Five Signs You’re Stuck in Your Career (And What You Can Do About It)
Readers often talk to me about their jobs, careers, and search for a more meaningful life. The common theme I hear in my conversations with many of you is this: You feel stuck.
The best decisions we can make for ourselves are also often the hardest. This is why we sometimes feel stuck in a job and we don’t know what to do to make it better.
Whether it’s your career, your life, your relationship, or (insert your problem) here are five signs that you’re stuck and what you can do about it:
1. You feel paralyzed
Do you pursue jobs, projects or relationships only to be caught between a yes and a no? Do you feel like you’re standing in the middle of a foreign town without a map?
The inability to make a decision can feel paralyzing.
If this is how you feel, I encourage you to stop spinning your wheels, bring your attention to the current events in your life, and ask yourself this: What is holding you back?
Go with your gut answer and don’t be afraid to acknowledge it (if only to yourself at first).
2. You feel uninspired
Do you just sit in a chair at the end of the day and stare at the wall? Have you lost interest in doing the things that you once loved?
Feeling uninspired can be the result of sadness, grief and loss but it can also be a sign that you’re stuck. Is fear holding you back from doing what’s best for you? Are other people’s opinions holding you back?
Find a way to overcome your fears, make a change, and prepare for a shift.
3. You feel confused
A major life decision can be overwhelming and we often see both sides of the coin — the good and bad — equally. This causes us to feel stuck in confusion.
Try this: Close your eyes and envision the yes and the no to your question.
Which feels lighter, brighter, and more peaceful? Go with that answer. Always.
Be prepared for the answer to be the scariest and most difficult to accept.
4. You can’t commit to anything
Do you pursue something only to bail when it gets serious?
Better to work through this now and save yourself the grief – something is wrong and needs fixing. So fix it.
Be brave and take small steps towards your goal.
5. You’re uncomfortable with the status quo
Signs that you need a change in your life can show up in different ways. I have seen it manifest in my own life as anger, sadness, and anxiety.
It can also appear as a longing for something different, and jealousy or envy of others.
If you’re uncomfortable with the status quo, make change by bringing your attention to when you feel angry, sad or anxious (Tip: a deep sigh is a strong indicator of a stressful thought or encounter).
Once you identify the thing that is causing your pain and needs to change, don’t be afraid to take the steps to change it. Set your intention on something better.
Sometimes the most difficult decision you can make is the best decision for you.
Suggested reading for feeling stuck
- A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
- If the Buddha Got Stuck by Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D.
- When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron