Blog & Insight

What to do when you're at a deadend in your life?

This week's Landscaping Your Life podcast episode #61 (Apple/Spotify) explores different perspectives for when you're at a deadend.

You'll find links to other episodes and more about some of techniques mentioned in the episode below.

I did however want to start with the short and sweet poem on the subject because that might be all you need to read...









I wonder how these words have already allowed you to see the situation you felt like you were at a deadend about differently?

The episode (#61) follows the usual format of embodying how you're feeling - ie going and finding a deadend in nature and noticing what you notice.

Personally I think you'd be hard pushed to find a deadend where a reversal is actually needed - which is what I thought might be the only solution when I wrote the Paths & destinations poem so do let me know if that is the case for you

One other technique I explore in the episode is playing with the words being used - it's as if playing with the words disrupts our thinking about the situation - for example, if use of 'deadend' results in feeling stuck with no options what other words might help you feel differently and even allow there to be multiple options and opportunities

Let's focus on Dead and End separately


What happens if you think about your end as any of the following - remembering not to spend any time on words that make the stuckness worse

  • Exhausted
  • Ill
  • Lifeless
  • Not yet dead
  • Expired
  • Departed
  • Extinct

or even what about

  • Alive (or any other word that feels like the opposite to dead)


Alternatives for end might include

  • Edge
  • Wall
  • Conclusion
  • Finish
  • Cut off
  • Break
  • Beginning (or any other word that feels like the opposite to end)

The sillier the better - because laughter is a brilliant means of shifting our mindset. So don't let my list stop you from continuing to write your own.

The idea being to then bring these words together and consider how they change the internal representation you have about the situation and more importantly how they're allowing you to have more clarity about what you can do next.

  • Lifeless edge
  • Extinct wall
  • Exhausted break

Or start to make up a new combination that feels more resourceful such as

  • New Beginning

Words really do have power and so I'd wholeheartedly recommend that you ensure any words you're using to describe situations you're grappling with are helpful rather than using words that simply reinforce your stuckness.

Other Landscaping Your Life podcast episodes that might resonate with being at a deadend and offer different insights include:

With this PDF being helpful if it's a rut you're stuck in

Here's some more general information about the Landscaping Your Life with Alison Smith podcast and the Landscaping Your Life process used in the podcast episodes to help you get back on track when you don't know what to do.

With a reminder that likes, follows, shares and reviews of the podcast are very much appreciated.

Here's what one listener said after listening to episode #23 How to stop treading water in a situation in your life (Apple/Spotify) 🙂

If you're interested in finding out more about the Landscaping Your life coachingspeaking or team sessions do get in touch +44(0)7770 538159


© Alison Smith
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Registered in Scotland, Registration Number: SC457105
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