“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Writers block. Cold call freeze. Inability to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Loss of direction. Being overwhelmed. We call it all sorts of things. Getting stuck is frustrating. It takes all shapes and forms and it is experienced by everyone at some point. Yes, everyone. Of course, there are people who are incredibly skilled at keeping it quiet and under wraps but everyone experiences that “stuck” feeling occasionally. Sometimes it is paralysing. Other times it is mild but the question is “How do we get through it – quickly?”
Even the highest performers in the world have times when they feel stuck. It is often because they have experienced this that they know how to move themselves through it with greater speed. Some people credit knowing the low times with truly enjoying and being able to create the good ones.
Moving through these periods of stickiness and blocks takes practice and self-awareness as the steps to get through them are different for everyone. Generally, I’ve found that clients find the following things most useful in becoming “unstuck” and creating momentum again:
1. Take it easy on yourself
Getting stuck is happening because you’re tired in some way. Tired of thinking through things perhaps, or physically tired, or a combination of both. Remember that this happens to all of us, and it too shall pass. Be patient, gentle and caring to yourself. It is often when we are confused that we are about to learn something amazing.
2. Physical activity
If you can get some rest then start there. If not, gentle exercise is great way to clear your mind and get some important serotonin running through your body again to combat that rise in cortisol we experience when we feel stressed.
Find 5 minutes (or more) each day to sit quietly in a space that feels energising and breath. Breathe deeply. Breathe into your belly. Exhale slowly and with meaning. Science proves that deep breathing (or meditating) literally changes the constructs within our brain to help us feel more positive and energised. All of this helps to ground us and bring calm into our lives so we can see the wood through the trees.
3. Let it go
Be comfortable with this discomfort. Sitting in confusion can be really positive. See if you can accept that at times this will happen. If it helps to talk to a friend or perhaps a coach or mentor, then this is the time to reach out to them and get all that frustration out of your mind.
Once you accepted where you are and have begun some practices to move you through those feelings it’s time to reconnect with your purpose. Remember setting your context? If not, check out our blogs on setting context. It’s important to know your why for doing what you’re doing. This helps to re-energise and refocus us. Maybe your context isn’t feeling right anymore. This would be a great time to review and reset it so that it reignites your passion and propels you forward again.
It’s now time to take that context, take the diary and start planning out your actions for getting to it. Try listing out the goal then working backwards with what you need to do, who you need to speak to, how much you need be doing until you can get to some clear steps that you can then add into your diary or calendar to ensure you will get it done.
The only constant we can rely on is change so when things are changing around us or in our minds, rest easy knowing that you have the tools to navigate your way through sticky or tough times. All we have to do is take the time to work through the stickiness until it releases. Then note, what did you learn from that experience? How can you move more quickly through it next time?