Feeling stuck feels frustrating. Say that five times fast!
We feel blocked when we’re stuck. Like a red brick wall stands solidly in front of us. Or like we can only choose Door A or Door B.
I can either do X or Y.
More than anything, when we’re stuck, we believe we lack choice(s). We’ve adopted a scarcity mindset in which binary thinking reigns supreme. “I can either do X or Y.” We often don’t realize we’ve taken on a rigid perspective unless
- someone (courageously) points it out to us OR
- we sense the mounting frustration and are pushed to do something about it.
Getting stuck often happens just before we enter a new stage of growth. We feel inauthentic, like we’ve grown out of our skin, but we don’t know what our new skin will look like yet. I remember facing this around the time I turned 40 – dissatisfied with HR but not knowing what I wanted next. Did project management for a few years thinking that was the ticket. It wasn’t. I had to go back to the basics – figure out who I was and what I wanted. For me, that started with identifying what I didn’t want.
Not living our true selves or realizing our true potential feels limiting, as if we’ve put boundaries on our growth. That’s why we’re so frustrated. But take heart. Experiencing frustration is necessary since it guides you forward. No one likes that emotion. To remove it, you need to get unstuck.
Repeating the same patterns but expecting a different result
Ignoring your frustration doesn’t make it go away. Eventually, frustration devolves to disappointment, blame, anger, and, potentially, unworthiness. Recall the definition of insanity often attributed to Einstein: “Repeating the same patterns but expecting a different result.” This is the real impact of being stuck and its consequence is limited growth. We feel disconnected between our inner (private) and outer (public) selves. It’s another way of saying we are working against our values, as discussed in What is Coaching.
Recognize that when you’re stuck in one area, you can get unstuck by another. We’ve talked about this before – mind, body, heart, and spirit. Consider that what you’re trying to do is gain more perspectives on your subject. By seeing things in many ways, we move away from binary thinking and realize once again that we have choices.
Integrating mind, body, heart, and spirit makes becoming unstuck easier. These avenues are meant to work in tandem not exclusively. Each supports the other, like the four legs of a chair on which we sit.
Trust that you have the answers you need – your mind, body, heart, and spirit are enough. You don’t need a textbook or guru.
Identify your core values. They’ll help you see your authentic self.
Finally, reconnect to your purpose in life as it will propel you to action. As humans, we love being in action mode.
Click below for an infographic that visually summarizes the content of this blog.