Do you feel stuck? What to do when you are frustrated and just want to give up

Sometimes you feel you are going nowhere. So much work, so much effort, and no results. Either in your relationships, at work, or in your own self-development. Totally stuck. It is frustrating, because you want solutions, and you want them now.

I have good and bad news for you. The good news is that being stuck doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not moving. I know, contradictory words. But, in most cases, the development is happening at a deeper level, unconsciously, and towards more meaningful transformations. The bad news is that the solutions are not as immediate and straightforward as you wish. Real changes take time and are part of a process, not a miracle.

What ‘being stuck’ can actually mean:

  • Something needs brewing inside you, taking time to develop and strengthen
  • All the work you have been doing is being processed in you
  • You might not be ready - yet - for the changes you want
  • Old patterns of behaviour need time to be replaced with more helpful ways of thinking and acting
  • Stuckness can actually mean ‘pause’, ‘breathing’, ‘space’. Sometimes you just need a break from all the rush and effort
  • You might have been focusing so much on one specific issue, that your view gets blurred. It’s then difficult to see any movement that might be happening.

What to do:

1 - Trust the process

I know it’s hard to believe in things we can’t actually see. But if you trust that something is actually developing in you, you will open up to all the possibilities and real transformations that it can bring.

2 - Stop trying to control everything

Allow yourself to sit back once in a while and not to be ‘doing’ so much all the time. Try it. It can be very liberating.

3 - Let go of ideas and preconceptions of how the results should or should not be.

What’s good for you might not be what you have been wishing for.

4 - Don’t rush

I know, it’s hard. After so much effort, you just want changes to happen fast. You want results. But that’s not what happens in real life. And I’ll keep repeating this: real, deep, long-term changes take time. Not a ‘quick fix’. And they will be worth it.

5 - Focus on something else for a while

You’ll feel relieved when you move your attention to other aspects of your life, even if only temporarily. It’s not about forgetting or ignoring that specific ‘stuck issue’, but it is about creating space in your mind for that to develop at its own pace.

6 - Embrace the unknown

You don’t need to know all the answers. You don’t need to know what will happen next. And it’s ok. Instead of freaking out about not knowing what’s going on, take a deep breath and try to accept that, sometimes, we just don’t have the answers.

7 - Be patient

Impatience can get on the way of deeper, long-term work. There are no benefits in jumping stages or cutting corners. If you do, you might miss the parts of the puzzle that you really need. Take a deep breath, things are already happening.

Remember: Life isn’t a beautiful, neat, straight line upwards. It can be very wiggly at times. And sometimes it looks - and feels - very still. Life looks more like a spiral: sometimes we go forward, sometimes a few steps back, sometimes we don’t move. The important thing is to be patient, look at the bigger picture and respect the process, respect the life you are living.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, EC3R 8EE
Written by Adriana Gordon, London Private Counselling (PGDip, Reg MBACP)
London, EC3R 8EE

Adriana is an experienced Psychosynthesis Counsellor offering individual sessions to adults, in Covent Garden and London Bridge (Central London).

Adriana is also a group facilitator in Systemic/Family Constellations, offering workshops in English and Portuguese.

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