Feeling Trapped? How to Break Free

Have you ever been stuck in life feeling like you’re going NOWHERE? When people get to the point where they feel trapped in life, problems often began to get bigger. You might find yourself over exaggerating the difficulties which make you feel more panicked and desperate to escape. In our desperation, it’s easy to get stuck on the hamster wheel creating a sense of being “stuck or trapped” – not really living, feeling “caged” and weighed down. But just because you feel trapped doesn’t really mean you are. If you want to create some significant movement, the number one way to do it is to make the decision you’re scared to make. If your unhappy at work, it may be time to change it. Find the escape hatch and jump into something new! If you’re unhappy in your marriage, and it’s not getting better, respectfully, it may be time to make that hard decision and leave. Deep down, you already know what decision you want (or need) to make. Here are a few suggestions to help you break free:

Self Talk – Sometimes you’re feeling trapped is due to depression which causes you to feel helpless. One can become a “self-made victim”. Pay attention and listen to yourself, talk about yourself. Don’t become a victim at your own hand.

Pros & Cons – Make a list of pros and cons to help you “see” more clearly to help you make decisions. Be honest with yourself. This will give you peace in knowing you made the best decision with the information you had at that time.

Focus on Self Improvement – Accept responsibility for your choices and adapt to your

circumstances. Instead of over analyzing the situation, learn to adapt to your circumstances and accept them as they are.

Simplify Life – Sometimes we feel trapped because we don’t have enough money to live the life we want. In this situation, it’s so important to live within or below our means. Living within or below your means gives you a freedom that people in constant pursuit of “stuff” cannot have.

Be Proactive – It takes work, effort and will, to get over the hump. Sometimes, only YOU can change your situation and we can’t always wait for something to “happen” or for someone else to help us. The only person that can save you . . . is YOU.

Be Yourself – “People aren’t tired of living; they’re tired of NOT living”. Existing from day-today behind a mask can make one feel trapped – know that YOU are enough.

During moments when you’re feeling trapped, we often panic and want to change our situation immediately. It’s important to be patient during this time. First, take a deep breath and calm your anxiety. Second, choose to be an active participant in your destiny; decide the next steps to take – don’t let life happen TO you, choose what happens FOR you. Finally, when you’ve done ALL, you can. . . just stand. Some things are completely out of our control and simply need to run their course. Find rest in knowing you did all that you could do.

Know that YOU are loved, know that YOU matter.

Stephanie Lyons is a Mental Health Advocate at the BBFG Community. She is also the original Co-Host of “Voices Of the BBFG” for the Black Business Focus Group.

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