Overcoming the Feeling of Being Stuck: A Journey from Supporting Character to Lead in Your Life
Have you ever felt like you’re just a supporting character in the story of your own life? This sensation, often described as feeling ‘stuck,’ is more common than you might think. In this blog, we’ll explore how to navigate out of this state, embrace change, and step into the role of the lead character in your own life story. Understanding the science behind why we feel stuck is key to this transformation.
Understanding the Brain’s Role in Feeling Stuck
The human brain is an intricate organ, evolved to prioritise our survival and well-being. When we encounter new challenges or consider major life changes, our brain often activates defense mechanisms. These include procrastination, information overload without action, and a lack of awareness of our emotional and mental state. This protective stance is rooted in our brain’s preference for familiar patterns and known outcomes, even if they are less than ideal.
1. Overcoming the ‘I’ll Start Tomorrow’ Mindset
The first step to unstick yourself is tackling the ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ mindset. Procrastination is not just a bad habit; it’s a psychological mechanism. According to researchers, when we think about our future selves, it activates the same part of the brain that thinks about strangers. Therefore, delaying action feels like we’re assigning tasks to someone else. Overcoming this requires mindfulness and recognising that the future is created by the actions we take in the present.
Action Tip: Start small. Choose one thing you’ve been postponing and do it today. Even a small action can break the cycle of procrastination and set you on a path of continuous improvement.
2. Moving from Knowledge Accumulation to Action
It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of endlessly gathering information. This phenomenon, sometimes referred to as ‘analysis paralysis,’ can be attributed to the brain’s love for learning and fear of failure. Gathering information is seen as a low-risk activity, whereas applying that knowledge involves potential risks and the fear of making mistakes.
However, knowledge is power only when it’s applied. Transformative learning involves not just absorbing information but also implementing it in our daily lives.
Action Tip: After acquiring new knowledge, immediately think of one practical way to apply it. This bridges the gap between learning and doing, turning theory into action.
3. Understanding and Changing Your Mental and Emotional State with the ME MODEL
The ME MODEL is a tool I developed to help you become more conscious of your current state. It encourages you to reflect on your emotions and thoughts, thereby providing insights into why you might feel stuck. Being unaware of our mental and emotional state often leads to reactive rather than proactive living. The brain’s default mode network (DMN) is active when we’re not focusing on the outside world but instead are engaged in introspection. This network can either keep us trapped in unproductive patterns or become a powerful ally in understanding and changing our behavior.
Action Tip: Use the ME MODEL to regularly check in with yourself. Ask, “What am I feeling right now? Why do I feel this way? What can I do about it?” This self-awareness is a stepping stone to becoming an active participant in your life’s story.
Transforming into the Lead Character of Your Life
Incorporating these steps into your life shifts the narrative. You move from a passive, reactive state to an active, intentional one. It’s about embracing your unique journey, understanding that you have the power to rewrite your script at any moment.
Remember, every decision you make is like writing a sentence in your life story. Make it a narrative filled with growth, resilience, and authenticity. You are not just moving through life; you’re crafting a masterpiece, one choice at a time.
Remember: Feeling stuck is a sign that your brain is trying to protect you. But protection often comes at the cost of growth and fulfilment. By understanding the science behind this state and implementing these actionable steps, you can begin to move from being a supporting character to the lead in your life story. Start today, apply what you learn, and become more conscious of your emotional and mental state. Your life is a beautiful story waiting to be written. Make it a story worth telling.