Too many choices, too many decisions, too much overwhelm, and decision fatigue all contribute to you feeling and being stuck. Do you feel as if you are “just surviving” every day? That stinks, doesn’t it? But, what to do and how to get started moving forward again?

November 30, 2022

Sometimes, the issue is that we do not know what to do first. Not only that, but we stress over what is the most important thing to do first. We are afraid to be wrong and so, we do nothing. I think the acronym F.A.I.L. is appropriate here, it is your First Attempt In Learning. Yes, you are learning what works and what does not work. Failure is an event and never a person.

We like certainty. We want to know that we have made the “right” decision. Our brains do not like uncertainty, it makes them work overtime to feel safe. Our brains get hijacked by our emotions and we cannot think logically. Stop overloading your brain.

Do you feel like you have to “shop around” and keep all your options open before making a decision? Two or three would be ideal, but we have to go to 10 places and keep comparing. How many of us get too obsessed or too anxious? You know who you are and you are nodding your head in agreement.

How much energy are these decisions taking? Is it really worth that much stress, anxiety, or energy-wasting? Have you ever thought about when this choice overload happens? It usually happens when we don’t have enough good information or knowledge in the area of need. Use your good resources. Set your limit to three of those resources. Find a knowledgeable person and have them provide you with your best two or three options for your needs. (That would be a plug for my services, in case you didn’t catch it.)

What does feeling stuck look like?

  • You have been searching for something that interests you and you find it. Then you look at all the steps it takes to do it and talk yourself out of doing it.
  • You keep thinking about what could be better or different all the time. You may even be future-oriented. You get into the “when I get this, I will be happy” or “when this happens, I will be happy.”  The problem is that you are here, right now in the present and this is where your focus for happiness would be best served.
  • You really want something – for yourself – a new relationship, a better job, a new house, to get in better shape, etc. – However, before you start, you lose your motivation. Maybe, you do get started and then you lose your motivation.
  • You have a feeling that something isn’t right in your life, even if you can’t put your finger on it.

Motivation is red hot for a while, but then it burns out and all you have are a bunch of ashes. What now? For one, the realization that motivation is never enough to achieve a goal. It takes commitment to the process. Doing it even though you don’t feel like it is another realization. Be consistent. Continue after a break.

Maybe you feel trapped as a family caregiver. You don’t mind helping, but now you feel like you never get out. It is a difficult adjustment. Be careful, resentments can build up before you know it. You feel like you are missing out. You feel trapped by doing the same tasks over and over.

Consider this, challenges are matters of perspectives and our own attitudes.

Is there some middle ground that you and your care receiver can agree to? Challenge your on “stinking thinking.” It could be your perspective and attitude that are the problems.

Some ideas to help you not feel trapped:

  • Only you can change the things in your life that you are unhappy about.
  • Live a healthier life by moving (walking/running) and eating better.
  • Be consistent, motivation alone is not enough.
  • Accept uncertainty. We can make good decisions, but we cannot choose the outcome.
  • Reconnect with your personal values.
  • What can you do, right now, that will be helpful?
  • Be the hero of your story and not the victim. Stop saying, “I don’t want …”
  • Stop focusing on the things that are causing you to suffer. Focus on whatever fills you up.
  • You may not have good options, so choose the option that you will regret the least.
  • See if you are in the “all or nothing” thinking. It can be a “both/and.”
  • Write down some “I could …” statements.
  • Write down three different things you are grateful for every day.
  • Be proactive rather than reactive. You will have more control and less stress.

Pat