The Truth About Your Stuck-ness

So…you may have missed it, but we recently passed through another holiday.

Groundhog Day.

It’s a funny little holiday with a funny little tradition, involving – some might say – a funny little animal.

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While most of us don’t get too caught up in Groundhog Day, many of us do remember the famous Groundhog Day movie, where Bill Murray plays a guy who relives the same day over and over again. It’s like he’s stuck in a loop of life.

It’s a feeling many of us can relate to. That feeling of being stuck.

And so with the passing of this fine holiday, it seems now just might be the right time for a post on stuck-ness.

To start?

For the most part, and in most cases, we aren’t as stuck as we think we are.

I can say this definitively because I’ve learned this soooo many times. (In fact, you may recall a few of them from previous blogs.)

There have been so many incidents, in fact, that I thought it would be helpful to provide a semi-cumulative list here. The list features a wide variety of things we do indeed have a say in…even if we don’t always realize it.

The list is coming in just a sec, so hold tight. I first just want to point out a few reasons we actually choose to believe we’re stuck.

  • The first reason is because, even when we’re super unhappy, feeling stuck still feels like a safer bet than making change. After all, change is scary and uncertain. And so we tell ourselves we’re stuck…when we’re not.
  • The second reason is because we believe we are obligated to do something…that people are relying on us to do or be or act a certain way. And that feels good…even if the obligation doesn’t. And so we tell ourselves we’re stuck…when we’re not.

I ask that you free yourself from the above two defenses for the moment, so that you can take a looksee at the following list with an open mind. Ready?

Deirdre’s running list of things we have a choice about…but don’t always think we do:

  • The way we let someone’s comments toward us – positive or negative – impact our thoughts, words, and actions
  • The way we let someone’s actions toward us – positive or negative – impact our thoughts, words, and actions
  • The quantity and quality of the work we get done in any given day
  • Whether or not we follow-through on our commitments
  • Whether or not we are pleasant in the morning…even if we aren’t a morning person
  • Whether or not we are pleasant in the evening…even if we aren’t a night person
  • Most of the people we get into conversations with during the workday
  • Most of the people we see/speak to outside of the workday
  • Which events/groups/gatherings we attend outside of our mandatory work ones
  • Whether or not we are nice to the people we know…no matter what
  • Whether or not we are nice to strangers…no matter what
  • Whether or not we are nice to ourselves…no matter what
  • How personally we take things
  • How personal we make things
  • Whether or not we are in a job that makes us happy…most of the time
  • Whether or not we are in a relationship that makes us happy…most of the time
  • Whether or not we are in friendships that make us happy…most of the time

It comes down to a quote from my beloved Dad (who, to be fair, was actually quoting Lincoln):

“In the final analysis, we are about as happy as we make up our minds to be.”

Because we have choices.

Yes. there are exceptions…there are times where you truly have no choice in the moment. But…just maybe…there aren’t as many as you’ve let yourself believe.

And the rest of the time? In almost any given moment we’ve actually got a ton of choices about how we speak, think, act and feel.

So let’s be mindful of that, yes? And let’s make some good choices.

In the end, that’s when we’ll rejoice in the fact that we really aren’t stuck much at all.

And then we can focus on other things.

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Now go do good…and do it well.

PS – got something to add to the list? Feel free to do so in the comments

PPS – thanks to Alessandro M. for the pic of that first groundhog, and to Shenandoah National Park for the little guy at the end

8 thoughts on “The Truth About Your Stuck-ness

  1. Barbara Haines says:

    Hi Deirdre,
    So true…thanks for posting g. Thought you might enjoy this read on the subject, too.
    Hope all is well,

    1. Thanks for your comment, Barbara, and for the link. Who knew the real Bill Murray could be such a good guy?

  2. Doug Hegebarth says:

    Hey Deirdre,
    Great Post, but I got stuck thinking about stuckness. Should I read this post now, or later? If I read it now what will I be postponing. Now/later, now/later, now/later? By the time I got unstuck I could have read it 3 times over!!
    Thanks for the great post … Doug

    1. Clever, clever Doug. 🙂 Thanks for your great comment!

  3. Danielle Hottle says:

    Sums my life up right now: “feeling stuck still feels like a safer bet than making change.” Reading this made me actually acknowledge I was choosing to be stuck.

    1. Thanks for being so thoughtful and honest, Danielle. It shows so much strength to look inside and see when you’re making the choice to be stuck. Really…well done.

  4. Patty says:

    Thank you Deirdre for the great input. Sometimes I don’t realize I have a choice. Also it is good for me to choose not to take everything negative personally. Turns out it’s not about me.

    1. Thanks for your comment Patty…and most of us easily forget we have a choice. The trick is remembering when the time is right!

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