Have you ever felt stuck? Why do you feel stuck? Do you feel helpless and powerless? Want to learn how to stop feeling powerless?
What Feeling Stuck Means?
Feeling stuck means that you feel trapped in a situation or even in a way of thinking. It can feel like you’re hitting the wall and it’s something you’ll all feel at one time or another.
When you feel stuck, you may feel powerless. It may even cause learned helplessness.
Here’s a related post: “What To Do To Get Unstuck In Life?”
What Is Learned Helplessness?
Learned helplessness is a behavior that comes from feeling powerless. It happens when you face some kind of trauma, if you feel stuck because of a chronic illness or a constant failure to succeed.
As a result, you feel helpless when faced with a challenge. Learned helplessness is a behavior pattern that causes you to feel broken and causes the collapse of problem-solving strategies when something comes up.
Examples Of Feeling Powerless
Feeling broken and helpless when faced with a challenge can leave you feeling powerless.
Before you know it, you’re engaging in behaviors that make you feel “safe”. For example, you may have a limiting belief that you can’t achieve great things. As a result, you lower your expectations by staying in a dead end job that you’re overqualified for just to feel “safe”.
Trauma from childhood abuse as well as from bad relationships can lead to boundary issues. As a result, you end up going back to the same toxic situation over and over again. Limiting beliefs about not being able to have something better and learned helplessness when facing toxic relationships can cause you to get stuck in a nasty cycle.
Feeling powerless can happen because of chronic illness. Learned helplessness can happen because of factors you can’t change. you may be overweight or you might be physically impaired. Also, you might suffer from a mental disorder such as PTSD, bipolar disorder or you might have both at the same time.
What Feeling Powerless Leads To?
Feeling stuck and powerless can cause problems for not only your mental health but also your overall well being. It can leave you feeling depressed, anxious as well as unmotivated to change your bad situation. As a result, you end up feeling more powerless because learned helplessness makes a bad situation worse.
Learned helplessness causes something known as a negative feedback loop. This happens when your negative thoughts and sense of powerlessness leaves you stuck or brings you back to same hopeless mindset.
The anxiety and depression you feel from your limiting beliefs about not being able to achieve greater things can be a self fulfilling prophecy. When you stay at a job because it feels “safe” can affect your motivation for bettering yourself. Also, you may miss out on better opportunities when they come along.
Lack of personal boundaries keeps you from having the relationships you want. As a result, you either stay in toxic relationships or you give up on them altogether.
The stress, anxiety as well as depression that comes with feeling powerless can make a chronic illness worse. For example, if you have bipolar disorder, the stress that comes from powerlessness can feel like dumping gasoline on a grease fire. As a result, the extreme mood swings caused by bipolar disorder are either triggered by or made worse by that stress.
How To Stop Feeling Powerless?
How can you stop feeling powerless and helpless?
1. Replacing Negative Thoughts:
How you perceive or see yourself plays a role in learned helplessness. It’s possible that you have negative thoughts as well as false beliefs about being powerless, however you can challenge these thoughts and beliefs.
Challenging negative thoughts and beliefs with positive and more empowering ones is called reframing. As a result, the thoughts and beliefs that leave you feeling stuck are replaced with ones that help you move forward.
Here’s a related post: “Can Anxiety Become A Superpower?”
2. Establish Healthy Boundaries:
Personal boundaries are the physical, emotional as well as mental barriers that you put up to protect yourself from being used or violated by others.
Having healthy personal boundaries help you take responsibility for who you are. Also, to take control of your life even when you’re in a bad situation.
3. Explore The Root Of Your Learned Helplessness:
What caused you to feel helpless and powerless? Did you face trauma in the past? Did you grow up with limiting beliefs?
Once you become more aware of the root of your learned helpless, you can take action to face it and lean into it. When you lean into it, you’ll overcome the anxiety that you feel when you face a bad situation that usually causes you to feel stuck.
4. Challenge And Change Limiting Beliefs:
Limiting beliefs are a reflection of how you perceive or see yourself.
In order to overcome limiting beliefs you first need to know how they’re shaped.
The next step is to replace your old limiting beliefs with new ones.
I’m using my own experience as an example. I identified and challenged my belief, “I can’t be my self or I’ll be judged”. Then replaced it with, “It isn’t my job to please other people”.
By doing this I felt like a different person, however it’s vital to strengthen your new belief.
5. Learn New Behaviors:
It’s important to change behaviors that leave you stuck. For example, stop thinking that your success is due to factors you can’t control, such as luck. Also, don’t blame failure on your lack of ability.
It helps to ask for help when you need it, because you may need a boost to get unstuck. Also, it helps to change behaviors that contribute to feeling powerless. For example, if you feel stuck it helps to set tangible goals to help you move forward.
If you’re no longer happy with your current job, it helps to set long term goals to help you move on. If you don’t have the skills for another job, learn them or improve the skills you have. Also, take action and don’t rely on luck. That means it’s up to you to make change happen.
Have You Ever Felt Powerless?
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