We all get stuck. Whether it’s our business, career, or personal life, feeling stuck shows up as exhaustion, avoidance, and uncertainty about our next steps. We often feel decision fatigued and paralyzed to choose.
Feeling stuck can lead to us being extra hard on ourselves, creating a swirl of shame, blame, or self-doubt. Many of my clients come to me at this exact moment; when they’ve tried things on their own, without success, and they lack clarity on the next step to take in their career that will leave them feeling aligned and recognized.
What I often see is that by the time a client has reached out for support, she’s exhausted from overworking and trying to “do” the stuck-ness away.
So, I’m going to share with you the 5 things I see keeping high-achieving women stuck, and as a little bonus, I’ll add what you can do when it happens…for my “do-ers” in the crowd 🙂
(Hint: very often the path to inner clarity and inspired action is about pausing, making space to feel what’s really underneath the surface, and allowing support. It’s not about doing more, it’s about being more of yourself).
1 | Overworking
I know you want to succeed in your career. I get it. I understand you do have to work harder as a woman to overcome obstacles and bias. But always being “on” is not good for anyone around you, including yourself. Our work culture today is tailor-made to glorify busyness and make you feel like it’s your fault when you want to rest – like you’re not good enough because you need a moment to breathe. Although it can feel like a badge of honor to juggle so many balls in the air, one way or another your body will give you the signals it’s time to stop and take a break. Most of the time you are forced to pause so you can reconsider.
2 | Fear of Failing
For women, this fear is much more expressed because we are seen as expendable in most companies. In a crowded meeting that is typically, let’s be honest, dominated by men, women feel the pressure, fear, and anxiety from potentially failing on a scale most can’t even comprehend. Every word is filtered, every thought is re-imagined again and again. So this fear of failure leads us to staying silent, not allowing us to show our true potential because we recognize the potential negative consequences if we do something “wrong”. A fear of failing is a sure sign you’re stuck and is a sister fear of perfectionism.
3 | Giving Your Power Away
While it’s true that modern culture doesn’t favor women in power and we have to work hard to earn it (and this frustrates me every day), sometimes we give what power we do have to those around us by people pleasing. If you’ve primarily been in situations where it’s unsafe to speak your truth, you may defer to the needs of others versus getting clear about what works for you. Feeling powerless can be a sure sign that you’re triggered, in fear, or unable to give yourself permission to take action towards your dreams because you’ve learned to survive by going without, sacrificing, or swallowing your truth.
4 | Avoiding the Ask
If you don’t ask, the answer is “no”. You know this, logically, but when it comes to self-advocating for your needs, you may feel emotionally distraught considering using your voice to talk about yourself (eek) ask for more. You fear you’ll be judged as greedy, needy, or asking for “too much”. You spend your time afraid of the worst-case scenario vs. focusing on how to build a case and make a powerful ask that gets you the information you need to make important decisions about your own career. When you’re avoiding making the ask it’s an opportunity to look at 1) owning your impact, 2) connecting to your inherent worthiness, and 3) detangling this from market value.
5 | The Lone Lady Situation
On top of everything else, most women go through these difficult states feeling alone. Perhaps you believe everyone else has it figured out so why can’t you? Perhaps you feel if you’re able to do it on your own you’ll prove you’re truly successful, capable, worthy, or special. If you’re experiencing any of the above scenarios and feelings and on top of it trying to get through it all alone, please know that you are not alone! This belief that you have to “get to the top” all on your own is the one true cause that creates a sense of isolation. When you feel alone it’s a sure sign it’s an opportunity to reach out and ask for help. You will reach your highest potential faster and with more ease not going it alone, worthy Lady.
So now you’re probably asking yourself…
What Can I Do then?
Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is the first step in getting unstuck. You need to stay true to yourself. Regardless of the amount of injustice you’ve experienced or witnessed, no matter the times your voice was silenced and your actions discarded, you need to stay true to your own authenticity and decide to take action today.
Your expertise, empathy, and ability to analyze what is happening around you and within you is your guiding light. With space, support, and trust in yourself it is possible to move through it. Although the path ahead may be difficult, it’s worth it. Your health, wealth, and impact are worth it! Reconnecting to your sense of worthiness and inner trust will be your allies in this path of reclaiming your power and getting unstuck.
You are here to make a difference in all realms of life, and no one can take away your power from you. And I’m going to be here not just to support and guide you on this journey, but also to help you be all that you can be.
You earned it, just by being you.
What is the main reason that’s keeping you stuck right now? How are you feeling about it? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!