top of page

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

When you find yourself stuck and overwhelmed, how can you dig yourself out? Break free from the status quo and find your path to a brighter future in the midst of challenges.

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. Or you may even be there now.

In a single word…stuck.

You look around and you cannot find a way out. Stifled, alone, taken for granted, worried, stressed, anxious, unsure of what tomorrow may bring, or how you even face the morrow. You look for a lifeline, anything really, to keep yourself afloat. But that too proves elusive.

It can be soul-sucking and painful.

You find yourself between a rock and a hard place, with neither being a particularly appealing option. How can you possibly dig yourself out?

Change your perception

Stop thinking that the status quo must be maintained. The definition of status quo is simply the existing state of affairs. Did you catch the key word in that definition? Existing…not the permanent state of affairs, just what it is at this very moment.

I get it, there is comfort in consistency. But when it no longer brings you joy or takes you astray from where you want or need to go—it is time to upend the status quo.

Frightening? It can be; anything new usually is.

When you feel stuck, seek those little thoughts that multiply, whispering of dreams and possibilities. Listen to them. Our purpose throughout our life evolves, but it cannot evolve if you fail to open yourself up to the possibilities outside of the status quo.

Slow progress is still progress

In the rat race of education, the workplace, and family life, sometimes it can all just be too much. There is a schedule and a timeline, and by golly we are going to stick to the generally accepted societal plan. No matter if we push ourselves to the breaking point.

In education, we are so understanding of how different children learn and how they may need a tailored plan, or extended time. Any number of things really. But then adulthood smacks us in the face and we are back to thinking that everyone should be on the same track.

Stop it.

If it takes you five years, ten years, or longer to get a college degree—so be it. Slow progress is still progress, and when you get to the finish line, it will mean so much more.

If family activities are taking over, slim it down. When we are always carting our children from one activity to the next, what are we telling them? Consciously or not, we are imparting a message that the expectation is to always be ‘on’. And in so doing, they never learn peace. Slowing down teaches them to envelope themselves in the quiet, still moments, and provides a powerful trajectory as they develop.

That workplace that is just so…not where you want to be anymore? You have options. Identify what it is that is causing the internal discontent. Once you know what the issue is, find your place. Maybe it’s a transfer or less hours or relocating or a new employer or heck, maybe even a new industry. Stop limiting yourself and thinking that you must stay as-is for time eternal. Self-doubt can be the biggest hindrance to a brighter future.

Know your self-worth

When we are weary, our self-worth slips away. Ever so slowly. I am going to share some words of wisdom that helped me through a dark time. I typically avoid any religious references in my writing, not because I don’t have my own convictions, but because I want to speak to the common struggles, aspirations, and values I believe are inherent to all people, regardless of religious affiliation.

In that dark time, my self-worth evaporated. I was overwhelmed, burned out, taken for granted, weary, and discouraged. During its peak, this particular verse crossed my path.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

We were not created to be in a heavy state of exhaustion. When the weariness consumes us, it is an indication that God is far from our plans. And so we must chart a new path, back to where we need to be. And truthfully, where we are meant to be.

Whether you believe in one god, many gods, or none at all, I hope you see the wisdom in that no one should be held in such a state. And if by chance you are, I hope you see and grasp the value within yourself and find the strength to course-correct.

Knowing your self-worth allows you to release the shackles.

When you find yourself amidst the rocks and boulders, being squeezed from every direction, know that this is not your future or your end. It is the impetus to a new beginning.

May your burden be light.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page