IN THE MIDDLE | career advancement

5 Steps on How to Escape the Stagnant Stage

By Ana Maria “Penny” S. Bongato, ICF-ACC, FPM
Published November 03, 2021

Do you feel like nothing is happening in your life? Like there's no exciting milestone coming? Or you just simply notice you've been living a life in systems and a totally predictable day? Well, that feeling is truly valid, and you're in what I call the flatline. A crisis is about to erupt right inside you. It's boredom to the highest form, and when boredom strikes, you really have to fight back.

The very reason why you are in that feeling is that you simply stayed in your comfort zone. Staying in that safety bubble isn't that bad. You just chose to be on the conservative side. It's just that you can't stay long on that stage. One must always grow to learn, discover new ways for better survival, and dream bigger dreams not just for yourself but also for others.

So here's my version. A step-by-step guide on how to escape the stagnant stage and yearn for growth!

Acknowledge the Feeling, Make It Valid

Everything starts with awareness. One should identify what seems to go wrong. Make time for yourself to do a self-check. You have to learn the art of self-talk too. This time, you have to focus on yourself and concentrate on why you felt like you have a bland life? Recognize that you aren't just bored but are staying somewhere for so long now. Learn more about your emotions, and read more about yourself by checking out this article from

Identify Your Comfort Zone

Literally and career-wise, where are you exactly at? Then, ask yourself again, who created your comfort zone? Is it you or someone very important in your life? Or is it simply forced by circumstances? If it's made by you alone, then great, easy to escape. But if not, do you enjoy staying in your safety bubble? Are you willing to take some risks? What is keeping you to hold on to that rail and just not let go and just conquer for more? To better help you with this step, check this great blog from Alison Cardy entitled 4 Signs You're Stuck in Your Comfort Zone (And You Don't Even Know It).

Evaluate Where You Are Currently At

It is important to measure how happy you are at your current location. Are you still living with your parents? Do you still consider your current workplace a learning arena? Is your current city giving you all the opportunities to hone your talents even more? Think again. What we are doing is a total brain exercise wherein we have to check all our current physical and emotional states. Your local area also affects your decision making and you don't even notice that. If your urban city hinders you from honing your analytical skills, you might consider living in the rural area and making something influential there. If you're still clueless about this step, check this holiday blog that I think is applicable all year round. Read 21 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Community (and at Work) by Susan Steinbrecher.

Form Your Dream Team for Your Dream Life

    One of the prime reasons you are in your stagnant stage is the people you spend your time with. You may not even notice it, but the conversations you make every single day, directly and indirectly, affect the way you think and the way you make your subconscious and conscious decisions. With this, you have to evaluate your peers as well. It's either they change you or you make your way to help them. If you are in a relationship, it's important that you guys have an understanding of where your life is headed. If you are still living with your parents or your siblings, it is essential as well that your family knows what you want and that you support each other. The stagnant stage, I believe, comes with the people you are with every day. Build the team you want to be with as you escape your safety bubble.

    Revive Your Dreams Again

    As I would always teach, go get your vision board and make it alive! If you have started it last January of this year, I am pretty sure it got faded. Do the makeover it needs and relive the feeling of making bigger dreams. Truly, what made you feel like you are in your stagnant stage is because you paused on dreaming for more. Envision yourself again in another world, envision yourself again in your better state, and make it come true! 

    The bottom line, individuals get stuck in their comfort zones because they chose to stay. What truly matters now is that we find ways to escape the feeling and never stop yearning for more.

    This is Penny.