When recommitting isn't enough

Last week, we talked about reviewing, refreshing, and recommitting to your plans for this year. I know what a great feeling that can bring, and there’s real power in renewed excitement.

But there’s also a danger to it. If you rely solely on the excitement of planning to drive you forward, you’ll find yourself turning to the recommitment process way too often…and get trapped in a cycle of planning that doesn’t really help you move forward (or keeps you from moving forward as quickly as you’d like).

To get where you want to go, you’re going to have to do more than plan. (Sighhhhhhh.) You’re also going to have to take action.

I have lots more to say about taking action, but today, I want to talk about a natural byproduct of taking action: getting stuck.

It’s inevitable—it’s simply part of the creative process, part of being a human. But staying stuck doesn’t have to be.

I think how we deal with getting stuck (and getting unstuck) is a big part of the reason we keep having to turn to that shiny-new feeling of planning to keep ourselves moving forward.

Think about it. How many times have you just sort of…drifted away from an idea or project or goal? You need to make a decision, or you need to do some serious brainstorming, or maybe you realize you need to rework a lot of what you’ve already done. You tell yourself you’ll just take a little break, you’ll keep thinking about it, you need a fresh perspective—but then you never return. You don’t know exactly how to push through, or you feel like it might be too hard, and you just kind of avoid thinking about it until your guilt convinces you it’s too late.

Hmm…not the best way to pursue our dreams and plans, right? I can say for sure that it’s not—because I’ve been there, over and over.

So now that you’re aware of it, what do you do about this problem?

I’ve been thinking about this for years, honestly. Back when I was doing one-on-one content work, I thought a lot about what was holding people back from getting their ideas out there. And a big one was getting stuck while writing.

As I worked with clients, I mapped out a series of ideas that I could offer for getting unstuck (take a break, consider the opposite perspective, and so on). But while I shared them with clients here and there, I never really did anything else with those ideas.

Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about how much those ideas could help all of us get moving again—and not just with our content.

So after I finished getting Explore ready for you (a new round will start April 1, by the way, and registration is open now!), I felt the pull to go back to those ideas for getting unstuck. So I did. And now...

I’m putting the finishing touches on something I’m calling Stay Unstuck: A Guide to Awareness and Action.

In this guide, I’ll help you do two things:

First, create a well of resources that you can turn to when you feel stuck. These are tactics that you know (or believe) will work, so that when you’re totally stuck, you don’t have to then also spend energy thinking of ways to get unstuck. You have a built-in way to get moving again.

And second, work on building awareness. This part is harder…which means it’s really important (isn’t that always true?!). You want to create a connection in your mind between being stuck and recognizing you're stuck, and then recognizing you're stuck and doing something about it.

I believe that if you can do these two things—create a well of getting-unstuck resources and work to build awareness around when you’re stuck (so you can take action and get moving again)—you’ll find greater ease around completing in-progress creative projects and tackle new creative projects with more confidence and excitement.

In short, I think that if you put some effort toward getting and staying unstuck, you can put your work and your ideas out there in a stronger, more confident way—and make a greater impact on those who need your help.

I’ll be back soon with more and with the finished guide. Until then, start doing a little thinking around where getting stuck has held you back and the ways you currently deal with it. There’s a worksheet in the Connection Library (you can sign up to gain immediate access right here) that can help you look at how you get unstuck; I used this as a jumping-off point for one of the sections in the Guide, so it’s a good place to start.

I’d love to hear when you feel most stuck and how you deal with it (or don’t) if you have a minute to share!

With much love,
Erica


One great way to work on getting unstuck?

Intentional writing. The next round of Explore starts April 1, and registration is open right now! When you sign up, you'll get immediate access to a welcome guide that will help you set a powerful intention for the experience. I'm doing the March round of Explore, and I shared my intention on Instagram if you're curious.

You can always reach out if you have questions, and if you're ready to dive into intentional writing, you can sign up for Explore right here!