in life

You’re Not Stuck. Unless You Are.

A couple weeks ago I got together with family I hadn’t seen in a long time. If you’ve been in my shoes, you know how it goes. There’s plenty of awkward “So, how’s work?” surface-level conversation because, well, you aren’t sure what else to talk about. Hopefully someone has had a baby or brings their dog so everyone has something to look at and talk about, otherwise, 30 minutes in, you’ve run through all the standard small-talk topics.

Luckily there was a baby, and a dog, but it didn’t prevent us from going around the table to share what we do for a living.

As we went around, I noticed a pattern. A pattern of “it’s just a job”. A pattern of “it is what it is”. A pattern of feeling stuck.

And so began the conversation of why jobs suck and how retirement can’t come soon enough.

Odds are, you’ve been there. Sitting around the table with family. Grabbing a happy hour with coworkers. Complaining about work. Hoping, wishing, longing for something bigger and better. A promotion. A way out. An escape from “stuck”.

There’s you, and the circumstance you find yourself in. With a bad job. In a bad relationship. Stuck in a rut.

You think you’re stuck with no way out (it’s incredibly easy to feel this way). Too many obligations prevent you from taking the leap. Uncertainty. Mounting debt. Change. Fear. Comfort that you’re not willing to (potentially) give up.

I’m guilty of this. Of wanting more. Of demanding more. But never, ever, accepting that I’m stuck with no way out.

  • You’re not stuck in the job you hate. There IS something better.
  • You’re not stuck in a relationship with someone that drives you nuts. There IS someone better.
  • You’re not stuck with a mortgage. You CAN sell your house.
  • You’re not stuck sitting out the couch eating Oreos. You CAN start working out.
  • You’re not stuck with your faith. You CAN find something to believe in.

No matter how old or how young. How rich or how poor. How experienced or uneducated. You’re not stuck, unless you are. Unless you believe it, and let that little voice inside your head tell you that you can’t do any better.

You can and you will. All you have to do is make the choice to get unstuck.

Take the first step…

(Photo credit)

Add Your Voice



  1. Nice. Getting unstuck is a lot about….currently. So when folks ask what do I do, I start with currently. As in, currently I am helping a customer bring a new product to market, and helping another customer to use social tools in their drive to better connect their employees with their customers. Currently I am…. gives you fluidity and agility. Does that help, or make sense, or both? Currently it does for me.

    Cheers – Doug

  2. Great post, as always Chevy! It’s always about choice. Right before I took the leap to get unstuck, I think I said “well what if  x happens, or what if x happens?” more than I ever had in my entire life. I kept doubting myself and questioning whether or not what I was doing was the right decision or if I was completely throwing away my career and my life. Then I ripped the bandaid, and a HUGE weight was immediately lifted off of my shoulders! Life is good when you just shut up and do it! Whatever it is, just do it :) 

    • I like to sprinkle a little bit of realism into the “just do it” mantra – in that planning and preparation isn’t a bad thing. You don’t always have to take flying leaps into the unknown (in fact sometimes it’s just not feasible). But at the end of the day, any change, any choice, any path toward getting “unstuck” requires action. Trying. Doing. If you don’t “just do it” every once in a while, you end up doing nothing…

  3. Being stuck in neutral seems to be the norm for many, me included. It is much too easy to complain, yet do nothing, and watch the months/years slip by. Fortunately, my wife and I have made some huge decisions in the past 6 weeks that ensure that we aren’t stuck in neutral – that we will move forward and realize our dreams. It doesn’t make the process of change any less frightening, but there is definitely a sense of relief that we put the gear shifter of life into something other than neutral.

    • Yes. The most terrifying part is shifting OUT of neutral. Once you shift gears, the momentum will take you a long way. Cheers to the next step for you and your wife, Marshall!

  4. Just want to vent.  My job has changed & I would like it to go back to days of old.  But I am close to retirement  so need to stay put for me, husband, family for a few more years until retirement.  Just need to learn to stay positive on the positive!

  5. Love this post!  I want to say this to the bums I work with (waitressing while getting my masters) because it is such a perpetual negative environment, but I know they won’t take the advice so I keep quiet.  

    Oh and I am always SO relieved when there is a baby or dog. 

  6. Wow thanks for this! I am feeling so stuck right now with my work, and feeling I have so much more to contribute, but yes, the fear of the unknown, the fear of losing everything – which I have experienced before. Thanks for this . . . I do not want to accept being stuck!

    I know that I have to work at getting out of being stuck and follow what I believe I should be doing!