Ever feel weighed down, like your feet are stuck in the mud?
Ever been in a difficult life situation with no end in sight?
Maybe you’re there now.
Perhaps you’ve been in debt for several years. Or maybe it’s your marriage, your teenager, your job, or ailing parents, a bad habit you can’t seem to break, or (fill in the blank).
Whatever the situation, I think we can all agree: being stuck at some point, seems to be a part of life.The big question is: How do you get unstuck?
FIVE TIPS TO GET UNSTUCK
1. ASK QUESTIONS
- Did I create this situation with my choices, my attitude?
- Did life circumstances put me here?
- Could God have allowed this situation?
- Is this feeling or fact?
Many times answering these questions loosens our stuckness.
Did I create this situation with my choices, my attitude?
If your own sin, bad attitude, or poor choices got you INTO your situation, you can reason that you can also get yourself OUT of the situation.The first step is admitting to God you messed up—repentance. Remember, repentance means to turn away. We must turn away from what got us stuck or we’ll be right back in the mud again. The next step is asking God and others for help.
If it’s a bad attitude that is making us feel stuck, we must exchange the negative thoughts with positive ones. An attitude of gratitude is freeing. When my attitude gets stinky, I like to take time and count my blessings by literally numbering as many of them as I can think of. Another thing is meditating on the goodness of God’s word.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
Did life circumstances put me here?
Life circumstances can change in a heartbeat. We didn’t ask for it and we didn’t approve of it. IT just happens. Think about Joseph from the book of Genesis. One day his jealous brothers decide to get rid of him by selling him into slavery. As a slave, his master’s wife tried to seduce him, then lied and told her husband Joseph tried to take advantage of her. Consequently, he is sent to prison! But Joseph did nothing to create or deserve what happened. And yet, what happens next leads us to our next question.
Could God have allowed this situation?
“While Joseph was in prison, the Lord helped him and was good to him. He even made the jailer like Joseph so much that he put him in charge of the other prisoners and of everything that was done in the jail. 23 The jailer did not worry about anything, because the Lord was with Joseph and made him successful in all that he did.” Genesis 39:20-23
God allowed Esther to be in the King’s harem, David to be hunted by King Saul for several years, Daniel to be in the lion’s den, Paul to be beaten and in prison on several occasions, and for His only son, Jesus to be crucified. But God also loved and was with each of them. Furthermore, God has a plan and used even what was evil to be used for good!
And God is with you too. Perhaps you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Maybe God is using this situation to grow you closer to Him and stronger in your faith. (see Esther 4:14)
Is this feeling or fact?
Feeling stuck doesn’t necessary mean you truly are stuck. Feelings are fickle and don’t always tell the entire truth. The inability to get unstuck may feel very real, but in the end, it’s just a feeling. For this reason, it’s important to remind ourselves that feelings are not always fact.
Try to look at your situation more objectively. Talk it over with God and with a few trusted friends. Perhaps the situation is not that bad at all.
2.FACE YOUR FEARS
Whatever we fear tends to limit us. Many times when we are faced with the unknown, fear can be crippling. We simply would rather remain where we are than risk change.
If we want to get unstuck, we must face our perceived fears. Facing our fear requires courage. But let’s not get hung up on what courage truly is.
Courage doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. It means coming face to face with your fear and saying, “You may be big, but my God is bigger and He has given me all that I need!”
Imagine what we could do if we truly believe God’s many promises? Let’s start now.
—Do a search using the internet to find one or more of God’s promises.
—Write it down.
—Meditate on it.
—Say it aloud.
—Say it often.
—Ask God to make it real and applicable in your life.
—Then look for situations that require you to use it.
That’s how it works, my friend. You will need to be tested with something that seems scary in order to exercise your new God-sized courage! Don’t miss the opportunity. Don’t let fear rob you of it!
3.STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
While comparing ourselves with others is a natural part of the human condition, it can be detrimental to growth. If we are feeling stuck, comparing ourselves to other people and their accomplishments only serve to drag us down. Besides, we are not to compare to human standards, but to God’s. (2 Corinthians 10:12) God made each of us unique and has plans for you and only you.
4.AVOID BLAMING OTHERS
Blaming someone else will contribute nothing to the solution of being stuck. In fact, it contributes to our “stuckness”. Although blaming others is another natural human response —think back to Adam and Eve—it’s not a helpful one.
It’s best to look within first, then to God.
5.MOVE YOUR PHYSICAL BODY
We have all heard, often ad nauseam, the many benefits of exercise for our physical and mental heath. I’m about to get a little scientific to prove this point. Now, don’t check out on me. Please keep reading. I read an article on Fast Company that helped me understand the impact physical exercise has on the brain. Here’s an excerpt:
If you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress…To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and eventually happy.
Exercise is something I used to avoid, especially when I was in a rut. But I have found the benefits far outweigh my excuses. I used to think, “I’m just too busy to go for a jog/walk right now.” Now I think, “The most productive thing I can do right now is to get out and move.”
Finally, when feeling stuck it’s so easy to focus on ourselves. But one of the hardest lessons to learn in this life is: it’s not about us. It’s not our story. We are a part of a much larger story, which we are not in control of. We must trust that God knows what He’s doing and will lead us as we seek Him and His will.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject in the comments below.
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