Everyone has felt stuck at some point in their life. It’s part of being human. I think it normally happens when we stop listening to our inner voice, stop going after what we want, and stop challenging ourselves.

It’s easy to get stuck in specific patterns or habits as the routine of life just seems to settle in around you. Things somehow become automatic, expected, and mundane. Sometimes you can let this go on for years before getting to a place in life and wondering how you got there. You might get to a place where you don’t even fully recognize your life or yourself anymore.

At that point, all you know is that you feel stuck. You know you want change, but you don’t necessarily know what you want or how to get it. But actually, being stuck is a gift; it’s an opportunity to grow, to reconnect with yourself, and to decide what it is you want the rest of your life to be. Remember that you are the agent of change for your own life. If you don’t make and embrace the change that’s needed, no one else will do it for you.

So how can you start getting unstuck? Start here:

Take Risks

Let’s be real: most people rarely leave their comfort zones. They live too small, afraid to take their lives to that next level, afraid of failure, and scared of taking risks. But failure is part of life; it’s failure that makes you grow. If you never fail, then that probably means you never really pushed yourself.

Try New Things

The best way to figure out what you want is to try new things. Take a class in something you’ve never done before. Join a Meetup group to connect with people that you might not otherwise come into contact. Try a new look, or even a new restaurant. Trying new things doesn’t mean you have to throw your existing life out the window, but it might just help you clarify your true path.

Let Things Go

Do you constantly find yourself replaying past events over and over again in your head? Do you ruminate over what you should have said in a conversation or during a fight? Nothing keeps you more stuck than holding onto the past. Letting go is necessary in order to move forward with your life. That doesn’t mean you have to forget about your past, but you shouldn’t be living in it. Stop reliving the story that already happened, and focus on creating your future.

Look for Patterns

Do you keep finding yourself in the same situation, such as dating the same type of person, taking the same job, having the same relationship issues, etc? Are you in another situation where you feel disrespected, unloved, or powerless? Look for the pattern. This will help you have a deeper understanding of yourself so you can open your eyes and hopefully avoid repeating these patterns again.

Take Action

Every day, we make hundreds of decisions. Take yourself off autopilot and start to own the decisions you make. Little actions add up that help you get unstuck. Try journaling. It’s a great way to help you work through your thoughts and discover what it is that’s important to you. Start a meditation practice. Daily meditation is a great way to bring clarity to your life.

Surround Yourself with Inspiration

Some people may think this sounds trite, but I strongly believe in it. Read books that inspire you, post motivational quotes on your mirror or make them your screensaver, and put positive things that motivate you where you see them every day. This helps reiterate your core message and fill you with positive energy.

Ask for Help

Many of us don’t like to ask for help, but no one who is successful got there alone. Talking to a trusted friend or family member can often help you decide the next actions you need to take. Or sometimes, an impartial party can be a huge help. Life coaches, career coaches, and therapists exist to help you move forward with your life and identify what you want, then chart out a path to get there.

Everyone gets stuck, but you are the one who has the power to get yourself unstuck. If you want to make a change, figure out what that is and work to make it happen. You are the owner of your life, and you create your destiny.

Originally published at codistenson.com