By Saralyn Collins
It’s not unusual to feel stuck, trapped, and unable to move from a situation you feel is stifling. In today’s world, it is also not unusual to feel tapped out, drained of energy and thinking about how nice a dark, quiet cave might be right now.
OK, maybe that’s being slightly “melodramatic” – a slight exaggeration of how you might feel at any given moment in the long term quest for business success. But, based on my years of experience, feeling “stuck” and not sure of what to do or even IF you want to do something … is not all that unusual.
Actually, it’s part of life and growth. Getting “stuck in” and “growing through” situations are different. We all face those times when we are just STUCK and not sure what to do. At times like this, it seems our brains are not functioning as usual and those numerous great ideas that usually sit there have disappeared.
How can you get back into your normal routine of creativity and accomplishment? Here are ten ways to shift from one to the other.
1. Step back and ask yourself what’s really going on.
When you’re caught up in the stuff of every day life, it’s easy to lose objectivity. It’s a good thing to set aside a little time each day to seriously challenge the obviousness of what seems to be going on. Is there a lesson to be learned that you are missing? Might that setback really be a step forward? Will things really turn out as badly as you are sure, now, that they will?
2. Consider whether what’s happening has happened before.
Is this a unique, one-of-a-kind situation, or just another example, in different garb, of an issue you’ve failed to confront before? If it’s the latter, maybe now’s the time to solve it and move on.
3. Assume that present events, circumstances, etc. may be less a problem than parts of a larger process.
There’s a fair case to be made for the notion that, in this life, ALL is process rather than result. In other words, what this life is really about is growth and learning. Viewed in this light, where you’re heading is not as important as how you choose to get there. (For those who are strongly goal-oriented, this may be tough to swallow.)
4. Ask yourself: What can I do now or next?
It’s the small steps that lead to successful journeys. Don’t get sucked in by the suggestion that you’ve got to do it/solve it all today.
5. Do something, anything!
When you’re stuck, taking any step puts you in a different place and helps change your perspective, even if it’s a wrong move! OK, this next one is tough … Maybe doing something includes a conscious decision to do absolutely nothing! Sometimes, we have to stop doing in order to get a clear perspective, and that’s a conscious act.
6. Look for support, near by.
Almost always, help is at hand, a phone call or a touch away. Only, we tend to look way out there or off into the future, thinking that the help we need is just not available to us in our present situation. If, instead, you begin with the assumption that what you need to solve the problem is close at hand, you’ll be amazed at how it sharpens your vision!
7. Take the negatives, one-by-one, and toss them out.
Negatives can be just as powerful as positives, depending on how much energy you give them. It’s your choice.
8. Take one positive, unselfish project and make it yours.
Help someone else, even if you think that you’re the one who needs help. And don’t be surprised if, in your darkest moment, someone comes knocking at your door—asking.
9. If lack is a problem, try substituting the word service for profit or gain.
You “get” from what you lack, but you “give” from what you are. When you begin to consider seriously how you can be of service, it can be absolutely amazing how much you discover you have to give.
10. Be grateful for every blessing.
It’s not big jumps that lead to greatness; it’s small steps. The “little” good things that happen to us (and sometimes they seem to be VERY little) are tests of our awareness. It pays off not to flunk these tests!
So, what are the final lessons here? Simply this … being stuck is not unusual, even though it can be painful. There are probably some great lessons for you during this time—you just have to be open and alert to that possibility.
There are plenty of people around you who can help you gain a “bird’s eye” view of what is going on.
But be careful to whom you listen. Even well meaning friends and colleagues may not be able to be objective and tell you what you NEED to hear.
If you’re feeling “stuck” right now, stop and go back to these 10 steps. See which one appeals more to you and work on it – right now! Then pick another … and so on. Action … any action … will do more to help you back to growth and productivity.
One of the best things you can do is to get out among highly motivated and productive individuals so you can absorb some of that amazing energy. Consider joining us each month for the Biz Magnet lunch & learn. Info and registration can be found at www.WNCWoman.com.
And don’t hesitate to reach out to a coach or someone who has expertise in growth and productivity. These experts can help you focus and before you know it, you are back on top again.
Saralyn has many years experience in guiding entrepreneurs and professionals in designing growth strategies that produce actual results. If you’re feeling “stuck”, contact her for a chat. She can be reached at 828-649-8011 or Saralyn@ SaralynCollins.com.