Have you ever felt stuck in a job, relationship, or situation and couldn’t find your way out? Did you find yourself asking, how did I get here? Many people end up in situations where they feel helpless or powerless to make a change either because of fear, anxiety, or guilt. When they weigh out the options, none appears all that appealing and inaction becomes the default choice. Some who feel trapped in a loveless marriage or a dead-end job can’t muster the energy or courage to move forward with their lives. Another common situation that I encounter in my practice is a person who is “trapped in success.”
Success-driven individuals have worked hard their entire lives and have acquired lifestyles of abundance. However, they are stuck on the treadmill of work. Many of these individuals do not have a healthy work-life balance and have neglected their physical and emotional well-being over the years. Their marriage has also received the short end of the stick. They are really good at working hard and making money. Slowing down, modifying their priorities, and accepting mediocrity are not considered an option. They have created expectations for themselves and their family through their accomplishments and wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone. Giving up their lifestyle and downsizing are perceived as a failure. So they press on, white knuckle it, and hope for the best.
Unfortunately, the consequences to maintaining the status quo can have devastating and destructive consequences. Marriages end, parent-children relationships are strained, chronic illness materializes. The good news is that there is a better way. The realization that change is possible and life can be less stressful and more enjoyable with a slight modification in approach is liberating. Feeling trapped is different from being trapped. Finding solutions to balance life and shifting your focus is feasible at any stage of life. Reinvesting in your relationships and committing to disengaging from your electronics (such as turning your phone off during dinner) can be healthy solutions to the craziness of work obligations. Some of us have to learn to delegate more often or even ask for help when we’re buried with work. Others have to find a life outside of work and commit to growing that aspect of their existence instead of being consumed by success. Lastly, we need to recognize that our expectations of ourselves and unrealistic demands we place on our lives can multiply our stress level. Brainstorm options, reassess priorities, and liberate yourself today.