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What to do when you're feeling stuck

I think we can all relate to that feeling of being stuck in a rut from time to time or even on a regular basis. This happens a lot around this time of year. It's common to set New Year resolutions and feel very passionate to work on that goal at first. Then you may start losing motivation and eventually give up on reaching that goal.

This stuck feeling can also arise when you're thinking of doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable, so you return to what you usually do or what feels familiar. That familiar place is the rut. It feels safe.

A fear of failure often keeps one in the familiar routines of day to day life or ways of being. For example, if someone is thinking of getting a new job, this will likely bring up feelings of anxiety. Thoughts that are connected to this feeling may sound like - what if I don't get the job, what if I don't do well in the interview, what if they don't like me, what if I'm not qualified enough, what if people judge me, what if I look like a fool or make a mistake.

This fear of failure can lead to not taking action and often results in returning to the same old rut - the familiar comfort zone.

So what can you do to get unstuck?

An excellent way to keep advancing is to commit to taking Opposite Action when negative emotions arise. In the case of anxiety, this means approaching vs avoiding what is causing your anxiety. In fact, it means approaching that thing over and over again until it no longer causes high anxiety. It's okay to have some anxiety because that is a sign that you are stepping out of your comfort zone and you are growing! This is how you build your courage and learn that you are still safe.

Discomfort is not a sign that you're going down the wrong path.

- Gabby Bernstein

Discomfort is a sign that you are no longer in the rut. You have stepped into a place of uncertainty and this is where change is possible.

If you think of any successful person, they have had to face "failure," probably many times before they succeeded. Think of Thomas Edison who failed 999 times before he could get the light bulb to work and he successfully invented electricity.

There is no failure - there is only feedback

- Brad Yates

So if you fail once, brush yourself off, get back up, learn from that experience, and try again. This is how you get out of that rut that is driven by a fear of failure. Small steps taken in a different direction (aka Opposite Action) create a different energy within you that can energize and motivate you to take the next small step.

If you know someone who would benefit from what you've read here, please forward this blog to them or send them over to my website


Hi! I'm Beth Matthews. I'm a Registered Psychologist who is driven to helping people feel better about themselves. I help people who are struggling in their lives gain an awareness of how they can cope with anything that comes their way. With my easy-to-use strategies, you can feel better and be your best you!


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