When someone tells me they hate their job, you might think the natural next question is, why? But is this the question we should be asking?

If you’ve ever felt stuck, you’ll understand that this question is far from helpful. Yet, when we feel stuck, the question “why” is what we find ourselves focused on. We run all the “whys” through our heads repeatedly.

Like, why do I hate this job so much? It’s a perfectly good job?

Why can’t I just be happy?

Why do I keep feeling like this?

Why can’t I figure out what I want?

Why am I in this situation?

Why can’t I find the job of my dreams like so and so?

And on and on, the “whys” just keep coming.

Do you get any closer to a resolution? Does it make you feel any better? Heck no! All that happens is you feel like hitting your head against a brick wall. So, if you are feeling stuck in any aspect of your life, what questions should you be asking that would be more beneficial than why?

First, it’s probably best to avoid the why word altogether. Don’t get me wrong. Why is a great question, and it has a place. In fact, there are plenty of situations when the question of why might be helpful;

Like why do you like one thing over another?

Why do you want to do something?

Why does something make you so happy?

These questions are great. At the bottom of each is a positive answer that will help you move forward with clarity.

The problem is when you ask why, when you’re feeling stuck or in a negative state of mind, the answer often won’t lead to any satisfying or helpful insights, and other questions would be much more powerful when it comes to getting you unstuck.

Here are some of the most effective questions you can ask yourself if you’re feeling stuck in your job, career, or life.

Firstly, If you’re feeling stuck, I will assume that you’re in a situation you don’t want to be in. You want to be in a different position instead.

You want to move from this place to some other place, but you can’t, or you don’t feel you can.

So, first off, you need to really understand what it is about where you are now that makes you want things to change.

Here are some of the best questions you can ask yourself to help you get clear on what you don’t want specifically.

  1. What is it about your current situation that makes you feel stuck?
  2. What specifically do you dislike about your current job, career, or other life situation?
  3. When do you feel most frustrated/ unhappy/ stuck/ fill in the blank?
  4. What makes you feel most stuck about this situation?
  5. If you could change one thing about your current situation, what would it be?

These types of questions will help you get to the bottom of what’s really bothering you. I can’t stress how important this is. You need to understand where you are so you can get clear on where you want to be instead. 

Because when you’re stuck, you feel like you don’t know what you want, so rather than trying to force yourself to a place of clarity, focus on getting crystal clear on what you don’t want.

So, now you know where the issues are- but what help is that? You still feel stuck!

Now it’s time to get some clarity around what you want instead.

This can prove to be quite challenging when you feel so stuck. To help, here are 10 great questions to help you gain more clarity.

The #1 Best Question To Ask Yourself When You Feel Stuck To Help You Get More Clarity

You’ve probably heard the question, “If you could do anything, what would it be?”

And you thought to yourself, WHAT A LOAD OF C%%P. If I could do anything, I wouldn’t be where I am, and I get it. But here’s the thing: you need to let yourself consider the possibilities. But I also understand how hard this can be when you’re so deep in a rut, bogged down with the day-to-day. So, if it all seems too far-fetched to fantasize about what you would do if you could do anything, it’s time to refer to each of your questions about what you dislike and ask yourself one simple but powerful question.

What would you want instead?

This question is so powerful and is the number one question that will help you start progressing when it comes to getting unstuck and gaining clarity. If you take the time to think about it and answer it honestly, no excuses. And this might mean facing some of your fears, some of which you probably didn’t even realize you had.

For example, if one of the things you really can’t stand about your job is that you have to go to an office location each day, then the next question would be, what would you want instead of having to go to the office each day?

Go through this process for every point on your “things I don’t like” list, and write each answer on a separate sheet called “things I want instead.”

You might end up with two lists:

Things I dislike about my current job/ career 

  • Long commute
  • Working alone too much
  • Terrible boss
  • No work-life balance

What I want instead

  • Short or no commute
  • Great colleagues/ the chance to collaborate
  • A boss who supports me
  • Flexible hours

This exercise might be simple, but it is very effective. It will help you to start thinking about your honest and true priorities where you’re work and life are concerned. And the magic is, once you’re clear on what these are, the next steps will feel much easier and more exciting! You know, the part where you start taking steps to change things finally.

If you found this useful, check out the clarity hub.