Right now, right this very moment, we are in the perfect position to make great things happen for us. Despite being in the middle of a global pandemic, these times are rife with the opportunity to build or re-build ourselves.
What is the one thing we all have in common at this moment in time? Whether we’re well off or broke, we all have nothing to lose because nothing is promised in this time of uncertainty. Whether you’re broke and stuck in the house or working from home. Or even if you have a ton of money in your bank account, remaining stuck or getting complacent is NOT an option. The garden can be taken by the weeds in the blink of an eye.
We have to “get it out the mud.”
“Gettin’ it out the mud” means rolling up our sleeves and getting to work. It means making something out of nothing.
With that being said, it’s important that you audit yourself. What’s keeping you stuck? Why is that when you take 4 steps forward, you’re pushed back 8 steps? Is there something you’re missing? What weaknesses have this moment in time left exposed?
I’ve compiled 12 reasons why you remain stuck.
1-You Think Things Should Be Easier
“Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.” — Jim Rohn
Wishing life was easy in adulthood stems from receiving participation trophies in childhood. You were raised in a bubble that shielded you from the essential experience of crushing defeat. Failure is fodder for you to tap into true growth.
Never wish for an easy life. When you wish for an easy life, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You want life to be hard. During the hard times, you activate the divine, human will to thrive. It’s here you find untapped potential that you’ve never had access to before. This is the main underpinning of logotherapy.
Logotherapy was developed by psychiatrist and neurologist, Viktor Frankl. It’s a concept predicated on the fact that the primary motivating force of an individual is to find meaning in life.
Victor Frankl says:
“As each situation in life represents a challenge to man and presents a problem for him to solve, the question of the meaning of life may actually be reversed. Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible. Thus, logotherapy sees in responsibleness the very essence of human existence.” — Man’s Search For Meaning
Logotherapy is based on three main tenets:
- Our main motivation in life is to find meaning.
- Life has meaning under all circumstances even the direst, terrible, miserable ones.
- We have the freedom to find purpose in what we do, what we experience as well as the perspective we take when faced with the unchangeable circumstances of suffering.
Victor Frankl cautioned against barriers of humanity’s journey for purpose in life. Excessive wealth, materialism, and hedonism are just some of the barriers to finding meaning in life.
You think things should be easier but in actuality, if they were, you would be robbed of finding deep, true purpose in life that only hardship can reveal.
What happens when you’ve made it through those rough patches and found your purpose? When you’ve hit your stride, leaving behind circumstances that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, it’s easy to feel guilt. I should know. I’m born and raised in The Bronx where it gets REAL.
I’ve moved away 5 years ago. Many of the people I’ve known, including close friends, have died from health conditions, have been murdered and some are even in prison.
Ducking the graveyards and prison cells didn’t prove challenging for me because I’ve always had proper discernment. This is not something many who are where I’m from are blessed to have. But sometimes when I reflect on how good my life is now, I feel guilty.
This level of guilt can be like ice under your wheels. You lose traction ruminating over the fact that things could’ve gotten ugly and you’ve just managed to escape. You also think about the people you’ve “left behind.”
Shake it off. Everyone makes their own decisions and you have to make the decision to evolve into your God-given potential.
3-Comparison To Others
When you compare yourself to others, you rob yourself of so much potential. You also put yourself in a position to be at odds with others around you, and for what? You don’t know what they had to do to get what they have.
Referring back to Victor Frankl he has this to say about comparison:
“To compare yourself with anyone else is to do an injustice either to yourself or to the other person. […] For everyone has a different kind of start. But the person whose start was more difficult, whose fate was less kind, can be credited with the greater personal achievement, other things being equal. Since, however, all aspects of the situation imposed by fate can never be assessed, there is simply no basis and no standard for a comparison of achievements.” — The Doctor & The Soul: From Psychotherapy To Logotherapy
You remain stuck in this regard because you’re so busy watching what others have. You lose focus on creating a fruitful life of your own. This is especially applicable to the age of voyeurism in which we live in via social media. Many people post their highlights while you compare them to your lows.
I spoke with a young lady the other day who openly admitted that this pandemic has motivated her to pursue success in her chosen endeavor, not because she has more time or there’s some semblance of pause but because she sees so many people on “equal ground of uncertainty” as herself. As sick as that sounds, it’s a testament to how much we watch and compare our wins and losses to others. We then let that dictate whether we make moves of our own or not.
Stop comparing yourself to others. Be a horse with blinders. Put your head down and work your ass off.
4-Sharing Your Plans With Others
Your friends and family don’t want you to succeed. There, I said it. As a matter of fact, they want you to fail so that it makes them feel better about their own mediocrity. When you reveal your grand plans of success, you remind them of what they’re not doing and should be doing.
Keep your plans to yourself. Treat them as if they were your children. Protect your plans. Nurture them. Don’t let anyone near them who can be potentially detrimental to their health and well-being.
You get excited about your goals, share them with your friends and family only to be left hearing crickets. Or they might even poison drip you with “well-meaning advice” to derail you.
If you want to remain stuck, suck the life out of your potential by sharing your aspirations with people who lack aspirations of their own.
5-Lack Of Persistence
“Persistence with diligence for excellence.” — David Annakie
Some of you new writers on here give up before you even get started. It’s sad because you’re good at what you do. Maybe even talented. But we’ll never know what you’re capable of producing because you’ve given up in your mind and actions way too soon.
You publish a few crappy posts, they don’t get curated and you have a mental break down, why? Is it something that everyone else is missing? Nope.
Unfortunately, you have to work at your craft. You have to get better. This goes for anyone trying to accomplish anything at all. If you want to accomplish your goals, there’s a cost. It’s content and time. And most people don’t want to pay the cost.
You remain stuck because you have no persistence. Minor setbacks “trigger” you and send you into a spiral of blame and complaining.
All you have to do is literally keep going. You’ll find that success favors those people who never give up.
Sure, you can laugh at this cliche piece of advice. But the reason so many of us repeat it ad infinitum is that it’s true. How are you going to get anywhere if you don’t move your ass?
6-Complaining About Life Being Unfair
As I was writing the above subheading I vaguely recall a scene from “House Of Cards” where Frank Underwood calmly says to a screaming bum:
“No one can hear you.”
This is how I think about people who complain that life isn’t fair. They’re on mute, no one can hear them. At all.
The only people willing to listen to your loser complaints, are your loser friends and your loser family members who share the same loser mindset as you. And guess what? They’re happy you’re complaining. It’s music to their ears.
I’m not trying to be mean. But the sooner you embrace that concept is the sooner you pull yourself free from remaining stuck in situations you have no business being in.
I use to be a complainer. I use to complain that the system is unfair towards black men. That I was set up for failure the moment I was born in the hood. I latched onto every sorry ass narrative to justify my loser mentality. Eventually, I discovered that I’m entitled and that I had much more to be thankful for than I thought.
As I got on my own two feet I noticed something strange. In retrospect, despite the fact that I had nothing to complain about, I found MORE things to complain about. I formed an identity around complaining! I literally looked for things to complain about. Searching for the next injustice to wrap my emotions around, I wasted vital mental resources.
No, the world isn’t “fair.” So what are you going to do about it? I hate when people take on a defeatist attitude. It makes me cringe. And I’m pretty sure that second-hand embarrassment repulses your blessings in the form of opportunity.
The way I see it, if the world is as screwed up as you think it is, if it is as unfair as you say it is, you have NOTHING to lose and everything to gain by pushing forward anyway.
Understand this point above all, NO ONE is coming to save you. Everyone is only concerned with themselves until you come to the table with something other than your emotional baggage of sob stories and complaints.
If no one will offer you a seat at the table, build your own and eat there.
What you say to yourself repeatedly bears the fruit of like kind. In other words, when you say things that are damaging, negative, discouraging, you reap the frequency of those words through physical manifestation.
When you engage in low vibrational mental chatter you end up conjuring those intentions in real life. This is called self-serving bias.
The subconscious mind is one of the most powerful human forces on this planet. Whatever you tell it, it takes as true, whether it’s actually true or not. You can tell yourself that you’re a worthless POS and despite that not being true, you’ll manifest that within your behavior.
When you tell yourself that you’re never going to amount to anything, your subconscious mind accepts that as truth and soon after you display behaviors that align with that frequency.
On the flip side, when you water your subconscious mind with positive, edifying self-talk, your life begins to take on the color of your words. You begin to think, talk, walk, and behave like a champion. Everything that you’re deserving. of will unfold before you over time. All you have to do is tell yourself that you are worth it.
Imagine trying to be the best you can be only to tell yourself that you’re not the best and you never will be the best. Your subconscious mind will believe that and act on it.
This is one of the things that hold you back. Audit your mental chatter. Take inventory of the words that flow through your consciousness and eliminate any language that’s not conducive to your success.
I talk about the power of self-talk in the article below to give you perspective on why internal dialogue must be well-managed for success:
8-People In Your Social Circle
“Birds of a feather flock together.”
I know. That idiom is tired and played out by now but it’s true. You’re a reflection of the people you spend the most time with. The people you associate with can either make you or break you.
Do the people in your social circle encourage you or discourage you? What are they about? Are they losers? Do they inspire you to continuously reach for a better version of yourself?
Is your social circle comprised of negative Nancy’s and No-getter Neds? Well if it is, you might be getting held back by them. You’re the average of these people. And if you want to get unstuck, you need to drop the dead weight. There are no “buts” about it. Cut them loose and never look back. Your mental, emotional, and spiritual health is at stake.
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”-Brian Tracy
Complacency is death. It’s stagnation. Nothing grows there, certainly not your talents and skills. When you avoid discomfort you’re giving up huge amounts of opportunity. Earlier I said not to wish your life was easier. Now I’m telling you to purposely put yourself in difficult, uncomfortable positions in order for you to grow.
When I was a teenager until well into my 20s, I was quiet, shy, introverted. But at some point, I realized that those traits were standing in the way of the things that I wanted to achieve. I wanted to be able to master my ability to interact with people in order to “move up” in life.
I ended up taking a job that heavily relied on public speaking and community engagement. Scared out my mind, I adapted to the role. I learned how to articulate myself in many different ways while gaining various opportunities that echo into my success til this day.
One day you’re going to regret staying in your comfort zone. You can easily change this trajectory by making the decision, right now, to go out of your way to place yourself in tough situations that force you to grow.
10-Caring What Others Think
You have so many eyes on you nowadays that it feels like you’re paralyzed by the gaze of the masses. But in reality, it’s only a few friends and family members who own much of the real estate of your self-confidence which is wrapped up in their opinions of you.
Here are two reasons to stop caring about what anybody thinks, including your parents:
- If you stay on this path, you’ll end up resenting them because you never did what you truly wanted. You wasted your life clamoring for their approval.
- They have no clue what you truly want therefore they have no context whatsoever.
I know many people who want to start a blog, a YouTube channel, an online business, a podcast but don’t because they’re afraid of what other people might think. The longer you live, the more you’re going to realize that it’s ridiculous to worry about other people’s opinions of you.
You’re only going to end up wasting your life and when you’re on your death bed at 90 years old, you’re going to lay there bitter, resentful filled with so many regrets.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” — H.P. Lovecraft
Fear. This topic makes its way into every article having to do with self-development and for good reason. Fear HAS to be conquered in order to break out of stagnation.
Studies show that in order for fear to be conquered, we have to face it. We have to become desensitized to anything that may trigger fear. Allow me to present to you a scenario that’ll help us understand fear. I call it “The Cave Of Horrors.”
The Cave Of Horrors
Those of us who have children know that they have a deep-rooted fear of the unknown. They’re wired to be anxious in the face of anything that is not familiar.
Imagine that you’re a child being taken into a cave of horrors in some sort of amusement park by your father. It’s one of those events that practically come to life as you enter, attempting to scare the ever-loving crap out of you.
Now as you’re walking through this cave you see and hear all sorts of things: bats flying around your head, skeletons jumping out at you, ghosts tapping you on your shoulder. You’re terrified.
You continue on through the cave and murderous looking clowns jump out at you, monsters with beastly teeth swipe at you. It’s horrible. Absolutely horrible.
This goes on and on until you come out at the other side of the cave. Needless to say, by then you need a change of underwear.
Your father, being the stoic that he is, decides to take you to the cave for another trip through the mind-numbing horror show the following day. He takes you for a third, fourth, fifth trip and the more you frequent this cave, the less afraid you become. In fact, it’s fun now!
After the millionth time visiting this cave, you’re no longer amused by your own fear.
Your father arranges to bring you to the cave of nightmares during the daylight hours while it isn’t running. He takes you on a little tour behind the scenes.
He shows you the murderous clown standing in the corner, motionless. You see the machine that makes all the scary sounds. He takes you to see the fearful apparition that tapped you on your shoulder, which turned out to be an actor.
You’re shown the laser sensor that, when tripped, triggers all of the scary sounds. You’re shown all of the inner workings of the caves’ scary contraptions which are predicated on being triggered by mechanical devices.
This is precisely how fear works. The world is that scary cave of nightmares equipped with all of the seemingly scary ghosts, ghouls, monsters, clowns, and noises. But what you don’t know is that these are all made up. They don’t exist. They only have as much power over you as you’ll allow.
These fears are mechanically triggered and have no bearing in reality.
12-Identification With Misery
“You can either be a host to God, or a hostage to your ego. It’s your call.” — Wayne Dyer
You identify with being miserable. Any Good Samaritan who attempts to pull you out of your rut is met with relentless hostility. It’s easier for you to remain miserable than it is to work toward becoming happy and productive.
Ego identification with misery, mediocrity, and failure is at the root of being stuck in a rut. It’s normal. Many people pride themselves on being the underdog, the have nots. But why would you want to be normal? Why would you want to be common amongst the common? You only have one life. So why waste it living under a black cloud of angst?
Seeing that you’re ego identified with misery, mediocrity and failure is half the battle. The other half is taking the tenacious initiative to work toward the life you want to live.
Identifying with victimhood will get you nowhere. Being a defeatist is selling yourself short. You’re capable of being more than what you currently are.
In the video below, I break down the mechanics of ego identification of misery and how to deal with it:
All it takes is a comprehensive audit to find the weak links within our lives. Once we find them we get rid of or strengthen them. Simple as that.
But first, it takes accountability. If you’re not willing to be accountable for the contents of your life and the direction it’s going in, then where do you think you’re headed, if anywhere at all?
An Overview Of Victor Frankl’s Logotherapy: https://www.verywellmind.com/an-overview-of-victor-frankl-s-logotherapy-4159308
Ego Identification: https://lochkelly.org/suffering-from-ego-identification/
From Logotherapy to Meaning-Centered Counseling and Therapy: http://www.drpaulwong.com/documents/HQM2-chapter28.pdf