Have you ever found yourself not knowing what to do? Have you ever wondered why you’re not moving forward into making a decision or completing a project that you’ve had on your plate for some time? Perhaps you’ve even become comfortable being stuck while knowing that you need to get “unstuck” and get stuff done.
I have definitely been in this boat on more than one occasion.
Whether you’re a parent needing to handle an issue with a child or an entrepreneur working to better understand the online world or even a student wondering if your college career path is offering what you had once hoped, there are plenty of opportunities to become stuck.
Here’s what being stuck can look like. See if you recognize any of them.
Stuck on frustration. Stuck on a lack of direction. Stuck on inexperience. Stuck on poor scheduling. Stuck on being tired. Stuck on a bad relationship. Stuck on not feeling up to par. Stuck on not knowing how to take the next step. Stuck on paying bills. Stuck on not knowing the right people. Stuck on figuring out your next business move but not knowing which move to take. Stuck on whining. Stuck on watching television. Stuck on sleeping in. Stuck on wondering if you’ve made a mistake (in any given area). And, as I’m sure you’ve also heard this one, stuck on stupid.
Yes indeed. Being stuck sucks.
So, now that you’re in this place, and remember that even the greatest leaders of all time have been stuck in some way, shape or form, what are you going to do? But before I give you some ideas that will help you out of the land of “stuckdom,” I must first explain the benefits of being stuck.
Being stuck gives us an opportunity to reflect, to think and sort through various alternatives to a given problem. It gives us time for introspection and an examination of “where we are” in our life and a more in depth look at the possibilities of what lie ahead. When we’re always moving fast, making decisions quickly, we often don’t take the time to dissect each aspect of a given problem or even an opportunity that may have presented itself.
There are times when we need to “check out” and go for a walk, take time to see a movie with a friend or read a book. It doesn’t mean we aren’t “working” or sorting through an issue. These times of reflection allow us to grow and to become more prepared for what lies ahead and more in tune with ourselves.
However, don’t use this time as an excuse for not living out your life’s mission. There are plenty of ways to work through being stuck and on to the greatness that lies ahead.
Here are some tips to get you moving.
1. Stop looking for the perfect time and perfect circumstances to move forward into a decision – There is no perfect anything in this life. You have to look at the information you have about your given situation, sort through the data and then make a decision. It might not be the “perfect” decision, but action will always beat doing nothing. Even if you find that it’s wrong, you’ve at least ruled out one facet of options.
2. Just do it – I have always loved the Nike slogan, “Just Do It.” I have used this slogan on myself more times than I can count and it has always served me well. Whether I’m struggling to get up in the morning because I’m dreading the day or I’m frustrated with a friend or family member so I choose to feel sorry for myself and binge watch a favorite T.V. series, I have to take action to not be stuck in my own emotions and to “just do it.” You have to do the same thing.
3. Write down the pros and cons of the decision at hand – Only you know what you need to do and the consequences behind each option. Make a list of the “good, the bad and the ugly,” and see where it leads you. When you see it on paper, your options will become clearer and you’ll be one step closer to “unstuckness.”
4. Talk it over with a trusted friend, family member or coworker – Sometimes we need the wisdom of another person to help us move forward. There have been times that I’ve just not wanted to make a decision because I’ve been feeling down about a specific issue and I’ve not wanted to focus on much of anything. The words of a trusted confidant can be all that’s needed to get us back on the right path and moving forward.
5. Change direction – There are times that being stuck is a sign that we may need to change direction. Maybe we shouldn’t be putting energy into the new business venture we’re looking into or perhaps the relationship we’re in isn’t the best one for us or maybe we need to stop and think about a financial decision we are on the brink of making. Feeling stuck may be our own internal compass warning of what may lie ahead and giving us the opportunity to redirect our steps.
Feeling stuck can definitely be uncomfortable and can often make us feel inadequate at times. However, take the time to understand the “why” behind your being stuck. Look at the reasons and then you’ll know how to maneuver your way through the maze of indecision and find a place of comfort as you move forward into preparation, decision and peace of mind.
How do you get yourself free from being stuck?