Feeling Stuck and Directionless – How to deal with Challenges and Difficulties in Life?

by Ruchika Kalsi Kapil – Updated 20/09/2021

When Difficulties and challenges in life pull you down, you feel stuck, directionless, confused and hopeless ….. Worry not, believe in yourself and this is how you prowl and get back at them.

Feeling Stuck and Directionless – How to deal with challenges and difficulties in Life?

Losing a loved one, Breaking up with a partner, Failing an exam, Business shutting down, Losing Money or job, Draining Health Problems, Dealing with difficult people, Being in a demanding routine or a transitioning phase …………

Many a times, life throws us into situations where we feel stuck and hopeless. Progression seems missing and it feels like one has whirl pooled into an ocean of directionlessness, worries, confusion and stress.

It is during such challenging times that being hopeful and staying positive becomes all the more important (and Difficult!!!).

So, when life hands you down lemons, it’s best that you sort them first – small, big, raw, ripe, rotten – and then decide the best ones for pickle, chips, desserts, lemonade ….. and for chucking out.

This article focuses on a step wise strategy that one can use to unstuck and freed themselves from confusion and worries arising out of such difficulties in life. Thus, laying out a path towards successes, satisfaction and happiness.

Let’s get on to getting our lives on track, taking actions and finding – ‘How to deal with challenges and difficulties in life?’

All you need to have is a Notebook or Sheets, Pen and Post-It Notes (You can merely use a notebook and go on writing as instructed below, which is easy. However, clubbing the same with Post-It notes will give you a better visibility).

So, Solutions, Ahoy!!!

Step 1 : Look at various Aspects of Your Life

The very first step is about listing out the broader categories that form your life’s infrastructure like Family, Relationships, Career, Finances, Health etc.

Feeling Stuck and Directionless – How to deal with challenges and difficulties in Life? _Aspects of Life

These are the basic ones however, you can have more. Dedicate a page or a sheet to each aspect you have.

Step 2 : Make a List of Challenges/ Difficulties You Have 

Knowing your difficulties is the first step towards overcoming them.

So, Make a list of challenges that require attention. The issues mentioned here could be anything – big, small, silly, strange. Basically, you have to pour out everything that is giving you a tough time right now.

Feeling Stuck and Directionless – How to deal with challenges and difficulties in Life? _List of Challenges

Write one problem per Post-It note and once you have written all, go on dividing or sticking them in their category pages. Clearly, the division is based on the nature of your challenge ( Career related, health related etc ).

For Eg: In the image above, Overweight, Stress and Thyroid Issues will go into Health related challenges; Incomplete certifications, Probono are Career related; Time Management, Decision Making, Assertive Communication could be Self Development or again Career related challenges.

Step 3 : Now, Make your Wishlist

Wishlisting is all about writing down your wishes, desires ……… everything that you want to achieve, in a particular sphere of your life.

Don’t feel guilty, if you have a long list. To wish for anything and everything is just a characteristic of being a living entity.

Again, write one wish per Post-It note and once you are done, divide them in the categories that you created in Step 1.

This is an important step because it’s from here that you will start having a clarity and defined goals for yourself. How?

Here’s the Link between Steps 1, 2 and 3:

In this aspect of my life (From Step 1), this is my current challenge(s) (Step 2) and this is where I have to reach, my Wish or Goal (Step 3).

Feeling Stuck and Directionless – How to deal with challenges and difficulties in Life? _Wishlist1

Quick Note: In most cases, there would be a direct relationship between a particular problem and a particular goal/ wish in a particular aspect. But in case, they are unrelated, let your wishes be a motivating force for taking action and finding solutions to your problems.

Step 4 : What is Your Treasure Trove?

Your Treasure Trove means your personal wealth, tangible as well as intangible. Here, you list out everything that you already possess that can help you overcome your challenges in life like

  • Skill Sets You Have
  • Your Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Your Assets and Liabilities
  • Your Social Connections
  • Your Personal Values
  • Your Network of People
  • What motivates/ demotivates you?

Check, if anything from your trove fits somewhere to help you with your challenge.

If Yes, then Great.

For Eg: The Image below shows Career Challenges being faced by a random individual, the treasure trove and how they arrive at a viable solution through everything that’s available.

Feeling Stuck and Directionless – How to deal with challenges and difficulties in Life? _Treasure Trove

If No, then you need to brainstorm and figure out what can actually help. This might require you to Increase your Skill Set or Meet New People or Working on Yourself or Taking a Break etc.

By now, you would have a clarity on your solutions and a list of tasks to accomplish. So, this is the time you need to Get Cracking.

How? Let’s see in our next step.

Step 5 : Start by Prioritizing

Divide your entire work list on the basis of urgency and importance which means you need to decide

  • What is it that needs to be addressed immediately?
  • What can be looked into later (Later but when – Assign a time frame of achievement to every activity that’s there)?
  • How much of it can you deal with at one time (You might have to create more time by removing other irrelevant time consuming tasks from your routine)?

Feeling Stuck and Directionless – How to deal with challenges and difficulties in Life? _Prioritise

Step 6 : Start Acting Now!!

Once, your priority list is ready, it’s the Actual Go Time. You need to Get Into Action ….. Serious Action. That is the only thing which will get you out of stagnation and hopelessness.

Feeling Stuck and Directionless – How to deal with challenges and difficulties in Life? _Taking Action

This is a wonderful exercise that just works everywhere. It can help you:

  • Feel Unstuck, Get Direction and Bring Clarity in Life
  • Increase your Productivity
  • Achieve more – Your Wishes and Goals
  • Plan Better
  • Be Happier

So, no more feeling stuck, directionless and hopeless.

In the end, Life is all about Sorrows and Happiness, Ambiguities and Clarities, Difficulties and Simplicities, Problems and Solutions, Challenges and How you Overcome Them. So, Let’s have a toast to a More Satisfying Life. Let’s Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst and Take What Comes.



About the Author

Ruchika Kalsi Kapil , Founder – Editor @ FSH. She is an Image Coach and a Personal Branding Expert helping individuals to achieve inside out transformations through Appearance and Attitude Management. She is a fitness freak and a foodie too, who loves being healthy and hearty.

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