Have you ever felt like your life was on hold?
When we feel trapped by circumstances, it’s near impossible to find our way out of the fence we believe surrounds us. One weary day bleeds into the next until we realize months, or even years, have passed by with no progress. The pain and frustration felt during such times are very real.
I’ve been there. Perhaps you have too. It’s like a car stuck in a rut. The tires spin and spin with no forward motion. Without traction, the vehicle goes nowhere. To pull out of the hole, a different approach is required. Otherwise, the car will remain stuck there indefinitely.
When we feel on hold, it’s beneficial to be open to a new approach rather than assuming we’re stuck at a dead end. That openness can lead to a healthier, more productive state.
The Trap of Waiting
People feel trapped for a variety of reasons. We may be stuck in an unfulfilling career, in debt, or up to our eyeballs in caregiving responsibilities.
Imprisoned by the belief that nothing can be done, we wait for a better job, a financial windfall, or a miraculous recovery. But those answers rarely just show up. Waiting around for something or someone else to break the chains holding us back is useless.
A never-ending hold pattern has long-term consequences. Our lives drift away while we wait. Those days spent on hold can never be recovered. We may tell ourselves we can make up for lost time once a better day arrives. But that’s simply not the case.
When we believe fate has stuck us in a wretched reality from which we cannot escape, this is dangerous territory, my friend. It pays to re-evaluate our stuck-ness. What was once the right thing to do may no longer be the best alternative.
Assess the Situation
Every situation is certainly different. We all face acute events requiring our full attention for a short period of time. But when it comes to long-term situations, we can easily fall into a trap of thinking we have to keep things as they are.
Caught up in the midst of those difficulties, we’re blinded to opportunities offering a way forward. Numerous solutions may exist, but we just can’t see them from our vantage point.
If you’re in a holding pattern, here are some questions that may help bring clarity and materialize a solution. Take some time to brainstorm or talk them over with a friend.
- Why are you waiting? Is it out of duty? Fear? Doubt?
- Why do you feel you have no other choice but to stay stuck?
- Are you afraid to make changes because you’ll face conflict or hurt someone’s feelings? What’s the worst thing that could happen? What’s the best thing that could happen?
- What’s one step you could take today to move in a positive direction?
- Where could you seek help? What friends, coaches, mentors, relatives, or others could you reach out to? Could you benefit from professional help?
Once we realize we are responsible for how we respond to circumstances, we understand we are the only ones who can make positive change happen.
You’ve been given one beautiful, amazing life full of opportunities. If you currently feel like your life is on hold, know there is hope. There is a way, possibly many ways, to move forward. You don’t have to spend precious days waiting any longer. You can take action today.
If you’ve ever experienced a time when you felt your life was on hold, what helped you move forward? Share in the comments below.