Growth is evidence of life. There are times in life when we thrive and shine. We have so much energy to reach our goals and even surpass our expectations. Then there are times we don’t feel up to the task – times when it seems that every aspect of life has come to a standstill, and there’s an unseen force holding us back from moving forward.
What is Stagnation?
In my life, stagnation came in the form of not getting a scholarship to further my studies. In your life, it might come as a feeling of being stuck or a lack of intimacy and growth in your relationship. Eventually, nothing excites you enough to take action. You find yourself in an unending cycle of mundane daily activities coupled with a paralyzing fear of being stuck in a rut.
Stagnation, simply put, is the lack of growth and development. Even without a broad scale for measuring stagnation, there are signs to look for, such as:
- Lingering procrastination of your goals
- Lack of enthusiasm to do anything
- retreating into sleep, entertainment, and other mindless activities for comfort.
- A feeling that you are living under your potential
More often than not, stagnation in your life is a sign of underlying issues. Addressing those issues will help you get back on track. It won’t be an overnight transformation, but you can move out of stagnation step by step.
Effect of Stagnation on your Mental Health
Seeing others grow while you seem to be stuck in the same place can be very difficult. Such situations make you doubt your capacity to effect a change in your life. There is a tendency at this point to rely on external factors to drive change. When these external factors fail or disappoint you because you can’t control them, you become stressed and sad.
People who experience stagnation are often prone to slip into depression. Low self-esteem or being self-critical are risk factors for depression. Feeling like there is no clear direction forward in your relationships, friendships, work, or self-development can do a number on your self-esteem. You know it makes you unhappy, but it still feels like there is no other option.
How to Move on
To move out of a rut, you need to have a mindset of making things happen instead of waiting for the situation to get better on its own. That means talking to a therapist or getting into couples counseling to make your relationship work. It means opening up to your friends about your motivation issues and holding each other accountable.
Being frozen in fear can cause you to be stagnant. Sometimes setting and desiring specific goals isn’t a problem. The real problem is a fear of failure, which paralyzes you from taking any action. It is overthinking the amount of work required and the possibility of errors that prevent you from seeing that being open to mistakes is what helps you move forward. It is beneficial to break down your tasks into small steps. This way, you can get one step closer to your goal with each attempt you make.
It might seem like you’re the only one standing still while the entire world keeps moving, but this is far from true. Many people from various walks of life face the same predicament. A recent study shows that 69% of people feel stuck in the same old routine.
Recognizing you are not the only one stuck in stagnation makes it easier to deal with this temporary state. Accepting the situation for what it is, helps you focus on constructive steps that will get you moving. You might need to break out of some old habits to allow room for a new way of doing things.
At the end of it all, realizing that the ball is in your court and you are the only one who can take the steps needed to move out of a rut is the first step in the direction of productivity. The happiness and fulfillment you seek in your life are not without but within.
About the Author: James Adisa is a freelance writer with an aim to use his words to uplift the soul and strengthen the mind. He has a passion for writing about topics that are related to mental health and wellness. This passion is born out of experiences that have made him see the importance of maintaining good mental health. You can reach him on LinkedIn
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
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