Geneva Robins and Angela Hoogeveen chat about being stuck! In this podcast episode, we share all the ways you can get moving again. 

Why do you get stuck? What happens when you’re stuck?

It can be so depressing, hopeless, and frustrating to be in an uncomfortable place. Being stuck makes you feel like you can’t move back, forward, sideways, up or down. You feel like you need to be more connected and engaged with the life you want but just can’t seem to get there. 

When you get stuck, your inner critical voice might be yelling at you. It might be very harsh, pushing you to move faster than you can and saying everything you should be doing. 

The main theme of the inner critic is “never enough,” so no matter what, you get yelled at to get moving faster. It’s very damaging. That inner critical voice often makes you more stuck. 

Even though we might think that a kick in the butt will get us moving, it never lasts for long. The inner wise part of us wants to stop the inner violence. Things externally will grind to a halt. Anytime there’s that pushing or pulling or pressure from the inner critic, it is the fastest way to stop everything and get in that really stuck place. 

The Illusion of Safety in Being Stuck

The other side of stuckness is that sometimes it’s a protective thing to try to keep us out of what our ego perceives as danger. The inner critic loves you being stuck. Because if you’re stuck, you’re safe. In its view, if you’re not doing anything new, scary, or vulnerable, then it is happy. But being stuck can get so uncomfortable because we need growth, change and transformation to feel alive. 

Accepting that little tiny bit of emotional risk that comes with doing something new can create the energetic change that can get you unstuck.

How do you get unstuck?

The steps to get out of a stuck place are: soften, relax, get gentle, notice where you are, come back to your body, see what can change, notice a tiny thing you can be grateful for, and then take even the tiniest little sliver of action. Any tiny movement will move you, even if it doesn’t seem like a lot. 

Stop Struggling against being Stuck

The first step out of being stuck is often to stop struggling and get still.  

Noticing where you are is the first step to getting out. It’s uncomfortable to notice the discomfort of the present moment. Nobody wants to do that.

 It’s much easier to numb, but the numbing only pauses, what’s happening, it doesn’t process it, and it doesn’t end up moving you forward. It just is a delay, which can add more pressure on you.

Being stuck in your life is no different than being in a mud puddle. You’ve sunk in up to your knees. And the more you flail, the worse it will be for you. And so the first thing is to stop, get still, and really pay attention to what’s happening in the body. 

Returning to that state of presence, to your breath, and a state of calm will help you get out. Stop, get present, get grounded, see where you are, and then look for the possibilities around you.

Compulsive future-looking doesn’t help you navigate. To get anywhere, you have to know where you are first. 

Gentleness is the key to getting out of a stuck place

The way forward is just loving yourself more and being okay with where you are. Simply being gentle with yourself and loving yourself through it is the key to breaking free. It feels counterintuitive because, growing up, we are often pushed to go forward. There was a belief that you needed a kick in the butt to get unstuck and get you moving forward. 

Simply say to the inner critical voice, “You know what? It’s okay. Yes, I do want to be over there. I want to be doing things I’m not currently doing. But it’s okay. It’s okay. I’m here. I need to accept where I am. And love myself through it and be gentle with myself.” 

You can just lower your expectations of yourself. Then once the pressure of the inner critic stops, there is a kind, loving voice that fills the silence that can give you peace, comfort and guidance. That takes away that stuck feeling, and then moving forward becomes natural.

Being soft and gentle creates real freedom from the inner critic. If the energy keeping you stuck is harsh, then you need the opposite to break free. 

Just soften around all of it, don’t put so much pressure on yourself, and appreciate your life where it is. The more we struggle against where we are, the worse things can feel. 

Reframe your thoughts to get unstuck

Sometimes it’s a thought that can keep you stuck. Reframing how you think about your situation can help you move forward. 

A great app to help improve your mental well-being is Wysa; it’s a little cognitive behavioural therapy app. It’s fantastic for helping you reframe your thoughts. It can take you through a reframing exercise, help with gratitude journalling, and even has some yoga and meditation practices to help you regroup.

All or none thinking can be a contributor to getting stuck. You want to leap immediately from one place to another with no in-between. That rush or pressure creates so much tension that it can halt all forward movement. This type of thinking diminishes even the tiny things that move you forward because it is never enough.

Surrender the details and the plan and let it all go; let it be in the hands of the Divine. Spend some time relaxing, doing Reiki or meditation, reading something inspirational, or even watching people being creative on YouTube. Find ways where you can feed your brain new ways of looking at things. Getting curious about anything moves you forward and can inspire your own creativity. 

Just take a step back and try to look at your life almost as a third party. When you do, you’ll realize how far you have come; you are doing big things. Sometimes you need a minute to take a breath. You can reframe being stuck as just taking a breather, a rest. Maybe you just need a moment. 

Tiny positive actions move you forward

Shifting your thinking to embrace any tiny movement forward can really help. You can’t leap from where you are. But you can make a tiny little change. 

Usually, these tiny incremental changes get us from point A to point B. It’s the little tiny things that we do every day that add up over the long term. 

It’s much better to change the underlying habit than to get the result. Loosening your grip on the results and knowing that the results are baked into the process creates so much ease. So if we can change a tiny little habit to a healthier one, the progress we’re after will appear with time. 

What is some way that you can make even a symbolic movement forward? What’s the next little baby step? Just take that tiny action and then another. And then, when you turn around, you’ll notice that you’ve come a really long way. 

When Things are Beyond your Control…

Even in intensely difficult situations when you don’t know how things will resolve, the principles that can help you are the same. Take tiny moments and breaks to return to your breath; return to the present moment. When the future is very uncertain, the only safe space is the present moment. The present moment can be this little island of relief when everything else is up in the air. 

Doing little tiny kind things for yourself, like taking a shower, making sure that you’re well hydrated, making sure that you’re meditating and reaching out to loved ones, all those little things are enormously important. 

Anything that brings in that little breath of relief and comfort and makes you feel good is a step. Remember, forward is forward; it doesn’t matter how small.

You’ve got this!!

We can go step by step and move away from that stuck place to that place of freedom. The gifts of those stuck moments are that we learn so much when we’re stuck. We need to do the same strategies when we’re in the flow. 

Everything you’re learning is important and will help keep you in the flow once you’re free. You’re ultimately building skills to be in that resilient space. And you won’t be as fearful when you are stuck. You’ll know you can move forward and be in that flow again.



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