Have you ever felt stuck? Have you ever wanted to do something, like write a book, start a Youtube channel, begin to podcast, set-up a food truck, go into real estate, start public speaking or even apply for a big contract, but then you’ve gotten stuck?
A lot of people talk about getting started, but not a lot of people talk about what it means to be in the thick of it when things are not fun anymore. What do you do when you’ve done the initial work, and people have celebrated you, but they don’t see you behind the scenes struggling at two o’clock in the morning trying to make it all happen? How do you get yourself from that position of feeling like, ‘I don’t know what to do’, ‘I don’t know how to move forward’ to actually making things happen?
This is a really common problem that we all experience. ‘How do you get unstuck’ is the question. And, it’s what we’re going to talk about in this article.
Before we dive too deep, I want to ask you, why do you think you feel stuck in the first place? There are a lot of reasons why we feel stuck. Sometimes it’s because we don’t know what to do to go forward because we’re confused. Other times it’s because we’ve heard people’s criticisms and instead of letting that criticism roll, like we should, we let them stick. Then, we start letting those voices of criticism get into our heads. We allow those voices to go on repeat.
I’m going to give you nine very practical things you can do to help you get unstuck and to keep your momentum going. Because once you’ve stopped or gotten stuck, it’s hard to get things started again. But once you’ve got momentum, it’s a lot easier to build upon it and keep going. I want to give you momentum to build upon so you can realise your dream.
The action steps I’ll list below are things I’ve done or that I’m currently doing and each time I’ve used these strategies, they’ve given me a new perspective on how I can move forward with renewed strength, creativity and courage.
1. Change Your Environment
The first thing to do when you’re trying to get un-stuck is to change your environment. We are what we surround ourselves with. Now there are many ways to change your environment. The methods can range from doing a big clean-up to adding books to our personal library to going on vacation in a new place to moving to a new city. Each idea requires a different level of commitment, but they are all effective in helping to give you a new perspective.
I’ve found when you can organise external stuff, it can help you get rid of internal stuff, because the physical things often represent what’s happening inside of our minds.
Changing your scenery can change your mind and help you get unstuck.
2. Call the most inspiring, positive person you know
The next thing you can do is call the most inspiring and energetic person you know. When you read that sentence, I’m sure somebody’s name popped into your mind because we all know that super bubbly, energetic person who always seems to be on 10 and is always executing new ideas. This is a moment when you need that person around to give you a push and a bit of encouragement.
Now, encouragement may not look like what you imagine. It could be that you will sit and listen to this person talk about their projects for the hour you guys spend together. However, if you’re attuned to the situation, their energy will light a fire inside of you and propel you into action.
3. Do something in an unrelated field
The third thing I recommend is to do something in an unrelated field. In fact, this is a suggestion that I love.
Because I’m naturally curious, I’m constantly looking at documentaries, reading articles and watching videos about things that are new to me and don’t pertain to my industry.
This curiosity often leads of creativity. I find that sparks of creativity can be fanned into a fire of inspiration that can help you get un-stuck.
So, find a way to learn about another industry, whether it’s doing pottery, learning about electricity or taking a hip-hop dancing class. The new activity will encourage you to use a new way of thinking that could be the catalyst to helping you move forward.
Sparking an idea in this way may help you look at your problems differently and help you see a solution you haven’t previously seen. So try diving deep into another industry to help you get un-stuck.
4. Reassess your “why”
This suggestion is at the core of everything I do.
Can you answer this question: Why are you doing what you’re doing?
If we can get to the core of your “why”, you can re-energize yourself, re-spark your drive and re-gain your momentum. All of these things will help you get unstuck.
So, really take the time to go back and ask yourself, what is the purpose of what I’m doing and why is it important to me?
Understanding your “why” can help you find clarity when you’re feeling stuck and guide you on how to move forward.
5. Understand the last time things made sense
The next thing is to go back to the last time that you understood:
- what you were doing,
- why you were doing it and
- how you gained momentum.
If we can backtrack and get back to the place where things were clear, it might give us some insight into how we can move forward. What were you doing at that moment when things were clear? What were you doing at that moment when you had momentum? Who were you around? Who was on your team? What was your thinking?
If we can understand some of these things, we can go back and try to copy them and try to replicate them and make them happen again. How can we get those people around us again? How can we put ourselves in another situation or scenario where we can recreate that energy or momentum that we had when we first started the project?
Try to see if you can remember the last time when things were working well.
Now, this one seems like it’s not directly related, but for me it always works. I find whenever I’m stuck if I can go for a good run, it helps me to get un-stuck. For me, running represents life.
If you can find a way to get your body moving, the actual physical movement can help stimulate some movement within the project that you’re working on, whether it be a book, a podcast, a business or even your personal stuff. Physical movement can get the rest of your life moving.
7. Identify your limiting beliefs
This next one invites you to go a bit deeper and think more abstractly. It’s about identifying your limiting beliefs. To identify it, you may have to ask yourself, ‘What message has gotten inside of my head that I’ve begun to believe and have now put on repeat to myself?’ ‘What is the voice in my head saying over and over to me about my ability to succeed at my idea?’
What we’re trying to identify is the overarching message you whisper to yourself in your self-talk that you have started to believe. This takes a bit of introspection and sometimes can take a bit of counselling. It can also require reading and journaling to create clarity.
If you’re trying to identify your limiting belief, try to think back to what it is that that little voice inside of your head is saying that you are buying into that’s keeping you from moving forward.
We need to stop the message that’s on repeat so that we can send a new message to help you get unstuck. If you can get in there, this is where the goldmine is to helping you understand why you’re stuck and help you get un-stuck.
8. Get coaching
One of the most sustainable ways to get un-stuck is through coaching. While some of the previous ideas will begin to give you the momentum to make changes, because they don’t look at the root causes of being un-stuck, you may find that you lose momentum in trying to make these chances longlasting.
Coaching can help you identify some of those limiting beliefs, it can help you begin to understand your environment and the impact it’s having on your ability to achieve your goals.
Coaching can also provide you with the energy and motivation to approach challenging situations. It’s helpful to engage in dialogue when reflecting and thinking about when was the last time that you had momentum, who was around you and what are some of the limiting beliefs you’re holding on to.
Finding an outside person to really help you through this process can make a significant impact in helping you get unstuck and stay un-stuck.
The most effective way I found to get unstuck was to get counseling. When I went to my counselor, it felt like my thoughts were a tangled ball of yarn. I was struggling to unravel what I was thinking and make decisions day to day about what to do because I felt so overwhelmed. Week by week, however, she helped me get clear on my thinking and understand steps I could take to move forward.
This is just the beginning of your journey to get unstuck. Do you want to keep going? Are you able to see some possibilities now, even if they’re just mini-steps?
9. Join a mastermind group
The last way I want to encourage you to get un-stuck is through a mastermind group. I would like to invite you to look around you and see who the people are who are surrounding you. Who are those people who are your go-to day in and day out? They really have influence in your life.
If you can identify who those people are, look and see if that group of people is helping you to stay where you are or if they helping you to get unstuck in moments like these? If you don’t have the right group of people around you, don’t worry you can always create that group of people. You can look around you and identify people who are really doing the things that you want to do. You can find those people who inspire you and see about either getting in a group that they’re part of or even starting your own mastermind group if you need to.
Really having other people who are going in the same direction as you can be the most motivational thing because you’re going to encourage them and they’re going to be encourage you in return.
10. Surround yourself with people who see possibility
Who you keep in your inner circle is so important all the time, but it’s especially important when you want to get un-stuck. What kind of language do your friends use? What do they believe is possible? Do they speak positively about the future or do you find you’re always whining with them?
If you want to get un-stuck, I’m not saying get a new set of friends, but at least add some positive ones in the mix.
11. Remind yourself of your dreams and your “why”
When is the last time you gave yourself permission to dream? Well, I’m giving you permission right now. Just pause for a second and imagine what you want your life to look like. What are the possibilities you see for yourself? Take time to regularly remind yourself of what you’re working towards, and most importantly, constantly remind yourself of your “why”.
Your “why” is the special and unique reason you’re on this planet. It’s what you’re good at in a way that no one else is. It’s your story and your quirks and your idiosyncrasies. It’s the reason people come to talk to you and to get advice. Re-connecting with this will help you get un-stuck.
12. Reconnect with the people you want to help, serve or connect with so you can understand what they need
You know how we just talked about your “why”? Well, now we’re talking about your “who”. Who were you put on this planet to love and to serve? Who do you want to connect with? Who do you want to work with? Who do you want to love? Do you understand them?
Often we think so much about our own needs that we forget that understanding others can help us get what we want. Find a way to reconnect with the people you want to be around and it can inspire you with ideas and possibilities that can help you get unstuck.
13. Read, a lot. Read in your area of interest and outside of it. Keep a notebook handy for inspiration.
Getting stuck is about not being able to see the possibilities for your life. One of the best (and cheapest) ways to open up the possibilities to yourself is to read. Read novels about faraway places and biographies of people who have had to push through hard times.
Read about things that interest you and things that are new. Whatever you do, read. And as you read, keep a notebook handy because it’s almost guaranteed you’ll have some inspiration hit you along the way.
14. Remember what you have done in the past that helped you move forward
This next step is asking you to dig deep and remember the last time things were working. Ask yourself, what was happening in my life at that time? What was I doing? Try to remember and understand some of the conditions you were facing at that time and try to copy them (if they were healthy).
These are a few of my tips that I’ve used in the past and that I continue to use to help me get unstuck. I’d love to hear which one of these you’re already doing or which ones you’re thinking about that you might implement. I’d love to know what you’re working on and what is it that you’re stuck with. Let me know. I’d love to find a way that I can encourage you.
If you’d like more information about how coaching can help you get unstuck, message us below.
As always, I’m helping you to get clear on your why so you can make the impact that you dream of.