Stuck. Overwhelmed. Pissed. Frustrated. DONE.
When you’re stuck, you’re stuck. Whether it’s an unfulfilling job, a business plateau, an insane schedule, a relationship past its expiration date, or just a general sense that you have no clue what to do with your life...When you are over a situation, but still stuck in it, it sucks.
But before you despair and descend into overwhelm, I have some good news and some bad news.
The Good News: You have options.
The Bad News: You really only have 5.
The Good News: You can’t get overwhelmed because I mean...there are only 5.
The Bad News: You gotta make a choice.
The Good News: You get to make a choice.
Enter: The 5 Choices
Choice #1: Change the situation.
Let’s pretend you have a crappy job with a crazy boss and coworkers you can’t stand, but deep down, you know you were born for more than this. Great! Change the crappy situation or change what you have control over. For example, if one of your pet peeves is that your cubicle is a barren wasteland devoid of creativity and self-expression, personalize it. Spend your lunch break buying a golden stapler and giant paper clips and smile every time you look at them. Changing pieces of a situation that you have control over can be incredibly empowering and snap you out of a slump.
Choice #2: Change your perspective of the situation.
“But my lame corporate policy won’t let me have golden staplers and personal picture frames! Woe is me!” (I may or may not have uttered this phrase aloud at one particularly bad job). Here’s the thing: someone would be ecstatically happy to have the situation you have right now. “Be grateful” isn’t an excuse to leave a crappy situation the way it is, but the truth is that changing your perspective of a situation actually gives you more mental and emotional space to tailor the situation to your needs. When you’re operating from the higher consciousness of gratitude, action is just easier. So instead of woe is me, try a reframe like: “I am so grateful that I have this job, and this is a fantastic opportunity to learn the skills that will launch my next move.”
Choice #3: Accept the situation.
Want instant peace? Accept things exactly as they are. Consciously decide that you don't like this job or this exact moment in your life, and that's okay because, well...life isn't rainbows and butterflies all the time, and that's reality.
Choice #4: No nothing and remain a victim of the situation.
If you feel at all stuck, this is probably the status quo of where you're living right now. You can choose to stay here if you want, but it doesn't feel great. This generally looks like making excuses, blaming other people for your situation, refusing to make changes or try new options, and complaining a lot.
Choice #5: Leave the situation.
Choose to leave the situation that's serving not serving you. Frustrated with the crappy job? Quit. Tired of obnoxious coworkers? Stop going into the breakroom. Exhausted at trying to make the situation work? Give it up and move on to the next thing.
But Which Should I Choose?
"I really want to leave my situation, but I can't just quit my job without a backup plan! I'm still stuck!"
You're exactly right that some of these options feel more like roadblocks than ways out. To hack your choices even more, combine them. Choose the most palatable combination of options to speed up your getting-unstuck-process. For example, if you truly hate your job and want to leave your situation, commit to leaving. Set an intention, give yourself a "leave by" date, start looking for jobs AND try to cut down on your suffering in the mean time by adding a few more choices to the menu. Make some tiny changes to your work situation while you're planning your escape. Change your perspective of the day-to-day even as you're plotting your way out. And remember...choosing to do nothing is still a choice.