From feeling stuck to being alive.
Reinventing your life.
At one time or another, we unavoidably feel stuck in life, every human being does, but stuck-ness is a fantastic reward from life, we should feel so grateful for feeling it, it means the completion of a life stage, the end of a cycle and the beginning of a brand new one.
Feeling stuck is feeling the urgency to change but being unaware of it, it is merely a state of mind triggered by a primitive instinct that our limbic system uses as a strategy, in order to accomplish its purpose of self preservation. Our primitive brain that we inherited from our ancestors has one goal, which is survival. When they ran out of food from the local area that they were living in, our primitive ancestors felt stuck, so they had to move, they felt the urgency to change, to find a new place in which they were able to survive. We too feel stuck, we take decisions and we finally change, we get wiser, we accumulate valuable experiences and information.
Feeling stuck provides us with the opportunity to evolve ourselves and reinvent our lives, it is the beginning of a new stage, a stage in which you have been given the ability, to fully decide how you want to feel from now on, it’s such an amazing present! Isn’t it?
You are not stuck, you just feel stuck.
Like every state of mind, stuck-ness has everything to do with the human brain and reality perception. You are not stuck, nothing is stuck out there, the Earth orbits around the Sun at 7.8 km/sec, the Sun orbits to the centre of our galaxy at 251 km/sec, and our galaxy is moving at 74.3 km/sec/Mpc, which is incredible fast! Everything relates to other things and everything belongs to a system: stars to galaxies, planets to solar systems, people to cities, organs to bodies, cells to organs, bricks to buildings, trees to forests, family members to families, but we tend to see ourselves as absolute individuals.
Despite this fact, our brain thinks we as individuals completely stop when lying down in bed, as it does not recognise the earth’s absolute speed as a direct threat to our individual self preservation. The reality is that we are moving tremendously fast all the time, or is it?…
Taking this fact into account, we could even suggest that reality is being created within our brains, it doesn’t exist anywhere else but in our minds, which decide to take an interpretation of what is going on out there, we could even ask ourselves if there is actually anything going on out there… let’s imagine for a moment that every human being was green-red colour blind (we would always see red as green). Given this example, would red really be green? Would the colour red really exists? Imagine that eventually one person was born without such colour-blindness i.e. she or he would see red as red and green as green. Would red still be green? Would she or he be wrong and everyone else right? Wouldn’t our brains be creating such reality? Doesn’t our brain really create reality? Does reality really exist?
So, what do reality, systems and human brains have to do with feeling stuck? Well, nothing is stuck, we are not stuck, we are constantly moving, we do feel stuck but it may or may not really be happening in reality or like the colour blind example it is our brain asking us to change something within our system or to move to a new system, it is desperately asking us to change, to move, our primitive brain is trying to make us survive through emotions.
Whatever the reason you are feeling stuck, you are being asked to move. So move, run, walk, fly, travel, fight, keep moving until you feel unstuck, until your brain tells you: you have found food, peace, happiness, comfort, confidence or whatever is making you feel this way, until your brain says: you will survive here, within this system. Moving is changing and remember “Wherever you go, there you are.”
Use the neocortex.
Our limbic system which we inherited from our primitive ancestors and which contains all our instincts and basic needs (please see the image below) will always strive in favour of self-preservation, but sometimes it will not be rationally balanced or aligned with our goals, so be ready to use the neocortex to rationalise those emotions triggered by our limbic system. It will make us less animal and more human. We need to analyse and make a list of those emotions making us feel stuck. You can recognise these emotions: anger, fear, distress, joy, disgust, surprise, shame, guilt, interest, contempt.
The neocortex is our most valued tool to get out of stuck-ness, we get stuck by our emotions and by not rationalising, so we must be analytic and plan with anticipation for every emotion holding us back in that loop. When the emotion is triggered by our limbic system, we have to execute what we planned with no excuses in order to not let our primitive instincts decide for us completely and control our lives.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology which focuses on describing the stages of growth in humans using the terms “physiological”, “safety”, “belonging and love”, “esteem”, “self-actualisation” and “self-transcendence” to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through. The lower the level the more prominent the use of our primitive brain, we only step up one level when our life has been fulfilled with the needs contained in the current level we are in.
Whatever we need to do to unstick our lives, it will take some time to accomplish, the time frame will depend on how big the move is. Consistency is the key here, consistently doing something will eventually bring us a desired outcome. The way to create consistency is through habits, we have to create habits for everything we may need to get us out of stuck-ness and persist with them.
The best way to find out what habits we need to create is to analyse the list of emotions we talked earlier. Examples of habits are: Reading a few books daily about topics you need to overcome fears, to help you to plan strategically, analyse, improve social/communication skills, self-improve, to learn specific technical skills and so on. Going to the gym three times per week. Being a better person every minute of your day.
Asking questions to ourselves is a powerful tool that makes us self-aware, every time we ask ourselves a question our brain is open to receiving new information to replace current beliefs. Beliefs are one of those things we must pro-actively create, recreate or transform through thought. By auto-suggestion we can shape our beliefs. Thoughts and consequent beliefs are the foundations of our life.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become beliefs.
Watch your beliefs, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
We become what we think and believe.”
Move constantly, don’t stop, be constantly asking questions to yourself, create habits and preserve with them and you will evolve to the next level of your life, you will become wiser, smarter and much more experienced and ready for the next step. Be glad of feeling stuck it is a unique opportunity to become a new self, to step up to a brand new life, being chosen proactively by you.
Don’t hesitate, stand up for yourself, Don’t you deserve to become your best self? Will you be stopped while life is passing you by? Of course not! So, go ahead and move.
You can follow me on Twitter at @AndreuPifarre.