12 Unexpected Reasons You’re Still Stuck


I’ve never met anyone who set out with the intention of being “stuck”! That’s doesn’t mean there aren’t folks out there with that goal in mind – I just have yet to meet someone like that.

I have, however, encountered plenty of folks who have inadvertently ended up there…stuck, and it’s not a very happy place! I know, I’ve been there too!

Have you ever paused to consider what’s keeping you stuck? There’s always a cause and an effect –something that keeps you from moving forward. Zeroing in on that “thing” is the first step towards freedom. Once you know that, you can begin to makes changes that will allow you to move forward, and  that’s an exciting prospect!

A caveat…you must be willing to be honest with yourself. REALLY honest!

With that in mind, take a look at these reasons you might be stuck:

1. Unforgiveness

Holding on to grudges and resentments does absolutely nothing to the other party. It doesn’t punish them the way you might want it to…even if they are at fault. The only one who suffers is YOU and hanging on tight and nursing your grudge keeps you stuck!

Who are you unwilling to forgive?

2. Regrets

Wishing you’d done something different in the past and replaying that mistake keeps you stuck! In a way, regrets are about you not forgiving yourself. We all make mistakes. Give yourself grace and choose to move forward more intentionally. You can’t move forward until you let go of the past!

What regrets are you hanging onto?

3. Guilt

Wallowing in guilt is also about the past. Guilt is about feeling responsible for doing something wrong to someone else. It’s focused on behavior – you did something bad. It doesn’t matter if the wrong is real or imagined. Guilt can be a contributing factor to depression and it’s tough to move forward when you are in a dark place.

What do you feel guilty about?

4. Shame

Brené Brown defines shame as…“an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.”

Shame is focused on self. Shame is I am bad – I am defective.

These thoughts pop up for all of us occasionally, but if they remain and stay with you all the time, moving forward is tough.

Admitting shame is at work is not easy. It’s often very painful, so seeing the ways shame is at work in your life will serve as a clue. Shame makes you…

  • Defensive
  • Strive for perfection
  • Overly apologetic
  • Assume you are wrong…nearly all the time.
  • Procrastinate

How is shame playing out for you?

5. Clinging To The Familiar

Your comfort zone is, well, comfortable. Yet, moving forward demands that you venture outside your comfort zone. Do something different – something a little uncomfortable. The more comfortable you get with feeling uncomfortable, the more likely you are to escape being stuck.

Where are you clinging to the familiar?

6. Comparing

You are the only one who can do you. You are unique. And your journey is yours…yours alone. It won’t look like anyone else’s journey. Anytime you choose to measure yourself in terms of someone else, you naturally limit yourself.

Comparison is like putting your own life on hold and attempting to step into someone else’s reality. The problem is that attempting to live someone else’s life is impossible! You can only do you!

So, where does comparison creep in?

7. Making Excuses

That’s pretty self-explanatory!

Where are you making excuses? Be honest!

8. Blaming

Making someone else responsible for your own issues is counterproductive and a guarantee that you will remain stuck. As long as you don’t take ownership for your issues, you can’t do anything about those issues. Taking responsibility is your ticket; your way of Breaking free!

Who are you blaming?

9. Lack of Purpose or Vision

It’s tough to get anywhere without a target. It provides direction. Without direction you will wonder aimlessly and go in circles – the very definition of being stuck!

What’s your purpose? Your Vision?

10. Seeking Revenge or Punishment

The energy you are investing in getting back, is energy you aren’t investing in moving yourself forward. Can you really afford to invest your time that way? Wouldn’t it serve you better to develop and grow yourself in positive ways?

Where are you seeking revenge or attempting to punish others…even in little ways?

11. Fear

Your Fear Monster is determined to hold you hostage and as long as you are trapped in his hold, you will continue to be stuck. Escaping your Fear Monster is a process. It begins with identifying the lie your Fear Monster has been telling you, then embracing the love that God has for you – His deep and unconditional love, and finally extending that love to others in the unique way He created you to reflect Him.

Your Fear Monster is persistent. But you will get quicker at wiggling out of his grip with practice.

What’s your Fear Monster’s name? How is it keeping you trapped?

12. The Absence of Hope

There’s not doubt that the world continues to get crazier. There have been a myriad of firsts and wild changes lately. Discouraging events have a way of preoccupying your thoughts and keeping you focused on the negatives. Sadly, all that does is erode hope. It’s actually a form of meditating to dwell on negative thoughts. And what you focus on grows! Remember, God is the source of HOPE!

Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in God, and once again I will praise Him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5 (GNT)

Where have you lost hope?

Your experiences do not define you. They are not your identity!

Ignoring what’s keeping you stuck or attempting to gloss over what’s got you stuck will ultimately keep you stuck! You see, until you make internal changes, you will remain stuck!  Identifying what’s got you stuck is the beginning!

It’s time to get brutally honest with yourself and ask yourself some hard questions:

  • What’s keeping you stuck?
  • What do you REALLY want personally and professionally?
  • What’s being stuck costing you?

With the answers to those questions you can begin to move forward one baby step at a time!

Thriving personally and professionally is next to impossible when you are stuck! Ready to move forward? Why not schedule a 30-minute complimentary consultation! Let’s get to the bottom of what’s holding you back from getting the results you desire in your life and/or work.


© Can Stock Photo / alphaspirit

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.

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