We’ve all heard this expression, maybe we use the expressions:
“I’m stuck in a rut”
“I feel so stuck.”
But what does that actually mean? What are we referring to? Or what is someone referring to?
What Does It Mean to Be Stuck? “Stuck” can mean a lot of different things.
Looping or Circling
Sometimes when I think the thought, “I’m stuck right now” I’m noticing that I’m spinning or circling back over something. Maybe I have an idea for something or I think I should do something, but then I have resistance to it. But then I still think it’s a good idea. So I find myself looping and circling back and not taking any action, not moving forward, and also not letting go of it. And that is one of the ways that sometimes I feel stuck where I want to do something, but I can’t, but I want to, but I can’t, but I want to, but I can’t, and I’m stuck.
Withdrawal or Avoidance
Another way that I’ve noticed myself or other people showing up as stuck is a complete withdrawal or avoidance. For example, if someone is currently feeling stuck in their business, maybe they’re completely withdrawing, they’re not showing up. They’re not doing things to grow their business that they should do. They are avoiding taking action or moving forward in their business.
Of course they feel stuck because they’re avoiding it and not moving forward. They’re withdrawing instead of advancing and not doing anything. They’re not trying anything. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when they feel stuck and that lethargy actually increases the stuckness.
So Hard to Change
Another way feeling stuck might show up for someone is that it feels too hard to change. When this happens, we just continue with what is happening and stay where we are stuck.
Imagine yourself in a situation that you really don’t like. Think of a situation that is pretty – or even just slightly- uncomfortable, that you wish was different. In this situation, there is a way out.
You could make a change. There is something different that you could do. But that takes effort, or risk or energy or time or all of the above. Rather than expending that effort and energy and taking that risk, you just stay in that uncomfortable situation.
For me, this last example, resistance to change, even for the better, is the biggest example of being stuck. It’s when we know we want something else. We know something else is available or possible or might happen. But we just don’t do it.
Why Don’t We Take a Step?
We don’t step out of our stuck position because we are familiar with our current discomfort. Maybe our current uncomfortable familiarity seems like it could possibly be slightly more comfortable than the discomfort of taking the risk or doing the thing or trying it out or spending the time or money or energy.
Have you identified a way that you have felt stuck, or are feeling stuck, from the examples that I just gave?
Let’s also mention some synonyms or adjacent emotions we might be feeling while we’re being stuck.
Maybe you feel hopeless, disheartened, unmotivated. Or, you might feel confined or paralyzed.
It is possible that those feelings lead to starting to feel like a victim, or a martyr and that you are just at the mercy of your current situation.
Even though some part of you knows that change and movement and progress is possible, it feels very unlikely, because, after all, you’re stuck.
Both Major and Minor
I just want to point out here that I’m not only talking about major situations where we might feel stuck. A major situation might be if you’re feeling stuck in a career or in a relationship or not knowing your life’s purpose and not knowing where to go.
We can also feel stuck in minor areas. Someone could feel stuck about what to do about a current decision. What to focus on this week. What to choose as a topic for a podcast episode. Maybe in the big picture, you might be feeling stuck about seemingly inconsequential things, but that’s still feeling stuck. And that can still be a drain on your energy and your motivation and your confidence. And feeling stuck is not mandatory.
Get Unstuck September
If you are feeling stuck in a major or minor area of your life, you don’t just have to stay stuck. There are things that you can do. There are things that you can try. There are different thoughts that you can think that can help you to get unstuck and take a little tiny step in a direction or maybe take a major huge leap in that direction.
When I was trying to think about how I have felt stuck in the past, the example that came up was what I talked about in my transformation post at the beginning of August.
I have noticed that I felt stuck when I was identifying as lost and purposeless. I was waiting for something. I was waiting for it. And I expected it to come and find me. I was taking some very tiny actions at first. So I wasn’t completely stuck in a fully avoidant way.
But I wasn’t really letting myself get too uncomfortable either. I wasn’t really expending too much time or energy in order to find my purpose.I wasn’t really taking too many risks in order to get unstuck and move myself. Now I see there are tools I could have used and thoughts I could have thought that would have helped me so much during that period.
3-part Process to Get Unstuck
Here’s my theory about how you or I, or anyone can get unstuck. It’s a three part process. I do think the 3 parts need to go in this order, but they can overlap. And you might circle back and do one or more of these three parts, multiple times. This is an ongoing process.
Even if you get unstuck from this current situation that you’re currently in, next time, you could be feeling stuck about a different situation.
In the future, you will be feeling stuck about something else. So, these are great tools to have and to remember and try out.
You can expect to adapt them over and over and over again and re-use them. Basically plan on using these tools for the rest of your life.
The first tool that I have for you is to get awareness around your thinking. Next week, I’m going to share specific ways you can get awareness around your thinking.
But for now, as a quick explanation, for a lot of people who are feeling stuck: they don’t even know that they aren’t stuck.
They say the words or they think the thought “I’m stuck, I’m feeling very stuck. I just feel like I’m in a rut.”
But they don’t even realize that it is a thought. They don’t have awareness that it’s a sentence that they’re thinking. They are not literally standing in a rut or in a bucket of glue. They’re not literally stuck. It’s a thought that they’re thinking about their current situation.
That’s the first tool: to get that awareness.
You can ask yourself:
What’s making you feel stuck?
What are you thinking that’s causing that stuck feeling?
Check Your Thoughts
The second tool is to check your thoughts against your results.
When I say results, I mean two different types of results.
You can check the results that you want, and you don’t yet have. That would be like the destination that you can see from your stuck point.
Seeing that destination (or result) and not being there yet might even be contributing to the reason you are thinking you’re stuck.
You don’t want to be stuck. You want to be there over there instead. That’s one type of result.
The other type of result refers to the results that you already have that you do want.
Yes, you might be feeling stuck right now. But in this current stuck position, there may be many things that you are actually very satisfied with and very grateful for. And I want you to check to see what thoughts got you those current results that you are currently enjoying, at the same time that you’re also feeling stuck about another part of your overall situation.
The third tool is the whole point of my coaching practice and the whole point of this podcast. It’s the work that I do. It’s what many of my journals are designed to help you do.
So the third tool, obviously, is release your resistance. It’s the third tool in getting unstuck.
The whole point in releasing resistance is noticing those thoughts that you’ve got awareness about and then, that you checked against the results that you want and have with the first two tools and then refuting those thoughts. You let some of those thoughts go. You consider the alternative. Maybe, you even allow yourself to have been wrong.
These are all ways you can release resistance, in addition to all the other ways that I’ve shared over the last year and a half or so on this site.
If you have current questions or confusion, or if you’ve tried to release resistance in the past, and you want some more specific guided help, I hope that you’ll leave a comment below so I can include an answer specifically for your exact question in an upcoming post.
Reviewing the Tools to Get Unstuck
All of us have been stuck at different points in our lives. Maybe you are even feeling stuck right now. That’s why I’m sharing this three tool process to get unstuck, so that you can move towards the direction that you want to move in, or get some results that you want or start working towards something: a goal or a plan that you’ve had for a while.
You can do this, first of all, by getting awareness around your thinking. The second thing is for you to check your thoughts against the results, both that you have already and that you want. And then of course, the third step is for you to release resistance. That is how you can get unstuck.
Coaching to Get Unstuck
If you don’t want to work on this alone, you always have the option to hire me as your coach.
Maybe someone feels a little stuck about taking the steps to hire a coach.
Maybe it feels a little uncomfortable to take that first action and figure out what it would be like to work with a coach towards a specific goal or plan or outcome.
So I wanted to share with you what it’s like, and all the specifics of working with me as your coach, in case you’ve always been kind of wondering, you’re curious, but never actually taken the first step to find out.
Over the last year and a half, I’ve tried a few different ways of working with clients. I’ve worked with people 1-on-1 and in small group settings.
When I started my coaching practice back at the end of 2019. I was doing weight loss coaching as the final part of my coaching certification program, and I really enjoyed it.
My clients saw a lot of success, not only in their weight loss, but in other areas of their lives, too. It was just so empowering. And so exciting and fun, both for the clients and for me as the coach.It is so fun to see those real time results and changes.
At that time, because I was focusing on weight loss coaching, I was offering a six-week weekly coaching package.
As time has progressed, and as I’ve learned my work style and as I’ve seen how my coaching clients really respond to working with me, I’ve noticed, in most cases, we prefer not to work on a weekly basis.
So, I transitioned from offering weekly coaching to bi weekly and one-off coaching. Right now, what I’m currently doing with most of my clients is a bi weekly, month-to-month coaching.
If you were curious about how this would work for you, this is one way that you could do it.
If this is perfect for you and you want to grab an appointment time, just go to my coaching page.
We can meet by phone (audio only) or on Zoom with our cameras on).
Another option, if you want to see what coaching is like, is to book a consultation with me. It’s a free call where get on the phone or on zoom (your choice) for about 45 minutes. We can either go straight into coaching (so you can see what it’s like), or I can take you through a coaching exercise to show you some areas of your life and basically give you a consultation to recommend an area or direction for our coaching.
I have gotten feedback from people who have taken me up on the consultation, that it is life changing. Clients have shared they hear insights from just that one conversation that they had not considered before and that they take action after that one initial conversation that they were hesitant or worried or scared or just resistant to take action on before.
If you book a coaching consultation, at the end of that call, we will decide if we want to continue working together. Or if that was a one time thing. If we do decide that we want to continue working together, we can set you up for either another one-off appointment or you can start on the month-to-month subscription.
Availability Calendar and Scheduling Process
My availability calendar is so easy to use and it connects to PayPal where you can enter your payment information. I have found that running my coaching practice this way is very low maintenance and very seamless and very easy for my clients and for me. If you ever need to take a break, you would just let me know. I would pause or cancel the coaching appointments and the billing. Because it is month to month, there’s no long term commitment for you or for me.
I have had clients who had coaching with me in the past, and then something changed in their life so we stopped coaching together. Then later, they decided that they wanted to come back and have a few more months of coaching and then take another pause.
That’s just what I love about this open ended, you’re not committing for six months, it’s not a weekly thing where it comes around so quickly. We get so much done and achieved during those two sessions a month.
And now I’m curious, what about the coaching process have I left out and not described to you?
What other resistance might have kept you from working with a coach or working with me?
And what else do you want to learn about getting unstuck?