During one of the many times I ponder things, I wondered why—how—so many people become stuck in their lives,
never seeming to move forward, never seeming to get ahead…me included. Then I took a closer look at myself—something I try to do often. And here is what I have come up with. It basically boils down to these three things:
- Too many of us are stuck because we are too scared to leave our comfort zone. We are too scared to try something new: a new job, friend, man, car, house, city, profession, food, doctor, fitness routine, business…whatever. So we operate within a self-imposed bubble, hoping, wishing, and praying that our relief, miracle, or success will come to us, within the safety and ease of our tight bubble. I had to picture it like this: I’m surrounded by what’s familiar, what’s comfortable—physically, mentally, and emotionally. All that I currently have, and all that I currently am, and all that I currently do, will help me
maintain my current status. It won’t help me grow. It won’t help me reach what I want. I realized that I had to shake myself up and not be so comfortable. I needed to get scared of trying something new, and do it anyway. I needed to take risks. Risks are uncomfortable and at the same time, they are necessary in order to become unstuck. So I asked myself, “Joy, do you want to be comfortable and stay the same (or even worse–go backwards), or do you want to shake things up a bit, grow into a better life that you can enjoy even more?”
- Too many of us are stuck because we have some of the worst habits. Too many of us eat food from too many unhealthy fast food places and rarely walk any further than the front door to the bathroom. Too many of us have bad money habits. We have convinced ourselves that we, our mommas, our children, and our third cousins NEED all the latest gadgets so we go out and buy these things and turn around and can’t pay the bills. Too many of us get behind on the rent and light bill because we’re wearing the rent on our feet in the form of the cutest red bottoms, and wearing the light bill sewn on our heads in the form of the prettiest 30 inch East Indian hair. We say we want to make more money, but instead of picking up a book, attending a workshop, or jumping on a teleseminar that would teach us how to earn more, some of us would rather hang out at the club…too busy “turnin’ up.” Stay turnt up if you want to and you will mess around and stay broke. My worst habit was in not keeping track of my money. I would make it, then I would spend it. I’d find out later how much I spent. Money was slipping away from me and I had no clue where it was going. I decided to FINALLY track my spending. I have been consistently tracking for a few months now, and I cannot not tell you just how empowered I feel. I feel so much more in control of my life and my future just by that one simple act.
- Too many of us are stuck because we are ignorant. We don’t know that we don’t know. Sometimes we don’t know because we haven’t been exposed to certain people or things. Sometimes we don’t know because we are caught up in our own self-righteousness and self-centeredness. And sometimes we don’t know just because we think we already know every darn thang (that’s being stuck on stupid). If you are trying to do something that you have never done before, the intelligent thing to do would be to learn how to do it. If you are stuck in your position at work and want a promotion, learn what you need to do to get that promotion. Get more skills. Get more training. Don’t think because you have been there for 20 years that longevity alone will get you promoted. It won’t. Or, if you feel that maybe you’re missing something in your new role as wife, seek out other wives who are in successful marriages and see if they would be willing to speak with you. Or, get a book about relationships and marriage to see what you may be missing. If you have an older married couple available to you, observe them to see how they interact and maybe get some sage advice from them.
Whether it’s your comfort zone, bad habits, or just plain ignorance that keeps you stuck in a place you don’t want to be, figure out what it is so you can finally get on the path to living the life you want.