If you are like most people, you have felt fed up or discouraged with one or more aspects of your life at some point or another. Whether the source of your aggravation is issues with work, school, family, or romantic relationships, the truth is that the hardest part for many of us is not the ability to trace the source of our unhappiness or admit why we are unsatisfied.
Rather, the essence of feeling stuck or hopeless lies in our inability to recognize what exactly we want or how to proceed in life. If you find yourself stuck in a rut without any idea how to escape, here are four steps to help you move forward in life.
1. Sit with Your Feelings
Sitting with your feelings may sound simple, but you might be surprised by how much you have been bottling up. Often times, we ignore our emotions to get by in life without breaking down, which inevitably results in a large amount of pent-up feelings that can manifest themselves in potentially harmful behaviors. Instead of fighting uncomfortable feelings by pushing them away, try sitting with your emotions by simply observing them. Begin by truthfully recognizing your feelings and allowing yourself to express them without the burden of judgment.
2. Avoid Judgment and Embrace Validation
In addition to avoidance, judgment is another method we use to fight our emotional strife. But in reality, judging our feelings does nothing but create additional pain. The next time you become angry at yourself for feeling a certain way, validate what your feeling rather than beating yourself up about it. Simply being honest with yourself will free you from the pressure of trying to deter the reality of your emotions. In addition, validation and acceptance are the first steps toward finding a solution to the issue at hand.
3. Establish a Long-Term Goal
Once you have recognized and accepted your feelings, you can begin forging a plan. Start by establishing a long-term vision for your future. Aligning yourself with a long-term goal can provide the inspiration you need to remember what you are passionate about and what you truly want to achieve in life.
4. Map Steps Toward Your Long-Term Goal
A big goal can seem overwhelming, so now that you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish in life, you can start moving toward it by filtering different aspects of your vision into several short-term goals. By dividing your long-term aspirations into achievable tasks, you’ll be able to see your progress, which will help you keep your end-result in mind as you complete each step.