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Feeling stuck is today's common cold

Updated: Jun 3

Woman asleep in bed, in fetal position, clutching a pillow
Woman asleep in bed, in fetal position, clutching a pillow

Whether it's feeling stuck in a specific role, career, academic major, or relationship, a person is bound to feel stuck at some point. Yes, I am saying feeling stuck is common. This feeling can encompass many different emotions such as sadness, depression, anger, frustration, disappointment, boredom, regret, annoyance, hopelessness, helplessness, shame, guilt, grief, and more. However, when feeling stuck is perceived or presented as out of the ordinary, it can become a major problem. I have seen this in my practice. There are two types of people that I've encountered in my experience. There is the person who internalizes this common benchmark in life as a major problem with themself. In contrast, the other type of person feels stuck and can identify the many reasons why but takes no accountability for their role in becoming stuck.

The first type of person may blame themself as the sole problem to discount environmental or external factors. They often believe something is inherently wrong to obsess or ruminate about their shortcomings. The same person may think that there is no possibility of overcoming this feeling, thus there is no possibility of positive change to occur in their life. On the other hand, a person taking no accountability or a passive role in their life would identify external factors as their reasoning for feeling stuck. This person often blames others. They may also take no responsibility for their areas of improvement, accountability for their actions, or not even acknowledge shortcomings. Like the person described above, this person also may view their feeling stuck as long-term compared to short-term.

I will give a brief example to demonstrate both perspectives. Let's say there is a sophomore in college, and she's not performing well academically. She describes to her academic advisor feeling stuck to now be bored with her current major. She declared her major freshman year to have always dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. If we're considering the first type of person, she's the problem. She might state, "I shouldn't have declared freshman year. I wasn't good at science in high school. I'm stupid for picking to be a marine biology major." If we're considering the second type of person, she might say, "My professors are ridiculous this semester. Mr. Wilkerson, he's really unfair. He gave us a surprise midterm after saying he wouldn't. I don't think that was fair. Obviously, I bombed it. The entire class failed it. After thinking about it, I never really wanted to be a marine biologist. My mom wanted me to do this because my cousin is one and makes good money. My aunt always talks about how much money she makes. But anyway, I never liked this major."

These two types of people are extremes. We want more of a balance. When experiencing hiccups in life, there's a combination of internal and external factors to contribute to the problem. All factors should be identified and acknowledged, and a decision should be made about whether to address them. Depending on a person's mental and emotional state, he/she/they might need some help identifying the problem, acknowledging internal and external factors, exploring possible solutions to the identified problem, and deciding on a plan of action. It's ok to need help. At the end of the day, if a person feels stuck, it shouldn't be ignored. It must be addressed to promote mental and emotional wellness. If not addressed appropriately and effectively, it can increase stress and contribute to debilitating mental and emotional health issues and possibly physical ailments.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a clinical mental health counselor and an educator. I have been in private practice for almost a decade. During this time, I have encountered hundreds of individuals to listen to their narratives and to help them heal in some way. Additionally, I have my own story. I hope to weave takeaways and lessons learned over the years from these interactions and from my personal life into informative and thought- provoking posts. 

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