Self Help: Why Bother? Nothing Changes. I’m Stuck. How to get Unstuck and get Moving Again
The repetitive buzzing rattled my brain and startled my body.
No – I don’t want to get out of bed! It’s too early, too cold and it’s too much effort to get up…
I can’t be arsed to go to boot-camp!
This is the conversation I had with myself this morning as my alarm went off at 6.15 a.m. Every Monday and Friday I have signed up to go to an exercise boot-camp on my local beach. I’ve been going for a few weeks and now it’s getting harder to get up on boot-camp mornings, simply because I know what is coming and it’s going to hurt!
I have been wrestling with my resistance and apathy, and for a moment I got stuck.
This stuckness can happen just as easily with my writing. My inspiration and creativity just dry up, when I focus on worrying about delivering to other people and trying to be perfect. Also if I spend too much time on it and get too physically sedate, because there is not enough variety or physical action to balance out having my head in my laptop.
Getting stuck can happen when we try to change any habit in our lives, but it’s especially hard when we are trying to change something about our current emotional situation.
Regarding my boot-camp, I want to get fitter and stronger, and my instructor and my group spur me on to do that more than I could on my own.
I did actually get up to go to boot-camp this morning, as I have done every time, even though it was really hard. I found the strength to fight through, get up and go, because deep down I don’t want to let myself down!
Once I was up, my destination was set. I just had to get started…
Afterwards, I am always proud of myself for going, I feel great and I am seeing small but noticeable results. My instructor has informed me that repetition is the key.
I am also rewarded by starting my day on a beautiful sunny beach with my dog and a nice group of women, and I enjoy our banter. I feel that I belong; that I am part of something.
Resistance is apathy.
Apathy is fear, with one basic excuse: the great ‘why bother?’
Why bother? Because I won’t change, my life won’t change, I won’t get thinner, fitter or stronger, I won’t get happy, I won’t learn that new skill, I won’t get the relationship I want. I won’t succeed, so why bother!
When I work with my clients in therapy, I always set them homework. For a few weeks, it doesn’t get done, because the shift has to happen; the shift from relying on someone else to take action to taking action for themselves; they CHOOSE to overcome their resistance.
We all want change; sometimes we are desperate for change, but deep down we fear that we will put in lots of effort and nothing will change!
We can get stuck in this battle between our desire for change, to have new and difference in our lives, and our fear that we won’t change and, even if change does happen, it won’t live up to our expectations.
Change cannot happen without action.
Taking action is the physical demonstration and commitment to our desire.
That doesn’t mean we need to force or control everything to make things happen and or change.
All change actually needs to get things moving again is a small shift from you…
A small act of courage; just like getting out of bed when apathy says ~ Why Bother?
I’m sure many of you have experienced the pain of grief when reality feels almost too much to bear, when a loved one has died, or left, and you can’t imagine how life could ever continue. For a while, you really do want it all to stop changing.
I’ve been there. When you wake up in the morning, you remember the loss you had briefly forgotten when you were asleep and it hits you all over again, anew. However, if you stay too long in bed, hiding from the world, getting up can become nearly impossible.
The pain and sadness just swamps you and completely disables your body.
But grief needs action to heal.
Grief needs crying, talking, shouting, moving, walking in order to be processed through the body over a period of time. If we don’t do these things, the grief just gets stuck in our bodies and we stay locked in shock.
The process of getting stuck and unstuck again is the same even though it may seem that the causing issues vary wildly.
Stuckness is caused by shifting our focus to the worries created by our minds, as one of my clients described
“A swarm of wasps buzzing around the inside of my head, out to all sting my brain”.
These are not real, just ideas that your mind is creating to make sense of the emotional energy present in your body, which you have become afraid of and are trying to escape.
How To Get Unstuck:
1: There is only one way through; moving our attention and awareness back out of our minds and back into our bodies and senses by taking small, conscious, consistent physical actions, movements, or expressions of our feelings.
2: The longer we avoid and we leave it and stay stuck; the more effort, courage and action it will take to get unstuck.
3: Whatever you do, do the opposite of what is creating the stuckness.
Once you begin to physically move and shake things up a little, then the energy in your body can start to move again and, just as a snowball becomes an avalanche, or gravity causes an apple to fall to the ground, it has the momentum to keep going.
Change is inevitable, but sometimes it just needs a little push to get started again…
Worrying about a problem yet not sharing your worries (problems about money, your job, relationships, loss, etc.)?
- Check your basic needs, those which are reality
- Am I hungry? If yes, eat.
- Am I thirsty? If yes, then drink.
- Am I warm or cool enough? Adjust clothing, open a window, etc. to feel comfortable.
- Am I tired? If yes, take a break, or have a nap, get an early night, etc.
o Talk to someone, anyone: share your worry.
o Write in a journal/letter.
o Draw, paint etc. – get free and honest with your expression
o Beat up your bed or a punch-bag.
o Go running or do an exercise class.
o Dance wildly
o Sing loudly in your car/house.
Creative block: can’t write, paint, draw, begin a project, write a proposal?
o Get out of your building, Go outside; get some fresh air.
o Go for a brisk walk (round the block is fine).
o Enjoy a change of scenery – really look at, listen to, smell your new environment.
o Go for a drive somewhere new, so you have to focus.
o Do some stretches/yoga.
o Scribble on some paper – free expression.
Feeling stuck in your job?
o Update and revamp your CV.
o Start looking for other jobs – outside your comfort zone.
o Look at evening classes or education – learn a new skill.
o Get an evening job.
o Take a break and put some distance between you and where you live and work, in order to find a fresh perspective.
o Write down what frustrates you in a journal or a letter to a good friend: be honest!
o Get out of bed.
o Get washed and dressed – you will feel better after doing this.
o Eat and if you can try eat something healthy.
o Go for a walk, get fresh air.
o Make sure you have a daily routine in place.
o Write a journal or talk to someone.
o Go to work, take the kids to school as normal.
o Take one small step at a time – be kind and loving to yourself.
We all get stuck on big and small problems. It’s a horrible feeling, and it can make us feel totally powerless.
Learning to shift stuckness on a day-to-day level stops us getting stuck for a long time on the bigger problems, which can make us ill and depressed – and which needs so much more energy and courage to shift.
Don’t let fear and apathy ruin your day, your achievements, or your life!
Take action – one small step at a time, create a small shift, take action, get physically moving – and change will gather momentum. Before you know it, it will all be different – that I can guarantee!