In this article, I cover the reasons that people stay stuck in life and show you how to move forward with your life, so that you feel that things are changing for you.
Feeling stuck is like being on a train that has stopped. You know that until it moves, you are not going anywhere. Life can feel like that too sometimes. Do you feel stuck right now? Do you feel that something different needs to happen to allow you to move forward with your life?
The thing that makes you stuck is fear. In this article, I cover 3 specific fears that keep you stuck and how to overcome them, so that you can move forward with your life.
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Why we get stuck
We have an internal thermostat, set point or paradigm that keeps us in a safe, familiar place. It works like a central heating system that keeps the temperature at a comfortable level. Our subconscious emotional mind especially, does not like too much change too quickly.
Attempting to lose weight is a classic example of this. You eat healthily and exercise regularly. As a result, your weight reduces and you feel different, possibly uncomfortable. Perhaps you get attention from other people that you didn’t get previously.
Perhaps you deal with the uncomfortable feeling of moving outside your set point, by indulging in some comfort eating. You do this a few times and your weight is right back at where it was before.
The same thing can happen when investing in personal development seminars, courses or books. You get fired up by the new material and are highly motivated to apply it to your life, so you take action and things begin to change. This feels uncomfortable and the motivation from the seminar or program wains and before you know it, you’re back where you started.
I believe this also explains why so many lottery winners lose all the money they won. The winnings take them out of their comfort zone and they don’t know how to handle that. So they spend the money poorly and end up back where they started, which feels comfortable and familiar.
Why does this happen? Well it’s down to FEAR and 3 specific fears in particular. Understand and overcome these fears and you can permanently change your thermostat, set point or paradigm. These 3 specific fears were identified by Brendon Burchard.
Fear of Loss
When you make any significant change in life, there is a fear that you might lose something that you currently find enjoyable. It could be a person, job, security, foods you love, time out or doing fun things. that make you happy.
To lose weight, you might need to stop eating foods that you love (but don’t love you!), give away some of your favourite clothes that you will no longer fit into. You might need to give up some time to prepare healthy foods or exercise.
To develop a business alongside your job, you might need to sacrifice time with your family and friends, This could involve saying no to invites to social activities. It might involve spending less money, so you can invest in your business.
When your business becomes full time, you will lose the security of a full-time job and predictability of a regular income. If you are a single person wanting a relationship, then you might lose time with friends or your independence. To master a sport, you might sacrifice time with friends, certain foods, alcohol and anything else that could hamper your performance.
Any kind of change involves losing something that currently feels comfortable and familiar. However, the way that you perceive that loss and think about it really matters.
Focus on what you will gain
The easiest way is to change your focus to what you will gain instead. Using weight loss as an example, you will gain
If you’re developing a business, then the benefits might include working for yourself rather than an employer, additional income, a secure income when you retire, better holidays or paying off your mortgage early.
For the effort involved in finding that special someone, you could focus on being in love, making new friends through your partner, sharing your life with someone else, getting married and having kids.
Fear of the work involved
The second one is fear of the work involved to change. It’s a fear of the process of changing and what is required to change. This includes the discomfort of learning new things, the fear of changing as a person or perhaps doing something that you’ve never done before.
In the case of weight loss, this includes the discomfort of exercise, trying new healthy foods, different recipes, cooking methods, venturing in to a health food shop or learning all about superfoods, supplements and natural alternatives.
If it is starting a business, it could be learning about technology or marketing. This was huge for me when starting both Self Help for Life and my hypnotherapy practice. It could also be a fear of making mistakes or feeling overwhelmed by all the different things you could be doing. It could simply be the fear of doing something that is new. When I started my hypnotherapy practice, I felt extremely uncomfortable taking my first phone call from a prospective client, then running my very first hypnotherapy session as a professional and asking for payment at the end.
Change your focus
To deal effectively with the fear of the work involved also requires a change of focus. Here is how I did it.
When I delivered my first session as a professional hypnotherapist, I reminded myself that I had successfully achieved a government accredited hypnotherapy qualification, and provided 50 hypnotherapy sessions to friends. I reminded myself that this first session as a professional would be no different to working with friends.
Rather than thinking about the work involved in getting Self Help for Life off the ground, I focussed on enjoying the process of learning the things I needed to know to be successful. I reminded myself that I could be at university learning theoretical information that might work, completing assignments that might be useful in the “real world” and spending a small fortune for the privilege.
If it’s the process of dating, then focus on how going on dates will improve your communication skills and your understanding of different people. Focus on how any rejection will make you more resilient and leads you one step closer to finding the right person.
A key thing to realize is that where you are now is comfortable. The work involved to achieve a significant goal or change in your life can be uncomfortable, but the result (and sometimes the effort as well) will be satisfying.
If you don’t put in the effort, you’ll feel comfortable, but not satisfied. Take action and get out of your comfort zone and you’ll experience satisfaction.
So you can have comfort or satisfaction, but not both! Well not initially anyway! There will come a time when you achieve your goal when you finally make it. That’s when you can have both.
Fear of Failure
The third fear that keeps you stuck is fear of failure or fear of not getting the outcome. This is a biggie! Let’s say you take massive action, you sacrifice other parts of your life that you enjoy, and you don’t get the results!
You do things to achieve a better lifestyle, whether that’s making money, losing weight or mastering a sport. Achieving success in these areas gives you more enjoyment and more satisfaction. But what if this doesn’t happen? What if you fail? You put in all this time and nothing changes.
Anything you do in life is a risk, but there are ways to minimize this risk and change your perception about any risks involved.
Focus on the process
Start by focussing more on the process rather than the end goal. For losing weight, focus on completing each exercise session or becoming curious about trying lots of different healthy foods and discovering how tasty they are!
If it’s a business or new career, focus on the new skills you will learn and how you can apply these new skills to other areas of your life. For example, I know that every YouTube video I make improves my verbal communication skills. This makes me a better communicator and presenter and that’s a great skill to have.
The same applies to writing articles like this one. Written communication is so important in achieving success in your career. In my case, it might even lead to me writing a book.
So, even if the business venture is not successful, you have still learnt some great skills that will stand you in good stead for whatever you decide to do next.
Keep taking action
I also believe that if you put in the effort, the results will follow eventually. If you do enough of the right things, results will start to happen. It can take longer for some people and that’s okay. We all come from a different starting point.
It takes a certain amount of effort to get the numbers to work in your favor. You need to go on enough dates to find your perfect partner. It takes a certain amount of healthy eating and exercise to smash your weight loss goals. It requires a certain number of blog posts or YouTube videos before Google takes notice! So, the more you do and the more consistent you are, the greater the chance of hitting the goal.
Another great way to overcome the fear or failure is to visualize what you want. This makes you feel excited and that increases your level of vibration. So if you’re working on losing weight, visualize yourself feeling fit, happy, vibrant, enjoying tasty new food, or shopping for clothes that fit your new body.
For a business it could be visualizing being your own boss, having a long term passive income, or simply doing what you love.
So, to recap, the 3 fears that keep you stuck and stop you moving forward with your life are:
- Fear of l
- Fear of the work involved
- Fear of failure
To overcome or change your perception around these fears, you will want to:
- Become aware of these fears (you need to notice them before you can change them)
- Change your perception of these fears by thinking about them in a different and more positive way.
- Focus more on what you want. This will allow the fear to take less space in your mind.
- Develop a really strong why. This will give you the energy and motivation to overcome your fears.
- Enjoy the process and the journey. The experience and skills that you learn are in many ways more important than the outcome.
- Have trust that the results will come and faith in your own ability to make it happen.
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