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Feeling Paralyzed Everyday

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By all accounts, I should be highly successful. I know this because people who don’t know me that well are always impressed by me. I am fairly good looking, have a high IQ, am witty, charming, can strike a conversation with anyone on anything and can come up with solutions fast.

The problem I am facing is that each day I move through life like a zombie. I am failing at every aspect of my life which shocks me because I should be doing very well. I don’t earn enough to feed my dog, and always quarreling with my wife about money, don’t bother helping out with the housework and kids.

I just don’t do anything and I can’t figure out why. The main issue is my job. I am a salesman and by all account should be excellent at it. I know my products extremely well and can be extremely convincing about it. But I do not see a single customer everyday. Instead, when people are around I look busy but when I am alone I goof off watching tv or playing video games.

I am so stressed out by my lack of money and piling bills but I am not making any effort to do anything at all to earn money. It is like there is two people inside of me. One who is worried about the way my life is going and the other, which is controlling my body who does not give a damn.

I’ve read self help books, listened to motivational videos, meditated, prayed, done almost everything I know but nothing seems to work. I am going through each day like a zombie.

What’s shocking me is that what I need to do to earn a living is actually very easy. it is something I should by all accounts be awesome at. If I would just move, me and my family would be living the life of our dreams. But I am not moving. I know what I need to do but I just can’t make myself do it.

It is not because of fear. It could be that I am just plain lazy. But whatever it is I need to find a way out of this. I’m at my wits end. I’m 43 and my family is suffering. I don’t know how to get unstuck. (From Malaysia)

Feeling Paralyzed Everyday

Answered by on -


 I’d begin by taking a deeper dive into understanding your character strengths and how to use them. Here is a link to the VIA character strength survey. This will help you identify your top strengths. Research has shown that knowing and applying your strengths is a way to move yourself forward in life by enhancing your confidence in a variety of situations. I think this is a good place to start.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Feeling Paralyzed Everyday

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Feeling Paralyzed Everyday. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 28 Sep 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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