On the outside, it looks like you’re crushing it. Your grades are sky-high, your resume is polished to a 'T' and your friends know they can always count on you. Everyone is so proud of you for being such a clean, predictable, put-together person.
But inside tells a different story. You aren’t where you want to be at all. You can’t stand your major. You feel like you’re always being fake when you are around your friends. You hate always being the together, dependable person that everyone relies on. There’s a much deeper story you’d love to share with the world, something beautiful, something unique, and yet you can’t bring yourself to do it.
Just the thought of it makes you queasy. It’s much easier remaining exactly as you are. Don’t rock the boat, that will raise too many eyebrows. Just stay in the lane you were assigned by others. It’s a safer journey.
Does this sound familiar to you? Maybe you feel like I’ve written this just for you. If you do, I’d like to believe that we found each other for a reason. You’re in the right space. In fact, just showing up here today is a huge feat for you. Thank you. I’m proud of you, already.
College can be a particularly confusing time for all of us. We’re just getting our feet out in a world of our own. We want to be free and yet we are still held down by collegiate activities, family obligations and commitments to new friends. Even if you aren’t in college, perhaps you feel this same sensation.
There are a million of us who live in one world and day dream in another. We have hopes and goals and ideas for ourselves that we just haven’t shared with others. We feel like they won’t understand, like they will judge us or scold us for being so silly and reckless. These feelings aren’t unusual, but they aren’t helpful either.
Ideally, we all live and let live, but that isn’t exactly how reality works. People say hurtful things, families push us harder than they mean to and friends are as flaky as Jerry Garcia’s drummer (or ex-drummer).
You and I both know that there is a beautiful array of energy inside of you. A dream that only you can dream. I dream that can potentially give you the meaning and purpose that makes life worth living.
So why aren’t you living it?
Is it because you feel stuck? Is there something or someone blocking your ability to set this dream into motion? Are you tired of being the way that you are? Tired of living a lie? Tired of feeling fake at every social interaction?
It’s tough being somewhere you don’t want to be. It’s worse being someone you don’t even like. I’ve lived this horror a couple different times in my life and let me tell you, it’s never a fun role to play. Feeling stuck is no joke and it’s something we all should work our buns off to move past.
Whether you want to change majors or careers, or just want to pursue a dream that you’ve let lay in the corner for ages, there are ways to work through this “stuck” feeling.
I believe every emotion is an important warning sign from our body. It tells us that something is off balance, something isn’t right. These emotions align with our soul and spirit.
Think about a line of dominoes lined up one by one right next to each other. There are two hundred of these dominoes laid out on a gymnasium floor. You probably know that if all the dominoes are lined up properly, then one single touch of one single domino, will result in ALL two hundred dominoes falling over, thus achieving a goal. However, if some of these dominoes are too far apart or turned horizontal instead of vertical, the dominoes will stop falling and everything comes to a dead halt. The goal is not achieved because things are out of balance.
This is an illustration of our lives and our path to achieving our goals or reaching our destiny. The sideways domino that stops the effect is like a warning sign that something isn’t right. We must lend attention to this one domino before we can continue moving forward. Similarly, we need to examine our emotion in order to place it back upright, continue knocking over the other dominoes and thus achieve our biggest goal.
So, if you’ve recently felt a halt in your domino sequence, and for some reason you have been feeling “stuck”, maybe you need to look at some possible reasons as to why you feel this way. Here are my top 5 reasons for why you might feel stuck:
1. You aren’t being honest with yourself
Man, this is a tough one. It is likely though, that you wouldn’t have kept reading this far down the page if you didn’t truly believe in some part of your body that there is something that needs to change.
Take a look at the people and things that make up the life around you. Do you truly enjoy doing these activities or are they making you crazy? Do you like spending time with this group of people, or are they weighing you down? Is there a significant other that has become more comfort that encouragement?
The first step towards rearranging your dominoes is by admitting to yourself what the problem is. What element is out of alignment with your gut?
2. You aren’t being honest with those closest to you
This one is for all my people pleasers out there. You’re always doing the MOST for every friend, family member and volunteer organization out there but when it comes time to see about YOU, you feel guilty or pressured to push that thing aside.
If you struggle with telling others “no” then you aren’t being honest with them. Being honest in relationships means vocalizing your personal needs and wants. What is it that you’ve been hiding from them? What is it that needs to be laid out on the line? This is risky, yes, but if they truly care about you, they’ll love you anyways.
3. You aren’t trusting your gut/believing in yourself
I believe this reason is very common. So many of us have dreams and aspirations but they aren’t directly in front of us so we tend to shrug them off and file them away in the “someday” category. But maybe we should take some time to consider John Fogherty’s wisdom.
“Well, I'm here to tell you now each and ev'ry mother's son
You better learn it fast; you better learn it young,
'Cause, "Someday" Never Comes."
--Credence Clearwater Revival, Someday Never Comes
It’s true, the number one regret of the dying (according to this book) is that they didn’t live for themselves. They were too worried about what other people thought to make their own dreams come true. Is fear a good reason to waste a lifetime waiting on “someday”?
If you struggle with trusting your gut, I recommend reading this post. >> 5 REASONS TO ROCK YOUR STYLE .
4. You are letting others manipulate you
This reason is somewhat inherited. You were probably raised in an environment that left you feeling voiceless or powerless. This doesn’t have to mean you grew up in a very dramatic environment with lots of screaming and helicopter-parenting, it may simply mean that your older sibling was very protective of you, or that you were born a middle child and so you feel like you never had a chance to do or say what you felt and needed.
If you recognize this reason for feeling “stuck”, try reading a book called “Boundaries.” >>>affiliate link:
5. You are putting too much pressure on yourself
Perfectionists. You have a feeling in your gut stronger than the Australian sun and yet you second guess yourself, overthink and overanalyze your way out of actually taking a step towards change.
You aren’t going to be perfect in your first move. No one ever is. You’ll always be growing and learning. That’s life. Start by letting yourself relax. It is okay to be exactly who you are – the messy, beautiful, unpolished person that you truly are.