Maybe you’ve heard the Napoleon Hill quote that says, “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle”. And while that quote rings true, it doesn’t take away from the fact that sometimes, the struggle can start to feel more like a complete standstill. Like you’re watching everyone around you blossom, but you’re still trying to find out where you’re meant to be planted. Believe me when I say, I’ve been there, and I know what it’s like to feel stuck in a world that doesn’t stop moving for anyone (whether that be in a job, a relationship, or just a general feeling of lack of purpose).
The question then, is “What do I do about it?” – “How do I move forward when I have no idea which direction to step in?” and while I’ll never claim to have all of the answers, I will always share my truth with you, because sometimes, our journeys aren’t as different as they seem.
3 Pieces of Advice for the One who feels “Stuck”
1) Ask yourself what your biggest motivator is (and be honest with yourself).
Why do I say that? Because first and foremost, if you struggle with feeling stuck in any season in your life, you probably struggle with your WHY. Let me break it down a little bit. WHY are you doing what you’re doing in life right now? WHY are you pursuing that degree? WHY are you working in that career field? WHY are you in that relationship? And WHAT motivates you to keep pushing forward? When your “why” is surface level (i.e. money, your parents, job security) then your satisfaction will always be temporary. There’s a reason that the Bible says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as though you are working for the Lord, not for people” (Colossians 3:23). We were not out here to chase money, people, and worldly “success” and if you think you were, you’ll always be searching for something “more” to achieve happiness. Check the root of your desires.
2) Stop allowing fear to control your every move.
Sadly, we live in a world where many people are driven by fear, and they don’t even know it.
Why are you still in that relationship?
“Well, I’m scared of being alone”
“I’m scared I’ll never find anyone like them” etc.
Why are you still at that job you hate?
“I’m scared I won’t find something else that pays as well”
“It’s secure and chasing my dreams is way too risky”
Why are you going into debt pursuing a career you don’t even know you’ve been called to do (or worse, when you know you’ve been called to do something else)?
“Well my parents said I had to or I’d be on my own”
“Everyone else was going to school and I didn’t know what else to do”
I could go on and on. We SETTLE because it’s comfortable. Because it doesn’t take thinking outside of the box. Because it’s easier to follow the crowd than it is to step out in faith and surrender control to God. Until you stop allowing fear to control you, you’ll always feel stuck.
3) Stop running to people for direction, and get before the feet of Jesus.
THIS. THIS. THIS. Every time I’ve talked to someone whose come to me about feeling stuck, I’ve asked them, “Have you talked to God about it?”…. insert eye roll responses. But honestly, people will ask any and everyone for advice (and let’s just be honest, some of you are asking people who are not at ALL qualified to help you with godly direction), but you haven’t once started seeking the Lord to ask Him for direction. You’ll run to Facebook, your best friend, your mama, and whoever else, but when it comes to Jesus… nothing. I feel so strongly about this one because I WAS GUILTY of this for so long. And when I finally decided to give up on people-help and give my anxieties to the Lord asking Him to guide me, doors began to open left and right (the best part being I know that HE opened them, and I didn’t have to force it). His ways are higher, and His plans are ALWAYS better than what we could imagine (Isaiah 55).
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
I think in this life, we all experience the feeling of being stuck at one point another, but it’s what we do with those feelings that ultimately determine how long we stay there. You can either choose to submit those feelings to God, or dwell on them and seek to fill your voids in other ways. You can either claim that being stuck is what you have to deal with, or speak back and claim that you may have been stuck but you WILL NOT stay there. It’s not an overnight process, it’s the choices you make every day. The thoughts, the words, the actions that you have control of, every day. You don’t have to have all of the answers right now – in fact, you never will. And that’s okay. But you do have to learn to trust in the One who does. And when you do, I promise you, you won’t feel stuck for long.