Stuck in a No-Win Situation?

We often find ourselves stuck in situations where we cannot move forward. It may seem that we are forever searching for a way out.
We often find ourselves stuck in situations where we cannot move forward. It may seem that we are forever searching for a way out. | Source

In our fast-paced world of instant gratification, we easily become frustrated when we can’t make things bigger, better, faster, and more user-friendly. Our impatience becomes evident when we find ourselves stuck in situations where we cannot control the outcome. The choices of others or those we have made in the past form a barrier around us, keeping us from moving forward. There are no viable options, and we feel that something needs to change or we will lose our emotional footing.

Perhaps we are in a dead-end job with an impossible boss, at the end of a relationship that has turned to our detriment, or just receiving a diagnosis that means we will loose our quality of life. It may seem that it is the beginning of the end.

What can we do when we don't have any hope for our own future? Where do we turn when life is at its bleakest? Do miracles exist in our day and age? The answers to these and many other difficult questions are not readily available. However, there is always something we can do:

  1. Choose to learn
  2. Make connections
  3. Prepare for change

Although things seem impossible, there is always something we can do.
Although things seem impossible, there is always something we can do. | Source

Do you feel that you are stuck in a no-win situation?

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Choose to learn

Learning is not just for children. As adults, when faced with a no-win situation, we are in a prime position to learn. Choosing to do so is choosing to back down from our desire to get ahead or be on the winning team, and allow nature to take its course. That means we have to give up our desire to control the outcome.

When we relinquish control of the outcome, we give ourselves permission to relax and regroup. We let the situation work on itself for a while. This may seem counterproductive, but as the popular movie Frozen says, when we "Let it go," we suddenly realize that what we were doing by trying to control the outcome was placing limitations on ourselves and others. Removing these limitations gives room for others to work on improvement.

Jim Rohn said that to learn, we need to do three things: 1) read, 2) observe, and 3) listen. In the podcast, Seek Understanding, the author notes that "The world is a complex place. It is impossible for us to know everything in the short amount of time that we are here. The presenting of problem situations channels our learning and gives purpose to our quest for knowledge."

Learning and understanding go hand in hand. The more we learn, the more we grow in our understanding of how the world works, our place in it, and what we can do to make it better. When we make the choice to learn, we may be surprised to see the situation open up in such a way that our decision making process is enabled and we can go forward.

When we make connections with others, we light up their lives as well as our own.
When we make connections with others, we light up their lives as well as our own. | Source

Make connections

Getting to know others who have been where we are gives us a point of view that we had not before considered. At first, this can be uncomfortable. We aren't sure who to trust or depend upon. At the same time, our eyes are opened and the world takes on a whole new perspective.

Making connections means going where people are. It means talking to them, sharing what is happening in our lives, and getting feedback on the things we are trying to accomplish. It means taking the time to step outside of our situation and see what is happening elsewhere in society and the world.

Each person we connect with becomes an open resource providing guidance, inspiration, and opportunity that can help us deal with our current difficulty. Taking the time to follow-up on these connections brings the added benefits of friendship, enjoyment, and recreation.

The most important connection we can make is the one that brings us closer to our Maker. He, alone, has resources and power beyond anything that we can imagine. As we grow in our ability to connect with His children, we grow in our versatility to serve Him and bring His power into our lives.

This is especially vital when we realize that the situation we are currently in will either worsen, or lead to our eventual death. Our reconciliation with God gives us a reason to keep on going even when the going is at its most difficult. Making the choice to live even when we are staring death in the face may be the most important choice we will ever make.

Preparing to move is all about making choices. If we keep on choosing good until the situation changes to our advantage, we have prepared successfully.
Preparing to move is all about making choices. If we keep on choosing good until the situation changes to our advantage, we have prepared successfully. | Source

Prepare to move

Once we have made connections with the outside world, we open up options for ourselves that did not previously exist. Opportunities present themselves in ways that may be surprising. In order to take advantage of them, we need to be ready.

Preparing to move means different things in different situations. For the person in a dead end job, preparing to move is upgrading the resume, acquiring new skills, reading professional literature, keeping abreast of new developments in the field, and getting to know people in key positions.

For the person in a dead-end relationship, preparing to move means garnering resources, obtaining necessary legal documents, preparing an escape route, making decisions regarding transportation, shelter, and protection, and gathering needed supplies.

During terminal illness, preparing to move is preparing to leave this world. It means getting one's financial affairs in order, seeing that Power of Attorney documents are prepared, a Health Care Directive signed, and wills written. If there are dependent children, provision is necessary for their guardianship.

Sometimes, all we can do, is simply endure to the end. In the podcast Developing Endurance, the author indicates that endurance takes patience, determination, and dedication. When we learn all that we can from the situation, make connections with the outside world, and prepare to move, we are enduring successfully. As we do so, we are able to move on after the fact with our dignity, self-respect, and emotional health intact.

"Endurance is the ability to keep on doing what we know is right, even when it appears that we are not receiving any benefits from doing so. It is giving our best effort in the face of opposition, and keeping a positive attitude when others are looking for reasons to complain."

We never know when our situation will change, allowing us to make our move. The ground work we have laid when we felt we were in the no-win situation will determine our ability to take advantage of the current opportunity. It will give us the vehicle whereby we can move to higher ground.

Remember, being in a no-win situation is not the end, there is always something that we can do, for your emotional health!

©2014 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved.

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Comments 18 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I will have the rare day when I feel like this, but 99% of the time I love my life and what I'm doing. As always, I love your message and positive attitude.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, Billy! Unfortunately for many, it is those 1% of the times that can throw a wrench in the gears, and land us somewhere that we just don't want to be! You are a great example of doing the very things that I suggest in my hubs. You have overcome the odds and lived to tell the tale! Best to you in all you do. Thanks for stopping by!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

While reading this, I remember my mother who keeps saying that she wants to go home. Since she is at home, I think of the next home, and I pray God does not answer her prayer--not yet. Now I wonder if in her mind, she feels stuck in the confusion. I no longer feel stuck in the role of caregiver; I am learning and connecting until it's time to move. Thanks for your inspiration.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks for sharing this poignant experience, MsDora. Those who are close to the veil (near death) speak freely of "going home." It is a necessary part of their transition into the next phase of their existence. Allowing them to talk about it is uncomfortable for us. We don't want them to go. They may see people we know are on the other side, or longingly speak of being with the Savior. When we listen, we find that we, too, are closer than we realize. Sometimes, there is a blurring of the lines between this life and the next when people have conditions such as hers.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Sometimes I do feel like I am just losing all the time but try to pick up the mode with my positive mind. An interesting insight from you.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY

These three points are indeed the important methods to change a problem situation and move forward. Following these methods truly does work.

But I get frustrated watching some friends who are stuck in a bind that I know they get get out of if they only were willing to learn and make changes. But they don't want to listen. They are in denial. They blame others for their problems. And, worse, they dig themselves in deeper.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

I think that we all feel that way at some point or another, DDE. It's great that you can look at it from a different point of view and turn it into something positive. I appreciate you reading and commenting.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks for adding your experience, Glenn. Those who choose to follow these steps are truly able to get out of a bind. It is frustrating when people get stubborn and think that they are right, and everyone else needs to change rather than themselves. That is why we have so much of pain and heartache in this world. I appreciate your insights.


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 2 years ago from the South

Another wonderful hub from you! Sometimes it's hard to do what you need to when things are so dark, but having these ideas in your mind will hopefully bring them to light when something happens.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, catgypsy. There are many things we can do when we are having difficulty in life. Each time we learn about a strategy it adds to our bag of tools and gives us resources we can use. We don't readily think of them when times are tough, but it helps to know where to look for answers. I appreciate the compliment!


midget38 profile image

midget38 2 years ago from Singapore

The only way to embrace change, Denise!


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

That can be a difficult thing to do, midget38, but as we make the decision to embrace and accept, we also give ourselves the freedom to enjoy! Thanks for your comment.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I love your positive thinking in this post. I have found that listening really helps to understand another's point of view but it took some time to learn this lesson.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

It is interesting how much listening makes a difference, teaches. When we take the time to listen, we have our eyes opened to other people's points of view, and we learn things that we wouldn't otherwise. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Alise- Evon 2 years ago

Wonderful counsel, all of it. I especially like, though, the quote about endurance. I pray people who read it will also apply it, too, when a no-win situation crops up.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks, Alise-Evon. Endurance is difficult, especially when we don't see the end of our current circumstance. Our ability to see beyond the boundaries of our mortal existence enables us to keep a positive attitude.


midget38 profile image

midget38 2 years ago from Singapore

I found myself in one such situation just this week. It is trying, but we just keep at it, Denise. An encouraging reminder.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota Author

Thanks for sharing, midget38. Oftentimes, we don't realize what it is that we need to do when we are in the heat of the moment. Keeping our perspective is critical to a successful resolution.

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