Episode 27: How to Get Unstuck in Life When You’re Confused

Let’s be honest. Nobody likes feeling stuck, right? 

And we’ve all been there.

We’ve all had that feeling of not knowing what direction to take. Or we’ve worried that we might make the wrong decision. Or we’ve felt confused about what step we should take next.

So frustrating, right?

Well, I have some good news for you, my friend.

In this week’s podcast, we dive headfirst into all-things “feeling stuck.”  

We explore one of the most powerful reasons we get lost in this state of confusion. 

And I share one of the simplest yet most profound shifts you can make today to clear your mind and start taking action.

So if you’re ready to get unstuck in your life, be sure to listen to this week’s episode below. You’re going to love it.

(Prefer to read? No problem! Find the podcast transcript at the bottom of the post.)

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE!

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL DISCOVER…

  • The number one reason why you’re feeling stuck
  • My favorite strategy to gain clarity
  • How you can apply these tools in your life today

LINKS FROM THE PODCAST

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QUESTION:

How do you gain clarity in your life? Do you ever find yourself ruminating over the thought, “I don’t know?” What’s an area of your life where you’re feeling stuck? Let me know below!

Transcript: How to Get Unstuck in Life When You’re Confused

Hey, friends! How are ya? Welcome to the podcast. What’s going on with you today? I just got back from coffee with a friend, and now I get to sit down and talk with you for the next 20 or 30 minutes. So all in all, it’s a pretty awesome day around here.

Today we are diving into the oh-so-popular feelings of confusion and feeling stuck. We’re going to explore one of the most powerful reasons why we get stuck in this state of confusion. And then we’re going to talk about one of the most simple yet profound shifts you can make to help you get unstuck and start taking action.

So if you are feeling confused about something, or you’re worried about what decision you should or should not make in a certain area of your life, or you’re just generally feeling stuck, don’t worry. I’ve got you. You are going to love this episode.

Now let’s be honest. Feeling stuck is never fun. And we’ve all been there, right? 

We’ve all had that feeling of not knowing what direction we should take. Or we’ve worried that we might make the wrong decision. Or we’re confused about what we should do next.

And we can feel this kind of confusion — we can feel stuck — in all different areas of our life.

We can feel stuck in our relationships and whether they are progressing in the direction we think they should or not. 

We can feel stuck in our careers and spin out in confusion over whether we should take one job or the other. Or we can feel stuck and confused about whether we should take a chance on that business venture or not. 

We can feel stuck in our personal life. Maybe we feel like we are not moving forward on our personal goals fast enough, and we’re confused about what to try next. Or maybe we don’t have any goals at all, so we feel super stuck because of that. 

Feeling Stuck in Life

And sometimes this feeling of stuck and feeling of confusion can last a long time. And believe me, I know how terrible that feels. I’ve been there too.

And when we’re in the moment, and we’re feeling confused or lost or uncertain about what to do next, it feels true. It feels like we are 100% stuck with no way out. And it feels so hard. We truly believe that we don’t have the answers that we need in order to move forward. 

In fact, it almost feels like we’re the victim to our circumstances. Like we’re completely lacking control in our lives.

Feeling Stuck in a Rut

And while this can come up at any time and in any area of our life, for many of us it comes up when we are stepping outside of our comfort zone. It comes up when we’re thinking about trying something new. 

Maybe we have a new idea, or we decide to take a chance on that new activity, or we start moving toward that new goal, and sooner or later, we hit a stumbling block. We come up against something that we’re trying to figure out, and we get frustrated. And because we don’t have the answer immediately at our fingertips, we get stuck. And we tell ourselves that we’re confused about what to do next.

Or on the opposite side of the coin, we also get stuck when we find ourselves in the same situation for a long time. We want to try something new. We want to change things up. But we don’t know what we want to do. We’re not sure how to get started. And we don’t know what path to take. And once again, we feel stuck.

Examples of Feeling Stuck

Now, some of you listening might be able to hear yourself in these situations somewhere. Some of you are already identifying at least one area in your life where you are feeling this frustration or this uncertainty or this confusion. And if so, that’s perfect. Keep that situation in mind, because when we talk about how to get unstuck, you can use those tools for your specific situation.

But for those of you who are having a hard time identifying this feeling of “stuck” in your life, I want to give just a couple examples that I’ve worked with clients on recently to really help clarify what I’m talking about and bring these concepts to life for you.

Feeling Stuck in Career

So this past week, I was coaching a friend about a potential job change. 

She’s been in her current position for a while, and she is ready for a new opportunity. However, she’s uncertain about whether she should look outside of her current company or if she should apply to an internal position that had recently opened up. 

She kept saying that it was really important for her to make the right decision and she was getting overwhelmed by all of the different options and details and opportunities out there. And her brain just kept saying — on repeat — “I don’t know.” “I’m not sure what to do. I don’t know whether I should apply to this job or that job. Really, I just don’t know.”

Feeling Stuck at Work

Similarly, I was coaching with a new blogger recently. She just started her blog three or four months ago, and she has been releasing content every week. She’s been advertising her stuff on social media. She is totally consistent. But she’s not getting the traffic that she wants to her website. 

She believes that not enough people are reading her content. And she feels super frustrated. And when I asked why she felt so frustrated, she told me it’s because she’s tried everything and she has no idea what to do next. She’s totally stuck and confused because she doesn’t know why her current strategies aren’t working.

Feeling Stuck in Life

Or maybe you are a super busy mom in a household of picky eaters. Your son won’t eat one thing. And your daughter won’t eat another thing. You have your own crazy allergies. And your partner just wants to eat frozen pizzas every day. 

It seems like no matter what you try, nobody’s happy. So you get frustrated. You spin out in confusion. And you tell yourself you don’t know what to do. You don’t know how to find something everyone will eat. You don’t know how to cook for everyone. 

Feeling Stuck and Unmotivated

Or maybe you’ve been sticking with your New Year’s resolutions and you’re following through on your wellness journey. And maybe you’ve been losing weight each week. 

But then this past week you hit a plateau. And it seems like no matter what workout you do, and no matter what food choices you make, you’re not making progress. And so you get frustrated. You tell yourself you don’t know what to do. You feel confused about what to eat or what workouts to try next and you don’t know how to move forward and keep seeing progress.

So again, this feeling of stuck. This feeling of confusion. This thought that you “don’t know what to do” comes up in so many areas of our life. And it comes up, especially, when we are up against something challenging. Because our brains don’t like hard.

How to Get Unstuck Now

Now with each of these scenarios that I’ve mentioned — and there are so many more scenarios, you can put any of your own in there — the one unifying thing that might have stood out to you is the fact that each one of these people told themselves “I don’t know what to do. I’m stuck.” Or “I’m confused.” Or “I don’t know the right move.” 

It is all some version of I don’t know.

And this next thing I’m going to suggest might sound crazy, but stick with me. Because it’s the truth. 

That little thought of “I don’t know” is what’s holding you back from making progress in your life. Every single time you think to yourself, “I don’t know,” it’s like closing a door on your forward momentum. You may not believe me yet, but I’m telling you. It’s true.

Get Unstuck Emotionally

You see, “I don’t know” is such an innocent thought. And it feels so real. When you’re in that moment, and you’re feeling frustrated, and you think that you’ve tried all of the options, you really do think that you don’t know what to do. 

But I’m telling you, you’re wrong. The reason why you don’t know what to do is that you’re telling yourself “I don’t know what to do.” 

Really. Let me play it out for you.

Stuck at Work

Let’s take the client who is searching for a new job and she’s considering applying to a position within her current company.

When she thinks to herself, “I need to make the right decision and I don’t know what to do,” that thought makes her feel confused. 

And when she’s feeling confused she starts spinning out in indecision. She goes back and forth on whether she should or should not apply for the job. She second-guesses herself. She’s worrying about what makes a decision “right.” And she doesn’t move forward. 

And of course, the result is that she stays in indecision. So that thought “I don’t know what to do” just keeps getting reinforced. And she stays in confusion and doesn’t ever decide whether to move forward in that position or not.

Stuck in Life

Or let’s think about the household of picky eaters. When that mom starts planning dinners for the week and she thinks about all the different preferences of her kids and her partner, she thinks to herself, “I don’t even know what to make anymore. I have no idea what to do.” And when she thinks that, she feels frustrated and overwhelmed. 

And when she feels frustrated and overwhelmed, she just keeps ruminating on the problem. She focuses on what everyone won’t eat. She has a hard time seeing other options available because she’s so overwhelmed by the different requests from everyone. And since overwhelm, like confusion, is one of those indulgent emotions, we get stuck in it. 

And believe me, I know how that feels. Overwhelm is one of the emotions I find myself stuck in as well. And we just keep circling around in the thoughts and feelings of, “I don’t know what to do. I am so overwhelmed.” And of course, when we keep thinking and feeling those things, we don’t come up with a solution. We convince ourselves that we’re in an impossible situation. And we stop even considering alternatives. So we stay stuck.

How to Stop Feeling Confused

But what if it didn’t have to be this way? What if you could get out of that feeling of confusion and overwhelm with a simple shift in your thinking? 

Because here’s the good news: you can. 

And in fact, by simply changing your thought from “I don’t know what to do” to “I’m figuring it out” it can make all the difference.  

By going from thinking, “I’m so confused” to thinking, “I’m finding the solution.” Or “I know what to do.” You can start taking action. You do a 180-degree turn in your thinking which helps you shift your perspective. 

What to do When Feeling Confused

Now, your brain is going to want to fight this. It’s going to go back to: “No, I really don’t know what to do.” 

But I want you to consider pushing back just a bit and asking yourself instead, “But what if I did know? Then what would I do?” 

Because by answering from that space, you start moving out of your negative spiral and you start getting unstuck. 

Getting Unstuck at Home

So if we go back to our mom with the picky eaters. Right now when she thinks about making dinner for her family, she thinks, “I don’t know what to do with this situation.” And she immediately feels overwhelmed. 

However, what if she asked herself, “But what if I did know? What would I do then?” 

Even just that little shift in her thought process would get her moving from feeling overwhelmed to feeling curious. And when she’s feeling curious about making dinner for her family, then she’s much more likely to get creative about planning the meals. She’s much more likely to start brainstorming alternative solutions to get her out of that frustration and overwhelm and actually find a solution.

Because when shes feeling curious, she is open. She’s ready to entertain new ideas or options that her brain was otherwise ignoring. She’s more likely to brainstorm possibilities and seek other options. So maybe she asks everyone to list their ten favorite meals and she puts the meals that appear on everyone’s list in rotation. Or maybe each person gets to choose dinner for one night of the week, and the other three nights are leftovers. Or maybe there is one simple “assembly style” meal that each person likes that’s always available if they don’t want to eat what’s on the menu that night. 

Now, these are just ideas that I’m thinking about right now. I have no idea if they’ll work for her unique situation or not. However, when she’s willing to be curious rather than overwhelmed, she’ll find that it’s a much more useful emotion to start exploring new solutions and finding one that does work for her situation.

Getting Unstuck In Your Goals

Or let’s think about the blogger I was coaching who feels stuck because she doesn’t know how to get more readers to her blog. 

What if rather than thinking she doesn’t know how to get more readers, she thought to herself, “I’m figuring out how to get more readers.” It’s a small shift, but I’m telling you, it makes a difference.

Because then all of a sudden, she’s feeling motivated and curious about her situation rather than frustrated and discouraged. 

And when she’s feeling that motivation to figure it out, she’s open to trying to new approaches. She’s open to doing more research and finding different strategies that she hasn’t yet tried. And while she still might not know the exact answer to increasing her website traffic, she is at least taking action. She is at least working toward a solution rather than spinning out in confusion and frustration. 

Try This

And again, I know this seems like such a simple little thing to do. And in a sense, it is. But it is also so powerful

Just think about these two sentences in your mind. First, think the phrase, “I don’t know how, and I’m so confused.” How does that thought feel in your body? 

When I think that thought, my chest feels super tight. My shoulders slump. And my brain gets a bit fuzzy. How does it feel for you?

Now, think the thought, “I’m figuring out how to make this work.” Did you think it?  So now, how does that thought feel in your body? 

For me, it is light. I feel almost a pull forward in my chest; it’s like my body wants to get moving and start taking action. And it’s just from this one small shift in my thinking.

Strategies to Get Unstuck

Now as I mentioned, when we’re in this state of confusion, it can be harder to practice these thoughts. Your brain will want to fight it. And sometimes, even if you do manage to shift to, “I’, figuring it out” or “I know what to do.” your brain will next move to another common question, which is: “but what if I make the wrong decision?” or “what if I end up regretting my decision?” 

Again, this is such a common thought pattern that we think to ourselves. And honestly, it’s just one more way of your brain saying, “I don’t know.”

There is No Right Answer

But let me ask you this: what if there is no right answer? 

Last week in episode 26, we did a deep dive into the fear of failure, and I shared one of my new favorite quotes, which is you’re either winning or you’re learning.

So really, what if there is no right answer? What if my client who is worried about making the right decision about her job started believing that there is no right answer? Or that either option she chooses is perfect. 

Because here’s the reality; she gets to decide how that situation is going to go. She gets to decide what she makes of the experience. And she gets to decide how she thinks, feels, and acts about it.

So again, I ask you, what if you truly are figuring it out? What if every option is the “right option” because every option you choose offers either a solution to your problem or additional information to inform your next decision? What if each thing you try gets you closer to your end goal? And what if each action helps pull you from the mud and get just a little more unstuck?

What if this were true?

How to Stop Feeling Confused

And in fact, I want to offer to you that it is true. I want to offer that believing the thought, “there is no right answer,” and believing “each action I take moves me forward” is simply so much more productive than believing, “I don’t know.” It will serve you so much more in the long run.

Because you take back the power. You stop being the victim of your circumstance. And you start making things happen.

Now again, remembering this perspective and practicing this new thought will feel uncomfortable. It’s so much easier to tell yourself “I don’t know,” because it is your brain’s way of protecting itself. And it is so much easier to return to that default of indecision. It is way more familiar to stay stuck and swim around in confusion.

But while it’s less work to think that, it also won’t get you to where you want to go. 

Homework This Week

So this week, I challenge you to take a look at where you’re feeling stuck in your life, whether it’s at work, one of your personal goals, in a relationship, anywhere. 

Where are you telling yourself, “I’m confused.” or “I don’t know what to do.” or “I don’t know the right answer.” 

And I encourage you to be willing to feel uncomfortable. Be willing to question that familiar thought. Be willing to ask yourself, “what if I did know what to do? What would I do then?” 

And then follow through on that answer. Because again, each action you take and every idea you try will move you forward. And in the end, that’s what we’re working toward each day. To show up, to try, and to take at least one step forward on our journey.

Quote of the Week

And that brings me to this week’s quote of the week, which is both simple and powerful. And it reads:

Your only limit is your mind.

I cannot stress the truth of this statement enough. 

When you get stuck in indecision. And when you tell yourself you “don’t know what to do” or “you can’t” or “it’s too hard.” Frankly, you’re right.

But the only reason you’re right is that you’re choosing to think those thoughts. You’re putting these limiting beliefs on repeat in your mind, which are preventing you from taking action. They’re preventing you from moving forward. And they’re preventing you from figuring out the challenge and moving to the next level. 

So the next time you hear that voice of frustration and indecision sneaking up in your mind, simply recognize it, acknowledge it, and then remind yourself, “we’re not practicing this thought anymore. I do know what to do. I’m figuring this out.” And then choose your next small step from that space. Take action. Learn from the experience. Adjust if needed. And then take the next step. 

Because it’s all part of the process, and you’re on the right track. 

2 thoughts on “Episode 27: How to Get Unstuck in Life When You’re Confused”

  1. Great insights here. I know for myself I often feel stuck because I want the one right option to move ahead with, but life is all about choices. Often there isn’t a right and a wrong answer, just different outcomes.

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