October 13

Healthy Mindsets When You Feel Stuck

Healthy Mindsets When You Feel Stuck

By Deborah Johnson

October 13, 2023

adapting to change, Deborah Johnson, feeling benched, feeling stuck, lifelong learning, mid-career, online learning, podcast, stay at home mom, stay at home parent, when you feel stuck

When you feel stuck, or when you feel benched, you see yourself sitting on the sidelines, just like an athlete sitting out on a game. Taking proactive steps to cultivate and sustain a healthy mindset when you feel stuck not only makes life more enjoyable but facilitates positive momentum. During the phase of life when raising young children, maintaining a healthy mindset becomes particularly crucial.

Whether parents choose to prioritize child-rearing or strike a balance between their job and family obligations, the decisions they make are significantly impacted by their mindset—whether a negative or healthy mindset.

In this article we will approach four key areas to concentrate on  during times of feeling stagnant or trapped, aiming to guide us toward cultivating a heathier mindset. Those areas include motivation, confidence, education and technology.

Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson Healthy Mindsets When You Feel Stuck with Greg & Deb 10-17-2023
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One: Motivation as Stewards

One of the questions we need to ask ourselves is why we feel stuck. Is it because we feel responsible that we are not using our innate talents fully or is it possibly a hidden desire to achieve more?

Within numerous professions, reaching a specific level of expertise and position demands years of training. This raises questions about the value of the effort and time needed to sustain that level, including maintaining connections and engaging in ongoing education.

Personally, within my profession, I had achieved a particular level of musical expertise. I wanted to not only maintain my skills as a concert pianist and vocalist, but to also actively use them. Balancing this aspiration was emotionally challenging, especially when our sons were young as they were close in age and seemed to be all-consuming of my time and energy. I found ways to keep my skills up, but it required dedication and a readiness to adapt my schedule, making it far from easy but well-worth it.

Two: Cultivating Confidence

When details of life or work change, there is the tendency to question our adequacy and abilities in pursuing a different or new direction. Whether it’s a personal choice or a decision made by an organization or employer, it’s common to have doubts about the decision and motivation behind it.

A great way to address those feelings is to take a moment to sit down and compile a list of all the degrees and experiences acquired over the years. I strongly encourage utilizing pen and paper, as the act of physically writing out this list can be both affirming and insightful.

Engaging in this process cultivates self-awareness and the outcomes can be unexpectedly revealing. For instance, my husband Greg was surprised to discover the extent of his expertise in global economics and related topics when he wrote down his weekly reading list with the accumulated number of pages. I recommend discussing this compiled list with a spouse or another close colleague or individual for additional insights and affirmation.

Three: Pursuing Education

In today’s society, being recognized as an expert holds significant value in our knowledge-based economy. The most crucial sale we’ll ever make is selling our abilities to our ourselves. Even if we’ve chosen to prioritize our home or raising children for a certain period of time, it’s vital to remember that our intellect remains sharp and active, unlike the notion that our brains have turned to mush like the kids oatmeal. (Get Halftime Success download-free)

Ingredients for Success-Deborah Johnson

This requires a positive mindset that you’ve not lost all your capabilities and still possess valuable skills. A helpful approach during this time is to focus on a unique quality or ability, then work hard on expanding that ability. Numerous avenues are available to achieve this goal, with a plethora of online content that can be accessed around the clock.

For those with very young children, realize this is one of the busiest times of life. Everything feels disrupted, from schedules to energy levels. It’s crucial to not feel overly anxious and instead, embrace the current reality, understanding that there’s a time and season for everything.

Four: Managing Technology

I’ve often heard many people say they are not good with technology, but that’s not entirely accurate. Most often, this feeling stems from not having enough time to focus and troubleshoot. Consider our experiences with smartphones as an example.

When I grew up, cellphones, apps and computer access were nonexistent. So how did we acquire the skills to use all these devices? Primarily out of necessity and also the desire to stay connected.

A good question to ask ourselves is “What would I know if I were tech-savvy?” The answer doesn’t necessarily include intricate skills like coding or website design. It might include three or four specific items on the list, but not hundreds. If there is a requirement to learn a particular program, like Excel or QuickBooks, dedicating a few hours to an online course can effectively address this concern.


This article emphasizes that maintaining a healthy mindset when you feel stuck is crucial regardless of whether one is transitioning from a job taking a voluntary career break or focusing on raising children. Here are the key takeaways and additional insights to consider.

  • Actively seek opportunities for skill development to stay relevant in a dynamic world, embracing lifelong learning and growth. This takes a willingness to adjust schedules and understanding there are some seasons where this is a greater possibility than others.
  • Engage in conversations about your abilities with a spouse, trusted colleague or close friend for a fresh perspective and reaffirmation.
  • Embrace the current circumstances, recognizing that every phase in life has its unique timing and purpose.  
  • Allocate dedicated time to engage in online courses or additional reading to effectively address specific concerns or learn new technology.

Additional Articles

Winning With a Never Give Up Attitude

Secret of Great Joy

Healthy Mindsets at Halftime and Anytime of Crisis

Maintaining a healthy mindset when you feel stuck is crucial regardless of whether one is transitioning from a job taking a voluntary career break or focusing on raising children.

deborah johnson

Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author

If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning

1,299 words

Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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