After our recent posts about moving around your obstacles and getting closer to your goals, a number of you wrote to us and expressed that you’re feeling stuck—stuck in your thinking, stuck in your approach to work, stuck in your ability to think insightfully about your life.
Stuck is a challenging obstacle. It can be hard to fully name and even harder to move on from.
Sometimes when people feel stuck they just start doing, doing, doing but without a vision or goal. For others, they get paralyzed and find that they do nothing. And still others go on with their daily activities but feel lost, unsettled, and, well, stuck.
So, this week we’d like to share some of the things that we’ve found helpful in getting unstuck. Take a look at the ideas below and see if any of them resonate with you.
Write a letter.
Write a letter to someone you’re inspired by (living or dead), and tell them what’s going on in your life and what you feel is missing. If writing doesn’t feel right, try doing this exact same thing by leaving yourself a voicemail on a private number. Both of these actions can often open you up in ways you don’t expect.
- No one ever has to see this, so be honest and write/speak freely—don’t judge yourself or worry about grammar or spelling.
- Go into a lot of detail. Share what’s been going on recently, how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and how others are responding to you. Tell them how you got here—this stuck place.
- Tell them a bit about what it was like growing up, what you learned about what was possible in your life, and what you learned about keeping yourself safe and small.
- Tell them about your successes in life and your missteps.
- Tell them where you thought you’d be at this point in your life.
- Ask them what they’d suggest you do to get unstuck, and then write down your very first thoughts in response to the question as if it’s coming from them.
- Play with this over a few days.
Ask yourself a question.
- If I had a magic wand, what would I do right now? Be open to all answers.
- It’s tempting to be judgmental, but really consider what you would do. Then ask yourself, “Why would this feel good?” Answer that and ask why once again another one or two times.
- How would Buddha, Jesus, Ghandi, my Aunt Kate respond in this instance?
- What would I do if I knew there would be no consequence?
- If being stuck was “a gift”, describe what the gift would be for being stuck now.
Have a conversation.
Have a conversation with someone who you believe can hold your discomfort with respect and help you reflect on where you are in your life, why you feel stuck, and how you might move forward.
Do something new or different.
- plan a hike
- call an old friend
- color, paint, or draw
- take an improv class
- read a genre of book that’s new to you
- join an exercise, dance, or other activity group
We know that feeling stuck can be a frustrating and sometimes frightening place. Give yourself some time this week to try one of the ideas on this list. Please let us know what you discover.
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