“Wisdom comes from making mistakes, having the courage to face them, and make adjustments moving forward based upon the knowledge acquired through those experiences.” ― Ken Poirot
For all of you out there afraid to make a move in your life because of the fear of making a “mistake,” this ones for you.
I invite you to try on the perspective for a moment that the biggest mistake of all is consistently protecting yourself from making any. Making no move and no mistakes in life will get you nowhere and keep you in stagnant waters, my friend.
“Making a mistake” in life seems to have a really negative undertone when often, it’s within our mistakes where we gain clarity, grow, and are exposed to valuable information. If you can look beyond any self-proclaimed “mistake” my guess is that there’s a gift of insight for you to take in. Often, that very insight will provide momentum that can direct you to your next destination in this journey called life.
Feeling stuck, stagnant, and lost in life is an extremely uncomfortable and agonizing feeling. Don’t doubt that even the friend, acquaintance, or individual who appears to have it all together and envisions perfection on Instagram has felt or will feel that feeling too. Just a reminder that we all have our struggles, we all have our hardships. None of us are alone in that.
For the purpose of this article, I’m writing to my “road less traveled” life adventurers. Often those are the ones of us that can get really lost on the dark road, for they tend to be the group that goes thicker into the forest. It takes one to know one and in this post, I will join my clinical skills as a licensed therapist combined with what I’ve learned personally from feeling utterly lost at points of my life to potentially help guide you.
With that said, I want to pose a friendly reminder that life is a journey and if you’re truly living it listening to yourself rather than following the constructs of what you should and ought to do, you will feel stuck at times or even extremely lost along the way.
I believe that “lost” feeling goes with the territory of carving your own path. It’s a brave thing to do. It takes courage and a heightened ability to cope with uncertainty when you’re choosing the road less traveled. This is sometimes why some of us choose the path that’s visible and has clear markers.
It appears to feel more safe, and us humans, whether we like to admit it or not, tend to go toward the comfort of the “known” as it’s more inviting and appealing to many of us.
The road less traveled is not laid out for you. This path will require you to walk with fear and keep your anxiety about the uncertain steps ahead at bay while continuing to trudge onward. Remind yourself that choosing to go “the road less traveled,” although unknown, will expose you to the excitement of untapped terrain that’s filled with goodies.
If you keep going, you will eventually see some sort of “light” that will direct you. Your work is to be able to hold on tight enough when you’re lost in the dark in order to make it to the light which will provide a direction for you to follow.
If you find yourself questioning your life more than others around you, please try to refrain from comparison. My guess might be that you’re comparing yourself to “others” who made the decision to go down a more well lit road. Neither path is wrong or right. The key is to decide which kind of traveler you are in this life and stay true to what’s in your heart.
Let’s start with a question: What does making a mistake mean to you?
Universally, a mistake often means that we find ourselves unhappy with the result that has come from a choice we’ve made about a person, place, or thing. When we hold a lot of fear around making choices, our tendency to hit “bigger” bumps along the way increases for life requires us to choose every day all day long.
We have to make choices, whether we want to make them or not. Our choices will and do create the tone and context of our overall life. What we choose to put in our mouths every meal, over time, results in what our health and physical body looks like.
How we move our bodies every day, overtime results in our physical appearance and dictates how we feel in and about our bodies. When we choose to go to sleep and wake up dictates the energy and mood that we bring to the day.
With that said, let’s get to it and discuss tips for you to consider if you’re feeling stuck or lost and are seeking a way toward the light.
Here Are 4 Tips To Becoming Unstuck
1. Make One Small Decision And Keep Following The Momentum Of That Single Choice Consistently.
Watch for: Overthinking, negative thinking, talking yourself out of following through with your decision, devaluing your idea, arguing “why” the idea is not a good choice.
The point of making small decisions and following through with them is to retrain your brain and re-wire your habit of being frozen and stagnant. I want to pose that if you’re finding yourself stuck, it’s often because you’ve created a habit of not following through on ideas or executing choices.
I want you to wake up and work out your choice muscle on small, benign decisions. Start making firm choices with clarity and confidence with the little things, even if you’re not confident about it, just go with it and follow through with a choice.
The point here is to re-fire a muscle that has been dormant. I’m less concerned about your choice here, and more encouraging you to just make a choice for the exercise of making one. We’re working on eliminating your habit of stagnation by no decision-making.
Remember, no choice is a choice, so in all reality, you’re making the decision to do nothing when you’re stagnant and stuck in life. I know that can sound harsh, but I say that with 100% love for you to be honest with what really is going on, so you can decide to change that behavior at this point if you don’t like it. It’s so cliche to say, but knowledge is power friends.
2. Get Out Of Your Head That One Choice Will Make Or Break You.
Watch for: Again, hello, overthinking, lack of follow-through, not being accountable to your intention, playing into excuses.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. One choice usually is not the end all be all. A series of small choices lead to big change. Take the pressure off of yourself by making small choices and paying attention to how you feel choice by choice. Your emotions and feelings about what is unfolding with each choice can help guide you.
Rule of thumb: If a choice starts to feel consistently bad, revaluate your direction and, perhaps, choose another way.
3. Act Intentionally Every Day By Doing Your Self Care And Giving Yourself Enough Space To Be Without Distraction.
Watch for: Busyness, lack of being present, getting caught up with “The Jones’s”
Truthfully, this is always a solid life mantra to live by. Be Intentional. We hear it all the time, however living intentionally does take practice, mindfulness, and being clear on your priorities.
Every day remind yourself to focus on small actions that you can take to keep the momentum going in an area of your life that you’re working to cultivate. Reading a book? Keep reading. Learning guitar? Keep learning. Cultivating a specific relationship? Keep cultivating. Looking for new houses to rent or buy? Keep looking. Dating? Keep talking, texting, and meeting up with potential suitors. Just keep doing you.
Here’s what I WANT you to know that your overthinking cannot think up: One thing WILL lead to the next if you keep doing your part of the bargain which is moving and shaking to some degree. “Moving and shaking” meaning taking small actions that over time can and will lead to bigger change. Take the pressure off of yourself that you have to make one big monumental choice and just start doing small things differently.
If you’ve been thinking of making a certain dish for dinner; cook it. If you’ve thought about journaling, start. I cannot make it clear enough that starting on these little-minute decisions is the building block toward creating your “do it” muscle. Little by little the small things gain momentum (if you hold your line and keep your practice consistent.)
Like I’ve said, it’s only a matter of time that small changes will lead to bigger changes. It’s just what the concepts of flow and momentum do. They create change. Clear out the stress and stagnation of trying to figure out how life is going to happen for you. The best that you can do is to live each day presently while taking action toward the small “hits” that you’re intuitively getting and act on them to some degree.
4. Realize That No Decision Is A Decision.
Watch for: Thinking that you’re keeping yourself from “making a mistake.” Validation for no action.
Believing that you’re keeping yourself “safe” by not taking action toward curiosities and ideas that excite you is a trap. Refraining from exploring what lights you up is one of the most dangerous habits that I see humans get caught in.
If you never make a move, your life will still happen, it just will be less intentional. That means that the chances of really hitting the mark on what you truly desire will be more questionable. Life never goes exactly as planned, however having some sort of idea about who you are and how you enjoy spending your time and energy is important to consider when making decisions around your life.
Many things in life are out of our control, yet we can make intentional choices about what we want to do with our time and our energy. We can choose what lifestyle we long for and start moving in the direction toward it. What happens along the way in the form of the unexpected is the mystery that life provides for us. Try to enjoy the surprises instead of fear them.
If you “don’t know” what you want, that’s okay, but do your best to honor who you are and what you enjoy doing with your time and energy and that will lead you in a solid direction.
Well, that’s a wrap. I hope these words help reduce the anxiety and fear that often comes along with navigating a room in the dark. Like I said earlier, the problem isn’t the fact that you’re in a moment in your life where things are unclear.
The problem, more often, is in the mindset and lack of action that we bring to any situation. As we’ve all heard, it’s what we do with the situation in front of us that can make or break us, not so much the particular situation at hand.
Take care of yourself. Rest. Eat well. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good. Move your body. These small actions, all together, will provide a good foundation as you practice making the small choices that will steer your life in a direction that suits you.
Below is a youtube video that I made around this specific topic. Enjoy and feel free to SUBSCRIBE to my channel.