I’m starting with a TV show here, but stay with me 🙂 In the TV Scandal, the main character Olivia is a fixer. Basically she makes scandals go away for people who are in the public eye, or she spins them so they aren’t big scandals anymore.
She always tells her clients two things. 1. Don’t lie, can’t help you if you lie. 2. What do you want? What’s your best outcome?
So take that second one, the question and be honest with yourself, what do you want?
Out of life in general, out of your career, your personal life, out of a specific situation. If you’re unhappy, look at your life and figure out what is not where you want it to be. Again, this doesn’t work if you aren’t brutally honest with yourself.
I have a friend who is not happy with where he’s living. He moved a few years ago and basically got stuck there. I can’t quite figure out how if he hated it from the beginning he got stuck there, but there are a ton of factors that go into people’s decision making and however those converged for him, he got stuck.
For most people, they get stuck, but think it’s temporary. Don’t like the job but good enough for now, don’t like the town but hey, I’ll move when I can, ect… And then you look at your life ten years down the road and wonder what the hell happened and how can you get out of it.
I asked my friend the big question, what do you want? He said he wants to get a job in Nashville and move back. Okay, I said, make it happen. Then he went into how he was waiting to get promoted to get his own store (he works in cars) and get transferred. Okay, now we were getting somewhere. He didn’t just want to come to Nashville, he wanted to do it in his chosen career and actually get promoted in it. He could’ve moved down here and gotten another job doing sales or as a mechanic and just started working his way up again.
My point with this little story is, if you ask yourself what you want and you say one aspect of it, but don’t dig into what other things you take to be important, you’re going to be unhappy and feel stuck because you’re focusing on that one thing and how you can’t get it because you didn’t acknowledge the full picture.
If you’re feeling stuck, why? What is holding you back. Want to go back to school and just not. Why? Is it because you have kids and they need all your spare time outside of work, oh yeah, that job thing. You don’t just want to go back to school, you want to work full time while you do it instead of taking out student loans and living on those like an 18 year old kid. Okay, now we’re getting somewhere.
Here’s the sucky part, once you identify what you want and can narrow it down to the parts in that desire, sometimes you can’t make them all happen. Sometimes something has to give. With the schooling, maybe you have to wait until your kids are grown and off to college themselves. With moving, maybe you do have to wait to get promoted.
But it gets a lot easier to deal with when you identify all the parts of the desire because then you don’t feel so helpless looking at your life and feeling stuck. Because you realize you aren’t. You are just prioritizing. Sometimes things have to go on the back burner or they have to go completely for you to get what is more important. But then you realize what you do have or are working towards is important and is worth the sacrifice. If you’re looking at your life and something isn’t worth the sacrifice, re-prioritize.
Therapist Amie out 🙂 Happy writing and good mental health.