Understanding and Overcoming Mental Blocks: Unravelling the Reasons Behind Feeling Stuck

So, why am I so stuck?

Feeling stuck in life can be a hard experience, especially if it has been a long time.

My experience of feeling stuck stretches out over most of my life, especially my adult life. What I have learned is that we can’t unstick our lives until it is time to unstick our lives. Many unconscious childhood programmes can be playing beneath the surface that we cannot become aware of until certain events or triggers have taken place in our lives.

I’m not saying this to frighten you into thinking that your feeling stuck could last a long time, but so that you go easy on yourself in the process of unravelling the reasons you have felt stuck.

My own very stuck backstory

So I was born into a family with many psychologically toxic programmes running since birth. I was born into a mother who has serious insecurities and self-confidence issues. These issues she has came out in different ways to others in the family. She avoided her insecurities by projecting them onto me in a very passive-aggressive and manipulating manner.

Some people never grow up or mature beyond a certain level in their lives. My mother has probably gotten stuck at her teenage self. So envy and jealousy were hugely (and still are) prevalent in her life, and once I was born, she was triggered a lot. Before I began speaking, everything was sort of okay. I’m not sure I got attended to too often because I have connected to my inner baby self, who found that she screamed for help and support and just kept on screaming. As soon as I started speaking, things changed a lot. She even said recently that she liked me and my sister more before we started to speak, all said in a joking way; nevertheless, this struck a chord with my own experience growing up.

I was close to my father; we had a great soul bond, but unfortunately, this triggered deep insecurity in my mother and envy. There was often bitterness and resentment in the words directed at me and especially in her energy (I am an empath, so I picked up on these things).

So from a very early age, I learned to manage my mother’s emotions by not doing anything to provoke this resentment or envy energy. It was my way of protecting myself and feeling safe. I realised that if I did well at school, was praised, stood up, and shone, I felt this recoiling feeling in the pit of my stomach. This wasn’t from my father; he was happy that I was happy, but it was definitely from my mother.

How did this translate into being stuck?

As a child, I learned that my mother would only accept me if I was beneath her, smaller, not succeeding, not doing well, and certainly not shining. I learned I had to be invisible. And her behaviour if I questioned things I did not like as I got older resulted in her actually sitting on a chair facing the wall and pretending I was not there.

It wasn’t until the end of 2023, going into this year of 2024, that I discovered I had been carrying this programme of must hide, must not be seen, must not be heard, must not shine’ to receive acceptance from my mother. I say acceptance, as I am not entirely convinced she loves me. Not in the way a mother-daughter would love a child; I’m not sure she knows what love is without conditions, as I feel she received exactly what she gave me growing up too.

This year, I turn 48. I would say I have been holding myself back and hiding my light for such a long time—most of my adult life and into childhood. This translated into feeling incredibly stuck for most of my life.

How Did I Manifest This Stuck Experience?

The ways in which my childhood programming played out in creating stuckness were in a whole host of ways, some of which were:

  • I protected myself by sabotaging friendships, so I had no friends. This was so my mother could feel I was her friend only. In 2023, I found out this was a really toxic experience to have with a parent; I didn’t know it was. I did this over every single friendship until I got into my 40s.

  • I protected myself by attracting partners who were not good for me, thereby being alone and needing my mother again.

  • I protected myself by sabotaging jobs I had that I really enjoyed and being fired or made redundant in those jobs I actually loved, so I was not doing anything that made her resent me.

  • I protected myself by creating businesses or ideas that were amazing, but as I felt the resentment and envy creep into me from my mother and the outside world, I set them up to fail to keep myself on the lower pedestal my mother has me on.

  • I protected myself by hiding my own book, ‘When Everyone Shines But You’, due to the energy I was feeling coming at me from the outside world.

  • I expected envy and jealousy from people, so I hid in the shadows, not revealing the best of me to the world.

And this list goes on.

But I must add that occasionally we follow a role in life that is not meant for us in the way we think it is, to prop up our own insecurities from childhood. The role I chose was to always be the helper, the healer, and the fixer. I would over-give to feel a sense of being useful in the world, never really succeeding at anything that I really wanted, and it was exhausting. It felt like I was pushing a large boulder up a hill over and over again, wondering why nothing would work for me. Sometimes we are meant to let go of roles and identities; we may have followed certain journeys because we didn’t think we were allowed to have what we wanted. So that was the next best thing. We may settle and not discover our true nature or what really wants to be born into the world. Those roles may give us a fake sense of security or self; for example, ‘I must be good or nice if I’m a healer’.

So it’s important to be aware that sometimes being stuck is not just about clearing the old patterns and shining or succeeding on a certain path, but sometimes that path is masking something more beautiful that cannot be revealed until we drop that role.

Just this past week, I had my own ‘Aha’ moment and know I now need to let go of being a channel for healing. Not completely, but in the sense of hands-on healing on a couch. I feel I am naturally just a catalyst for healing, but I now need to discover who I really am beyond this role and identity.

When we need to let go of a role and if there is resistance, we will often have people in our lives confirm we must continue on, for they are simply mirroring that resistance; if we can’t see, they can’t either. So before I had my ‘Aha’ moment, I had fellow healers say I should continue being a healer and stay on that path, even though that path was hiding whatever my true path is.

I can’t have what I want

Part of feeling stuck is feeling that we can’t have what we want in life. No matter what we do, be it working extra hard or using the false sense of manifesting by positive affirming our way through it, we still feel we can’t have what we want.

Lately, I was doing some EFT (emotional freedom technique) on some feelings that were arising for me. I suddenly got this deep feeling of incredible sadness. The voice was saying, ‘I can’t have what I want’ so I tapped on all the EFT accupressure points with that statement. After a lot of crying through the EFT, another question popped up, and I could feel it was from my child self because of the way it was said; it simply said, ‘I can have what I want? Are you sure?’.

I then realised how much an impact my childhood programming had had on me. Every time I protected myself from the pain of my mother’s disapproval, envy, and resentment, I said, ‘I can’t have what I want’. The very question, ‘I can have what I want? Are you sure?’ It made me cry so hard. This inner child is literally in awe that she can have what she wants.

From this moment on, other things shifted. I realised via another catalyst friend, that I was not to be a channel for healing in the way I had been for the past 23 years. The lack of momentum, the lack of passion, the walls blocking my progress, the fact I had so few clients coming and it was really hard to get myself verified on Google—life’s wisdom was showing me the next stage.

I had felt stuck for so long and did not know what else to do, especially after the triggers and traumas of loss in 2022/2023. I was asking over and over again, ‘What am I supposed to do?’

That answer came from simply releasing and freeing myself of a path I had used to prop up an insecure personality that felt to be accepted, and as a good person, I needed to be a healer in the traditional sense. The next step beyond this, I do not know yet. All I know is that by releasing this, I make space for whoever I really am to emerge.

I’m quite excited about this but also scared because my ego is saying, ‘But how do I pay the bills in the meantime?’.

For now, I must trust.

Feeling stuck takes a really deep exploration of our life journey and why we do what we do. It’s not a surface-level thing. We can’t change this by only doing a brief inner child meditation and a few affirmations, and then suddenly we move forward. We can’t think ourselves out of this; we need to be brave and explore.

Are you ready to explore?

So how can you find out why you are stuck?

  • Start by looking at your childhood. What messages or signals did you receive growing up, obvious or not?

  • Work with your inner children. Meditate and go looking for the children that reflect the statement ‘I feel stuck’. Are they protecting you from something?

  • Are you performing or doing any roles in life that cover up insecurity? Is it possible you need to let go of them—a job, a relationship, a business, or anything else that is covering up who you really are?

  • What benefits do you receive from being stuck?

If you need to talk about your own journey privately, please feel free to message me via my blog.

With love and good luck and thanks for reading,

Kelly x


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Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

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