By Felicity Dineen, LCPC
Have you ever had the thought, “I feel stuck”? If you haven’t, consider yourself lucky. This is a very familiar and common feeling for a lot of people. Whether it be in a relationship, a job, a city, or any other situation, feeling stuck can happen at any point in one’s life. Many times this feeling is accompanied by thoughts such as, “Oh well, there’s nothing I can do about it, I may as well accept it” or “Is anyone really totally happy anyway?” Well the truth is, yes there is something you can do about it but your brain is tricking you into believing you can’t.
There are many reasons people remain in jobs that they hate or relationships that they aren’t satisfied in. One of the most common reasons is that people like to feel comfortable and enjoy what is familiar to them. The thought of quitting that job or breaking up with that person brings a parade of uncomfortable thoughts and uncertainty. For most people, discomfort and uncertainty are terrifying. In the face of uncertainty our brain takes us on a wild ride that could look something like this:
“What if I quit my job and I never find a new one?”
“What if I get a new job and I am terrible at it and get fired?”
“What if I break up with my boyfriend/girlfriend and end up alone forever?”
Our brain is tricking us into believing that it is better to stay stuck in a mediocre situation rather then take the leap into discomfort and uncertainty. The truth is, every day we wake up is full of uncertainty. There is uncertainty right now as you’re reading this. We deal with uncertainty whether we realize it or not, and there is no escaping it.
One of the most exciting and scary parts of life is that there are no guarantees and the most well made plans could be unraveled at any moment. However, this unraveling could open the door to opportunities that were never even considered, leading to people, places, or experiences we didn’t know were waiting.
I encourage you to get uncomfortable, acknowledge those “what if” thoughts and take them along the ride with you. Whether you welcome the uncertainty or not, you are surrounded by it and thriving anyway.