So I’m Stuck – Now What?
In sitting down to write this it occurred to me what an odd word ‘stuck’ is. SO, being the nerd I am, I looked it up!
From Google Translation – Stuck, the past tense of ‘stick‘ is an old English or Germanic word derived from ‘sticken‘, which is associated with embroidery. Literally pinned down so it won’t move!
We all get stuck in trying to move through our daily lives. It could be anything – finding a new job, improving a relationship, eating healthier, exercising more, taking a fantastic vacation, setting a goal towards a dream. Anything! We all have times and aspects of our lives that get bogged down. Where things won’t move or change or improve. It is not fun. Ironically, doing nothing or the same things over and over keep us in the same place. In order to get ‘unstuck’ we have to change what we are doing!
So here are four simple rules to follow when you find yourself stuck:
- Do SOMETHING Different!
- Don’t STOP!
- Lose CONTROL (in a good way)!
- Ask for HELP!
Do SOMETHING Different!
Maybe you haven’t realized that you are stuck in a situation. Maybe you haven’t had that epiphany of ‘why isn’t this working? OH, I must be stuck!’. Once that realization dawns on you, the solution is NOT to keep doing what got you to this pinned in place! The first step then becomes Do SOMETHING Different! This is usually the toughest part! If you had known you would have ended up bogged down you would have likely done some thing different in the first place. So choosing to do something different requires effort and risk! Do something different could be small, large, high energy, or even coming to a complete stop. Another irony is that sometimes even trying something that might NOT work is better than staying in the current pinned down place. What does doing something different look like in your current dilemma?
Anyone who has ever stranded a car in the snow knows that once the tires take hold, and the car starts to move forward, to NOT STOP driving until the car is out! The same applies for any other stuck situation. Once you get a bit of momentum of change – keep going! Where have you given up on changing a situation when not stopping would have tipped the scales?
Lose CONTROL (in a good way)!
While Do Something is usually the most difficult to start, Losing Control is sometimes the most difficult to achieve. What do I mean by ‘lose control (in a good way)? Why does it matter?
First, the benefit of losing control is that it loosens things up. It takes us out of our comfort zones and creates opportunities that we had not considered. If you don’t turn over the soil in a garden before planting, the likelihood of the seeds thriving decreases dramatically! We often get stuck because we try to control for all variables in a situation. By not letting go of that need to be in control, we limit ourselves.
Second, there are very unhealthy ways to Lose CONTROL! If I want to get rich quick I could cash out my retirement fund and buy a lot of lottery tickets. That would be losing control, but it would NOT be in a good way! So what does losing control in a good way look like? It depends on how you are stuck and what you are holding onto. There is a balancing point. We frequently get into patterns where we live our lives in very predictable ways. It is possible to throw all caution to the wind and give up responsibility to ourselves. Losing control in a good way is not forfeiting ALL of the things you are responsible for. Losing control in a good way could be as simple as not working through a lunch break, giving yourself permission to take a day off, going on a blind date, or trying a new restaurant.
What haven’t you tried recently because you were unwilling to give up control?
Ask for HELP!
It is interesting that while the other steps are more difficult, Asking for HELP is often something we are unwilling to do. Why is that? Maybe we are embarrassed. Maybe we don’t know who to ask. Maybe we want to get all the credit. But if you haven’t been able to solve the situation on your own up to now, I will refer you back to #1. Frequently someone else has a simpler solution, or is willing to pitch in to try and solve a problem. Back to the car in the snow – it is far easier to have four people push a car out of a snow bank than to continue spinning the wheels. So what internal dilemmas do you have where you are not asking for assistance? Who do you know who might be able to offer an idea or solution? What is preventing you from asking for what you need?
So where in your life are you bogged down? What have you been working to change recently that you have been unable to move? You get to choose! You can keep doing what you are doing, or you can try something different! I hope you are able to get unstuck! – www.rhoadscoaching.com
finding meaning and purpose in daily life