8 Reasons Why You May Be Stuck

Shawna Oliver RN/NBC-HWC
6 min readJul 21, 2021

Have you found yourself here before? You come up with an exciting idea for a new business or creative project. It’s all you can think about, and you’ve even come up with a brilliant name or title.

Or perhaps you’ve been wanting to get your health in check for quite some time. Maybe you purchased a gym membership but can’t seem to get out the door consistently.

You have big dreams, big plans, and big goals but you haven’t any idea where or how to start. Or you know where to start but can’t seem to get traction.

It’s as if no matter how hard you are trying, success remains far in the distance and the hurdles to get there seem too tall to climb over.

You’re stuck.

But you don’t have to be. In this article, I will share with you some of the common reasons why you may be stuck and how you can begin loosening yourself from the bad habits and negative thought patterns that are holding you back from chasing down your wildest dreams.

  1. You believe logic and what makes “sense” should be enough to change .

Scientists estimate up to 95% of our decisions and actions are based on subconscious thought. 95%. We all tend to believe our decisions are made in the conscious logical mind. If that were true no one would smoke. Everyone would be a healthy weight. Gambling addiction would not occur. Our mates would be ideally lined up for genetics, lifespans, and financial resources to care for us. Even advertisers know you are making decisions in the emotional warehouse of your mind. Unless you become very intimately and curiously aware of their doings; their needs, patterns and triggers can hamper your success by not steering you in the direction of choices to benefit your whole being.

Some of these subconscious beliefs may be.

2. You may believe you have the right to always be comfortable (or that you deserve to always be uncomfortable)

This is a big one. It’s time to abandon the notion that anything that is worthwhile will come easy. Achieving success often comes with discomfort. Perhaps the emotions that comes with change feels too great to handle. Instead of sitting with and reflecting on those emotions, you allow them to 100% make your decisions for you. While emotions should always be felt, respected, and tended to, sometimes you need to override the fear to get out there bigger.

On the opposite side, some clients feel they haven’t earned the right for happiness, self-care or to focus on their overall well-being. They may believe work and earning money should be miserable, or relationships that are unfulfilling are what they deserve. A life of less is not the solution either. It is a tricky balance to expect happiness and success, while managing the discomfort that inherently comes with growth.

And part of this is …

3. Being afraid you are going to suck.

Following the fear of discomfort comes the fear of being bad at something new. When did we become so hard on ourselves? As a child, you may remember learning how to ride a bike for the first time. I would say it’s safe to assume that you were not able to keep yourself balanced the first few times you tried it out. You probably skinned your knees and elbows and winced in pain at the discomfort of your fall. But after that, you got back up and eventually figured out how to maneuver yourself in the right direction.

When trying something new, why do we allow ourselves to get so caught up in our initial performance? Just like with riding a bike, we are much better off looking at our mistakes and missteps as tools to improve our process. Instead of focusing on slips and blunders, take the time to measure the improvements in your learning and confidence. By taking the time to note small advances, you can shift your perception and begin to see “setbacks” as natural steps toward your end goal. Measure the fact that you did it not how perfectly you did it during your rooky attempts.

And during this growing time take care not to

4. Give others too much power.

Are you afraid of what others might think of your ideas? Or perhaps you are afraid your family will find you selfish for embarking on a journey of self-care. Do you take your own inherit value out of the equation in daily life?

Being empathetic to the needs of others is wonderful, but if it causes you to push your own needs to the side, you can fall into the trap of becoming angry and resentful with yourself for not having the guts to be honest.

You may also be spending too much time trying to convince others that you are successful. Your self-worth may be tied up in accolades or how others regard you. Even if you have received accolades, you may still suffer from feelings of imposter syndrome.

You have to impress yourself first. Be proud of the work you have accomplished and the challenges you have overcome.

So when you do figure some of this out and decide on a plan, take care not to

5. Quit just about when the habit is about to be ingrained.

Unfortunately I see this time and time again. Habits take time to develop, and one slip often derails the effort more than it should. Pick up exactly where you left off and repeat. Trust the process. Trust yourself. Habits take while to become….well habits. Just keep putting one front in front of the other and the new habit will become old hat in no time.

Sometimes habits are hard to develop because…

6. You didn’t set yourself up for success.

Old routines beckon like Chunky Monkey and a worn comfortable blanket. They are familiar, safe and easy to do. You must make the new desired habit almost easier to do than the old one. This is the logistics game of tea on the counter versus the soda, timers on your phone for deep breathing exercises, a partner for accountability in going to the gym. Substitution is your best friend versus expecting to “quit” something for a variety of brain rewiring reasons. Use it liberally.

And take care to avoid.

7. Collecting too much information

Information is both our best friend and our worst enemy. In today’s digital age, a world of information can be accessed with a simple swipe of the finger. We can use this information to fix things, run a business, be better parents, learn a craft hobby, or even receive a formal education.

But knowing things doesn’t mean much when you don’t apply your learnings to your life. What’s more, you can actually become addicted to gathering information. Having unlimited access to information is pretty new for us humans and, as such, our brains have not yet evolved to process it all.

The result? For one thing, relentless distraction will make you stressed, and stress itself takes the logical, long term strategy brain offline. When this happens, your brain can go into procrastination mode and prevent you from making decisions and moving forward with your goals. Knowledge is an opportunity to change NOT the change itself.

And speaking of distractions…

8. Don’t forget to plan for stress

In today’s society, for most of us, some stress is unavoidable. As said above, stress will have you thinking short term feel better now versus thinking for long-term benefit. What seems like an easy doable plan seems insurmountable when your system is in sympathetic fight or flight overdrive from fatigue, hunger or pain. The solution is to add in intentional stress management techniques. Exercise, mindfulness, yoga and a diet rich in essential nutrients will help ratchet down the stress response.

Avoid big decisions in times of stress and have at the ready specific stress management tools you DO consistently.

These are just a few of the reasons you may be stuck. For help with these or others a well-trained health coach can often help sort through the quagmire and get clear on the next steps

Lean into Fear Coaching services specializes in behavior change strategies that add energy health and transformation in life. For more information, or to schedule a meeting, visit http://shawnaoliver.com or send a message via linked in.

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Shawna Oliver RN/NBC-HWC

Shawna Oliver is an RN as well as a Board-Certified Well-being Coach and recent author of The Makings of a Powerful Bitch. She has her own coaching practice