I want the easy jobs. It’s like when my mom was dying – she didn’t ask me to keep my kitchen clean, hold down a job and raise three kids — no, she asked me to pass some legislation that she hadn’t gotten passed herself! And now here my friend was asking me to help her do something I often have trouble doing for myself. S***!
Two days later another friend told me that when she was trying to save her marriage she had constant headaches. As soon as they split, the headaches left. Her “therapist” said it was her body screaming at her to get unstuck! Clearly something was “screaming” at me to write about this.
No matter how driven or self-aware we are, we all go through periods when we feel stuck. Sometimes it’s easy to see: weight gain, avoidance of people and tasks, negativity and becoming critical of others (and ourselves). Sometimes, it isn’t so easy to identify. We just know, there’s some cognitive dissonance – that there are differing feelings between how we want to be and how we are. We try “just changing our mind” but it doesn’t work. We’re stuck.
While I do have a few “tools” for untying the knotted laces I trip over at times, I’m far from knowing how to do this. But, over a glass of wine, I’m willing to share (almost) anything!:
1. Accept it: When we ignore the flags waving wildly in our face, we’re begging to stay stuck. When you acknowledge the problem you go from being a passenger to the driver. Step one.
2. It will pass: When you’re in a rut it feels like you’ll never break free. But, just understanding that this is simply a phase will take the pressure off the need to do something NOW.
3. Exercise: Yes, this is my SOP. But seriously, even a brisk walk helps. You’ll be amazed how much “thinking” you can do when exercising.
4. Make a list: Write down your thoughts about X, (X being the subject you’re stuck on). I’ve got reams of paper where I’ve written down my thoughts when I’ve felt stuck. Lately, I’ve taken to writing on my phone (Hmmm, I hope I don’t lose my phone!).
5. Permission to feel: I give myself permission to feel bad, scared, or even like s***. It allows me to be authentic and it’s a reminder that it can only get better. Actually, when I give myself permission, I usually choose happy instead.
6. Decide you’re ready: We often wonder if this is it …is this our destiny? It’s not!! If you feel stuck then you’re in the wrong place. Align your actions with the place you want to be, visualize it, focus on how to get there and eventually you’ll find the way!
It’s normal (and ok) to get “stuck.” But, it’s amazing getting “unstuck.” And, when you do, you’ll feel mentally and physically healthier and happier and you’ll wonder what took you so long!
Have a great day!