Sometimes we have it memorized by heart and we are all too ready to list out why we’re stuck.  For others, the reason may be too tucked away in the mind to begin to understand why their lives are stalled.  If asked, the answer might come as a paused moment to search through what feels like a fog in our minds.  We may reach our hands into the fog, halfway grasping for the answer and halfway convinced our reach will only bring back nothing.

I’ve seen this and felt the despair of feeling stuck.

Skip below to find 3 Simple Steps to move forward

For about four years, I carried out social work services for low income families who lived in impoverished areas of New York City.  Feeling stuck was a common and ongoing emotion among many of these families.  And when the time came during our visits together, to discuss their goals, jot down their dreams on a piece of paper with an allowance of three or four long blank lines, the thought of moving forward never quite seemed to be met with excitement.

Instead, it felt as though invisible walls suddenly went up between that happy looking paper with the words “My Goals!” and a rainbow on it and the person staring back at the empty lines.

So what came next was of course the searching over their minds for an answer.   Most, if not all the families who I worked with were open to the discussion, which in itself is a powerful strength.

 Hope can be very powerful.  But hope clouded within the fog of fear can’t be easily grasped.

And that’s what I witnessed and what I sometimes experience. Doubt, struggle, bracing ourselves for disappointment and the oh so much pressure of it all.  It all boils down to fear.  If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because you know that you don’t have to be struggling to make ends meet or a single parent to feel stuck.  Because even when money is flowing, the kids are taken care of, or life seems steady, we can still feel afraid to dream and not dare to move forward.

The fearful response to realizing our dreams is nothing more than an emotion that we all feel at some point when we even consider pushing for change.  

Doubt rooted in fear and expressed through our worries can feel like you just stepped into wet cement.

It’s pretty negative and heavy stuff to say the least.  Just reading about that feeling can bring it up from where it’s hiding inside of you.  But that’s the very point.  When we focus our attention on something, like a negative emotion, it becomes magnified.

I could easily write the rest of this article describing the lists we make for ourselves when we are in doubt.

We’d all go,

Mhmm, that's right, that's on my list, check.

How do I know some of you would start nodding along?  Because self doubt is so common, yet we sometimes feel alone and you’re not!

baggageOur reasons for staying stuck tag along, like carry on bags for that long trip to our dreams lives.  Sure our goals and wishes are packed knowingly in the cargo of that plane, but there we sit cramped with a carry on in our laps or jammed under the seat in front of us.  We carry our reasons for feeling stuck right alongside our dreams sometimes out ahead of our dreams in the imagined future.  Maybe you see these doubts as realities that just exist and have to come along.  And maybe that’s true, but there are other truths that are just as real as our reasons for feeling stuck.

That is where we put our focus on in order to move forward; those brighter truths that reveal through the fog our hopes.  For those of you asking,

What is my dream, how do I get unstuck?
And the answer is…”I don’t know.”   While it may be true that you don’t know right now, it is also true that you know yourself more than anyone else ever will!

Follow these Simple Steps:

Simple Step 1.

Recognize when you dwell on the negative 

We know our so called flaws, our limitations, and our fears.  But, and it’s a big but, the dwelling on those things do not help us move forward.  How much harder is it to move forward carrying heavy bags of negative thoughts?

Simple Step 2.

Realize and Embrace your Strengths

While we know our limitations, we must also be just as aware of our strengths.  This balance is powerful and life changing.  Because when you know your strengths, you can love yourself.  And when you love yourself this way, it becomes one of your truths.

Simple Step 3.

Refocus on what what else is true.  Not just the negative , but the positive truths.

It is deeply vital to love yourself by allowing your mind to shift to something more positive in order to see your life shift.  See that the positive truths do exist along with what you think are the negative truths. Remember your positive truths, like if it’s true that there is something you are good at, or if it’s true that you can do more, or if it’s true that you are more than you give yourself credit for.   Recognize that stuck is a feeling, but know you experience other good feelings too like hope and confidence.

And isn’t it nice to know that positive truths can exist even when you have negative truths?  Perhaps you can even let what you think is a negative reality blur as you refocus on what’s positive in your reality.

If you’re wondering how much this shifting can help you, recall a time when you’ve ever listened to a sad song and suddenly turned it to one that made you need to move and get up and let loose.

You already know the power of shifting a negative focus to a powerful positive one.  It’s inside of you waiting to come up and take over.

Ask yourself, what does your spirit, your highest self, you inner wisdom say about this?  And listen.

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