Is this it? I thought as I stepped into the office for another day of work. I had studied for five years and now worked in business development for a tech company. It was a good tech company that offered free lunch, had an exciting product, and paid its employees well. There was nothing to complain about, and yet I felt more stuck than I ever had. Is this it for the rest of my life? I thought.
Over the course of five years, I switched jobs twice. Once to another tech company and once to a foreign exchange company. Again, good companies with wonderful people and good enough salaries to comfortably live in London. But I still felt stuck.
I tried suppressing the feeling. Count yourself lucky, I thought. People have much worse jobs and have to work a lot harder for much less money. You have no right to complain. You don't even know why you're feeling this way!
It worked for a while. I went about my days relatively happy. Life was okay. But was okay really the bar I wanted to go for? The niggling thought slowly returned until it was front and center in my mind once more. And I don't know how, but I realized something important in the process.
Climbing up a ladder is pointless if it's leaning against the wrong wall. Any action that was more or less of the same wouldn't solve my problem. I needed to do something fundamentally different, and that would require a moment of seeming irrationality.
So I quit my job, left London, and decided to become a fully remote writer. Three life-changing decisions taken over the course of a month. I'd always wanted to be a writer, but never believed I could make any money with it. Instead of giving in to that belief, I decided to find out. Worst-case scenario, it wouldn't work and I'd return to London to find another sales job.
I didn't have to. While I had to scramble for money at the start of my writing career, I was finally doing something I loved. I've not looked back since.
If you feel stuck the same way I did, think deeply about what it is you want to do and squash any doubts about it (they're probably wrong anyway). Then ask yourself, what do I have to start or stop doing to move toward that goal? Don't think in terms of more or less. Think in terms of start and stop.
The pain of feeling stuck is often smaller than the pain of freeing yourself. That's why it's so dangerous. There's no greater loss than someone who spent their whole life suppressing the what if question. Don't let that be you. Figure out what you want, take a leap of faith, get unstuck.