How to Get “Unstuck” When You Feel Overwhelmed

Feeling stuck? Discover simple yet effective tips to clear your mind and reclaim your motivation to help you break free and move forward with confidence.

Do you have a big dream or goal that has been sitting on the back burner for way too long?

You are not alone!

Many people (including myself!) struggle to pursue a goal because the HOW feels elusive. Over time, we become overwhelmed and give up.

Over the years, I’ve learned something so valuable we’ve got everything we need to get started on any dream or goal. These skills are built in! We just need to know how to access them within ourselves.

Here are a few tried-and-true tactics to give you the confidence to move forward and take that first step.

1. Tell Your Inner Critic to (Politely) Take a Hike

When you’re just getting started on a new goal, Impostor Syndrome can shut the whole thing down before it starts.

Reframe negative thoughts with the following ideas:

  • Pause and reflect: Try a free meditation from Insight Timer or breathworkhere’s an article from Mind Body Green with various options.
  • Take inventory of your negative self-talk through a journal. Write out the worst-case scenario and ask yourself how that would feel. Is it so bad?
  • Replace with positive thoughts/more realistic outcomes. Writing down a few positive affirmations can bring you back to a more motivated mindset. My friend and life coach Sarah Centrella encourages creating your own affirmations. Make them visible and refer back to them as a reminder to stay in that positive mindset.
  • Practice gratitude and celebrate your wins (self-compassion).

2. Address Your Stuck Points

Half the battle in getting started is identifying the root cause behind WHY you are struggling.

To answer this question, get curious! Ask yourself the following open-ended questions. Jot them down if that feels helpful.

  • Do I have all the information I need to get started?
  • Is the first step broken down small enough?
  • Is there anyone who can help me?
  • Do I need additional resources?
  • Is this a goal that still feels important to me, or has too much time gone by?

Recommended Resources:

Psych Central – Feeling stuck? How to remove those roadblocks.

NY Times – Feeling stuck? Here are 5 ways to jumpstart your life.

3. Time Blocking for Productivity

Now that you’ve addressed the mental blocks to getting started, it’s time to put some productivity support in place! Most people thrive with a little structure.

Time blocking is a time management technique where you divide your day into blocks of time dedicated to specific tasks or activities.

Instead of working reactively and responding to whatever comes up, time blocking involves planning your day and allocating specific time slots for different activities, projects, or goals. This strategy has really helped to zero in on projects including getting this blog off the ground!

To implement time-blocking in your own workflow, identify tasks, set mini goals, make time in your busy schedule, and create focus time with zero distractions. For more specific info on timeboxing, I found this article helpful.

There are plenty of cool tools to support Time Blocking, including your built-in iPhone timer, Pomodoro Timer, Sunsama, Sorted, etc.

4. Leverage Existing Resources

When it comes to achieving your goal, remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel – there are so many sources of inspiration out there to help you get started.

5. Invest in an Accountability Partner

An accountability partner can be a huge motivation boost! It also allows you to dip into a greater network of connections, and insight into new perspectives.

When looking for the right accountability partner, look for someone positive, a good listener and highly communicative.

Be sure to set up effective communication channels for long-term success with your accountability buddy. These should be easy for both of you and not overly complicated. Even a shared iPhone note or Google Doc is a great tool! Schedule regular meetings at intervals that work for both of you and be clear about your expectations.

An accountability partnership works best when it goes both ways, so be prepared to support them in turn! If you have a hard time finding an accountability partner, feel free to book a complimentary session for Mentor Minutes as another support option.

I hope this post has helped shed light on the things to try when the feeling of overwhelm kicks in.

Thanks for reading!

Danielle Cullivan Signature

Danielle Cullivan

Career Insight Studio

Danielle Cullivan is a seasoned leader in tech with over 20 years of experience in Fortune 500 companies. She is also the creator of Career Insight Studio, a career and lifestyle blog dedicated to providing insights and new perspectives for working women. Danielle lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and high-school-aged son, and visits her college-age daughter as often as possible! 

Join the Conversation

One thought on “How to Get “Unstuck” When You Feel Overwhelmed

  1. Great tips Danielle! Getting overwhelmed, can sneak up on all of us and having resources like these tips is so valuable!

doses of inspiration