Monday, 9 February 2015

4 Tips to Get Unstuck

It's not a big leap to go from being "in a rut" to feeling stuck.  

Feeling "stuck" is not pleasant.  It's uncomfortable, smothering, claustrophobic even.  Sometimes we confuse being "stuck" with feeling secure.  Phrases like "better the devil you know" spring to mind.

We can even chastise ourselves for feeling stuck.  Perhaps you find yourself saying "I have a job/family/house so what's the problem? I should be happy"? 

Notice the "should"?  That's a red flag word. 

Feeling stuck is a sign that we are ready for a change.  Change is often associated with risk.  And risk is often associated with fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of upsetting someone. The reason we feel stuck is because we have something exciting and compelling drawing us forward and then our reservations and fears holding us back.  This situation is often described as "like having one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake."

So, if you want to get unstuck, here are four steps to get you moving again.

1. Acknowledge you DO have choices.

Thinking about, writing down or speaking about choices does NOT mean you are making that choice.  We too often shut down the possibilities available to us because we fear that thinking about them will cause trouble:
  • We catastrophise: I don't dare think about working away from home because I my children will suffer, fail at school and start taking drugs.
  • We molly coddle:  I don't dare think about having a business that I love which pays me a great salary because I might fail.
  • We presume: I don't dare think about going for that promotion because my boss/colleagues/partner will think I’m punching above my weight.
These are all excuses. Allow yourself to imagine, to think, to create. Sometimes the most enlightening ideas come from a seemingly "impossible" choice.

2. Recognise HOW you make choices.

Typically we either Think, Feel or Know when we make choices.
  • Thinkers lead with logic, practicality and facts.
  • Feelers will often ask others opinions, be led by emotions, will create stories or images about the potential outcomes.
  • Knowers will decide fairly quickly and independently, without always being able to explain why they've made that choice.
Naturally, we don't use just one of these approaches.  In fact, it is really powerful to harness all three.  To recognise how you make choices, think back to the best decision you've ever made.  What brought you to that decision?

Having trouble making a decision? Perhaps you're ignoring what your lead factor is telling you?  For instance, we often turn to our Think factor if our instinct (Know) is saying something scary!

3. Make POWERFUL choices

Our values are a core part of who we are and what makes us happy.  When faced with a choice, your values will make the answers much clearer and simpler.  Your choice will either be true to one or more of your values or will ignore them/go against them.

If you're not sure of your values, answer this 
"Success in my life means......." 
and then for each part of your response follow up with 
"Which means that...." 
until you get to the source of what is most important to you.

NB this will not be money or time.  Dig past that to get to the real stuff.

4. Choice = change

Change is inevitable.  Even if you stay as still as you can, everything around you is changing all the time.  And you can't control it all, no matter how hard you try.  Every choice comes with a risk.  The "what if...." factor.  And that's OK.  Don't be afraid of the "What if".  Just as in point 1. thinking about it doesn't make it happen.  Work it through.  Think about what you would do "if" your choice didn't work out the way you wanted it to.  What could you do now to mitigate it or minimise the impact?

And if, after all that, you don't change anything, that's OK too.  Choosing NOT to do something is still a choice and by making that choice, you have started a change in and around you.

My favourite saying when I'm deliberating choices is "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" from Susan Jeffers book of the same name.  I've never read the book. For me, the title is enough to jolt me out of my procrastination.

No comments:

Post a Comment