3 Reasons You’re Feeling Stuck and How to Break Free

Alisha Headley

iBelieve Contributing Writer
Updated Sep 23, 2020
3 Reasons You’re Feeling Stuck and How to Break Free

It’s so easy to get in a rut—unable to move toward the thing that we desire and the thing that we feel called to do. We tend to either stay stuck because we are tied to the past, or we are too terrified of the future.

By doing nothing, we are choosing to stay stuck on a daily basis. It’s time to pivot, move, change, and get unstuck. Through the Lord, we have the strength to break free from the things that are holding us in place, where we have grown comfortable in our own “stuckness.” Some of us carry around stuckness like we carry around our purse each day. It takes courage to break free, and it takes daily dependence on our God to do this, but it is possible.

Whatever you are doing, or not doing, the words you are using, the wrong patterns you are playing over and over in your mind are no longer serving you well. In order to get you from stuck to free, you have to be able to recognize the reasons you are feeling so stuck.

There could be many reasons, so I encourage you to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them to you. But here are 3 common reasons you’re feeling stuck, and biblical truth on how you can break free from them.

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1. You Are Stuck in a Lie

One of the reasons you’re unable to break free is because you may be stuck in a lie that prevents you from moving forward. This could be a lie that you were told about yourself since you were a child, or perhaps it came from the aftermath of a devastating end to a relationship. Or it was simply caused by words a friend or co-worker spoke over you. Words are so powerful. For words have the power to “speak life and death over you” (Proverbs 18:21).

Maybe words were never spoken over you, but it was a belief you’ve carried as truth about yourself, and you’ve become accustomed to thinking it’s just a part of “who you are.” Maybe you acted in some way, or someone acted this way toward you, making you believe you are defined by this action. Perhaps your husband cheated on you, or your father abandoned you at a young age. This left you believing that lie that you were never good enough and are not worthy of being loved. This leaves you stuck in this lie, preventing you from being free.

But that’s just it, these are all lies. Lies lies lies!

Allow me to remind you where these lies come from. They come from Satan himself. It started in the very beginning when he told lies to Eve in the Garden of Eden. When God told her to not eat from the tree of life, Satan came in and asked her if that’s what God really said, and then told her the lie that she would actually not die if she ate from the tree of life (Genesis 3:1-7). Satan is “the father of lies” and “in him, there is no truth” (John 8:44).

In order to break free from being stuck in a lie, you must first identify the lies you believe. Spend some time journaling and praying for the Lord to reveal to you lies that you’ve taken on as false truth. Confess these to the Lord and ask Him to forgive you for believing these lies. After you have identified the lies you’re stuck in, you must then begin to replace these lies with truth, with Scripture. For the word of God is nothing but truth as Psalm 33:4 says, “His ways are perfect, and His word has proven to be true.” Start diving into the Word to find the treasures in Scripture to replace those lies with truth and begin to see yourself slowly breaking free from being stuck as you have been stuck in lies for too long.

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2. You’re Stuck in the Idea of How Things Are Supposed to Be 

We tend to view our lives according to our goals, our desires, and our will. We marry someone with the expectation that they will fulfill certain needs or desires in our lives. We have kids in the hopes of expecting things to be the way we pictured them to be. We choose careers we expect will bring us fulfillment.

What happens when life doesn’t go according to our plan, or go according to the idea of how we think things are supposed to go?

We praise God when things go according to the way we expect them to. We question God when life doesn’t go according to plan, and sometimes we even walk away from Him when we feel He should change what’s happening to us. But most of the time, when things don’t go according to our plans, we remain stuck.

We get so stuck to the idea that things in our life are supposed to look a certain way, that we hang onto those ideas and stagnate in stuckness. We try to recreate or manipulate things to go back to where they were or where we think they should be, so we stay stuck in place much longer than we should.

In order to break free from being stuck in the idea of how things are supposed to be, we must surrender our will to the Lord. We must align our hearts with His heart and our will with His. When the disciples asked Jesus how we are to pray in Matthew 6:10, He said to pray for “God’s will to be done, and not thy own.”

If we stay stuck in the idea of how we think things are supposed to be, we will never be able to break free. We will be so tied to the outcome we expected, that we remain in disappointment forever. Let’s surrender our will to the Lord. This takes dying to ourselves daily as Luke 9:23 says “if anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up the cross daily, and follow Me…” As we do this, our hearts will begin to look like the Lord's more and more, day by day, and we will break free from the idea of our own selfish desires and outcomes.

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3. You’re Stuck in the Fear of the Future 

Maybe we’ve been able to let go of the past and our expectations. But we are terrified of the future and what’s ahead that we remain stuck. I left my corporate career in finance because I felt the Lord call me to write and teach. For the first few years, I felt so stuck because I was living in a state of fear. I was pursuing something I had never pursued, totally unfamiliar, and I had no idea what I was doing, so for some time I didn’t do anything, and remained stuck.

Then the Lord began revealing to me to just take one step of obedience at a time. And so I did. I took the first step. Then the second. I didn’t try to figure it all out at once. One beautiful promise the Lords gives us is in Deuteronomy 31:6. Be strong and courageous, do no fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” The Lord is so faithful. He has never proven to be anything less than faithful. If He’s called you to it, He will equip you for it. He won’t leave you empty-handed.

In order to break free from your fear of the future, you need to listen to the Lord’s instructions and take one step of obedience at a time.  And when you begin to take obedient steps, you must then keep your focus on Jesus, otherwise fear will take over. It’s so easy to take a step, but when we go out in the unknown and unfamiliar waters, we become afraid. Just like Peter did in Matthew 14:22-33. This passage discusses the story of Jesus walking on water towards His disciples. Jesus told Peter to not be afraid and to walk on the water towards Him, so “he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when Peter saw the wind was boisterous, he was afraid and beginning to sink, he cried out to the Lord…”

Peter was obedient and took the steps, but he became afraid the moment he took his eyes off of Jesus and put his eyes on the storm around Him. Let’s keep our eyes focused on him and begin to break free of the fear of the future holding us back. The Lord has called us to get out of the boat and walk with Him. Don’t stay stuck in the boat. He promises to be with us every step of the way.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Koldunova_Anna

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Walking ahead in Freedom

It’s time to get out of a place of feeling stuck and move forward in freedom for what the Lord has for you. Let’s replace those lies we have believed about ourselves for too long with the truth written in God’s word. Let’s remove any expectations we have in this life, of ourselves, of others, or how we think things are supposed to be as we trust that God is in control and has great plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11). And then let’s take one step of faith at a time as we keep our focus and eyes on Jesus who will never leave us nor forsake us, for this is His promise.

Let’s choose today to stop replaying the old tapes, old mistakes, old thought patterns and beliefs, believing old lies, and break free from what’s holding us back. You don’t have to stay stuck forever. Jesus came to set us free. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and do no let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Freedom is offered to us and waiting for us to take a hold of it. We no longer have to be burdened to the slavery of being stuck. Christ came for us to give us freedom, so let’s hang on to that promise and break free so we can live the lives we were made for.

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Alisha Headley is a writer + speaker who has a desire to meet the everyday woman in her everyday life with biblical truth. Stepping into her true calling, she left the corporate world behind as a former-financial VP to love on her family as a stay-at-home wifey + dog mama, while also being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Healing from a chapter of life consumed with lies she once believed about herself, she is inspired to point women to Christ to experience the freedom + power to overcome those lies with the truth written in God’s word. In her free time, Alisha enjoys road trips around the country, working out so she can eat her favorite foods, and creatively styling her outfits with a craft for fashion. Alisha is a proud wifey and dog mama living in Scottsdale, Arizona.

You can follow her blog by visiting her website or connect with her on facebook + instagram.

Originally published Wednesday, 23 September 2020.