One of the things I often hear in my work helping people find careers that light them up is a feeling of being trapped. They have a goal they want to reach, a dream they want to achieve, but they don’t feel like they’re able to do it. Or, even worse, they just feel flat out stuck in an unpleasant situation they want to change.
That’s an incredibly disempowering feeling. It’s stressful, and it feels hopeless. It drains their energy. And often, it’s also completely untrue.
If you find yourself feeling trapped or stuck, ask yourself, “What are my options?” Go ahead and start writing them down. Brainstorm and make a laundry list. Once you have written down the possibilities that came to mind immediately, take it one step further. Say, “OK, now, if none of those was a possibility, what else could I do? How else could I reach my goal?” Tape your list to the wall where you can see it and keep adding ideas as they pop up.
So often when people feel trapped, it’s because they’re attached to a single path to an outcome. They think, “Well, I can’t make the logical progression of this, then this, then this, so I must be stuck.”
The reality is, there are many, many paths that will lead you where you want to go. Some will take you straight there, while others are more circuitous routes.
Make a habit of looking for multiple options. The more you look for possibilities, the more possibilities you will see. And the more possibilities you see, the more likely it is that one of them will be the option you’re looking for, and the less likely you are to feel trapped.
After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker , explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.