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When You’re Waist Deep in Quicksand

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Posted By Christine Foley
Credit for image to Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Feel like you’re waist-deep in quicksand?

You struggle and struggle to extricate yourself and yet nothing seems to make any difference to the outcome of your actions? The frustration is suffocating and exhausting: it saps all your strength and yet gets you nowhere but more tired and more despondent. 

 

When you’re struggling like this your spirits can really start to fail as each morning dawns with you finding yourself still in the same place and the inevitable tide of discouragement washing in ever closer.

 

Every day you Wake Up More Fed-Up

Every day you wake up more fed-up with yourself for not having figured out how to extricate yourself from that cloying tangle of doubt and self-loathing that keeps you held fast. 

 

For months I felt stuck, really, really STUCK. 

 

Why Were They Moving Forward When I Was Stuck?

I was so angry with myself. Why couldn’t I move forward when everyone else seemed to be doing exactly that? ( Plus making it look easy at the same time.) Why was it that while they were moving forward I felt like I couldn’t get anywhere?

 

I Just Wasn’t Doing What I Really Wanted To Do

The problem was that I was too busy listening to other people’s advice- people who don’t know me at all. People were advising me to do this, and advising me to do that, and none of it really aligned with the person I am or the way that I tick at all. So things weren’t working out for me because I just wasn’t doing what I really wanted to do.

 

Deeper Into the Quicksand

Meanwhile, at the same time, I was telling myself how unsuccessful I was on a daily basis, and that was all sucking me down further and further into the quicksand. 

 

What I learned from those months was that you really have to respect yourself in order to move forward. And to do that, you need to do what really resonates with you, and the way that you think. 

 

Don’t Stop Listening to Yourself

 Yes, listen to others and learn from the experts- they can certainly help you- but don’t stop listening to yourself either. I found that the more I listened to others the more negatively I compared myself to them. As far as I was concerned, they achieved what I wanted much more quickly, more efficiently, and more effortlessly.

 

Self-Loathing and Frustration Keeps You Stuck

People tell you not to compare yourself with others. That’s nonsense. Of course, you are going to compare yourself with others- it’s human nature! The trick is to learn how to compare yourself with others but not beat yourself up as a result, because self-loathing and frustration gets you stuck. Big time stuck. …up to your armpits stuck. 

 

Stop Fighting for a While 

If this happens to you, stop fighting for a while and keep still- that’s what I had to do. Take a few days off and don’t feel guilty: accept the fact that you weren’t making much progress anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.  In fact, you’ll find it’s quite a nice feeling to stop struggling for a while.

 

Forgive Yourself

Just give yourself a break and forgive yourself. Stop telling yourself that you’re not getting anywhere and that therefore you must be useless. Instead, think of this as a chance to press the reset button on your life’s journey.

 

Identify Just One Thing

Now you need to make a conscious effort to drown out that negative voice in your head because that leads to inaction and overwhelm- not what you need. Next, you need to take a long hard look at the great morass of things that surround you and ask yourself this question:

‘What is one thing I could do to make progress in that one area of my life?’

 

Drowning

The problem for most of us when we venture outside our comfort zone is that a massive wave of uncertainties and insecurities washes over us and drowns us before we even have a chance to take a breath. So much to learn…so much I need to do…so much I don’t understand….

 

Give it a Week

So you need to pick out just one thing from that overwhelming pile of stuff and make some progress with it. Just one. And give yourself a week to do it, to learn it and feel comfortable with it, so that it’s no longer your enemy.

 

Want to know the best piece of advice I can give you when you’re waist-deep in quicksand? 

 

Call for Help

Call for help. Don’t try to do it on your own, because you just won’t be strong enough and won’t be able to be objective about your situation to see what it really is.

 

Just call for help- do it today.

 

 

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