Erica Chats: Feeling Stuck?

Photograph by Nicole Faby

If you find yourself facing a “stuck” phase in your professional or personal life, you aren’t alone. It’s a common experience that many people face at some point, so don’t get discouraged. While feeling stuck can be frustrating and challenging, it also presents an opportunity to reassess your goals, make changes, and grow.

I’ve been there, and I’ve learned some great strategies to help work your way through when you feel stuck. Give them a try, and get ready for career and personal growth.

1. Reflect on your values and goals: Take some time to reflect on what truly matters to you. What are your core values? What are your long-term goals? When you take all the busy stuff away, what is it that you really want for yourself?

Finding the answers may take some time. Journaling your thoughts can help. Once you have clarity, it helps guide you in making decisions that align with those values and goals.

2. Identify areas for growth: Think about the areas in your career and life where you feel stuck. Is it a lack of challenge in your current job? Are you feeling unfulfilled in your personal life?

When you identify specific areas for growth, you can take targeted actions to address them and move forward. I, for example, like to be in rooms where decisions are being made, so I started being more present in planning meetings and found increased fulfillment.

3. Seek new opportunities: If you feel stuck in your current job, consider seeking out new opportunities within your current company or in the job market. This could involve taking on new projects, seeking a promotion, or exploring a career change altogether. By embracing new opportunities, you can open new possibilities for growth and development.

However, remember the grass is not always greener on the other side. Sometimes opening our minds and hearts to what’s already in front of us can make a big difference, too.

4. Invest in learning and development: Continuous learning is essential for personal and professional growth. I never want to stop learning! Look for opportunities to expand your skills and knowledge through workshops, courses, certifications, or online learning.

Investing in your own development can not only increase your value as an employee, but also provide a sense of accomplishment.

Learning to fly is a personal growth opportunity on my to-do list. Will I use it for work purposes? Who knows, but it’s a personal accomplishment that can start many future conversations.

Forging connections: Erica with partners on the set of CBS 17’s My Carolina

5. Network: Seeking mentorship can give you the support and guidance you need to get unstuck. Connect with people in your industry who can offer advice, share their experiences, and provide insight. A mentor can also provide a different perspective and help you navigate challenges.

Something I read years ago: Surround yourself with the type of person you want to be, and learn from them. Find people who embody your goals, and aim to follow their example.

6. Take on new challenges: Look for opportunities to take on projects that push you out of your comfort zone, expand your skills, and provide a sense of accomplishment. Stepping outside of your usual routine can bring renewed energy and motivation to your work and life.

Ignore imposter syndrome, another sneaky symptom many of us experience from time to time. You have many hidden talents that you have yet to discover, but you have to challenge yourself to let them shine.

7. Focus on personal well-being: Sometimes the stuck feeling is a sign you need to focus on yourself. Take care of your physical and mental health, practice self-care, and find ways to reduce stress. When you feel balanced and healthy, you’re better equipped to handle challenges and pursue growth opportunities.

One of the first steps I take when I feel stuck is making time every day to focus on my own happiness. I get my nails done, catch up on reading, or check something off my personal growth checklist. After all, who is going to show up for you if you don’t make time to show up for yourself?

8. Set clear intentions: You can’t make changes without a clear plan. Define specific goals and use them to create an action plan. Make a vision board — and put it up where you can see it!

Consistent, focused steps — even if they are small — will help keep you moving forward. Promise yourself you will mark off a certain number of steps per week/month. I recently started with a list of my old bios and websites that needed updating. One by one, I completed them and felt proud to finish these overdue tasks.

9. Embrace failure and learn from it: Failure is a natural part of growth and development. I just saw this on social: “Successful people FAIL more than most people TRY, so keep going!” Instead of fearing failure, look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

10. Think positively: Filling your mind with gratitude and positivity can help shift your perspective and get you out of a mental rut. I know that seems like something every self-help book says, but it’s true. Focus on the things in your life that you’re grateful for, and practice positive affirmations to reinforce a mindset of growth and abundance. Not only will it help you, but others will see that positive mindset. It’s contagious!

Remember that feeling stuck happens to all of us — even when you love your job and life. It’s a temporary state, and it’s within your power to take positive steps forward. I’m excited for the growth ahead for you! Keep me posted and share your journey @EricaDeLong

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