How to keep progressing when you feel stuck

how to keep progressing when you feel stuck

Have you ever had this feeling? You want to keep progressing. You know that there’s still so much to do to even get close to your goals. And yet you have no idea what your next step should be.

For me, it comes in waves. I either have 50 things I want to do all at once, or I feel completely stuck. So I decided to sit down and think about all the things I should do to stop this feeling. And since I’m writing it down anyway, I thought that I might share with you my ideas on how to keep progressing.

Acknowledge that starting is the easiest part

I’ve felt stuck a lot since I started my blog and freelance business. Setting everything up is easy – in my opinion, it is truly the easiest part. You know what to do. You know that you need a website. You know that you should create an email list. You know that you need to write.

There is tons of useful information out there on how to get started. Unfortunately, there is not that much useful information about how to keep going.

Sure, you can learn about marketing techniques and stuff. I did, I still do, but I don’t see anything happening, really.

I created a Facebook page for my business because everyone told me to do it. And have absolutely no idea what I should post on it. I do translations – how do you market that on Facebook?

I share my blog posts on social media, and yet after assisting approximately 20 courses on social media marketing, I didn’t discover anything I hadn’t tried yet, and I see no miracle results as all those courses promised.

To be honest, I feel like tons of people create their business to “help others create their business” although they never actually created anything themselves… and people like me, striving to get their business going, fall into their trap and that’s why nothing comes from it!

Starting is the easiest part because it is concrete. It’s much harder to keep on progressing because it’s not.

Don’t lose your motivation to keep progressing

If you’re like me, you might come to a point where you feel like you tried everything, and nothing works. If you’re’ really like me, you get to this point about 5 times a week.

Whenever I discover a new strategy to try, I get into it 100%. I will keep working until I did everything the strategy requires me to do. And then I wait. And it’s the waiting part that gets me frustrated. If I don’t see immediate results and I don’t know what else to do to get them, I start to feel stuck. To feel like a failure.

But I think that the important part is to never lose motivation. And for that matter, it’s important to not sit around and wait, either.

You may see results now, in a month, or never, but in any case, there is no point in waiting for them. You have to keep progressing in life.

It’s just the same as waiting for the reply from a job interview: you just don’t do that. You go to the interview, do your best, and then move on to the next one. It’s never a good idea to wait. All it does is stress you out, disappoint you if you don’t get it, and waste your time.

Always plan multiple steps ahead

The biggest reason why we get stuck and feel like things are not progressing is that we only plan one step at a time. And once we accomplish that step, and especially if we fail at it, we don’t know what to do.

If you’re working towards a goal, look for every single possibility there is to get to it. Write them down somewhere, plan them out, assess their feasibility and only then decide where to start.

Trust me, it’s so much less nerve-wracking to fail at plan A when you have a plan B, C, and D that are equally as good.

Look for different sources of knowledge to keep progressing

It is important to always keep learning. And the more time I spend on personal development, the more I realise how much we actually have left to learn about each aspect of our lives. It’s truly the principle of “the more you know, the more you realise how much there is left to learn”.

If you’re starting a business like me, there’s tons of practical knowledge you can acquire. But that’s not all there is to learn. There are finances and money which is relevant for so many people who are trying to save or just live, really. There’s learning how to listen to people. How to maintain a healthy relationship. How to become a better version of yourself.

I’ve been obsessed with books, videos, and blogs about personal development, and I’ve come across a couple of truly great ones that I’ll share with you very soon. But the point is, you can’t just stick to one source. Open your eyes, look around you, and take every opportunity there is to keep learning. It’s a great way to keep progressing in life!

Sometimes all you need is a break

There were so many times where I was staring at my computer for hours, scrolling through endless useless sources of information to try and figure out my next step.

Honestly, that’s just a waste of time. Because sometimes, all you need to keep progressing is a break. And by break, I don’t really mean watching Netflix (although that is good sometimes, too). I mean doing something you love.

For me, it’s reading, talking to loved ones, going outside. Taking online courses, too. I just discovered a bunch of free online Ivy League courses and I already bookmarked a ton! Learning things that aren’t necessarily related to what I need to do are sometimes the best inspiration. You let your brain take a break from stress, and sometimes this is all it needs to come up with new creativity.

How to keep progressing when you feel stuck

So there you go, these are all the tips that help me when I want to keep on progressing. For now. I hope that I’ll keep learning every day and be able to write an updated version of this post sometime.

Until then, I’d be so happy if you could share your tips with me!

40 Replies to “How to keep progressing when you feel stuck”

  1. I’m the same – either too many ideas all at once or completely stuck. I’ve been listening to podcasts and today I went to a business workshop with my local business chamber. Aaaand now I have fifty thousand things on my list to do again! I also find when I’m stuck that some networking through business or community groups can start the ideas flowing again. I guess it’s just another way of getting some fresh content in your mind. 🙂

    1. Love that idea! I am starting on that, too – I’ll be going to several business workshops at the end of the year and I hope that it will give me some more inspiration! And I also need to work on my networking skills: 😉

  2. Great post! I definitely find it helpful to take a step back and allow myself to take a breather when I start to feel stuck. Sometimes taking a break allows me to see things in a different light and gives me new motivation going forward.

    1. I’m glad that you liked it! Breaks also give you the opportunity to focus on different aspects of your life – so it’s a win-win! 🙂

  3. You know i feel your words in this post. Starting an online business and learning/taking promising courses online to be successful can sometimes be such a waste of time and energy. I guess with trial and error and persistent we can finally get there.

    1. I’m so happy that I’m not the only one who thinks that! I think that it’s great to get inspiration from online courses, but like you said, you have to find what works for you through trial and error.

  4. Thank you for the motivating post. I get stuck with my posts and this helped me realize how to refocus and not feel guilty about doing something else.

    1. It’s so easy to feel guilty about taking a break because society makes you think that successful people work 24/7! But I came to believe that in order to be truly successful, you need to focus on all the different areas of your life, not just work. So it’s not only okay to do something else once in a while, but it’s actually a good idea! If you don’t take a step back, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.
      That’s one of the reasons why I’ve been obsessed with Stephen Covey’s “7 habits” – he points out really well how important it is to balance every role you have in life.

  5. Starting a business can cause people to get stuck. So you are so absolutely spot on. Planning all the steps in between, makes the whatever you want to accomplish, seem more manageable. It also helps you to use your time more productive. Doing a little step takes a little time, something that you can squeeze in between your busy day.
    I personally believe that taking a break helps me to be more creative. Sometimes your brain just needs to focus outside the picture, in order to see the whole picture!

    1. I agree 100%! Creativity doesn’t come from staring at your screen for hours!
      And I love what you said about squeezing in little steps in between other tasks. Progressing often consists of baby steps anyway, and those don’t take a long time. You’ll still get very far if you move forward a little bit every day.

  6. Thanks for reminding me that why I shouldn’t give up! I also feel so frustrated sometimes, especially when it comes to my business. I feel that my progress is way too slow. You read all these success stories for bloggers who turned their businesses into 6 digit incomes in a few months and you fall for the comparison trap. We really have to acknowledge that success usually takes time. Thanks for the lovely post, Severina

    1. I totally get that, too! But we should never compare ourselves because we’re all different and our success stories will be different, too. There’s no miracle solution for success and we don’t know where exactly we’re going to end up, so we have to make the most of the process. 🙂

  7. I love your list and you got me at keep on learning. Now I just pray for guidance to understand why and reading is a big help. Denying it for so long just made things worst until I reached burnout. Looking forward to your future posts. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you liked it, but I’m sorry that you reached burnout. 🙁 Reading is great to gain new inspiration, and I love online courses, too! Or just talking to people.

  8. I can totally relate! I think I’m guilty of not acknowledging when I need a break! I will keep this bookmarked for whenever I feel stuck! Xx

    1. Sometimes we feel guilty for taking a break because it doesn’t feel productive – but in reality, it is necessary to stay productive! I’m happy that you liked the tips. 🙂

  9. Brilliant post. I completely get how you feel, because I feel the same. People tell us start a blog, do this or that… But they don’t tell you writing is hard. Getting visitors isn’t easy, etc. Sometimes the truth is better than lies. I don’t have the magical formula for you. I wish i could tell you to pour water, add a coin, some herbs, and done! Your life will be easier. The only thing I can tell you is Keep trying, you’re not alone.

    1. You’re right, when you read people’s advice, it always seems like they have found the magic formula but that doesn’t really exist. The solution will be different for everyone. We just have to try different things until we figure out our own way!

  10. It’s so easy to lose that motivation when nothing seems to be working. I’ve been there so many times. Especially when you just want to give up because it doesn’t seem worth it anymore, because it doesn’t seem to matter what you do. Taking a break from it is important, and hopefully you can come back to it fresher, with a new perspective and possibly with new ideas to tackle it.

    1. That’s so true! It also helps to remind yourself why you started. And that it’s not supposed to be easy, and you just have to figure out a way to make it work anyway. Taking a break can really do wonders for creativity and inspiration!

  11. Nnniiiccceeeee…you’re so right on this, Karina!

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. I’m glad you liked it 🙂

  12. I’m the same as you it seems. I either want to take action and do everything at once, with as result I end up doing nothing.. Or I feel so lazy that my mind says it’s time to relax. The big struggle for me is internet, I often find myself clicking and surfing on the web without a purpose. This is quite dangerous for my brain and productivity as it will becomes a habit. Like you said, sometimes the lack of having a vision and plan makes you confused on how or what to do. We always try to find the secrets or the right formula, but often we already have enough information to take action. All we need to learn is to mess things up, get back up and do it better next time. And stop being afraid of failure.

    1. I agree 100% – you can’t be afraid of failure if you want to progress! We need to make mistakes so we can learn from them and do things better next time. I read somewhere that if you don’t fail, you’re not trying hard enough, and I think that it’s a nice way to see failure as nothing more than a hurdle in the big picture.
      As for scrolling through the internet, I guess we’re all guilty of that! It’s important to recognise when you start doing it, and either decide to stop right away or decide that that’s what you want to do right now. That way you’re actively taking a break (or getting back to work) instead of procrastinating.

  13. Hey Karina! A few times throughout this post I was thinking, “wow I feel the same way!”
    I just wanted to come on here to let you know that you have beautiful words and a wonderful blog that will grow each day!
    I’ve gotten stuck a few times while blogging so I know the feeling but the motivation and inspiration is what keeps me going. It’ll all work out, unfortunately it just takes a lot of time and patience to get there.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Your comment just gave me so much motivation. 🙂 I guess we should tell ourselves (and others!) more often that everything will work out and we just need to keep going!

  14. Interesting and informative article .there is nothing better than investing in knowledge…..always pays..
    Nice suggestions..
    God bless you..

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you liked it! 🙂

  15. Such a great post! We all get stuck at times, but it’s definitely encouraging when you break it down like this and provide actionable tips for overcoming!

    1. Thanks! It’s true, we all get stuck – yet it can feel like everyone is moving forward except you. It’s nice to remember that getting stuck is normal!

  16. This: “I feel like tons of people create their business to “help others create their business” although they never actually created anything themselves.” I completely agree!! I have dozens of emails (unread) in my In Box, all offering courses and e-books on how to launch my business. I can’t afford most of them, and even if I could…then what? I feel like the info dries up once the basics are covered. It’s very frustrating. Thanks for sharing your suggestions!

    1. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who feels like that! I actually took 2 paid courses and while I definitely learnt something from them, there was nothing that I couldn’t have found someplace else for free… I guess that it just takes more time and research to discover valuable information for free. Everyone is treating the basics but once you’ve got them covered, it’s hard to find valuable tips.

  17. Hey! In today’s ‘keep running’ sort of environment, I always find myself struggling to catch up and this is much needed advice! I’m glad to have someone saying that it is not wrong even though it is sometimes hard to admit. 🙂 🙂

    1. I’m glad that you found it helpful!
      So many people make it seem like they’re constantly moving but I guess that everyone feels stuck once in a while…

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