I used to be a STUCKAHOLIC and sadly it stood in the way of my happiness for years. Regardless of how much I wanted to change I found a million reasons to stay stuck and therefore didn’t change. In short, I was comfortable and I could not get out of my own way.
Lifelong patterns and behaviors learned seemed to have control over my life and in the end, I stayed stuck for far too long. Looking back I wasted so much time not to mention made countless mistakes along the way.
So – what changed?
I reached a breaking point and in a word I hit a wall. The pain point eventually outweighed the comfort and essentially there was no longer a pay-off or anything positive to gain from the habits that seemed to run the show. Frustrated and miserable, I made the decision to change.
Simple? No and believe me when I say that I am not minimizing how hard it is to change. Change is hard and similarly it is incredibly difficult to break patterns that have been a part of our lives for a very long time. The good news? It is possible. Anyone can change if they want something bad enough.
So if anyone can change why do people stay stuck in life? Why do so many of us continue to repeat behaviors and unhealthy patterns over and over again?
Human beings are creatures of habit and for the most part become trapped in behaviors that are learned at a very young age. In addition most people stay stuck and don’t change because they are essentially getting something out of the behavior. There is some type of pay-off even if the pay-off is bad. We all have triggers and we all have vices that we turn to because it is what we know and in the moment, that vice makes us feel better. The problem is that the feeling of relief is temporary and in the end, the vice often leads people to feel worse about themselves.
Let me give you an example. Janet is a woman that has recently gone through a painful divorce. She is beautiful, smart, talented, funny and has a kind and loving heart. Everyone loves her but she does not love herself. In fact, Janet has low self-worth and does not believe anyone could possibly love her. Janet struggles in part with her weight and it stands in the way of her living a happy and fulfilled life.
Janet is miserable yet she is struggling to take steps to change some of the destructive behaviors that stand in the way of losing weight. She engages in self-sabotaging behaviors and in the long run feels defeated and unable to change. Unhealthy patterns that have been a part of her life for far too long continue to run Janet’s life.
Janet cannot get out of her own way and instead of making changes she finds excuses, does not believe in herself and falls prey to the vice of food to bring her comfort in those moments that she feels bad. It is a vicious cycle and in truth the pattern of food is keeping her stuck in a place she does not want to be. I had vices of my own and quite honestly, still do. But – I am aware of them and I now have learned to manage them instead of the vices managing me. I’m not perfect and no one expects you to be. Everyone falls but what is important is that you get back up and don’t let a slip completely derail you.
This cycle of self-sabotage is a common one and by and large far too many humans are sitting stuck in the same boat. Unhealthy patterns stand in the way of living our best lives. Staying stuck and choosing to stay comfortable instead of doing what it takes to change leads to far bigger issues. Depression, sadness, anxiety, self-destructive behaviors, stress and feeling lost are common in people who are stuck.
Change is so hard but I am here to tell you that it IS POSSIBLE. You can change and you can break patterns and habits. Here are a few powerful reminders that can help you to get unstuck in your life:
- You have to want to change.
One of the biggest things that stands in the way of change is that people don’t want to change or they are not ready to change. If you are struggling to change I would challenge you to pay attention to what the pay-off is. You are getting something out of the behavior. It might not be good for you but nonetheless it is giving you something. Identify the pay-offs and find alternative things that are positive instead of negative. In the end, you have to want to change. Period.
2. Identify your WHY.
Why is a powerful word and it is when you can determine your why that you can move toward change and getting unstuck. I believe that anyone can change if you want something bad enough and regardless of your age or past. But – you have to know your why. The why is what will drive positive behaviors and can propel you towards doing things in a different way. Every human being on the planet has a why. Dig deep and identify those things that excite you and motivate you. Have a vision and keep that vision close to your heart. Keep it in front of you and start taking steps to make that vision become a reality.
3. Raise your standards.
Human beings live true to the standards that they have set for themselves. If you believe that you do not deserve to be happy – you won’t be. If you believe that you don’t deserve to be loved it will become difficult to have a successful and healthy relationship. It is important that you pay attention to where your standards fall. Far too many people settle and set their standards at a lower level than what they desire and deserve. If you want to lose weight then reset your standard and raise the bar. Stop settling for those standards that are far lower than what you are capable of. Tony Robbins states that “the quality of your life is a reflection of your standards.” This is so true. If you are unhappy with the quality of your life look at where your standards are. Choose more.
4. Change is a choice.
There will always be things in life that are out of our control. However – most things that happen in life come down to personal choice. You are the captain of your destiny and so much of what happens in your life is entirely up to you. Choose different. Choose better and stop settling. You do not have to stay stuck. You can change but it is up to you. No one is going to change anything for you. Stop waiting for something to happen. Take action – that is when change will find its way into your life.
5. Step outside of your comfort zone.
Change is hard and change is scary. I get that and I know it well. But – choosing to stay stuck out of fear is not serving you and it is standing in the way of living your best life. Face your fears and accept that it is going to be hard. That is okay. It is often the things that matter most that are the hardest. You can do hard. There is a whole world out there with so much opportunity waiting just for you. Let your fear propel you to try new things and to insert change into your daily life. Build new rituals. Do them every day. Take a risk and reclaim your power. You have what it takes to move out of your comfort zones. That is where real change happens and what a magical place for you to be.
6. Stop complaining.
Complaining does nothing but delay achieving your goals and living a happy life. In truth it is a dead-end street and will lead nowhere fast. Complaining is a distraction and it is a dream stealer. Stop complaining and instead take charge of your future. Find solutions and be honest with yourself. What good does it do to complain about your weight, your relationship, your job, the losers you date or staying stuck in life? It does nothing for you but stand in the way of healthy change. Stop complaining and look deep inside. You already have the tools to change and coupled with true desire anything is possible.
7. Believe in yourself.
One of the biggest obstacles to change and getting unstuck is in short, the inability for people to believe in themselves. It will be very difficult to change if you do not believe that you can. Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself. Our internal self-talk is often times negative and we beat ourselves up. In truth, we would never say to our friends what we so often say to ourselves. Shift your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. It takes time and of course needs to become a pattern but it is an important one. Believe that anything is possible and that you can. A positive attitude will lead you to changing your life when you are ready.
8. Replace bad habits with good ones.
Humans are conditioned to repeat behaviors and patterns even when they are unhealthy or bad. With that being said, it is possible to change bad habits. It is important to be self-aware and to identify what those bad habits are. We cannot change a habit if we are unaware that it even exists or worse yet, choose to ignore it. Be honest with yourself and love all of who you are.
No one is perfect and we all have things that we need to change. That does not make you a bad person. Keep your shame in check – it will keep you stuck. Forgive your mistakes and then let it go. Start small and develop new and positive habits that you insert into your life every day. Make no exceptions and be disciplined. Stay consistent and when you start to feel weak or drift towards old behaviors make a conscious effort to replace it with something you can feel good about. Remember – you are in control.
Change is hard and sadly, a lot of people are stuckaholics. It is a tough place to be and it can be incredibly frustrating. But – you have the ability to push through and change your life. The choice is up to you and it is when you decide to change that you will find your courage. You are stronger than you think. Stop procrastinating because of fear and push through your fears and self-doubt. Rise above those self-perceived comfort zones that are limiting you and keeping you stuck. You matter and you deserve to live the life you want. If you are wondering how you got here and what on earth happened to the person you want to be – it is time to change your life.
You do not have to stay stuck and you can change. It is entirely up to you. Are you a stuckaholic? The first step is to accept it and then make the commitment to do whatever it takes to change it. Love yourself enough to take that first step and don’t look back. I can promise you that it will make a difference in your life.
What are you waiting for? If you want to change then stop hesitating and making excuses. Just do it. I would love to hear what causes you to stay stuck in your life and what you have done to change your life. Your happiness matters to me.
In Peace and With Love-