The One Thing to do When You’re Feeling Stuck

Nikki Novo_Hot to get unstuck

Life is never completely smooth all the time. It’s not meant to be. There are times when we’re forced into change, causing discomfort and chaos. Ideally, we flow from the old, to some discomfort, and ultimately into the new with grace.

 But what happens in between the old and the new is that, at times, we get stuck. We get stuck in a place of mourning the old and fearing the new. This temporary destination is almost always expected, but the forces of the universe don’t intend that we stay too long.

 Sometimes we can’t help it. Getting stuck in between the old and the new can be more comfortable – more soothing — than braving the unknown. It’s easier to pitch a tent in this place than to take action towards the life we’re meant to be living. When we hang out in this place of fear long enough, becomes our new. It becomes comfortable.

 If we can wake up, look around, and are able to bring to mind the choices that got us here, we’re way on our way to getting unstuck. Acknowledging the choices that led us to where we are is empowering. Even if the choices were not so great. Once we’re able to connect the dots from choices to how they manifested in our lives, we receive the validation that we do have a say… that what he does mater… what we say and think becomes real.

 Getting unstuck is all about not feeling bad for ourselves. Usually, we’re quick to think that we need something to get unstuck: more money, a partner, more education, a new job. Once we have that, then we’ll be unstuck. Not true. Freedom is in the willingness to see our own power.

 With that knowing, we’ll never feel the need to pity ourselves. We’ll never doubt our abilities.

 We’ve each been given the power to choose, every day and every moment. Choice of thought. Choice of word. Choice of action. And in that strength, we become unstuck.

What to do When You Hate Your Job but You Can’t Quit

i hate my job

The Sunday Night Blues is a real thing. Seriously, a Monster.com poll found that 78 percent of respondents have experienced the end-of-weekend sadness, and 47 percent claimed it was really bad.

Honestly, that sucks. We should love what we do Monday through Friday, but the reality is sometimes we don’t even know what it is we love. So even if we wanted to change our situation, we wouldn’t know where to look.

On the flip side, we know where we want to go, but financially we just can’t make the move yet. I remember when I started to feel the itch to leave my first magazine job. I had hit a ceiling, and it just wasn’t fulfilling anymore. But I also couldn’t leave. I had no idea where I would go and I need cash money to pay my bills.

So what I decided to do was pick up freelance work on the side in order to build a steady stream of work that could help me the get the F out. Thankfully, I was able to get a lot of work, but that also meant working late at night and on weekends while I still worked a full-time job. It was rough. After a few months of working like a mad woman, I scored enough steady freelance work where I was able to leave my full-time job sans the anxiety.

Every situation is different, but I do have some advice for you, work hater, because I’ve been there more times than I’d like to admit. If you’re going to be “stuck” at your current place of hire, you might as well make the best of it, and here’s how you can do that.

1.     Find the Gratitude

I know it’s hard to find the good in your shitty situation, but there is some good. Right now you’re focusing on the bad. And the truth is, there probably is a lot of bad, but tell me about the good. Where is the silver lining? There are always little cubbies of good. Perhaps you love your coworkers? Perhaps the gig gives you enough money to pay for your book habit? Whatever it may be, find it, and then keep your focus there. Whenever you see your find wandering to the negative, think of the good it brings you.

When I was an editor at DailyCandy.com, I already knew I wanted to help women in some sort of way. I knew I wasn’t going to be an editor forever; I just didn’t know what my next step was. Instead of getting caught up in “where am I going” and “what am I doing,” I would think of all the people I was helping by writing about their new business. I would interview locals who were really passionate about something and ultimately made it their job. The article I wrote would give them exposure, bring them new clients, and ultimately fueled their passion. That made me happy. Above the surface, I knew it didn’t look like I was doing much more than writing about rompers, cupcakes, and the best happy hour spots, but I knew the truth. Find the things you’re thankful for in your current position, and keep your eye there will you find Plan B.

2.     What’s the Lesson?

Many times we think that something outside of us needs to change in order to be happier. I write about this often. But in every challenge, there is a lesson waiting to be learned. There is always an opportunity for growth.

Instead of jumping to the next thing, ask yourself, “how can you learn from this situation?” Maybe you’re really over you boss because he’s disrespectful and doesn’t see your value. Chances are this is a pattern in your life. Instead of simply running away, how can you triumph? Can you start being clear about what you need? Can you begin to stand up for yourself? Can you value yourself more?

Or maybe your coworkers are drama, drama, drama. How can you not get involved in that? Can you be completely authentic, and only speak truth?

This hard time can be a really great time to learn and grow. The best part? Once you learn the lesson, the next step will show itself.

3.     Start Exploring

If you can’t leave your job because you don’t know where to go, this is the time when you need to explore. Start taking classes, reading books, meeting new friends. Actively look for that thing that makes you happy. Start creating. Start expressing. You have of a steady income right now, which means you have the luxury to create without feeling like it needs to make you money asap. There’s nothing like no money in the bank to kill your creativity. Use this time wisely, says your wise 30-something friend.

If you already have your side hustle on, run like the wind! That’s what my husband always tells me. It’s cheesy, I know, but it’s true. What he means is… just go! This is your time to kill it!

I know your biggest concern is time, but believe me, you can make it. And yes, it will suck, but spending all your time on your side hustle is an investment in yourself. It won’t always be like this. You will have a life again. But there are times in our lives where we need to buckle down, put blinders on, and go. You’ll come out of it soon, and the light will look brighter than ever.

And no excuses, okay? You’re talking to the girl who would wake up at 4:30am in the morning, every morning for four months to write a book before her nine-month-old would wake up. I’m sorry, I don’t feel bad for you, but that’s only because I love you and believe in you. Blinders.

If you want to get deeper in the topic, check out my YouTube video. 

What to do When You Can't Seem to Change

how to break bad habits

When every day begins to feel like yesterday, it’s time for a change. Recognizing that we need to make a change is the easy part. And what’s even easier is to think the change we need is something outside of ourselves: a new job, a new city, a new relationship, a new bank account. When the truth is, the shift needs to happen inside us first.

Cool. We can get that. I get it: change myself. I can vibe with that. But as I begin to bring my shadows into the light, it’s as if I begin to lose my breath. They are too big. Too strong. They’ve been a part of me for too long. Can we really part?

The desire to break free of old habits is a romantic gesture. We long for better days… days where we can be disciplined and healed. But what happens between the desire to break free and the actual doing of breaking free? We become hoarders.

We only have a certain amount of waking moments in the day. Depending on how much we sleep, those hours of consciousness are our moments to create. We fill our minds and our vibration with thoughts and feelings that later create our world.

Patterns and habits that are no longer serving us, involve negative thoughts. The time that we do have to create our lives is at capacity with old, automatic thoughts, which is why life feels constrained. It’s why I felt out of breath and overburdened when I knew something needed to change.

We are frustrated by not seeing change, by not seeing a new day, because we are unwilling to clean house. What we might do is take in a bunch of new positive info. Maybe some new classes. New self-help books. A new group coaching class. A new church. And while all of that is great, if there is no room in your conscious moments for the new it just won’t stick.

I have this rule where if I see that I’m running out of hangers in my closet, it’s time to see what clothes I can give away. I don’t need a new closet or a new storage system. I need to make space for the new clothes.

The same goes for us. When we’re trying to see something different than what yesterday was, we need to make room. We need to hold a strong guard of the thoughts that cross our mind throughout the day. Anything old that is taking up space, we must ask it to leave.  All that time we spend worry needs to be eliminated. It just can’t happen anymore. Instead of worrying, what can we create? How can we move forward? How can we use our time in a way that honors our desires?

We must make the choice to break free. We must be willing to stop indulging in those moments of panic, worry, and distress. Instead, occupy the moments with active positivity that is aligned with your truth. Create the space for change.

What to do With Worry and Fear

how to get over fear

Bad habits have a way of sticking. Like the habit of constantly falling back into fear, lack, worry, stress. It’s so easy to go there. It almost feels comfortable.

But what if for once we would make something out of it? What if would take that energy that has no real meaning or direction and turn it into something with purpose? What if we turn it into art?

Worry, stress, fear will continue to linger unless you and just make more of the same until you tell it, it has another purpose. Tell the pain, it was a moment that can now heal others. Tell the worry, it was an opportunity for growth. Tell the fear, it was time you discovered courage.

Give it purpose. Give it a name. Transform it into art.

How to Keep the Faith When Shit Ain’t Working

how to keep the faith

Grab the audio version of this blog post above.

I can see the future. Well, at least, my own future. Towards the end of last year, as I was coming out of the new mommy haze, I began to brightly see what the road could like for me if I could just stay on course.

Those visions we have while daydreaming seem so real. It’s like we’re already there. That’s why wandering off to fantasy world was one of my favorite pastimes as a kid, especially during math class.

Well guess what, if our mind can see it, if our hearts can believe, and if our souls can feel it…the vision is real. Meaning, if you put blinders on and focus on that vision, you will get there.

Ok, awesome. Most of us know that right? Get clear on what we want and then go after it. No brainer.  But what about the time in between? What about the times when we’re crossing the desert to get to the promise land and nothing seems to be working out? Then what?

This is when faith comes in. I love that word. It’s full of so much hope, strength, and self-discipline. At times when I would hear that word, it sounded like a virtue that was above me. In the past, I’ve felt too weak to have faith. I mostly lacked the self-discipline required to wake up every day and believe, although everything around me was telling me not to.

But you know what I learned? Faith is not above us. Faith is a choice we’re all invited to make. And whether we know it or not, we each do have faith. Because every day we close our eyes to go to bed and agree to wake up the next morning, we’re choosing to have faith that tomorrow will be another day filled with life. We are strong enough to have faith, because we already have it inside of us — even if it’s really small, it’s there.

how to keep the faith_1

The thing about being in the desert is the disappointment we feel when we get there. When we arrive, we almost feel embarrassed. It’s similar to when we open up our heart to someone only to see them break it. We feel stupid for believing in them. How could we have put our guard down, let them in, and then allow them to disappoint us? The same goes for the dreams we try to pursue.

What we forget is that many times the desert is inevitable. We were so excited to hit the road and get on our journey that we didn’t realize we forgot a few things. The desert brings those missing resources to light. The shitty times when nothing seems to be working is simply telling us what we need for the journey and what we don’t need. The drought of that space is not a sign that our vision wasn’t real. It’s simply a conversation the universe is trying to have with us. It wants to tell us what we really need to get to where we want to go. It tells us the skills we need, the resources we need, the beliefs we need, and the strength we need. The desert is bootcamp for dreams. The desert is where we get naked. The desert is growth.

If we can understand that this time — a time that feels like abandonment — is part of the process, faith will follow and carry us through. Embarrassment and failure will only come if you turn around and retreat to the old person you were when you started. Even if the road doesn’t take you exactly where you thought you were going, you will cross that desert and come out anew. And after all, we only start a journey when we’re ready to evolve into the next level of self. That’s the vision.

keeping the faith