Have you ever found yourself in the state of being “stuck”? No, I’m not talking about being stuck in the snow or stuck in the mud on a rainy day.
The “stuck” that I’m referring to involves not moving forward in some area of your life. It’s the paralysis that a writer sometimes encounters along the road to finishing her novel. Or the inactivity that persists during an entrepreneur’s attempt to finish an important project. Or maybe it's your current career path! Whatever it is, it’s the frustration that comes from feeling as though you just can’t seem to get from where you are to where you want to be.
Just as we eventually work our way out of the snow, or emerge from the mud, it is also possible to break free from the despair of being stuck in some activity or area of your life. Below are several ways to break this pattern, and to begin moving forward in the direction of your desired outcome.
1. Recognize the current reality.
What are the dynamics of this situation? Is your perception the truth, or are there other possibilities? What’s really happening?
2. Break the task or project down into smaller parts.
If the problem is overwhelming, then break it down. By doing so, the task becomes more manageable.
3. Identify the bottlenecks.
Breaking the project down also helps you to get clear about the obstacles that have been holding you back. Once you get clear, you will be in a better position to overcome these obstacles.
4. Identify the next step to take.
This is part of simplifying the issue. By focusing only on the next step, rather than on the entire project, you greatly reduce the complexity of the situation.
5. Take that next step.
The key to emerging from a stuck state is to take action. If you just sit in your car, waiting in the mud, nothing would happen. You must do something—take action—whether you’re stuck in the mud, or stuck in life. As you take action, you will begin to see the change you’re looking for!
6. Change your surroundings.
One way to gain new perspective is by changing your physical surroundings. Take a bath. Listen to music. Go for a walk. A change of setting will help you to view the situation differently, providing the insight to move you forward.
7. Get help from someone you trust.
Ask your friend, your colleague or your coach to look at the situation, and tell you what they observe. Although you can often emerge from a snow bank without assistance, it helps to have an extra set of hands. Sometimes another person’s perspective makes all the difference.
8. Reward yourself.
After you’ve broken the task into smaller steps, set up a way of celebrating each small victory. You deserve it, and this structure of action / reward will stimulate you to move forward at a faster pace than you otherwise would.
9. Give yourself a break.
If you’re not progressing, simply walk away. Rather than trying to force something to happen, relax. When you’re ready, go back and take action!
10. Visualize your outcome.
Whatever happens, know that you are going to be okay. Visualize your desired outcome, and move mentally in that direction. Picture the things that will have to happen in order for that outcome to be produced. Feel confident that it can be accomplished, and that it will be accomplished.
We all get stuck at different times in our lives. With these tools, you will minimize the time that you stay stuck. Trust in yourself, and continue to take small, manageable steps toward the achievement of your goal!