If you’ve lived life long enough, then you’ve certainly figured out by now that life truly has its ups and downs along the way. Have you ever been in a season of your life where it was all smooth sailing on the highway to your destiny? Maybe everything was working out to your favor. You knew that God was for you and nothing could stop you from reaching your destination. It was all blue skies ahead until all of a sudden everything just came to an abrupt stop.

It’s kind of like driving down the road and you’re headed to a certain place.

You’re making great time because the roads are clear. You’re enjoying the nice peaceful drive until you quickly come upon a traffic jam that appears to stretch ahead as far as your eyes can see. All of a sudden that peaceful drive just turned into a nightmare. You don’t know how long it’s going to take for traffic to clear and things to start moving again. We’ve all been in that predicament at one time or another. That’s when tempers begin to flare up and out of control. We have a tendency to get angry and frustrated because we feel like we are going to be late to our destination. We can easily become angry toward others and fault them for the traffic jam, which in reality they have nothing to do with it.

This is not the time to become angry or to start blaming others for you being stuck on the road. The key is to be patient and eventually traffic will start moving again and you will be back on your way. You may not arrive when you want to, but you will still arrive to your destination if you stay the course.

Just like a traffic jam, every now and then it's possible to find yourself in a life-jam. You were making great progress to the goal or dream, and then all of a sudden everything just stopped working for you. A door of opportunity closed. You thought for sure that something was going to work out and it didn’t. You got turned down for the promotion you were expecting.

Or maybe you feel that you should be farther along in life than you are, and you can feel the time is tick, tick ticking away. Whatever it may be, you need to know that you are not stuck forever. It’s possible to get your life un-jammed and back into action quicker than you think. Here a 4 keys to overcoming a life-jam.

1. Don’t stay stuck.

Even if your reality is that your progress has come to a temporary stop, it doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck in your mind. Never let your current situation overshadow the mental picture of success in your mind.

You must continue to focus your mind on your desired outcome. You must visualize yourself moving in the direction of your dreams. Years ago a great basketball coach decided to have a free throw completion with his team. He split his one team into two teams and the players had three days of practice before the completion. He instructed one team to practice shooting free throws for three days on the actual basketball court. He then instructed the other team to stay in the locker room for three days and visualize shooting free throws for three days. Can you imagine how the players that stayed in the locker room must have felt? They probably felt stuck and at a disadvantage because the other players were out there on the court practicing and making progress.

At the end of three days, the coach held the free throw completion among his team. To everyone’s amazement, the team that sat in the locker room won the completion. That’s the power of visualization. They visualized themselves making every free throw they took in their minds.

2. Assess the situation.

It might be time to start with a little self-assessment. You have to be honest with yourself if you are going to get unstuck and start moving forward in life again. You have to be willing to ask yourself some very tough questions.

Have I done something to cause this life-jam? Sometimes our first reaction is to blame others as to why things aren’t working out in our life. This only leads to bitterness and blinds us from seeing any internal issues that start with us. You must be willing to look at the man or woman in the mirror and ask the tough questions and take responsibility for where you are, and take action to start moving again.

Do I need to rest and refuel? Often times we just need to rest for a moment and allow our spirit, mind and body to recharge. It’s impossible to make progress when your tank is sitting on empty. Take some time to do some activities that charge you up. Rest, relax or do some fun things that have nothing to do with a goal or dream you’re trying to accomplish.

Am I hanging around the right people? If you’re not hanging around the right people, then it might be possible that you are hanging around the wrong people. It’s a good idea to make sure you have people in your circle that genuinely care about you and your progress. You need people who can hold you accountable. You need people in your circle that you can trust. You need people that are not afraid to tell you the hard truth that you need to hear.