Getting Unstuck

I was standing at my kitchen island in tears, crying to my husband that I just didn’t know what to do.

I was sitting on the floor of my basement office sobbing out of anger and frustration over the season of life that I was in.

I was laying in bed with tears streaming down my face onto my pillow, because I felt like life just didn’t look the way I expected it to.

Wow, this girl is a mess you might say! And that’s fine. Orrrr it’s likely that some of you—many of you—reading this have lived some of these very same moments and emotions. Confusion. Anger. Frustration. Disappointment. All because I just didn’t know what to do next and feeling like I was currently not where I needed to be…in my job, my career, my self-identity. And I wasn’t where I thought I’d be at the age of 45.

And…there it is…”She’s having a mid-life crisis.” “Case closed. “I’ve figured it out,” you might
say. “I’ve heard about those before” you might think.

Call it a mid-life crisis if you want. There might be some validity to that. There’s some truth behind a mid-life meltdown—a re-evaluation of where you’re at and knowing that potentially half of your life has passed by and wanting so badly to do this thing called life well. There’s this 45 year-old sense of the vice-like pressure of making sure life doesn’t pass you by without making your life—your specific life and who you are—matter and making sure the decisions you are making don’t waste the time that you are now feeling the value of more than ever.

In your teens, you can’t wait to get to adulthood and finally be free to make “all the decisions.” In your 20s, “the whole world is your oyster”, often having completed different levels of schooling, introductory job experiences, and hopefully traveling adventures. In your 30s, perhaps life has settled out a bit into steadier relationships, perhaps the raising of kids, and the finding of your career niche. And here comes your 40s, when it seems like for the first time the brevity and value of your life really hits you for the first time. And it hits you mid-course. “Is what I’m doing what I want to be doing? “Is what I’m doing what I should be doing?” And, by the way, “What happened to all of that 20-something confidence that used to come so easily?”

Perhaps this is just my story…a bit of my diary-entry heart to yours…or perhaps this is a bit more common than just being my story. And. Thus. The. Cliche. “MID-LIFE CRISIS.” (You see
cliches don’t come out of nowhere. They come out of a shared experience that many people have lived or have felt the reality of.)

So there you have it. MID. LIFE. CRISIS. Or is it?

It might be my mid-life-ish recent moments that I’m currently “Dear Diarying” here, but if I’m truly being honest I’ve hit some of these hard life re-evaluations before—maybe in different ways and about different facets of my life and identity—but they’ve been there traveling with me through various ages and seasons.

Should I break-up with (insert name here…high school boyfriend?
What should my “forever career” college major be?
Perhaps it was that time when I met “the one”—the man I was meant to bewith— and yet still had to choose to step over that marital threshold and leap into the unknown with.

And there’s those moments as a new mom when being a stay-at-home mom was like shoving this “Miss Independent” square peg into a round hole but knowing that it was one of the hardest and yet best decisions that I needed to make at the time.
And there are more. Sometimes season after season, but often year after year. New decisions to be made. Big ones. Small ones. Potentially life-changing ones. Our lives can be full of these times that bring us to our knees and bring us to tears because of the confusion, frustration, disappointment, and insecurity that it digs up in the unknown and the
untapped future. LIFE. CRISES.

But what if we reframed what can feel like a big ‘ole wall of impossible confusion and saw it as times that actually PAUSE US. And it’s in these pauses that we are actually PROPELLED FORWARD if we use them well. Sometimes when we feel the most stuck and don’t know what to do next is when we, for the first time, are willing to look for the different perspectives and help from others that can change our lives FOR THE BETTER.

Most of us from day to day are looking for what brings us comfort and makes us feel
comfortable. From our comfortable mattresses to our comfort-food to our “forever homes” to our financial “cushions”, we like to avoid what might feel uncomfortable. You? Me too! But comfort can’t last forever, and, in fact, it shouldn’t. Because truly living means exploring new places, meeting new people, growing a little smarter and little stronger, and all of these things are necessary, in order to live your life with purpose and on purpose. AND each of these things—exploration, new people, growth—only happens by stepping into something that is unknown.

The Unknown. Discomfort…Life Crisis…THAT’S WHY IT HURTS SO MUCH.

Seasons of uncertainty and the unknown feel so uncomfortable, even painful. If you’re anything like me I want to know what I don’t know. I want to see what I can’t see yet, because I want to avoid making mistakes or having life surprises thrown at me. But—and you’re going to have to
trust me here — it’s in these very seasons of discomfort, unknown, and life re-evaluation that our lives can get even better. Sometimes we’ve been living the same life and living the same way for so long that we don’t even know that that—what we’re doing and who we’ve become— is potentially hurting us or even blocking us from who we can become. And often it’s not even something we’re doing wrong, but it’s that we could be doing something even better to give us the best life that we’ve been longing for.

But in these crisis seasons we do feel stuck. And stuck is just that. Something we can’t get out of by ourselves.

It’s like quicksand. You have to hold up your hand and let someone pull you out.

It’s like a pitch black tunnel. You need someone to hold a light at the end of it to show
you the way out.

It’s like you’ve been treading water for so long and you’re about to go under. You just
need someone to throw you a life preserver in order to get you to safety.

You get the idea. There are times when we need someone else, in order to help us see our way to the other side of a crisis and to help us get there.
Maybe you already have those people in your life and that’s great! A spouse. A best friend. A parent. A pastor. But there are times when even these amazing people can’t give us what we need in our crises.

“And what do I need?,” you might ask.
New perspective.
Unbiased question-asking.
Renewed motivation.

And that is where the gift of a life coach can intersect your season of crisis, re-evaluation, or just…stuck-ness.

There are times in our lives that the best thing that we can do is to admit that we don’t know what to do next, or, maybe, we know what we should do, but we don’t know how to get there. Whatever it is, you might just need someone who is passionate about helping you get unstuck.

A life coach uses skilled listening, awareness-producing question-asking, and motivating goal-setting, in order to help you move forward with clarity, hope, and determination. That’s what life coaches are trained for, and that’s what I personally love to do. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived so many of those moments of tears streaming down my face in desperation seeking the next right answer and the next right step to take. Maybe it’s because I love seeing people figure out who they’re truly meant to be and Iive to their fullest potential. Whatever it is, life coaching, as I’ve found it, is a gift that can keep on giving, by helping you get unstuck and help you out of whatever your crisis might be— mid-, marriage, money, health, and more. So many crisis options to choose from, because, well, life is full of them, BECAUSE life is about progress, BUT progress doesn’t come without a little discomfort and some intentional pauses in our lives.

So you might find yourself in figurative or literal tears now, but there’s a way to a future that you might have never believed for before, and it’s just on the other side of you reaching out your hand and asking someone, “Will you help me get unstuck?”

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