11 Jan 2024
by Frank Zaccari

Getting Unstuck in Life

Getting stuck is inevitable – staying stuck is a choice

Getting stuck is inevitable – staying stuck is a choice
#stuck #inarut #spinningyourwheels trusttheprocess #makeachoice

We all get stuck, frustrated, depressed, anxious, frustrated, and disappointed. We are like the car stuck in the mud or a snow bank at times. We keep pushing on the gas, but the wheels just keep spinning. The rut we are in gets deeper until we feel we are running in quicksand. It seems the harder we try, the more stuck we become, and like quicksand, we sink until we simply give up.

Very often, being stuck in an internal issue. It is something we create and allow to occur. Wow! That’s a harsh statement. You should be saying, “You are crazy, Frank. Why in God’s name would I ever create and allow a situation where I am stuck and unhappy to exist.”  Well, news flash, folks, it happens every day. Maybe you feel stuck in a dead-end job; your job was a victim of COVID; you live in an area that you do not enjoy; your personal relationship is floundering; that life that you want is moving further and further from reality; you can’t catch a break, or maybe you never got the right opportunity. Does any of this sound familiar? Be honest! We have all been there. Now the question is, are you going to stay there?

When you are stuck, the primary task is deciding if you’re going to change at all. The challenge is finding the ability to create a slight change in your life and build on it in the face of an overwhelming amount of resistance. - Mel Robbins – The Five-Second Rule

The magic words are “IF you’re going to change.” Getting unstuck, moving forward, and achieving a positive and productive life is in your hands. Greatness is not primarily a matter of circumstance; greatness is a matter of conscious choice and discipline. Staying stuck is a choice. Justifying that you never had the right opportunity is not a reason or an excuse. It is a choice. Where are you stuck in life, and what choices will you make? Are you going to fall apart? OR are you going to pick up the pieces and start moving forward?

Harvard Business Review Study

The Harvard Business Review looked into why many people wind up in jobs they regret, even with suitable alternatives. A few factors lead to bad decisions. Many people choose jobs on salary alone, even if it’s not correlated to job satisfaction. I remember how I once fell victim to the “But I am making a lot of money trap.” Others are “too good at tolerating bad jobs,” lack self-awareness, or feel misled about the nature of the role. Many of us remain stuck because it is simply too much effort to find another job. Updating resumes or filling out job applications, most of which are confusing, highly frustrating, and disappointing. It is just easier to stay put.

Another reason we stay stuck is fear—fear of the unknown. Fear to take a chance. Fear to step out of our comfort zone. Fear has prevented so many people from having the life they want. We will never rid ourselves of fear. It is a needed emotion to help protect us. Fear motivates some people to take action while paralyzing others. Don Miguel Ruiz wrote in The Four Agreements:

Death is not our biggest fear; our biggest fear is taking the risk of being alive and expressing what we truly are.

Think about that statement. Many people are less afraid of death than taking the risk to be fully alive and happy. Wow! Fear is an emotion we all have, but we can learn how to prevent fear from dominating our life.

“It is just too hard!” is another choice that keeps us stuck.

Life is hard, and it certainly is not fair. It is full of challenges and obstacles that often appear overwhelming. Tom Hanks had a line in the movie A League of Their Own when Gina Davis’ character was leaving the team. Ms. Davis’ character had just said, “It just got too hard.” Tom Hank’s character’s response was, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t everyone would do it. It is the hard that makes it great.” Nothing worthwhile is going to be easy.

Most obstacles can be overcome, and 99% of things we worry about never happen, but you will need help. One of the secrets to becoming unstuck is learning how to ask for and accept help and determine which people/organizations can help.

Many of us are stuck in destructive or unsatisfying personal relationships. These are more complicated than professional relationships. A very different set of highly charged emotions come into play. Years ago, someone told me, “When emotions are high, intelligence is low.” Many people become a spectator rather than a participant in their personal life.

Why is this so important to me?

Life is meant to be lived, fully lived, and enjoyed. After spending over thirty years as a successful corporate executive and a business owner with a poor track record with personal relationships, I decided to share some of my successes and failures, being stuck and getting unstuck, in a book called Business & Personal Secrets for Getting Unstuck. 

I recently read a statement by David Whyte. He wrote, “Always sweating the small stuff and playing life safe limits what you can achieve. Anything that does not bring you alive is too small for you.” I found myself stuck many times throughout my professional and personal life. It is terrible to feel you have no options and the life you are stuck in is as good as life is going to get.

“Despite whatever disappointing experiences come our way, our challenge will be not to let bitterness take root. Although disappointment is inevitable, being discouraged is always a choice.” - Manfred Kets de Vries

As a radio and TV host, I interviewed over 300 amazing people who found themselves stuck in the quick sand of life and found the courage and support to pull themselves out. My goal is to help others survive and thrive and enjoy the journey.

Remember: Getting stuck in inevitable – staying stuck is a choice

Related topics