Unlock the secrets to transforming your mindset with our guide on how to get unstuck in life. Discover seven proven steps to achieve a happier, fulfilling life

How to Get Unstuck in Life

Jun 7, 2024

By Will Moore

Have you ever felt like you're running in place, trying to move forward but not getting anywhere? My best friend and former business partner for my most successful startup to date, Andrew Brown used to say "I feel like I'm running with a parachute strapped to my back."

I remember one time we were going back and forth with a few of our franchisees who we felt we were being irrational and stubborn on the terms of the buyout agreement we'd received. I can still see Andrew hunching over in his chair he'd perch next to my home office desk, both hands grasping his hair, screaming out the phrase in frustration.

His parachute analogy always seemed to hit at the perfect time when we were feeling stuck with our company, Doorstep Delivery, our momentum seemingly ground to a halt and feeling powerless to do anything about it.

Whether it's in your career, relationships, or personal growth, feeling stuck is a common right of passage to gain momentum in life. After all, what fun would it be if you never had to overcome the challenge of getting un-stuck, and the incredible feeling of overcoming obstacles on your way to greatness?

The good news is that you can break free from failing in life and start making progress again. This blog will provide seven proven strategies on how to get unstuck in life and become the best version of yourself.

Upgrades You'll Earn From This Blog:

  1. Understand why you feel stuck

  2. Practical, science-backed steps to get unstuck

  3. Strategies to accept change and build momentum

What is the Psychology of Feeling Stuck?

Feeling stuck is a common psychological experience often rooted in our brain's response to fear and uncertainty. Why do we sometimes dig our heels in when things change? According to research, our brains are wired to keep us safe. New things feel scary because they're uncharted territory. But like a brave explorer, curiosity can turn fear into an exciting adventure.

But what if change could be a good thing?

Absolutely, Change can lead to new opportunities, skills, and experiences. The key is understanding why we resist change (as research suggests) and finding ways to welcome the adventure.

Read More on How to Stop Pretending to Be Happy

Psychologist Carol Dweck's work on fixed vs. growth mindsets reveals that a fixed mindset can trap us in a cycle of inaction. Believing that our abilities are static, we avoid challenges, fearing failure. This mindset hinders progress and keeps us stuck.

Non-stop news, social media, and alerts drown us in info. No wonder we cling to the familiar, even if it's not ideal. Change just adds to the chaos. Dr. Susan David, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School, points out that too much information can lead to analysis paralysis, where we become so overwhelmed by options that we can't make decisions.

Trauma also plays a critical role. Dr Bessel van der Kolk, a leading expert in trauma, explains that traumatic experiences can lock us in a state of hyper-vigilance and emotional distress, making it hard to move forward.

Knowing these psychological factors is the first step to overcoming the feeling of being stuck. You can break free and make meaningful progress by addressing fear, adopting a growth mindset, and managing information intake.

Why do people get stuck?

Erosion of Discipline and Instant Gratification

Modern culture places a high value on instant gratification, which can erode our ability to practice self-discipline. The constant pursuit of quick rewards can lead to neglecting long-term goals and meaningful progress. Many lost hope and fell into a cycle of negative thinking.

Understanding this dynamic is the first step to overcoming it.

Methods to Build Self-Discipline and Focus on Long-Term Goals:

  • Set Clear Goals:

Set your long-term goals, then break them down into smaller, easier steps. This will make them seem less overwhelming and help you reach them faster.

Learn More About: Which of the Seven Goal-setting Steps is the Most Important?

  • Practice Delayed Gratification:

Train yourself to delay immediate rewards in favor of long-term benefits. For example, choose to work on a project now and reward yourself with a break later.

  • Establish Routines:

Create a daily morning routine checklist that incorporates your goals. Consistent actions, even small ones, build discipline over time.

Information Overload and Trust Issues

In today's digital age, we are bombarded with information from all directions. This constant influx of advice and opinions can create confusion and skepticism, making it difficult to discern trustworthy sources. As a result, many people feel overwhelmed and need help figuring out where to start their journey to self-improvement.

Tips to Filter and Trust Reliable Sources:

  • Curate Your Information Sources: Choose a few trusted sources of information and stick to them. This could include reputable websites, books by credible authors, and advice from experts in the field.

  • Limit Your Consumption: Set boundaries on how much information you consume daily. Focus on doing a few things really well instead of trying to do too much at once.

  • Verify Facts: Cross-check information from multiple sources to ensure its accuracy. This will help you build a foundation of reliable knowledge.

Fixed Mindset Leading to Quitting Too Easily

A fixed mindset can trap you in a cycle of procrastination, inaction, and giving up at the first sign of difficulty. This mindset believes that abilities are static and cannot be improved, discouraging effort and persistence.

Strategies to Cultivate a Growth Mindset:

  • Accept Challenges: View challenges as opportunities to learn and grow rather than obstacles to avoid.

  • Learn from Failure: It's okay to mess up sometimes. We all learn from our mistakes. Each setback teaches you something valuable that helps you succeed next time.

  • Focus on Effort: Recognize and celebrate the effort you put into your tasks, regardless of the outcome. This reinforces the value of persistence and hard work.

How to Change Your Life When You Are Stuck?

Feeling stuck at various points in life is a common experience, especially for young adults navigating the complexities of career, relationships, and personal growth. You should know how to rebuild your life when stuck.

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Here are seven proven steps that work:

7 Ways to Get Unstuck in Life

1. Identify and Acknowledge Your Stuck Points

Understanding where and why you're feeling stuck is the first step towards getting unstuck. Recognizing and labeling your emotions can prepare you to manage them more effectively. For instance, if you struggle with your career, take some time to reflect on your current job satisfaction. Do you need to be fulfilled by your current role? Do you feel undervalued? Once you acknowledge how you feel, you can develop strategies to address them effectively.


If you're feeling stagnant at work, keep a journal to document your daily emotions and thoughts about your job. Writing can help you identify patterns and pinpoint specific aspects that need change.

2. Set Small, Achievable Goals

Big goals are easier to tackle when you break them down. Small, manageable tasks make progress feel real and keep you motivated. James Clear, author of "Atomic Habits," suggests starting with tiny habits that require minimal effort but can lead to significant changes over time.


If you want to improve your fitness, begin by committing to ten push-ups every morning. This small step can build the foundation for a more extensive workout routine and help you stop feeling stuck.

If you aim to save money, save $5 a week. Gradually increase the amount as you get more comfortable with the habit.

3. Make It Obvious

One of the core principles of habit formation is to make the desired action obvious. Visual cues can significantly increase the likelihood of engaging in the desired behavior.


Place a water bottle on your desk or carry one anywhere if you want more water. The constant presence of the water bottle will remind you to stay hydrated, improving your overall well-being.

If you want to study more, leave your textbooks and notes on your desk in plain sight rather than tucked away in a drawer.

4. Simplify Your Environment

Simplifying your environment can reduce the friction that prevents you from taking action. Dr BJ Fogg emphasizes the importance of creating environments that make positive behaviors easier to perform.


If you want to eat healthier, start by cleaning out your pantry and fridge of junk food and stocking up on healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, and yogurt.

If you're trying to improve your focus, set up a dedicated, clutter-free workspace with minimal distractions.

5. Incorporate Fun Activities and Reward

Making tasks enjoyable can transform your experience and boost your motivation. Dr Jane McGonigal's research highlights that when we make tasks fun, we're more likely to stick with them, turning potential drudgery into something we look forward to.

Check Out Different Fun Activities to Improve Mental Health


If you're struggling to maintain a regular workout routine, try joining a fun group fitness class like Zumba or spinning. The social aspect and upbeat environment can make exercising more enjoyable.

After completing a study session, reward yourself with a favorite snack or a 30-minute Netflix episode. This makes the process enjoyable and reinforces positive behavior through dopamine hits.

6. Automate Positive Habits

Automation can be a powerful tool in overcoming inertia. Set up systems that make it easier to maintain healthy habits without constant effort.


Use a user-friendly budgeting app like Mint or Weekly habit tracker to track your expenses and savings automatically. This can help you stay on top of your finances without much effort.

Automatic bill payments and savings transfers ensure you never miss a due date and help you reach your financial goals faster.

7. Seek Support and Accountability

Isolation can often exacerbate feelings of being stuck. Building a support network and seeking accountability can provide the encouragement and motivation needed to move forward.


Join online groups or local meetups for bookworms, coders, fitness enthusiasts, or anything that sparks your joy. Sharing your progress and struggles with others can give you a boost of motivation and a new perspective. Talking things out with a supportive network can help you feel unstuck and keep moving forward.

Find a buddy or accountability partner with whom you can regularly check in about your goals. This can be a friend, family member, or even a life coach who can provide guidance and support.

How to Get Unstuck Mentally

Feeling stuck mentally can be incredibly frustrating, especially when it feels like you're making no progress despite your best efforts. Whether you're battling self-doubt, negative thoughts, or the fear of external judgment, there are practical steps you can take to regain your momentum.

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Here are some ways to get unstuck mentally and move forward with clarity and confidence.

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

The first step to overcoming feeling stuck is to acknowledge it. It’s okay to admit that you’re struggling. This simple recognition can provide relief and is crucial for mental health. When you accept that you're feeling stuck, you open the door to address the underlying issues.


Take a few minutes each day to journal about your thoughts and feelings. This can help you identify specific areas where you feel stuck and provide a clearer picture of your mental state.

2. Reframe Negative Thoughts

Negative thinking can trap you in a cycle of feeling stuck. Reframing these thoughts into positive or neutral ones can make a significant difference. It requires a conscious effort but can lead to tremendous progress in perceiving your challenges.


If you catch yourself thinking, "I'll never be able to do this," try rephrasing it as, "This is challenging, but I can learn and improve with time." This shift in self-talk can boost your confidence and reduce self-doubt.

3. Stay Present

Often, feeling stuck stems from worrying too much about the future or dwelling on the past. Mindfulness can be your anchor. It helps you stay focused on the present moment, calming anxiety and sharpening your mind.


Engage in activities promoting mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, or simply walking in nature. Focus on your breathing and the sensations around you to return to the present moment.

4. Seek Support

Talking to someone you trust can unlock new ideas and help you feel connected. Sharing your feelings with family members, friends, or a mental health associate can offer support and guidance.


Consider connecting with support groups or seeing a therapist. Sharing your thoughts with a good listener can lighten your mental load and reveal solutions you might have overlooked.

5. Set Small, Achievable Goals

Setting small, manageable goals can help you make progress without feeling overwhelmed. These small victories keep you motivated and feeling good about yourself. Every little win counts on your journey to success.


Set a goal to refresh your resume or apply for one new position weekly. Small, consistent steps pave the way for big career moves.

6. Don't Fear External Judgment

Fear of external judgment can paralyze you and prevent you from taking the necessary steps. Remember that everyone faces criticism, and it's often not as harsh as we imagine.


Focus on your personal core values and what truly matters to you in life. This can help you prioritize your actions based on your own standards rather than the perceived judgments of others.

7. Take Care of Your Mental Health

Maintaining good mental health is crucial for overcoming feeling stuck. Engage in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress.


Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and quality sleep are the cornerstones of good mental health. Invest in yourself and feel the difference. Additionally, Self-care activities like reading, pursuing hobbies, or connecting with loved ones boost mood and energy. Make time for what makes you feel good.

8. Make a Conscious Effort to Engage in Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk can dramatically impact your mindset and help you break free from feeling stuck. Encourage yourself with kind and affirming words.


Each morning, write down three positive affirmations about yourself. Repeat them throughout the day, especially when you have negative thoughts.

Summing Up: How to get unstuck

We've all had that feeling of "running with a parachute strapped to your back," but using a little science and some proven principles will allow you to poke holes in that parachute until the powerful force of momentum can take over.

Learn More About: You are What You Repeatedly Do

Getting unstuck mentally requires a combination of self-awareness, positive thinking, and supportive actions. By acknowledging your feelings, reframing negative thoughts, staying present, seeking support, setting achievable goals, challenging the fear of external judgment, taking care of your mental health, and engaging in positive self-talk, you can regain your mental momentum and move forward with confidence.

Remember, progress might be slow, but each small step forward allows you to grow one step closer to your goals and a healthier mental state.


Are you ready to break free from feeling stuck and start making progress in your life? The journey to momentum begins with a single step. Let’s make it simple, fun, and rewarding!

1. Discover Your Core Values

Start with our Core Values Quiz to see where you stand in the 5 Core Areas of Life. This quiz is designed to give you insights and a clear understanding of your strengths and areas for improvement.

2. Personalized Coaching for Your Success

Transform your life with individual or executive coaching tailored to your needs. Visit our coaching page]to learn how we can help you gain the momentum you need in both personal and professional spheres.

3. Make Habits Fun with Our Weekly Tracker

Hold yourself accountable in a fun and engaging way with our Weekly Habit Tracker App. This gamified tool makes habit-building an enjoyable part of your daily routine.


Accelerate your growth in the 5 Core Areas Of Life by making your habit transformation journey so simple, fun, and rewarding that your momentum becomes inevitable. Join us in transforming your life and becoming the best version of yourself. Start now!

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How do you get unstuck fast?

To get unstuck quickly, identify the specific area where you're stuck, set small, achievable goals, and take immediate action. Break tasks into manageable steps, seek support from a friend or mentor and use tools like habit trackers to maintain momentum.

What is emotionally stuck?

Being emotionally stuck means being unable to move forward due to unresolved feelings or mental blocks. This can manifest as persistent sadness, anxiety, or a sense of being overwhelmed and unable to cope with daily life.

How does trauma make you stuck?

Trauma can make you feel stuck by creating deep-seated fears, negative thought patterns, and emotional wounds that hinder your ability to move forward. It can lead to avoidance behaviors, reduced motivation, and difficulty trusting yourself and others.

What are the symptoms of being stuck?

Symptoms of being stuck include:

  • Persistent feelings of frustration or dissatisfaction

  • Lack of motivation or energy

  • Procrastination and avoidance behaviors

  • Difficulty making decisions

  • Repeating the same mistakes without learning from them

  • Feeling overwhelmed or paralyzed by choices and tasks


Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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