I sat at the stoplight for what felt like an eternity. At my intersection, the light next to me would turn green, flash red, and quickly turn green again skipping my light altogether. A string of cars began to grow impatiently behind me, and for reasons unknown, the light stayed red.
As I watched traffic pass me by, I felt hopelessly stuck.
It wasn’t just I’m-tired-of-sitting-at-this-red-light stuck, but I also felt emotionally, spiritually, and mentally stuck.
It had been a couple of long months filled with setbacks and failures, and I didn’t know what to do anymore. Have you ever felt this way? As if everyone else in the world is passing you by and no matter what you do you end up right back where you started.
You’re not alone. It’s easy to feel stuck, and it’s hard to break away from that feeling.
Here are 3 things that helped me get unstuck.
1. Invest in Others & Focus Less on Yourself
When you’re at a standstill in life it becomes easy to focus all your attention on your own problems until you feel even more hopeless. A friend of mine once told me, “When you feel down, invest in others.”
The wonderful thing about volunteering is there’s something for everyone. If you’re a people person, you can sign up to volunteer at a nursing home or a homeless shelter. For all my fellow introverts, you can volunteer at a library or a community garden. I have friends who just want to spend time with animals all day, so they help out at their local dog shelter. The opportunities really are endless.
Whatever you choose to do, volunteering is a great way to take your mind off of your own problems. It will connect you with new friends and give you a renewed focus in life.
Spend More Time with Friends:
I’m so thankful for the friends I can pour my heart out to. They’ve spent countless evenings on the phone listening to me vent about my problems that I’ll never be able to repay them. Everyone needs friends like that, but we also need to be that friend as well.
Invest in your friendships. Hang out with your friends more, talk about yourself less, listen to their stories, and find small ways to bless them!
When you invest in your friends, they will invest in you back.
Pray for Others More Than You Pray for Yourself:
I realized, as I was praying one night, that I was extremely selfish with my prayers. At some point, my prayers became all about me. I prayed for forgiveness for MY sins. I asked God for strength to get ME through MY problems. And so on.
I had a mental list of people I promised to pray for, but I never actually did. This needed to change, and every night before bed, I started praying for everyone on my list.
Eventually, my prayer life began to grow stronger, and I caught myself praying more throughout the day. My prayers became more joyful, more praise focused, and less selfish.
God wants to hear our problems when we pray, but He also wants to hear us pray for others and draw near to Him. When you’re feeling stuck, it is essential to have a well balanced, healthy prayer life.
When you choose to invest in others and focus less on yourself, your problems won’t go away, but their hold on your emotions will begin to weaken. You’ll build a stronger community, you’ll grow closer to God, and you’ll begin to see you are not alone.
2. Dream Big
When you can’t seem to get ahead, it’s easy to magnify and obsess over all of the bad things you are experiencing.
You can’t ignore the problems you are facing in life, but you shouldn’t let them hold you captive.
When you are stuck in a cycle of negative emotions, it’s important to focus on the positive things in life. I know that can often be easier said than done.
Philippians 4:8 – And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
So start dreaming more.
It’s hard to dream when you feel like all your dreams aren’t coming true, but our dreams can sustain us and encourage us to be hopeful.
Not all of your dreams will come true, but your dreams will help you figure out who and where you want to be. So dream big.
When you feel stuck, challenge yourself and grow.
Grow Your Talents:
Figure out what you love to do and do it!
On the days I felt the most stuck, I would get out my camera, take a 5-minute walk around my neighborhood, snap a few pictures of some random flowers, and practice my editing. Believe me, I spent a lot of days with my camera in hand because it gave me something creative and happy to focus on.
I noticed my photography become a little better, my editing choices were stronger, and I began to feel more confident in my work. It helped me feel a little less stuck.
Make sure you cling to your faith when you’re stuck. Dig in the word of God every day even when you don’t feel like it.
Invest in reading books that will challenge the way you think about life and learn as much as you can.
You’ll never be satisfied if you’re not actively pursuing Him. You can have all the friends in the world, you can dream as much as you’d like, and you can be the most talented person in your field, but without Him, it’s all pointless.God wants to hear our problems when we pray, but He also wants to hear us pray for others and draw near to him. When you’re feeling stuck, it is essential to have a well balanced, healthy prayer life. Click To Tweet
I don’t know exactly when it happened for me, but at some point, I realized I wasn’t stuck anymore.
It might not happen right away for you either, but by focusing on others, dreaming big, and taking the time to grow, your red light will eventually turn green.
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