How To Get Yourself Unstuck

Photo by Mahdi Bafande on Unsplash

Pacing around my apartment this morning, I breathed steadily as the other man I was talking to rambled on about internet speeds, young kids, and browsers. I figured the guy wanted to talk as I nodded along with the occasional “yeah” and other interjection about the problem I called in with the hopes of getting it addressed.

My internet bill is too high.

And after that conversation I was able to save….

About $20.

I have a general reluctance to call customer service for various reasons. I’m usually flustered, find these phone calls disrupt my overall plans for the day (even when I make a plan to call customer service), and my general comfortableness with sending emails and chatting online rather than over a phone.

But the biggest reason is that after working through all of that, the end result feels middling.

This has been the state of my life for some time now. Where I have some ideas to try out and things to be excited about, but nothing is really going anywhere. Even in the areas I’ve been working on for years.

Is this the end? Should I regress even further? Should I force myself to suffer more? Should I look for something else? Or should I double down and find a new angle to approach this problem?

The answer isn’t very clear. And it’s even harder when not a soul bothers to respond or provide their own thoughts.

You get words of comfort like “you’ll pull through” or people share how sorry they are but you’re still left with that decision.

Where are you going to go from here?

It doesn’t feel right for me to even attempt to answer that question seeing how my life is right now. How can someone who feels stuck provide reasonable and actionable advice at a time like this?

But the more I dwell on self-help, our mindsets, and what the self-help industry needs, the more I think it’s appropriate for these kinds of stories to pour out. To grasp at straws and muddle through our mind to figure out what one can do.

After all, who better to help out with someone getting unstuck than someone who is attempting to do so?

How Do We Get Unstuck?

So where to begin?

Well a good starting point is to go through the questions buzzing around in our heads. Whenever we hit moments of despair we can find ourselves drowning in nihilism, unable to make a clear choice of what to do right at this juncture.

The world is filled with uncertainty and we have no clue whether we’re going to pick the right answer or not.

And that scares us.

And even if we feel like we picked the right one, there is still that nagging worry. What happens if we make this attempt and it all just fails? What happens if it gets good for a bit before it all comes crumbling down?

What if scenarios get the better of us and they leave us stuck the most.

Why bother making attempts if all the results culminate in a slight improvement that provides no real relief?

And what if there is no “better option” out there?

Breaking out of this comes down to seeing silver linings. It’s easier said than done when looking at bleak outcomes or results. It can be frustrating especially when others are in similar positions as you but are doing better.

But that’s kind of the point.

At the end of the day, we are naturally persistent individuals. We will reach an inevitable conclusion in due time as long as our mind is set on making it happen.

But what is the difference between someone succeeding and thriving versus losing and giving up?

In the face of massive set backs or demoralizing dilemmas, the answer comes down to how we use those answers and how we assess them.

Seeing things with a bit of a silver lining can be enough to get us moving and tackling problems differently. It gets us to look and explore and to rediscover ourselves in the process.

We make changes and change ourselves.

How To Make Changes To Get Unstuck

It’s no surprise that self-help has a lot of grifters. Anyone can jump in and build an audience around a certain opinion or view and build a platform of like-minded individuals from that. There can be some genuine good that can come from all this with the right intentions.

However, what tends to be trendsetting is the more toxic side.

And we see that most prominently in the case of the manosphere, a sect of self-help that wraps itself in a little self-help, and a lot of cult-like nonsense, misogyny, and hatred.

The reason something like this thrives is no mystery either. It’s a byproduct and the second step for people to become unstuck.

While as cultish and toxic as the manosphere is, the grifters like Andrew Tate, Jordan Peterson, and others have positioned themselves as people to provide guidance during times of people being generally stuck.

Broadly speaking, men have been having it pretty rough with the fact that gender roles was a core part of our identity.

And that gender role was to be a provider.

That gets harder to do when one can’t find a job, isolates themselves, and economic turmoil makes it impossible to buy a home.

It’s hard on everyone of course. But especially for men who are told regularly that this is their responsibility. Directly or indirectly.

And unlike women, the issue of feeling stuck has provided a solution that is more regressive than progressive. Where women fought for equality and overall better treatment in the workplace and out of their own gender role, men for centuries held the dominant position.

In fact men still do, but only in particular circles. A prime example is the richest people in the world.

But as that grip is weakening and so many men are forced to face so many questions that are difficult to answer, the solutions haven’t been the greatest.

Getting unstuck in life comes from a catalyst that something needs to change and then making that change. Along the way, there are methods and strategies and ideas for what we can do.

And one of those “ideas” happens to be listening to the minds of Jordan Peterson, Andrew Tate, or spending five-figures on a “Alpha Male Training Bootcamps” in an attempt to reclaim our identity.

And clearly it’s not working as this video addresses.

However, the principle is still there. As misguided as training camps and men finding their masculinity again is, we can still see this as an example of getting unstuck in our lives.

Albeit a prime example of what not to do.

Here is a group of individuals, struggling with their lives and feeling stuck and will do anything to get out of that situation. Whether that’s paying five figures for some “life-changing training” or listening to an older man who is nostalgic for the “good ol’ days” when “boys were boys” telling you what to do with your life.

We often seek guidance and really there is nothing wrong with that. It’s important for us to embrace that. After all, we’re stuck and we need help.

Always Remember Results

But the final thing to remember is to keep an eye on our results. To be mindful of our progress and whether it’s really all that helpful for us.

It’s harder to say all this in the moment. After all, in the case of the manosphere, men aren’t thinking about how this rhetoric is making them more conservative (even though most people are apolitical), or that they’re paying into someone’s grift.

Like Tony Robbins fans, some people will show up to multiple events year after year so that they can run across some hot coals.

As if that would actually improve one’s lives.

Time and time again, I remind myself that the solutions are often in our face and our very easy. Just as Cody points out in his video on helping men, he offers some simple advice.

If you’re worried about being rejected by women, spend time with a woman. Not to try and have sex with her, but to be friends with her, play video games with, and share experiences.

It’s often this repeated simplistic advice that we find so difficult to swallow. Maybe it’s a sense of pride or that if we share that story we’ll feel dumb about it. Especially in cases where we were so stubborn or insistent on trying something else.

After all, I saved $20 on my internet bill and it only cost me a phone call that I’ve been putting off for months. And even then, the change isn’t all that grand.

But even if it’s such a small amount, it’s still something. And maybe a few months down the road when the bill inevitably creeps back up, I’ll be firmer about getting a cheaper bundle.

In the meantime, addressing the other problems in my life comes down to taking action on the simple things. To take things one step at a time and to look at whether this is making a change.

That change isn’t going to be immediate, but we do still have our check on our emotions and overall wellbeing. How do we feel day after day trying something new? How do we feel day after day talking with this particular person?

It’s not realistic to come up with a definitive conclusion in those short periods. But it can be enough to test the waters and to explore. And if it doesn’t feel good, we make a change again, looping back to where we were before and seeing new possibilities.

Because getting stuck is part of life, what’s also part of our lives is a way out. Not through escapism or nihilism. But by putting ourselves through the paces. To be speaking to someone about our problems. To write them out for us to dissect them later. To do something that can improve our situations.

Because no matter what, we will improve our situations, one way or another.

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