Sometimes it seems like we are trapped by life’s circumstances and can’t find a way out. When we feel like that, it’s easy to start feeling hopeless and helpless. Those feelings often lead to us believing that our predicament is the way things are and there isn’t anything we can do about it, and so we give up. The truth is that unless we are locked up in a maximum security prison there are always alternatives – and even in a maximum security prison we can make internal changes that impact our feelings of being trapped.
When we find ourselves feeling stuck it helps to reflect on how we got to that place. If we do so honestly, we will see there are choices we made that led to our present circumstances, which means there are choices we can make to get out of them, too. The problem comes when we want to change our situation without making any changes! We become what I call “yesbuts.” When we discover an alternative or someone offers one to us we say, “yes, but….” and then carry on with a host of reasons why we feel we can’t make that change. Every alternative, whether from within or without, receives the same “yes, but…” response. When that happens, we need to examine what benefit we are receiving for remaining stuck. Perhaps it’s sympathy or attention from others, perhaps we have become comfortable in our unpleasant circumstances, perhaps we are afraid of change – but something is keeping us there. At that point we have to admit that we aren’t stuck at all, which might be enough to get us to make the needed change!