I hear this from clients, “Sometimes, I just feel stuck.” But if I’m going to be honest, sometimes I hear myself saying it as well. You wouldn’t think a coach would get “stuck” but we do – it’s a human thing. Everyone reaches some point in their life when the path forward isn’t clear and questions arise about what to do (or where to go) next.
There’s no admission of failing needed here! Being human is a good thing, and finding yourself “stuck” may mean simply realizing that you need:
- Help over a hurdle,
- Direction about where to turn next, or
- A conversation with someone to connect you with your deepest motivation to move on.
There’s no shame in any of that. We all get “stuck” sometimes. It is knowing how to get OUT of that “stuck” position that makes all the difference between those who grow and change from the experience and those who stay “stuck” indefinitely.
Self-care in this situation would mean having the courage to admit you feel “stuck” and finding the assistance you need to help you move beyond that stuck-ness toward a place of calm, positive progress in your intended direction – in any arena of life.
Sometimes we fail to recognize the stuck-ness we’re in because it is occurring in an unusual arena of life. Maybe you’re accustomed to getting “stuck” in your financial well-being. So, given how familiar that feels, you’ve built relationships to help you through that frequently rocky part of your path. Maybe you have a financial advisor, a financial planner, a favorite book with solid advice you’ve used before, or a trusted friend who “gets” you and always helps you re-think your budget, your savings plan or your spending habits.
But when the stuck-ness occurs in a different arena, like your spiritual well-being, your emotional well-being, or maybe your workplace well-being, simply because it’s an unfamiliar experience, you stay “stuck” longer than you need to.
How can we accelerate the recognition of our “stuck” condition and learn to bravely take action to move beyond that “stuck” place in our lives? Here’s a 4-part method to check-in with yourself and diagnose your own stuck-ness, even if it is in an unusual arena of your life:
1. Honest Reflection – assuming you already give yourself time to be alone, to contemplate life and think about your own situation, reflection will not be a foreign activity for you. But if you’re someone who avoids the quiet moment alone, who is reluctant to reflect on how life is going, this could be a very challenging first step
Reflection is essential to all the other steps because it allows you the space to diagnose the problem – what’s really going on?
This may be discovered through the realization of how you’re feeling (physically, emotionally, spiritually). It may require that you sit with uncomfortable feelings that are percolating up in you, that you’d rather dismiss or shove aside. It may show up in your self-talk, what you’ve been telling yourself lately. Or it may be made clear by your inner-most hopes & hurts, what you’ve been journaling about, wishing for, or praying on.
Whatever your honest reflection allows you to discover will be crucial to each of the following steps you’ll take, so give yourself time, go deep and be patient in seeking this information. Your inner wisdom knows what is going on but will only reveal it when honestly invited to do so!
2. Resource Assessment – here, the simple question is, “What would help?” To answer this question, you may need to start a list because there may not be one, clear response. Or, there may be an assortment of resources that might best suit your needs for getting un-stuck and finding your way to whatever is next.
You may find that PEOPLE come to mind who can help you get un-stuck or, there may be a host of community resources, educational resources, mentors, teachers, counselors, or even a Health & Wellness Coach who could be on that list.
This is the time to be slow and generous about addressing the problem and being willing to tackle it from the most diverse of perspectives – there is likely NOT just one path to finding your way forward, but being able to see many paths may allow you clarity on which path to choose.
3. Readiness to Take Action – Now that you’ve got a sense of direction (what to do next) you need to evaluate your readiness to get moving. Don’t be surprised if (when you’re being honest) you notice a reluctance to take action.
Change can be scary; we can become so “comfortable” in our stuck-ness that we begin to make all kinds of excuses about our readiness to change. I’ll do it on Monday. I’ll start on the first of the month. I’ll begin on my birthday. Maybe next year. Don’t let “stuck” become your accidental happy place – you won’t find happiness there for long!
4. Commitment to Change – This is like the proverbial throwing your hat over the fence. The meaning of that old expression is that sometimes we need a motivation to overcome our procrastination, our stuck-ness. Once your hat is already on the way to your intended direction, the rest of you will surely find a way to follow.
This may mean finding a way to pay for the solution you need to pursue, finding an accountability buddy who will make the journey with you, or telling your social circle what changes you’ve decided to make, so they can get on board with supporting your intentions.
Everyone get’s “stuck” sometimes. It takes courage to figure out why you’re “stuck” and then take action to discover what might lie ahead for you as you move toward what’s the next arena of growth and development for you. Wishing you a fascinating journey!