5 reasons you feel stuck in life or work

Midlife woman with glasses, feels stuck in life or career

Do you feel stuck?

You’re not alone. Many of us do – on a daily basis! But when it feels significant or endless it can make you feel miserable.

Whether it’s work or life, feeling stuck can look like;

  • Really wanting something but losing motivation. Like; a new job,  moving house
  • Endlessly worrying about things out of your control, or that you are not (yet?) able to influence, instead of enjoying the here and now
  • Identifying something as important, or exciting to do – and talking yourself out of doing it


Why do you feel stuck?

“Why do I feel stuck?” is not the right question. Because you need to take yourself OUT of the equation in order to get perspective.

This question is more helpful – and kinder;

‘What is it that is making me feel stuck?’ 


Reasons why you are feeling stuck (sound familiar?)

1.  You’ve outgrown your current situation

We change over time. What worked for us then, may no longer work now. Ie, the job you started 5 years ago, your friendships from when the kids were at nursery, the area you live in… If you recognise you have outgrown your situation, then you might be wondering where to go next. Clarify your direction and the steps to take.


2.  You fear others’ judgement

Are you placing too much importance on what others’ think and say about you?  In her book, ‘Playing Big’Tara Mohr says ‘…feedback doesn’t tell you any facts about you; it tells you something about the perspective of the person giving the feedback’. To know yourself better, to know your strengths and skills could enhance your confidence and anchor you.


quote by Theodore Roosevelt with illustration of people standing back to back
“Comparison is the thief of joy”. Focus on You.

3.  You compare yourself to others

”Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt. If you recognise you constantly compare yourself to others and then feel down, you are making yourself feel inadequate. Focus on YOU instead. Ask yourself, What are my small wins today? Or practice gratitude. Research says both improve mental wellbeing when you do them regularly and over a period of time.


4.  Your brain tells you that change = threat

Example; You want to change jobs, but you perceive that your current job offers stability and security = the change is too big a risk.

It’s easy to reduce your thinking and see options as ‘either/or’, because your brain perceives potential change as a ‘threat’. An alternative? Reframe your thoughts and language. Notice when your thoughts are negative, closed. Can you flip them round into something positive and open?


5.  Your values are not present in your day-to-day

Values are your chosen principles to how you live your life. When your values are not ‘there’, things might seem off-balance; like your internal navigation system is off. You feel rattled or jarred. You’re not being your authentic-self.

Ask yourself; What are my top 3 values in how I live my life?  Are they present? What’s getting in the way?


Of course there are loads more reasons you might be feeling stuck. But these are some of the main reasons I come across in life and career coaching.

Tree in Spring with sun shining through


Top tip?

Go for a walk and don’t think about it – until later…

This works. It’s easy and practical. I explain how, in one of my free guides – download by clicking below to find out how.

My clients have this guide when we start coaching outdoors together. It helps them clarify their thinking during the life or career coaching process. I wouldn’t recommend it if I wasn’t using it myself – it helps me get clear on the thing buzzing round my head when I’m feeling stuck.


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Coaching together

Client agreement - ground rules.

1. Bring my whole self to this process; professionally and personally.

You cannot separate your professional and personal ‘lives’.

2. Be present in the moment and connected.

… to the coaching; what you’re thinking, feeling, experiencing. And…to nature if and where we are outdoors. If we’re on headphones, I’ll invite you to be descriptive of your environment too.

3. Bring the agenda to each session and keep your overall objective alive.

You can do this in several ways:

  • Be goal and action orientated – bring what you want to discuss and achieve to the session; OR
  • Talk and see what lands – exploratory and intentional.

I will bring the process, tools, ideas, resources and best practice to best support you towards your goal/intention/objective. More in your pre-coaching questionnaire. 

4. Give feedback and be responsive.

Coaching is collaborative. Neither of us should guess where we stand. I ask you to give me feedback and respond – you can rely on me to give and do the same.

I aim to get back to you within 24 hours of you emailing me, even if it’s just to say ‘I received your message’ before I respond properly. If it’s over the weekend or holiday, this may take longer.

5. Do the work in the session and in between sessions.

…so that you get the best value, even when it’s challenging. I might suggest a piece of work based on what you brought to the session. Mainly you will decide your course of action.

Whichever way, I’ll invite you to:

  • Reflect more; through walking, writing and whatever else fires you up, to help you achieve your objective.
  • Explore more; be curious and follow those trails of thought, intentionally
    Practice more; habits? Actions? Keep trying/tweaking.
  • Note what’s coming up that’s important or interesting to you in the session. I may share a few bullet points with you after, via Google Docs.

6. Session duration and timescale.

Generally a session is an hour but happy to shorten or increase session lengths, as and when we both can, that day. Where either of us thinks it appropriate, let’s say in the session. Timescale – let’s keep to the timescale agreed in the contract.

Additional information...

  • Coaching is a relationship designed to facilitate the development of personal or professional goals and develop a plan/strategy for achieving those goals.
  • It is comprehensive; it may involve other areas of your life beyond what you may have originally intended. It is your responsibility to choose and decide how to handle this, or even whether to.
  • It can be challenging; digging deep, creating better habits, becoming more self-aware, changing unhelpful beliefs you hold about yourself to something more helpful. There will be ups and downs. You will gain new insights, learnings and perspectives to help you achieve your goal.
  • You – the Client, are solely responsible for creating and implementing your own physical, mental and emotional well-being, decisions, choices, actions and results arising out of or resulting from the coaching relationship and your coaching calls and interactions with me – the Coach. As such, you agree that the Coach is not and will not be liable or responsible for any actions or inaction, or for any direct or indirect result of any services provided by me – the Coach. 
  • You – the Client, understand that in order to enhance the coaching relationship, you agree to communicate honestly, be open to feedback and assistance and to create the time and energy to participate fully in the program. I will do the same.
  • Coaching is not a substitute for counselling, mental health care or substance abuse treatment.  If you are in any kind of therapy, please tell me.  Tell your practitioner (medical or therapeutic) of you working with me.
  • I ask you to agree to commit to the coaching sessions to facilitate the required change.
  • I will treat you as the expert regarding the subject matter, which is…YOU.
  • I will allow time and space for you to explore your thoughts and think for yourself, no interruptions. There may be long pauses or silence sometimes to elicit more.
  • What goes on in your sessions is confidential. I do not discuss it with anyone. There may be occasion when it is my duty to break confidentiality:
    > If I feel you or I are at risk of harm.
    > Criminal / illegal activity.
    > A safeguarding concern or something else so serious that warrants concern.
  • I may talk to my coach or supervisor about issues arising in our sessions without ever naming or giving away you as the client. This is to ensure I am following professional and ethical guidelines and delivering my best. I subscribe to these by the ICF; https://coachfederation.org/code-of-ethics
  • Qualifications and CPD; I am an accredited coach. This means I have trained, practiced and qualified with Animas Centre for Coaching (Nov 2020). I hold a ‘Diploma in Transformational Coaching’. This is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
    > I have my own coach and group supervision
    > My CPD includes –  Outdoor Intelligence for Online Coaching (Oct 2020) -Positive Psychology (Feb 2021

My accreditations


My story

I’d been trying to work out ‘what else’ I could do with my career and life.

After 20 years in HR and with the children getting older, I wanted to change careers, but into ‘what?’ And ‘how’ was that even possible? And…’who would take on a mid-40’s apprentice?’!

I took small steps to boost my confidence and mindset; a regular ‘walk and whinge’ with friends to offload, short courses to up-skill, more running, more netball.
I asked my workplace ‘what else’ they needed that I could help with – ‘job crafting’. 

I was trying to make changes but it wasn’t really working. I was still frustrated and now, more miserable. I needed a different approach to find a way forward and release the building pressure I felt.

Hiring an accredited coach with whom I knew I could work with, enabled me to take a good look at myself – at times, uncomfortably.

To be listened to without any interruption, or judgement was empowering and I started to recognise what made me, me – my personality, strengths, what energised me and made me happy. What if these things amounted to a job I would…love…?

I followed my curiosity and dabbled with ideas about potential jobs, tasks and environments that would suit me, with a new, growth mindset.

I started to shift perspective. When I finally realised the ‘what’, I felt an energy and sense of knowing that was powerful. And I laughed, because it had been right in front of me!

Coaching undoubtedly helped me get to know myself, to see my potential and what was possible. I wholeheartedly decided through those sessions, on what and how I wanted things to be.

It had taken me two years of feeling stuck and miserable and a number of hours to be liberated.

This is what I now do with my clients. I help them rediscover themselves so that they can play to their strengths and thrive.