Growing Through the Plateau | Personal Growth When Your Life Feels Stuck

Sometimes in life, you just feel stuck and restless for your desires to happen already, for your dreams to come true. The frustration of this place can bring you down to a level of cynicism and even depression. It feels like your life is stuck in the spin cycle of the same routine that never ends, and you absolutely LONG to break free, release your inhibitions, and chase after that proverbial carrot which represents all of your aspirations.

BUT … it all just feels so impossible. You spend so much time searching for opportunities and building up your hope — just to be shot back down by “realism”, by “realizing” that these opportunities all come in very complicated packages. Or so it seems. And, here we are, back at square one.

Maybe the hurdle seems to be money, maybe it’s not knowing the language, maybe it’s the distance or not having transportation, maybe it has to do with a perceived lack of support, or maybe it’s just that you need more sufficient information before you commit to the process of whatever it is.

It’s hard. It’s definitely a hard place to be in. I know. It hurts, it’s frustrating, and it can even feel so hopeless. But it’s not the end-all, be-all. You don’t have to resign yourself to being stuck in this endless cycle that you resent, that drains you, and that leaves you feeling more contempt for the path that your life is taking than not.

“Change your meaning, stop your suffering.”

— Morty Lefkoe.

First of all, make peace with where you are now.
When one is stuck in quicksand, the worst way to stop the suffering is to continue struggling. Stop struggling, stop suffering. Your contempt for the situation is probably mostly coming from the idea that you can’t get out of the cycle — that you won’t be able to change your life. And that’s just not true. Change is always possible. You can absolutely get to where you want to be — or, hey, maybe it’s something even better. There’s a really interesting Morty Lefkoe video on YouTube where he talks about meaning and suffering, which could be very helpful and comforting for anyone struggling in this way.

Little by little, bit by bit.
Take one step at a time. This might still feel like no progress is happening, but every single step counts. If it’s to travel, start by getting your passport, picking up a bit of the language, and just visiting on vacation. You don’t have to drop everything and hightail it to live in a new and unfamiliar country. If it’s a new business, start by writing down your ideas, creating a new website, or joining some kind of a group for entrepreneurs. If it’s to make more money, try picking up a side gig or selling some stuff online — or even learning a bit about investing. Et cetera. Just take little steps here and there.

Before the level up . . . .
Whether you’re an avid gamer or not, you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the level processes in a lot of games. Have you ever been playing a game when you just got stuck on a certain level? You keep on and keep on trying to beat it, but either something is missing or there’s a certain quota that hasn’t been reached or a boss that hasn’t been defeated. Well, sometimes, life is like this. Sometimes, you’re right where you need to be. Maybe there’s a particular lesson or situation that you need to overcome. And then you’ll level up. It could also be that you’re trying to do so many different things at once, in which case, the lesson could be to let go of some of those things for a while and just focus on what is the most important at this time, embracing minimalism. Minimalism can be such a freeing practice.

Lessons contribute to growth . . . .
Take some time to be very mindful and just meditate on where you are in life, the situations that seem to be going wrong, and what’s going right. Focus on the solutions to your problems instead of fixating on the problems, theirselves. Try to find ways to flip the negatives into positives. SOMEHOW. It might feel really unnatural and weird at first — or even for a while. And even when things improve, things might still get low again sometimes. That’s okay. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Feel and acknowledge whatever you’re feeling and thinking. But also give yourself the strength to pick yourself back up, because if you let yourself wallow at the bottom for too long, it’s really not helping you very much at all. It’s only hurting you more. Putting off the growth is only prolonging the pain. Growth, itself, can be painful at times, but it’s like getting a deep tissue massage that releases all of the knots and tension. It’s a bittersweet pain.

You put the lime in the coconut and shake it all up . . . .
In health and fitness, sometimes, you just reach a plateau, and the progress just seems to hit the breaks FLAT. In situations like these, it’s usually recommended to take a break from the usual routine and switch things up. Sometimes, we get so used to the usual patterns and routines that our personal growth just hits a halt or slows down. And this is where it’s important to do something different — and maybe even a little bit out of your comfort zone. Nothing too crazy! Try taking a day off from work, picking up a new hobby, or setting aside some money to go on those little adventures that you wish for and yet procrastinate on. Sunday night concerts or theatre trips, those beach events where you get to listen to live music and watch fireworks, taking a mini road trip with your favourite people, or actually trying one of those exotic drinks at that very nice local restaurant that you visit with your parents. (Yeah, Amy! *Smirk.*) Again, it might not seem like much. But don’t ignore the little joys in life, ESPECIALLY when you feel stuck. Because, like they say, “it’s the little things” … AND the big things, AND everything in between.~

Endless opportunities.
Perhaps the opportunities that you’ve found seem so complicated, because they might not really be the right ones for you. Or maybe you’re just psyching yourself out. Again, mindfulness comes great into play here. Don’t rush anything. Breathe, wait, think. Think it all through and go with the flow. There is no rush, because the ultimate truth is that … you are never truly stuck. It is all a perception. Perhaps it’s the idea of being stuck that keeps you “stuck”. Because you think that you’re stuck, and then you feel stuck. It only limits you. You have the very choices within you that could ABSOLUTELY change your life. Resources are wonderful things, but there comes a time when you have to turn inward and search within yourself. You have to empower yourself. No more fear – OVERCOME and JUST BE. Because you absolutely CAN.

Stay tuned . . . .
If this article resonated with you, please know that my new e-book “A Profound Essay on the Subjects of Life, Reality, Perception, Subjectivity, Objectivity, and Possibilities (Et Cetera)” will be released toward the end of June 2019. Please stay tuned for that, and if you feel it in your heart to make a generous contribution, you can do so here. Thank you so much! May God bless you!