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Feeling Paralyzed and How to Overcome Inaction

Tell me, have you felt this way before? All the feelings of being stuck and you can’t get past it.

Yea, that is a thing.

This morning, I was stopped in my tracks while scrolling through Instagram. It was an image that read:

We repeat what we don’t repair.

random Instagram post

Uh, I feel personally attacked right now…

I have been stuck and struggling to figure out what to do. Even though I have a mile long list of things to do.

In a word, I’ve been feeling… Paralyzed.

What is Causing this Paralyzed Feeling?

For one, there is so much to do!! You know when your to-do list grows faster than you can scratch things off of it. Where do you even start?

This leads can lead into other thoughts, such as:

  • Why can’t I take action?
  • What is wrong with me?
  • What is holding me back?

Correction, WHO is holding me back from taking action?

If we are honest with ourselves, the answer is pretty shocking.

You. You are holding yourself back.

Why do I say this? Well, honestly, I know I am holding myself back. But, why?

For myself, I have so many goals, dreams, and ideas… Yet, I feel as though I am stuck in a perpetual state of inaction.

Having a list of goals, dreams, and ideas may be something that resonates with you. But, you may also feel as though you don’t know what you actually want. And, that is why you are stuck feeling paralyzed.

Having a list of goals/dreams or not doesn’t matter. You can be in either camp and have a feeling of being paralyzed due to inaction.

So, how do you overcome inaction?

When someone is feeling this way, what do they need to do to get out of it?

Overcome Inaction with this Actionable List

Some ideas to help you get started in overcoming this perpetual state of inaction.

  • Find or create a support or accountability system.
    • You can call it friendship, mastermind, therapy, whatever you’d like. But, there needs to be a safe place to talk about these things and someone (or multiple people) to hold you accountable.
    • Note, make sure your safe place is not someone who tells you to ingnore your feelings and “just get it done.” That may help for a short period of time, but will not be a long-term solution for this recurring issue.
  • Ditch the judgment.
    • Stop judging yourself for not getting done what you think should be done in a defined period of time (you know, getting everything on your to-do list done in a single day).
    • {Raising hand} Guilty!!! I feel as though I have to be a productivity superstar all the time. There are days I can work 12+ hours and then there are days when I have a hard time getting dressed. Uh, this is exactly the type of thought process we need to move away from. Learning to embrace the ebb and flows of life (and productivity) is a key lesson here.
  • Dig deep – within yourself.
    • What is happening under the surface that is making you feel stuck?
      • Uh, speaking from personal experience, there is likely a recurring theme in your life that is keeping you feeling stuck. For example, I have been paralyzed by perfectionism for most of my life (my first vivid memory of trying to be “perfect” was over 25 years ago!!). As a result of my perfection-striving, I have had thoughts such as this: If I cannot perfectly clean the entire house, there is no point in bothering with picking up the papers off the counter in the kitchen. That type of thinking does not help you to get unstuck.
    • While this type of realization can be insightful and this knowledge can be helpful to identify what is standing in the way, it is important to dig deeper. As in, where does that belief stem from? In the above example, why do I feel the need to be perfect? Once you get all the way down to the deepest issue, you can start to unravel it and get unstuck.
      • To be real here, my personal recurring theme stems from early childhood. Perhaps the same can be said for you? As a kid, I had a constant feeling that everything I did was not good enough. And, when you feel that way, it almost seems as though the better option is to not even try… that way you don’t disappoint someone with a less than perfect outcome. Maybe you have had similar feelings? But, it could be entirely different for yourself.

Side note, that last part was hard to write. It makes my younger self hurt in ways I hadn’t consciously thought about before.

That’s it For Now

Well, that’s all for now. Hopefully you have a better idea of what you can do to take steps to overcome the recurring theme of feeling stuck. Just talking about it (or reading about someone else going through the same thing) can be helpful too.

Maybe after reading this — and knowing you are not alone in this feeling — you are feeling a little better.

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