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Why is it so hard to get unstuck and move forward in life?

It’s like you’re standing at a fork in the road, unsure of which direction to take and there’s a huge tree blocking both paths. You know you must move down one or the other, but how will you climb over that tree? The path that leads to less stress and more happiness is right on the other side. Take steps to climb over the tree and risk taking the wrong path. The difficulty is feeling spent and burned out; you only want to get unstuck!

The search for happiness seems a long way off when you’re trying to make choices that support you, but you’re still struggling to find the path. The key to breaking free from this cycle is to listen to your true self. This article gives you the key points to follow to get unstuck and be more authentic.

What is Authenticity?

Being authentic means that how you show up in your daily life is accurate with how you feel, think, and express yourself – this is your true self. You express your whole self genuinely rather than showing people only a particular side of yourself. That means being authentic requires you to know who your true self is. And this requires self-awareness, mindfulness, and self-acceptance. 

Why Authenticity Matters to Get Unstuck

We are constantly bombarded with media, family, co-workers and friends, who tell us who to be, what to want, and how we “should” be. These influences slowly chip away at our self-knowledge and confidence about our authentic selves.

But when you are a problem for someone else, you tell yourself that who you are isn’t okay. People pleasing can take over and lead to suppressing who you are, leaving you feeling lonely and disconnected from others.

How You Lose Your Authenticity

We are constantly balancing inner and outer aspects of ourselves to fit in better, to become more successful, or to find love. We are driven to find “our place” in society and want to be respected for who we are and what we must contribute. Many high achievers are propelled even further and want to know how to live with purpose and deeper meaning, and they feel fulfilled when they become more authentic.

But at the same time, we live in a society that values superficiality, strives for perfection, and defines success by the dollars in our bank account, not by how well we live our values daily. So how can we be authentic despite the messages that try to convince us to be someone else?

Why Overcoming Inauthenticity Is So Hard

We were molded as children by our parents, teachers, religion, peers, and society to “fit in” or match the version that they see. As a result, we develop beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that align with what we were taught. Sometimes, it matches our self-concept; other times, it doesn’t, leading to inauthenticity and the need to get unstuck.

This version of ourselves can be considered the “Adaptive Self”—the self that prioritizes fitting in, getting along, and generally doing what we’re told. This self is not without value and purpose—it helps us be functioning members of society. The Adaptive Self might run your life and keep you stuck if you feel inauthentic.

To reclaim your authenticity, you need to define your authentic self –

  • the self that prioritizes
  • living in alignment with your values,
  • pursuing your purpose and passions

so you keep moving forward in your life.

What does it mean to be authentic so you can get unstuck?

Being authentic means being true to yourself and living in alignment with your values, passions, and purpose. It requires honesty, courage, and vulnerability. Being authentic makes you feel more confident, fulfilled, and empowered.

Here is your pathway to step into more authenticity:

Identify your values

Your values are the principles and beliefs important to you and guidelines for how you live. They are a reflection of who you are because they are the foundation of your life. Take some time to identify what is most important to you in life. What matters most to you? Make a list of these values and prioritize them in your life.

Identify your passions

Your passions are the things that bring you joy and fulfillment. They reflect what excites you and brings energy into your life. Take some time to identify what activities, hobbies, or interests you enjoy. What brings you a sense of purpose or meaning? Make a list of these passions and prioritize them in your life.

Take action on your values and passions.

Once you have identified your values and passions, it’s time to start taking action. This can be uncomfortable, especially if it means making significant changes in your life. However, taking small steps toward your values and passions helps you integrate them into your life. The benefit is you’ll also build momentum and confidence as you do. For example, if you’ve always wanted to pursue a hobby, start by reading about it, taking a class, or joining a related group. Sometimes, this step-by-step process helps you “test the water” and make decisions.

Let go of people-pleasing

You might get stuck when you worry about the messages you receive from others about who they want you to be. However, being authentic means letting go of people-pleasing and living in alignment with what you need. This might mean saying no to things that don’t align with your values or passions. It can also mean setting boundaries with people who don’t support you.

Practice self-reflection

Self-reflection is essential to profoundly knowing yourself. Self-reflection examines your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to identify areas where you are out of alignment. Take time each day to reflect on your experiences and how they relate to your values and passions.

Embrace vulnerability

Being authentic requires vulnerability. It means being honest with yourself and others about who you are and what you want. This, too, can be uncomfortable, but it is also empowering. When you embrace vulnerability, you open yourself to deeper connections with yourself and those important to you, which often leads to a more fulfilling life.

In sum, getting unstuck and authentic requires identifying your values and passions, taking action, letting go of people-pleasing, practicing self-reflection, and embracing vulnerability. You feel more confident, fulfilled, and empowered when you align with your true self. The antidote to both stuckness and lifelong happiness is authenticity!