So many people I’ve interviewed and coached over the years seem to have the same basic issue. They achieved the education they needed, took all the necessary training, and found success in their careers as well as their personal lives. Yet something was missing. They didn’t feel like they had truly accomplished what they termed ‘success’.

In other words, they felt stuck.

Each day seemed to be like the previous one, oftentimes feeling simply like they were on a treadmill. Yes, they were getting a paycheck, bonuses, good performance reviews and the rest. And their children were doing well in academic and extracurricular activities. On paper everything seemed perfect, yet...

Understanding What Stuck Means

Another thing these people had in common is that they couldn’t define what ‘stuck’ meant for them. It was just this feeling that they weren’t going anyway even though by many measures they were. They weren’t satisfied in their lives, and oftentimes this was above and beyond any ‘I hate my job’ rhetoric. In fact, many loved their jobs and enjoyed their family life.

So what did stuck mean?

It’s something deeper, something that doesn’t really make any sense yet you know is there. It usually manifests at inopportune times and can seriously affect your job performance not to mention your overall ‘gusto’ for life. This can sometimes get dramatic, resulting in depression, illness, or worse. All over what seems to be a simple thing, being stuck.

The truth is that the feeling of stuck won’t go away, even if you are able to break through what you think the ‘stuckness’ is about.

Here’s why (and how to fix it):

Feeling stuck is what is commonly known as a flow alarm. A flow alarm is a sign from your insides that your success, what is called your flow, is being impeded. Sounds simplistic, but the world is broken into flow and what blocks that flow, flow blockages.

Flow blockages can come from many sources, but most have origins in childhood experiences. For example, suppose as a child you were told always to be a worker bee but not a leader. Suddenly you are promoted as an adult. Flow blockages will pop up.

Flow blockages seem natural since you’ve had them for the majority of your life. But as your work on yourself, understanding more of what you’re about, your true flow comes to the surface. Your flow blockages, like any entity that wants to retain power, resists these changes.

The result? A stalemate. One that manifests as being stuck. Flow alarms, in this case the feeling of being stuck, are warnings that this stalemate is going on.

Flow alarms are a double-edged sword. They are a good thing in that they are literally telling you when you’re off course. They are also a ‘bad’ thing in that they also won’t go away. You can’t hide from them or intellectually explain them away. For example, if you really want to move to another department or get a new job with another company your flow alarms are going to continually pop up until you take action. You can’t simply intellectually repress them ‘waiting for the right time’ for a change. As the saying goes, there is never a right time to buy a house or have a baby — you just have to take the plunge.

And you MUST take the plunge! Flow alarms are a warning that your insides will bring things to a halt until you deal with them.

All of this comes down to some basic ways of removing your feelings of being stuck.

- Don’t ignore the feeling of being stuck. It won’t go away and may even get worse
- Feeling stuck is a good thing, really! It means you are REALLY close to a breakthrough, pushing past truly core blockages that are preventing your success
- Don’t be afraid to take action, even if it’s something as simple as looking for another job on Craig’s List or LinkedIn (if your stuckness has to do with your dislike of your current job)
- Look VERY hard for the root cause of your being stuck. Sometimes it has nothing to do with your job or your family life but something you have not dealt with from your past. For example, if your mother always said you would be a failure and today you are the CEO your flow blockages will want to prevent your success. Of course, if something is really deep please seek professional help.

Feeling stuck can be a great time in your life, since you know that your bright future is very, very close at hand!

Author's Bio: 

In 2003 David Leigh Weber decided to found what would ultimately become Learn About Flow, an organization dedicated to empowering people to find their true selves, what makes them their most successful on every level. Since that time Learn About Flow has helped hundreds find the contentment and life purpose they had always dreamed of.

Today David is an author (My Life Has No Purpose!), sought after speaker, and evangelist for true mind-body-spirit wellness. He has a B.A. in English & History from the University of Rochester and an M.A. in Communications from the Newhouse School (Syracuse University). Originally from New England, David now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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