Feeling stuck can be debilitating. Stuck-ness keeps us in jobs that drain us, roles that feel like pebbles in our shoes, or relationships that have us fantasizing about the nearest emotional emergency exit.
The most insidious thing about stuck-ness is the way it tricks our brains into thinking that we have no way out, or that moving past the feeling will require a Herculean lift — and we’ve been training with five-pound weights.
The truth is that breaking free often requires a simple shift in mindset. Here are three strategies to kick change into gear.
Discover how you benefit from being stuck. I know what you’re thinking: “What?!?” Yet even the most aggravating stuck-inducing situations offer us a benefit. For example, let’s say you’re languishing in a job you don’t enjoy, but it pays well — so well that you can take a fancy overseas vacation every year.
Once you understand the benefit, you can start to evaluate your choices. Would you need such a lavish getaway if you weren’t constantly stressed about your job? If the answer is yes, you just love to travel, then other alternatives can begin to form. Could you work for an employer that would make travel easier, such as an airline or global hotel chain? Could you sign up for a credit card with an airline miles plan? Sell off items you no longer need and start a vacation fund? Work for an employer with a shorter commute and use the savings to underwrite your wanderlust? Understanding your motivation can be a great motivator.
Create a list of 100 goals. If you find yourself falling asleep on the couch for months on end after binge-watching “The Bachelor,” your life probably deserves a shake-up. Naming your goals is a great way to remind yourself that you have hopes and dreams and plans to make.
Grab a pen and paper and mark out the numbers 1 through 100. Then fill it in with every goal lurking in the backburner of your mind: Learn Italian. Grow my own tomatoes. Finish a book a week. Shut off social media after 5 p.m. Get my master’s degree. The goals can be big, small, and anywhere in between. Once you’re finished with your list, pick a small goal and accomplish it. Then try another. Then another. I promise you will feel more free almost immediately.
Create a vision board. Vision boards are useful for tapping into your intuition. Grab a stack of magazines, a poster board, and a glue stick. If you know exactly what you want or how you want to feel, great! Find images that correspond with those desires and paste them on the board. If you’re unsure of what you need to feel unstuck, that’s OK — flip through the pages anyway and cut out whatever speaks to you. Chances are, you’ll begin to see what you’ve been craving.
Sometimes, even our best efforts don’t propel us along as much as we’d like. That’s when a call with a coach can really get the ball rolling. Over the course of my career, I’ve developed strategies that I tailor to each individual client’s needs. If you feel ready to take on the challenge of doing one-on-one work, get in touch. We’ll break through the barriers to your best life.