While You Wait: What to do when you feel stuck in life

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Have you ever had one of those moments where you randomly pause and think you’re not where you thought you would have been by now and this isn’t how you pictured your life would be?

Perhaps, in your mind, that relationship was supposed to be it and you would’ve been married by now.

Or you would’ve finished that degree already.

Or had the perfect job. Or be running your own business. Or the house would have been already built or purchased and you were shopping for Christmas decor.

Or maybe you would have had kids of your own driving you happy crazy…

And the list can go on and on.

You aren’t sure what your next move should be; you’ve tried what you could and it feels like you’re sloshing around in mud.

That’s exactly where I found myself over a year ago.

what to do when feeling stuck in life and relationships; finding purpose, mindfulness, create meaning in life, get unstuck

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Feeling stuck


On the surface, everything appeared fine and I certainly had a lot to be grateful for. I had a good job, a roof over my head, my health.

But there was a growing feeling of restlessness that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I kept feeling like there’s supposed to be more.

In fact, I knew there WAS more, but I felt like I didn’t have the power or tools needed to get there.

I also felt like I had been waiting forever for certain things to manifest in my life…but to no avail. I was tired of the waiting season and equally tired of feeling like I was stuck there forever.

I’ll give you some context…

I had moved back home in 2014 after living in London for 5 years and had the family home filled with boxes of stuff I had bought for my own home.

I had developed a deeper love for crafting, home decor and do-it-yourself projects while in London and was eager to get my own place to start decorating it. I planned to start a blog when I bought my home so I could document the decorating and DIY projects along the way.

I spent a few years actively house-hunting but my search had not yielded any fruit. So, I had to “settle” for continuing to live at home with the majority of things neatly packed away in boxes.

As I opened boxes every now and again, I found myself having to throw away some of the items that sat waiting to be used. Bottles of paint were filled with mould, some items disintegrated in my hands, other items were now trash.

But still, I waited.

I felt increasingly frustrated as the years went by.

And as I approached my 3rd year of being back home, I felt incredibly stuck.


On another, more personal level, I thought I would’ve been married by now, possibly with kids. Having been single – literally – for about 13 years, I’d gotten to the stage where I would question if God had forgotten me, if something was wrong with me and if this waiting season would ever end.

There were also too many other self-defeating thoughts to list here. I would see friends and family move from short or long-term relationships to marriage and wonder if Idris Elba got lost on his way to me. Like seriously.

Around mid-2017, it occurred to me that I was spending my life waiting for the perfect scenario.

Waiting for the house, waiting for the right moment, waiting for that relationship…. waiting.

And because those things weren’t materialising in the time I thought they would, it seemed as if I was stuck in the quicksand of life.

I realised then that I’d be crazy to continue to spend my life “waiting” for all the things I thought I needed for fulfilment and true happiness.

As I began to reflect on my circumstances, I realised as well that my feeling of being stuck hinged on the fact that:

  • I viewed myself as a victim of my circumstances
  • I was crippled by FEAR masked as “waiting on God”
  • I felt powerless

Can you relate? Yes?

Well, the good news is that there are some steps you can take to shake that feeling!

6 things to do when you feel stuck in life


1. Recognise that you have far more power over your life than you think

Yes, you do. Beautiful girl (or guy!), you can do anything! We are all equipped with so much talent, skills and potential waiting to be put to good use.

Very often, when we refer to “waiting on God”, we look at it from a passive point of view. That if we take any action, it may seem as if we don’t trust Him. And we sit waiting for “the Universe” to hand us a blessing, packaged and ready to enjoy.

But the reality is, we’ve already been given what we need to maximize and fulfil our purpose – whatever that is – in our current season. And many of the very things we desire are already within arms’ reach; they’re just packaged as challenges instead of blessings.


2. Do THAT thing

I think most people have at least one thing they would like to do but think they don’t have the time or the resources for such. Maybe like me, you’ve been wanting to start a blog. Or you’ve been looking to start your own business, start school or a class or some sort. Maybe you’ve always wanted to travel. Take a moment and think about what that thing is for you.

You may be thinking “Well I don’t have money for that” or “I’m too old now” or too *insert relevant adjective*.

I encourage you to think again. If you really spend time breaking down that major goal into small actionable steps, I’m sure you would realise there is at least one thing you can start today in pursuit of that goal.


3. Realise that you need LESS than you think you do to start

While this is relative and dependent on the circumstances, very often when we say “I don’t have this or that”, it’s really an excuse, often based on fear.

Again, I’ll use the blog as an example. As I mentioned, I was waiting until I had “a proper space” to take photos and store my equipment. Then I started looking at photography setups on Pinterest and I realised I already had all the space I needed to start.

I take most photos for the blog on the end of my bed and in a corner of my room. So there’s still no studio or major space but it was actually not necessary for me to start.

I was reminded of this as well when I saw a video by Sadia of Pick Up Limes, who mentions how she started her blog and YouTube channel which is now quite popular.

She highlighted the fact that she started with what she had. She used kitchens belonging to family and friends to film her food videos and she stored all her food props and dishes in her bedroom because there was nowhere else in their apartment to put them.

And do you know what? Having less actually forces you to be more creative with your existing resources. A win-win.

4. Take time to learn about yourself

You hear this all the time. I even found it annoying and a little cliched at one point, being single for so long, but it’s absolutely true.

This one can be difficult because we can either be our own worst critics or oblivious to some of our self-destructive thoughts and habits. Or even both.

Like my boxes full of stuff, I realised that there were many issues I had to unpack and areas of my life where I needed to heal before entering a relationship. (Maybe Idris knew this all along lol ;)).

As I started to unpack – my thought patterns, belief system, my tendencies – I realised that on the one hand, I wasn’t as bad as I had convinced myself to believe. On the other hand, I was able to recognise some habits (I won’t bore you with details lol) that I needed to address before venturing into a relationship.

Over the past year, I’ve learnt so much about myself, my likes, dislikes etc. I started being more unapologetically me. I’ve finally accepted myself in ways that seemed so unreachable in the past and the journey continues.

Likewise, you need to recognise that you are unique and your quirks make you who you are. Sometimes, a season of waiting is exactly what is needed to force us to turn our lens inward and focus on our own personal growth and development.

The process may even uncover passions of yours that were buried which possibly hold the key for you moving forward!


5. Be grateful for the things you do have.

In another post, I mentioned the positive effect having an attitude of gratitude had on my life.  

Begin to reflect on the positive things happening in your life and there’s always something to be grateful for. It causes a shift and you’ll find that ideas come and you are able to see things, even your resources from a different perspective.

Also, being grateful in the now for the little things helps you to enjoy the journey more. As such, you won’t feel like your ultimate goal or vision is unreachable or taking too long to materialise.


6. Be intentional about your present

Sometimes, we can become so fixed on what lies ahead that we completely neglect our present.

Being intentional for me is about making everything align with your goal and constantly reminding yourself of what that goal is. It means being purposeful about how you spend your time and resources and creating a life of meaning.

So…

We all go through seasons of waiting or periods where we may feel stuck in life. And often those seasons may be the very thing that sets us on a path of self-discovery and growth.

Some Helpful Resources

#1. If I had to choose one book that made the single biggest difference for me, it would be this one on the power of purpose. I listened to the Audible version about 3 times and it lit a fire under me to really begin to dust off those ideas and dreams I had on hold and take massive action.

#2. Learning a new skill is so easy now with all of the online classes available. I’m almost certain, whatever your passion is, there are short courses available to teach you, whether it’s for beginners or more advanced learners. Skillshare is one of many great online platforms for short, online courses and you can sign up for a free, 14-day trial here.

#3. Implementing any of the steps I mentioned in the post will require changing your habits in some way. I’ve listened to this book on building good habits and breaking bad ones a couple of times and I see why it’s been at the top of the charts for so long. It teaches how to break down the act of building new habits into actionable steps we can take daily. I highly recommend it.

There are many more tips on what to do when you feel stuck in life. Are there any other steps that worked for you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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30 Comments

  1. Thank you,I can relate well with this one I feel like you are describing me.

    I’m still in the process of finding myself.?

  2. okay, I’d be lying id I didn’t tell yah my favorite part was about Idris Elba. haha, well that’s what got me to stick around and read this well written and thought out piece. Tbh there is often a moment in stillness that as much as I enjoy it I wonder what’s next. The ebbs and flows.

    1. LOL! Girl, Idris is my boy… well was until he upped and got married on me. 😀 Thanks much for the kind words. So true re the still moments! Keep well. xx

  3. Just read your article. Was very good. I realized I was thinking I didn’t trust God if I did things on my own. I believe he does hand us blessings but to do things also. All 6 categories were excrement read. Thankyou for sharing.

  4. Hi Nickesha ! I red lot of posts about being stuck in your life, and I would like to tell you that this is the best one I have red so far because you truly shared your experience and some points are so close to mine. Thanks for your help : ) have a great day

  5. Love this! Especially the first tip because so many of us on a spiritual path (including myself) sometimes think that praying or manifesting is just like placing an order on Amazon, and then we get frustrated when our desires aren’t on our doorstep the next morning. But in truth, it’s about using whatever is already inside of us to move closer toward our goal.

  6. I LOVE your blog! This post is so good and you are so insightful! Thank you for the encouraging words and I will be checking back often for more!

  7. This is such a thing! Waiting! I enjoyed this a lot and of course can relate! Its a level of maturity to accept the Sovereignty of God in certain areas. A useful verse I’ve found is Rom 4.18 which says to Hope against Hope so even if things take a little longer and doesn’t look promising, continue to hope! Also like you said, be grateful, have a sunshiny attitude always 🙂 it attracts all things good!

    1. I can relate,especially to negative thinking.what helps me is inspirational messages songs and words of affirmation from the bible. I believe this is your purpose, to help guide other women who are stuck.

      1. Deborah, thanks so much for your comment! I really do feel like I’m on the right path.

        And yes, filling your mind with inspirational music and words of affirmation are so critical! I’ll actually be posting about affirmations really soon. Blessings and love.

  8. Fantastic points! I particularly love the tip about being intentional in the present. It’s amazing what is seen and can happen when we view our journey in the now. Keep writing darling…

  9. I love this Nickesha and needed to hear it from someone who can actually relate! I especially like the steps where you be grateful for what you already have and also being intentional about the present. I try to enjoy the present and do things to make me happy now.

  10. I love this Nickesha!!! I can so relate. I’ve been “waiting” on God too and not where I thought I would be in my life and really been asking why certain things haven’t happened. Recently in the most random of circumstances I was attempted to be set up with a guy and after praying and against my fears I went along with it. I knew immediately he wasn’t for me but sought answers from the Lord about the purpose of that interaction, because I believe that everything has a purpose.
    I discovered that those fears I had prior were a result of realizing this could be the husband I was praying for but knowing I was not ready for. I too have things I need to get in order before someone else comes into my life and this put that into perspective for me.
    So while I do that I’ve learned how to stop being “envious” of others who have what I desire when it is not my season for those things.

    1. Lianne, thanks so much for your comment. I totally feel you regarding those fears. I had a somewhat similar experience! It’s so strange when you’re presented with something you want/desire, only to realise you’re probably not ready for it. I pray that you continue to grow and learn about you during this season.

      Cheering you on!

  11. I’ve experienced a lot of what you described in terms of feeling stuck the last 2 years or so. What has been working for me (and it took me a really long time to get here) is spending the time developing myself..just really spending time focusing on me. I also really like what you said about doing that thing..it’s so true. Finding my ‘thing’ had also been really helpful.

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