Feeling Stuck? – tips on unsticking yourself

Feeling stuck can be exhausting, frustrating and leave you feeling powerless …

What does feeling stuck mean to you?

Perhaps you are feeling stuck in terms of your job, business, relationships, health & fitness, personal growth, professionally, or with your family? Do you feel like ‘life’ has derailed you? – how would it be if you could get back on track? Perhaps you feel like the next phase of your life is just around the corner, it’s so close, yet you feel stuck unable to reach out and grab it? Maybe you already realise that something needs to change, and if you knew what that was, you’d do it and charge over the line – but you just can’t put your finger on it? If you are stuck, you are probably costing yourself money, time, happiness and perhaps loosing confidence?

I’ve felt stuck – I’ve been so close to something that I could taste it, I could see it, I could feel it … but something stopped me getting it – was I really stuck?

Many of you will know that I spent the first 15 years of my professional life in senior HR, talent and people development roles in numerous industries. I enjoyed my jobs, yes, I loved the people I worked with (in the main!) but I felt like I could do so much more. I did the extra hours, I went the extra miles, I went out of my way to prove I could be more, but it just didn’t happen. I focused, I delivered, I did what I thought everyone else wanted of me (and more) – yet nothing came of it. Then I saw a more senior role come up – I should have gone for it, but something stopped me! (‘this is what you wanted, go for it’! I said to myself, yet I didn’t apply)…

… and that reminds me of another time, the time when I was toying with leaving corporate life to set up my own business – on a good day, I wanted to ‘paddle my own boat’, I wanted to be accountable for what I did and directly benefit from the results of my efforts, I wanted to help people, I wanted to shape my own destiny, I wanted to work part time, I knew I had skills and experience that others would value and benefit from. On ‘not such’ a good day, I was worried about how I would pay the bills, what if I couldn’t find someone who wanted to pay for my services, how would I cope working alone? what if I found out that I couldn’t help people, what if it was just such hard work it mean’t I couldn’t make it? maybe I wasn’t resilient enough? maybe I didn’t have the various ‘business’ skills? – I knew it would be hard, I was prepared for that, I could see the line, I stood at the top of my cliff and looked out to sea …  do you jump?

Your stuck ‘line’ is not real, your internal stories are not true, don’t believe all the thoughts that pass through your mind …

People create all sorts of ‘lines’, barriers, ‘what if ‘scenarios in their heads about all sorts of things – the truth is that we tell ourselves ‘stories’ all the time – we believe the thoughts in our heads (at that moment) and as a result we act or behave in a certain way. The fact is that your stories about your ‘line’, your stories that you tell yourself about what is possible or not possible are just thoughts – the fact, is that your beliefs are not true – but you act as if they are true – consequently they are a self-fulfilling prophecy! The ‘line’ is just a story. Feeling stuck is simply a story that you tell yourself – (unless your are physically restrained of course!) When you are caught up in the ‘line’ story it seems real – I know it does because I’ve been there. The story paralyses you – it stops you – but the key question that you need to ask yourself is: is there really anything stopping you? (apart from what goes on in your mind, consciously or unconsciously).

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Some people are stuck because of fear – they are simply afraid – afraid of not being enough, afraid of the potential or perceived risk of discomfort, scared of taking risks, concerned about what others will think about them, scared of being successful beyond belief … remember the phrase – ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’? … I wonder if that phrase was created by someone that as trying to get themselves unstuck – I love the phrase, and think it has real value.

But you know all this, right? – maybe you did or maybe you didn’t, but regardless, you’ve not stopped to consider what being stuck really means to you? – one person’s stuck is different to the next person. Below I’ve bullet pointed some of my additional thoughts on how to stop feeling stuck and start feeling unstoppable ….

  1. Decide you really want things to change, consciously and unconsciously – this sounds obvious, but bear with me – you can decide to change things – taking a decision is so empowering in itself. However, we need to recognise that sometimes the status quo may inadvertantly be what you’re driving for unconsciously (with your values – which are what motivates us) – if you’ve read one of my earlier posts, you’ll know that if the conscious and unconscious mind go into battle it’s the unconscious mind that always wins! Maybe this in itself, could shed some light on why you’re struggling to get unstuck … ask yourself – what is it that I really want? – sometimes we get what we refer to a secondary gain – e.g. there is a benefit for leaving things as they are – perhaps the current scenario is fulfilling a purpose that maybe consciously you’re not even aware of. Once you’ve considered these questions, if consciously you want to get unstuck, but are frustrated it’s not happening, an NLP Master Practitioner will be able to help you align your unconscious thinking – and this will help massively in getting you unstuck and moving forward.
  2. Create a vision a goal – I don’t mind if you do vision boards, or you set goals in other ways (such as the NLP well formed outcomes goal setting techniques) but get a really really compelling goal – a goal with a ton of ‘why’ – why is it that you want to become unstuck? what would it mean to you if you were unstuck? Your should should be full of ‘musts’ – goals full of ‘shoulds’ or ‘could dos’ are banned for this exercise! You need a goal that fills you with excitement, with passion, with an unquenchable thirst for what you want.
  3. Take responsibility for change & act – (its time for some more tough love my friends!) … do you want to unstick yourself badly enough? honestly? – if you do, you can’t stay at the effect side of something else (the clue to working out if this is you or not is to consider if you find yourself with lots of excuses) – you need to take assertive action if you want to become unstuck – talking about it won’t cut it – you need to take massive action and consistent action (by this I mean do something everyday) – if you really really want it badly enough, then you’ll find a way to make it happen, and we work with lots of people that have decided they want it badly enough to engage a coach who has the skills to support them to make it happen – as coaches we guide, we support, we create space to think, we ask the tough questions (and won’t shy away from asking them) and we hold you to account! – this is a formula that works time and time again, and that is why so many people have a coach these days.
  4. Act ‘as if’ – the ‘as if’ principle is a great place to start (and you can do this straight away) – start by acting as if you are were not stuck – simple, eh? – ask yourself, if I was the other side of my ‘line’ how would I act? what would I do? – then start doing it …
  5. Decide you are going to be brave – you can decide to do this right now! … break-free – the question is will you?! (please don’t let fear be the one thing that stopped you from being awesome!)

I hope you find these tips and pieces of advice helpful and for many of you, taking some or all of the advice above will enable you to move forward massively. For some of us, we need need a bit more help, either to facilitate our thinking (some of us like to talk things through or need to create the space to think about these types of things), and coaching for perfect for this. Some people, may be starting to get their heads around the fact they have an unconscious mind and that it is more powerful than their conscious mind (that over the years they have learned to trust). It’s starting to realise that it’s in fact our unconscious mind that is driving our behaviour that makes the difference for some people – getting our heads around this for the first time can be a challenge – but understanding this opens up massive opportunity and possiblity to move forward…

Here at Unleash Your Potential, we are all about unleashing individual and business potential – put simply that is what we do for a living and we love it! Whether that’s through coaching or through training, or providing consultancy for business owners and leaders. Check out our website for more details.

How would it be if you could feel unstoppable? What if you were no longer stuck and had moved forward? What if in the future you looked back to this moment and said ‘that was the moment when it all changed!” – how good would that be?

Live life, don’t settle for an existence x

feeling stuck

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