Deb Sofield


Feeling stuck is a FEELING, not a fact

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If I have heard it once, I have heard it 100 times, “You know, Deb, I’m stuck in life and I don’t know how to move forward.” Well, I say usually, one step at a time is a good place to start and soon the feeling will pass and you can get started again.

Why? Because feeling stuck is a FEELING, not a fact, and, for many listening today, you’re wallowing in a feeling that is not based on anything but your emotions at this time and for whatever reason you’ve chosen to give.

No doubt some days, weeks or months are better than others, but to stop your world because you have a feeling is not a good enough excuse. Most people feel stuck because they are afraid, so, since fear is the true reason, let’s go back and see what has caused such fear.

To move past your fear you need to figure out what triggered it. Have you missed a deadline and now you’re past due on a project? Have you not paid a bill and now the interest charges are piling up? Have you not finished something you committed to, so now you avoid those you’ve disappointed, which in turn has made your circle of friends even smaller since you let them down?

If any one of these is the issue, you have to make the call and apologize, or commit to a payment plan or re-asses your situation and start again—this time with help to move you through. The reason most of this is hard is, because your pride got in the way and now you’re standing still and you’re stuck. Because doing this alone in the end was harder, more costly, used more energy than expected and now your tired, broke and spent…and still not finished.

No doubt you’re feeling stuck—you dug yourself into a hole and now you can’t get out without some help, or at least a renewed sense of strength to move you up and out. Let me remind you to not give up hope, because, friend, right now that may be all you have, so tie a knot and hold on. Remember, feeling stuck is a FEELING, not a fact, and you can change your feelings at any time, but you’ve got to put your pride aside and figure out the facts, and then figure out who can help you get unstuck.

There are a lot of issues we know that make people feel stuck. One is that you spend valuable time trying to re-create or correct the past, instead of working to build your future. I understand that, but you’ve got to stop focusing on what happened—it’s over… you messed up—now move past, and stop feeling so bad about it.

Figure out what you need to do to make it right enough, and I use the phrase right enough because sometimes it’s friends and family who like to remind you that you’re stuck, and, if that’s the case, you need to have the courage (not in anger) to tell them, Enough! You’re doing the best you can, and their constant harping is not helping, so please stop. Remind them nicely, that if they can’t say something nice, just be quiet, please.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but for some who want to hold you down, it is never enough—no matter what you do—so, as hard as it is, you have accepted the fact that they want to wallow in their hurt feelings or, dare I say it, hatred towards you. But once you’ve done all you can to make it right enough, dust off your boots and start walking. Accept that they will never forgive, forget or excuse what happened. There are some loser people out there who love the false sense of power they think they have over you, by reminding you of your failures.  Yes, every chance they get they will remind your brain of your mistake in hopes of having it re-play it over and over, but that doesn’t solve anything, so you need to stop the voices outside and in your head and redirect and focus on your next steps. As hard as it is, don’t let their darkness hold you back and keep you stuck in the past. Once you’ve done your part to make it right enough, or actually pay for the damage or forgive the best you can, then move on.

Since feeling stuck is a FEELING, not a fact… thenext thing you need to do to get un-stuck is to take small steps, and they really may be tiny steps, but steps in the right direction will ultimately lead you to where you want to go, which in the interim is getting un-stuck, so you can re-imagine your future.

Small steps are fine; the fact is you probably won’t dig yourself out in a weekend, when you’ve spent the last year digging your rut deeper. I know you want the pain to end now, but, if you’re not careful, you’ll compound your mistake and it will be harder to correct. So slow down and do it right this time—you’re not in a race my friend—let’s accept that you lost that one, but you’re working for the next one and pushing hard to win.

And how you do that and be successful is by setting a new standard for yourself, or simply making yourself accountable to your higher self. This might be one of the hardest things you ever do, but you have no choice, if you want to get un-stuck and move your amazing life forward. Remember that feeling stuck is a FEELING, not a fact. The fact is, you need a new outlook, a new view or a new change of heart to commit to doing the hard work.

One of my favorite books is by Neil Postman and it is called Amusing Ourselves to Death, and one of his points was, in order to move past our past, we need to stop and consider where we are and where we’re going and make a plan, sketch out a path, or commit to your goal to stick with it. And what he meant by that was, get your work done every day. Nothing more; nothing less.

Some of you simply need to get your work done and stop wasting time. Stop wasting time feeling sorry for yourself. Yes, you might have gotten stuck and things have happened that you’re not happy about; fine, un-stick yourself and move on. Stop wasting time and energy on things you cannot control. Stop wasting time on your list of excuses—we’ve heard them all.

Do not allow a passing feeling of emotion derail you off the tracks of life. It’s hard, but it’s not that hard to commit to doing the work required. Why? Because for some of you, this might be your time for growth.

So let’s think about what is required for you to set a new standard to grow yourself? What do you need to do every day to get you moving in the right direction?

I can tell you this, it cannot be anything like it was for you in the past—that didn’t work out, so what 5 steps do you need to take daily to get you going in your life? I’m not talking about your feelings now. I am more interested in your dedication to a new you.

I don’t know what you need, but I can guess: You need to clean up your life—it’s a mess. You have poor relations with your parents, your spouse, your kids; your cousins. I’m not asking you to host a family reunion, but some of you need to do the simple things like remember birthdays and anniversaries. Don’t be such a dolt…spend a little money once in a while and be kind without expecting anything in return. Some of you need to clean out your space, so you can find peace and prepare for new opportunities. If your car is a traveling trash can, or your garage door won’t open, your attic is full of your kids’ (who are long gone) toys and clothes or your dog has ruined your yard, do something about it. All those things you promised to fix around the house…get to it!

I’m guessing some of you need to lose weight—physically, emotionally and mentally. You’re sluggish and slow and slovenly in your appearance. No one wants to be around someone who is not clean, well dressed or does not maintain personal hygiene. And, believe it or not, I don’t care about your size. I care about your health. Get going on it while you can, because the older you are, the harder it is.

Some listening today need to get your finances in order to protect you and your family. If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck or racking up bills on your credit card to make you feel good about yourself, you need to get some help and cut up the cards. Listen to Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman and get your financial house in order. You’re running out of time on this one, friend.

Finally, I want to remind you that feeling stuck is a FEELING, not a fact… because the facts are clear: you have a lot to offer, you are needed, you are wanted, you are loved and appreciated and what you’re going through right now that makes you feel stuck, is just a bump in the road of life, so set a new standard to grow yourself today and every day after. Feelings come and go, but facts stand, and I know this, you were made for more than what you are accepting for your life today… I know it…and so do you.

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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