If I’m really honest with myself, feeling stuck has stopped me from doing way too many things.
I get to a point where I’m not sure what to do next, and I follow the same pattern every time: I obsess over what to do, and then if I can’t come up with an answer that feels like the “right” one, I just walk away. I don’t act—I stay in stuck mode.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I’ve identified two core problems that have contributed to a lifelong struggle with getting unstuck.
The first is the weight of possibility.
I’ve always been someone who’s able to see things from many (if not all) sides. I can see how something could work out this way—but also that way. And I can see how my decisions, even small ones, will affect future decisions.
As I follow those paths of thought, I get more and more tangled in this sticky web of possibilities, eventually weaving the different visions so tightly around myself that I’m unable to move. It’s not pretty.
The second is the struggle to ask for help.
I’ve never been good at asking for help, but a recent interest in the Enneagram has shown me that it’s probably my biggest weakness. So when I get stuck in that icky place and I’m unable to move forward, my instinct is not to ask for help—it’s to tell myself, I’ll keep working on this. A clear answer will come to me.
And of course, when that doesn’t happen (which is often), I eventually get to, Well, I’ve thought this through and can’t come up with an answer. It must not be the right thing. Neither, as you’ll notice, involves actually making a decision.
I’ve been working on some ways to handle those situations when they come up, but instead of sharing those with you, I want to ask you this:
When you get stuck, what are you doing about it?
Do you have techniques you use to move forward? Or are you, like me, letting yourself get way too caught up in the details? I created an exercise you can do to help figure it out and make changes for next time.
I hope this helps you gain a little clarity and move through stuck-ness with more ease the next time it hits!
I also have another way to help you get unstuck.
Last year I introduced Email Coaching. It was such a joy to help you this way, and I’m excited to open up a new, expanded version of Email Coaching (with more options) today!
The basic idea is that you write and send an email telling me where you feel stuck with your content, and I’ll spend either an hour or two (depending on which option you choose) writing a response that contains ideas, resources, observations, suggestions—whatever is relevant to your situation—to help you get past that stuck feeling and get moving. Plus I give you resources to help you craft your email and use my response—so you can get on your way faster and more easily.
I’ve just opened up a few Email Coaching spots, so check it out if you’re interested! (I also wanted to remind you that I’m going on maternity leave for at least 11 weeks in mid-April. I’m not sure what I’ll offer for one-on-one work when I return, so if you’re interested in this and it feels like the right time, you might want to go ahead and sign up! If you're unsure, you can email me to chat about whether it's a fit. I'm always happy to hear from you!)