotional” or put down for being “too ambitious” as a kid might cripple your own ability to show emotions and make you afraid to dream.
It’s unrealistic to say “just get over it!” however. Getting over all of the bad things that were instilled in you by your past experiences is not easy. Many people pay thousands in therapy just to move on.
The good news is that while therapists can help, there’s a lot you can do for yourself if you would just set aside time to sit down, reflect, and then try to do better… or at least work around your issues.
2) They lack self-awareness.
I assume that this isn’t you because you’re actually reading an article about this issue.
But there are many people who are stuck because they’re not self-aware.
They don’t try to examine themselves. They don’t do some introspection because they’re probably scared of what they’ll discover, and their ego can’t accept them.
“Weaknesses? What weaknesses?! I’m not that bad.”, they’d say.
A person who’s self-aware would not be scared to acknowledge their weaknesses and say something like “Yeah, I really suck at math.”
You see, if you are not aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you cannot create the life you want.
You’ll probably keep trying to start a business even if you fail a dozen times because you don’t take the time to ask yourself “Is this really for me?”
3) They always have an excuse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who never make excuses and those who always do.
The ones who are going nowhere are probably in the latter group.
They always don’t have the time, don’t have the energy, don’t have the confidence. Sometimes, they even blame others—like their parents or exes— as an excuse for them not taking charge of their life.
To be fair, most of these people have anxiety, so they prefer to make excuses than to actually do something that can change their life.
Even so, they should start taking charge of their anxiety so they can finally be unstuck.
4) They don’t have anything to look forward to.
One sign that someone’s life is not going anywhere is when they’re not excited about anything. And yes, it’s also a sign of depression so it’s possible they have both. And therefore, both should be addressed.
They’re not really happy with how things are going with their life, but they’re not particularly sad with it either because they’re too used to their humdrum existence.
Here’s the thing. If you’re actually “going somewhere” with your life, you’ll know it. There’d be plenty of things to be excited about!
Will I get that promotion? Will he ask for a third date? Will I get the grant for my project?
And although many of these things won’t go anywhere, one or two would.
But someone whose life is going nowhere won’t even bother planting seeds that could change their life. And that’s because…
5) They are scared of failure.
Many people go nowhere in life because they’re too afraid of failure.
For some, it’s because they’re too concerned about their ego. Others think that failing means they have wasted their time and money. Others yet are afraid that other people will think less of them for failing.
This is the wrong way to approach things, of course. Not only is failure guaranteed to eventually happen, it’s also a fact that success is born out of failure.
Yes. You heard that right. Failure builds you up for success.
By trying, failing, and learning from your failures, you learn the right ways to do things. What you should do differently next time, or what to avoid if you want to succeed.
That’s why being scared of failure—while understandable—is ultimately senseless. It’s like wanting to build a skyscraper, but being afraid of concrete.
6) They don’t have effective goal-setting.
Being stuck in a rut sucks, and whether it’s real or not, it definitely is a sign that one’s life is going nowhere.
So how does one overcome this feeling of being “stuck in a rut”?
Not with willpower alone, that’s for sure. It’s also important to learn how to be good at goal-setting.
I learned about this from Life Journal, created by the highly-successful life coach and teacher Jeanette Brown.
You see, willpower only takes us so far…the key to transforming your life into something you’re passionate and enthusiastic about takes perseverance, a shift in mindset, and effective goal setting.
And while this might sound like a mighty task to undertake, thanks to Jeanette’s guidance, it’s been easier to do than I could have ever imagined.
Now, you may wonder what makes Jeanette’s course different from all the other personal development programs out there.
It all comes down to one thing:
Jeanette isn’t interested in being your life coach.
Instead, she wants YOU to take the reins in creating the life you’ve always dreamt of having.
So if you’re ready to stop dreaming and start living your best life, a life created on your terms, one which fulfills and satisfies you, don’t hesitate to check out Life Journal.
7) They’re stuck in the same habits.
People who are stuck in the same place are usually creatures of habit—they follow a routine that they find safe.
They’re slowly turning into robots.
They are not a fan of “shaking things up” or doing things that can be hashtagged #YOLO, they’re wary of anything that involves risks.
They prefer to be in their safe zone, and therefore it’s affecting their courage to do other things.
You see, courage is essential if you want to go somewhere in life. No one can do that for you. You get there on your own, and without courage, you won’t even make the first step!
They’re also not capable of making new habits or ending old ones. Mainly because they don’t believe in the power of small habits. To them, if it ain’t grand, it can’t change their life…which is definitely false.
8) They shut themselves off.
Contrary to popular belief, many people whose life is going nowhere are actually smart and hard-working. There’s nothing “wrong” with them, per se.
But they have something that prevents them from reaching their full potential: They’re not open.
They are not open to new ideas, new opportunities, new people, and new ways of doing things. As mentioned above, they prefer to stick to their habits. But this one extends beyond habits.
They’re close-minded to ideas and they don’t have a growth mindset (some may even be bitter and cynical), which we all know could affect day-to-day decisions.
When someone gives them advice, they automatically shut down.
When they’re offered to have a job position that sounds strange, they automatically say no.
In fact, they’re the opposite of “Yes” Man, they’re “No” man. They say no to a lot of things and they judge almost everything.
So it isn’t a mystery that no new opportunities go their way, and that no new ideas ever grace their minds.
9) They live in the moment (and not worry a single bit about the future).
Most of the items in this list describe the anxious person who’s afraid to try. But there’s also another group of people who are on the opposite side of the spectrum.
They will stay up partying until four in the morning because what if it’s their last time to have fun? And isn’t life supposed to be enjoyed?
They are the impulsive ones who would throw big bucks because they believe that life is short. They won’t even make plans for the future for the same reason.
Look, it’s definitely a good virtue to live in the moment, but when we totally forget to plant seeds for the future, we might live long enough to regret it one day.
10) Their spirituality is misguided.
When it comes to your personal spiritual journey, which toxic habits have you unknowingly picked up?
Even well-meaning gurus and experts can get it wrong.
The result is that you end up achieving the opposite of what you’re searching for. You do more to harm yourself than to heal.
It may even be the primary reason you’re feeling stuck right now.
In this eye-opening video, the shaman Rudá Iandé explains how so many of us fall into the toxic spirituality trap. He himself went through a similar experience at the start of his journey.
As he mentions in the video, spirituality should be about empowering yourself. Not suppressing emotions, not judging others, but forming a pure connection with who you are at your core.
If this is what you’d like to achieve, click here to watch the free video.
11) They are not firm with their boundaries.
Boundaries are important. And yet so many people are held back simply because they aren’t being firm with their boundaries.
They might be doing everything that they need to do to get the life they want. They might be neck deep in self-help books, wake up on time, and work hard.
And yet for some reason they just can’t set boundaries, so they end up bleeding the time and money they have.
Perhaps they feel guilty at the idea of telling someone “no”, or maybe people have convinced them that since they have so much money that they could afford to let their friends borrow off of them.
The fix to this problem isn’t exactly “easy” either. Or at the very least, it’s not going to be easy emotionally, simply because we’ve been told that we should help those in need.
If this is you, you need to prioritize yourself.
Sure, helping others is fine, but there should be a line somewhere. And don’t let anybody cross this line.
13) They use their hearts, instead of their head.
This might come off as heartless or callous, but sometimes the reason why people aren’t going anywhere in life is because they simply keep on following their hearts when they should be using their heads instead.
So what does using one’s heart exactly mean?
It’s settling for a career that pays you only $3 an hour simply because it’s your passion, or deciding to start a business without thinking it through simply because you had a “good feeling” about it.
Other examples would be staying in the country out of pride when you know you’d do so much better in New York, or settling for an abusive partner because you’re so in love with them.
Listen to me. There are other ways to live. Go try them out!
You can go get a job that pays better while setting your passions aside and turning them into hobbies.
You can let go of the abusive partner and start a brand-new life.
You need to make some changes to actually move forward, and sometimes it’s best to do this using your head instead of your heart.
It can be easy to spot the signs that someone’s life is going nowhere.
There’s usually that listlessness in the way they go about their life, almost as if they’re living on autopilot.
But it’s important to keep in mind that this state won’t necessarily last forever. At some point, they’ll get moving with their life again.
Of course, if this describes you, you might be here because you hate it. And thankfully, you don’t have to wait. With enough effort and sufficient guidance, you can get your life on track yourself.
The Secret to a Better Life?
Hi. I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit.
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