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.
Am I being lazy or un-willing to put in the extra time and hard work to reach my dream? This is a tough one because people don’t generally like to admit when they are being lazy. We know what we should be doing to make progress but sometimes we let our excuses get in the way and slow us down. Your dreams and goals will never just automatically happen for you.
If you’re going through a lazy spell then you need to do whatever it takes to get yourself motivated again. Listen to motivational messages or read a few motivational books. Get around some people that energize you. It’s time to get off the couch and out the front door on your way to greatness.
If you find yourself giving excuses then it’s time to kick every excuse to the curb and get back on track to your destination. You can make excuses or you can make progress. Which one do you want to make?
3. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.
If you are experiencing a life-jam, then it’s definitely not the time to be prideful. It’s time to reach out to some of your most trusted friends or a family member and share some of the details. Chances are, you’re not the only person on the planet that has experienced what you are going through. Trust me, there is always someone that has been there, done that, and has the t-shirt. They are a great resource and can provide you with the necessary steps you need to take to get your life un-jammed and moving again."
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls,For he has no one to help him up." ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Hopefully these are the people that you already have in your circle as trusted friends. You have to be willing to be honest with them about what’s going on in your life, and be open to their input and suggestions. Sometimes life situations are too much to handle on our own. It’s OK to need help in order to get back on track.
4. Make the necessary adjustments.
You must be willing to do whatever you need to do in order to get back on track and get your life moving again. Through your self-assessment and the suggestions of friends that care for you, it’s time to start making adjustments and taking necessary steps in your life that will cause you to start moving forward again.
Keep in mind that sometimes you will be required to make an adjustment or take a step that doesn't feel good to you. Just because it doesn't feel good, doesn't mean it's not good for you. It may be time for you to go beyond your comfort zone in a certain area of your life. People often get stuck in their comfort zone because they don’t like to face the unknown or do something that they have never done. Nothing great ever happens in your comfort zone. You must be willing to put in the hard work and apply the adjustments needed in order to get un-jammed and moving again.
So always remember that a life-jam is not a life-stopper. It’s not meant to deny you or disqualify you from reaching your desired goal or dream in life. It’s a temporary place or bump in the road on your journey in which you will have to slow down or stop in order to navigate successfully through the situation at hand. Once you make the necessary adjustments, you will be back on the highway of your journey making progress and getting closer to the destination that you have envisioned in your mind.