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Do you ever feel like you’re “stuck in a rut” and don’t know what to do about it? What does it mean to feel stuck? It can mean that you’re tired of living every day exactly the same, always doing the same things and going to the same places.

Or it can mean that you want more out of your life. You’re happy for the most part, but you still feel like something’s missing. Maybe you want to have a deeper relationship with your spouse or enjoy a more fulfilling career. Maybe you’d like to find a way to give back to your community or find a stronger sense of spirituality. Whatever it is, you’re not sure how to create it in your life so you feel “stuck”.

I’d like to help you find your way to “unstuck” with these journaling questions. Find some time to be still and think about your responses. Be focused with your thoughts and spend some time writing your answers to these questions to get yourself moving forward.

1. What is your vision for being unstuck? What would your life look like if you weren’t feeling “stuck”? What would you change about your life, both physically and emotionally? Use your response to get in touch with what you deeply desire.

2. What are you most afraid will happen if you start moving forward? Fears are a big reason we tend to stay stuck. We’re afraid of moving forward; afraid of change. We don’t feel good enough or smart enough to make the changes we need to. Or we are afraid that we won’t be supported by the people we care about or we’ll hurt someone we love. Spend some time getting in touch with your fears.

3. What makes you feel overwhelmed about moving forward? Another reason people tend to stay stuck is they feel overwhelmed by what they need to do in order to see change. They know what they want and what they need to do to reach their goal, but they’re so overwhelmed that they just don’t do it. Is this what’s holding you back? Are there too many tasks to accomplish? Or are you feeling overwhelmed by your emotions and feelings? Get clear on why you’re feeling overwhelmed. This will help you to resolve the problem and find the strength you need to move forward.

4. What could you do to feel less overwhelmed? Think through the steps you need to take to reach your goal then start making a plan. Break your goal down it small tasks that aren’t so overwhelming. For instance, writing a book might seem overwhelming, but getting started by working on the book outline and outlining just the first chapter is not as daunting. Instead of accepting the stress and overwhelm keeping you stuck, say “what can I do to change it”?

5. What if you gave yourself permission to move forward imperfectly? What would you do if it didn’t have to be perfect? Sometimes we feel stuck because we feel like everything has to be absolutely perfect. That lofty goal keeps us from getting anything done. Give yourself a break and don’t go for perfect the first time around. You can always improve later. If it didn’t matter to you what the results were, what would you do differently?

Feeling stuck is not enjoyable. In fact, it can be very uncomfortable and frustrating. Break free from the restraints you have on yourself and start moving forward to a wonderful place of freedom and happiness.