Have you ever caught yourself just sitting there feeling like you’re completely lost in the world? Like nothing you do matters and things will always stay the same? I’m sure many of you feel that way right now. And you know what? That’s normal. What’s not normal is accepting that your life must follow the path you’re currently on.

It’s estimated that 85% of Americans dislike their job. That’s a whole lot of people spending the majority of their time doing something they don’t like doing. Unfortunately, this is a sad reality most of us accept. We get caught up in this cycle of working miserable jobs to pay for a car we mainly use to get to work. Then we feel lucky when we can finally afford to buy a home we hardly spend time in because we’re so busy working to pay to off said home. Throw in kids and the “American dream” of always wanting more, more, more, and you have a recipe for regret and dissatisfaction with life.

So, if you’re one of these many unhappy or listless people, how do you get unstuck from your life? Well, the good news is you can almost always change your lot in life. The bad news, the further you get away from neutral—the state of having no debt or things anchoring you down—the harder it is to change your life.

For instance, if you’re following this site you’re probably a writer or an aspiring writer. As an example, let’s say you’re an aspiring writer in your mid-20s. You work a crappy job but you don’t have much tying you down in the way of responsibilities. Perhaps you’re dating someone and share an apartment, have a cheap car, and very minimal debt. This is close to neutral which means you can get up and change your life anytime you want. Sure, it’s scary as hell. And you certainly run the risk of becoming homeless or dependent on others to fulfill your basic needs. Regardless, you’re free to do whatever you want. If you want to be a writer, or artists, or actor, or anything else like that you have the freedom to do so. The only thing holding you back is yourself. To succeed, you must overcome self-doubt and work your ass off. It won’t be easy, but the rewards will be great.

Now, let’s skip ahead and get really far from neutral. Let’s say you’re an aspiring writer in your late 30s. You have a decent paying but unfulfilling job, a mortgage, you’re married and have a few kids, and you have a good bit of debt. Essentially, you’re stuck. You’re 200 miles away from neutral which means 400 miles away from the life you dream of. In order to just get back to the starting point, you must do the amount of work someone with no responsibilities has to do to get to their dream life. This is such a daunting task that most who face it simply give up and live with that regret of not pursuing their dreams sooner. This is how you become lost in the world—how you end up drifting through life with only a sprinkling of happy days and moments mixed in with a whole cake of monotony.

How does one become unstuck in such a situation, though? Well, the first thing you must do is listen to the voice in your head. That voice that has been there all along; urging you to chase your dreams. Telling you that you’re good enough to succeed. You must give this voice the power to grow louder over the voice of doubt that so often wins out. If you always wanted to be a writer, that voice was the one telling you to go for it; that you can do it if you’d only try. Listen to that voice and ignore the one telling you otherwise.

The second thing you must do is create a plan. Tell the people closest to you what your goal is and what you want to accomplish. If they don’t support you, go it alone. You must be strong. You must be brave. Some of life’s most rewarding journeys are the ones we take alone.

The last thing you must do is work your ass off! Since you’re already stuck, you have to work twice as hard to get unstuck. That means long days at the job and longer nights working toward your goals. You must finish what you start. You must make smart decisions. And most importantly, even if you’re doing it all without any support, you must still be there for your family and friends. If you can’t or don’t want to, you must be willing to let them go. That last part will definitely change your life and its course, but it could also lead to a kind of misery you never expected. It’s a major gamble to take, and the only one who can decide to take it is you.

No matter where you are in life, it’s never going to be easy to change. Whether you’re stuck or not, it’s still terrifying to try something new and even more terrifying when your fail. And you will fail. Over and over and over again. But you need this struggle to reach your greatness. You need to fail to be able to appreciate success. You don’t need to feel lost in this world anymore. You need to chase your passions. You need to learn how to appreciate what you already have while working toward the life you really wanted all along. Remember, every choice you make is yours. You can’t blame others for where you are in this world. If you got yourself stuck, you must get yourself unstuck. Impossible is a word used by the weak-minded. You’re capable of much more than you know. Don’t waste your life wishing for something to happen when you have the power to make it happen. Don’t sit and watch as life passes you by.

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If you liked this you should check out these other great life articles.

Social Media Is A Lie: Why Your Life Matters

Nostalgia: Why It’s Important To Leave The Past Behind

The Importance of Finding Your Purpose in Life

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