What to do when you are stuck

September 1, 2015

I’ve been stuck plenty of times in my life and I am usually pretty good at getting myself unstuck. Although I have to say that is something I have had to learn. For those of you who have trouble getting unstuck or for whenever you get stuck again (don’t we all, at some point?) I am sharing my 3 tips to get back in the flow again.

1. Stay in motion

When you feel stuck and have no idea where to turn to or what to do next we can have a tendency to wait for clarity and sit still in the meantime. We can be lured into thinking that unless we know the next best step we should stop and not make any mistakes. I have come to believe that the opposite works better.

If you stay in motion (and I am not saying make any big decisions when you are stuck) you will keep the energy flowing. It is much easier to move and shift direction in a moving vehicle than from a standstill. The same goes for your life. If you put everything on hold while you are waiting for clarity it will take more effort to make that shift. When you stay in motion that same shift will be much easier and chances are you will get clarity much faster.

So just make sure you keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep taking steps, however small. You will notice that not only will it give you something to do other than worry but it will also help you get to your solution much faster. Even if it is not yet in sight.

2. Ask for support

When things are not going your way, when you feel down or disappointed, when you feel like there is no hope for things to get better soon we can have a tendency to turn inward. Similar to our tendency to slow down. When we turn inward we often forget to reach out for support. I know I have been there; thinking I need to fix everything on my own. Especially when we are stuck it is hard to see our way out and it can make things feel even heavier.

Just remember to reach out for support. There is no need for you to carry this burden all alone. Ask a friend, a trusted colleague or your coach or mentor. Perhaps you are in a mastermind or part of a forum where you can ask for help. It truly is a sign of strength when you are brave enough to share and let others know you value their input. And it can help shift things tremendously. Yesterday I had a session with a client who was stuck and several hours after the session he emailed me saying he was back in the flow and seeing new opportunities everywhere. That brings me to tip #3.

3. Look for small evidence

When we are stuck we are often looking for that one big solution that will fix everything. We want that one major shift that will catapult us out of our misery straight into bliss. While in reality it is often about a small shift in perception. Like the session with my client yesterday, I was able to help him see things from a different perspective. And because of that new perspective everything shifted and fell into place. Things that had been a worry now became a confirmation of a change in direction. So when you are stuck keep your eyes open for small signs that you are on the right track and notice small nudges that may be steering you in a new direction.

Try to postpone your judgment for a moment and don’t immediately assume what something means. Now I know that is easier said than done because when you’re stuck that is one of the hardest things to do. That’s why step 2 is so powerful. Inviting in someone else’s perspective may be just what you need to start that shift.

What do you do when you are stuck?

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