6 Signs You’re Stuck In The Past (And How To FINALLY Move Forward)

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6 Vital Signs That You’re Stuck In The Past

One of my former colleagues, Les (not real name), was not known for his brilliance, diligence, or humility. Instead, he was known for complaining perpetually. Every time he raised is hand and opened his mouth, we knew that he was going to spew vile while complaining about everything under the sun but himself.

When I joined the company in 2001, he was already 3 years in the system. When I left 8 years later, he was still in the same job grade and blaming everyone for everything.

From this experience and many others of a similar nature, I came to realize that most people are their own worst enemies. They remain stuck in their past hoping that some angel will come and rescue them from their misery.

Watch out for the following signs and if you note any of them, make sure to cut them off from your life immediately:

1. You moan constantly.

Groaning and griping are part of a regular day for constant moaners. If it’s not the scorching sun, then it’s the rainy day that messes up their lives. If it’s not about traffic, it's the kids and the spouse who messed up their day. They complain about the neighbor's dog and even about their own shadows.

Moaners are energy zappers and take away your oxygen. They never contribute any solutions because, for every solution, they have nothing good to say.

2. You thrive on negativity.

These are people who look for and stir conflict because they don’t want to be alone in hell. Peace and constructive engagement are foreign to their lives.

They derive pleasure when others are frustrated because that is how they build a company of losers similar to them. They thrive on having others singing the same chorus and beating the same drum as they do.

3. You bury your head in the sand.

People who are stuck reject any information or feedback that challenges their status quo. They react violently to fair and constructive feedback because they want to stay in their comfort zone.

I recall talking to my colleague Les about how his reaction and constant moaning is having a negative impact on his reputation. I suggested among other things that he either make peace with the situation, identify a mentor, or look for alternative employment where he will flourish.

Instead, he insisted that the management of the company needed to rather jump ship and not him. He even suggested that I was sent by company management to fire him. They bury their heads in the sand because that is not what they want to hear.

4. You reject opportunities.

I have also realized that people who are stuck deny opportunities presented to them, not because of the opportunities themselves, but because they take issue with who made the suggestion. They tend to think that opportunities are presented to undermine their "intelligence".  

They would rather pretend not to have understood what the opportunity is about so that tomorrow they present it as theirs. Still, they fail because of the next point.

5. You don't ask for help.

You might be stuck in self-pity or in fear if you are unable or unwilling to ask for help. No one under the sun is self-sufficient or independent of others. People who don’t ask for help are hurting and won’t admit it. 

Barack Obama said: "Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and then allows you to learn something new."

6. You don't forgive.

Holding grudges, yearning for revenge, and wishing the worst on others are signs of lack of forgiveness. Forgiving is not about minimizing the hurt or transgressions visited upon you, it's about liberating you.

People who are stuck do not realize that not forgiving themselves and others is like standing on top of a sinking hole slowly nearing their demise. Forgive and let go so that you can have traction in your life.

These words by TD Jakes are important to stop reliving the same day over and over: "In order to move forward in life, you have to let go of old things and habits that no longer serve you. You have to clean the junk out of your trunk. That is the only way to clear space for the new things you desire in your life."

Tex Hlalele is a life coach and inspirational speaker. Book coaching and speaking engagements at Dreams Made Possible. If you like this piece please sign up to receive email correspondence that will come to you once a week. Feel free to share the content on the social media platforms as many times as you like.

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.