Getting Unstuck

“The impediment to action advances action.  What stands in the way becomes the way.”
-Marcus Aurelius

At some point in our lives most of us find ourselves stuck.  Being stuck is an extremely frustrating reality as we feel we have no course of action and yet we want to take action.  Ryan Holiday in “The Obstacle is the Way” shares that in times when we are feeling stuck we experience not only frustration but fear, confusion, helplessness, anger, powerlessness and sometimes even depression.  Often, we end up blaming others for our situation, our loved ones, our colleagues, and others so that we don’t have to face the challenge of getting unstuck.

When being stuck is allowed to progress for months and or even years we can unfortunately we become comfortable with being stuck and not even realize that we are capable of so much more.  Gay Hendricks in “The Big Leap”  shares that we live in zones and many of us live in the zone of excellence in which we accomplish much and do extremely well yet something is calling us to be more.  The author believes that the zone of excellence is seductive and can even become a dangerous trap.  People function in a reliable way in this zone and due to this reliability family, friend and even our organizations may encourage us to stay in place which could lead to the blame discussed earlier.  We feel like we are being held back.  Hendricks believes that liberating and expressing your natural genius is the ultimate path to success and life satisfaction.  In this zone, individuals listen to the inner call in order to become all that they are capable of becoming.

One of the biggest things that stops us from moving forward is fear.  In “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers , the author encourages us to move into our fears that are holding us back.  Susan lists five truths about fears that are relative to moving beyond fear however I am going to only focus on the fifth truth “Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness!”   Think about that statement.  When you feel like you need to do something and yet you do nothing, it continues to wear at you and occupy space in your mind.  I have yet to experience a client who did not feel a sense of relief when finally taking that action step.  And…it doesn’t have to be a big step….just a step.

Next determine what you have to let go of.   Hugh Prather in “The Little Book of Letting Go”  suggests that we have to let go of mental pollutants.  The author suggests that we need to cleanse our minds of the thoughts that sour our attitudes, block our intuition, tear apart our relationships and undermine the aims and purposes of our lives.  You just took your first baby step in moving though your fears, what mental pollutants will get into your way if you do not address them?  We all have stories about our past, present, and future and it is through examination of those stories that we can continue to make progress or move backwards into what we tell ourselves is comfort.  However, the trust is that you are not really comfortable if something is calling you.

The next thing to let go of is the habits and practices that keep us stuck.  Often we do things repetitively without even realizing it.  Think about the habits you do daily.  Which of those habits continue to reinforce being stuck?  How do you spend your limited free time?  Do you spend it investing in being the best version of you or do you repeat the patterns that keep you stuck?  Keeping a journal is a great way to find out how you are spending you time.  Once you know what you are doing, you can take those baby steps to getting unstuck.

The most important aspect of getting unstuck is to recognize that you are stuck.  It might only be a whisper calling you to something more, yet there can be amazing insights when you listen to that whisper.  Hopefully, once you have that recognition you can use the tools discussed in this blog to make forward movement.

To Your Success!

Dr. Peggy