You may be thinking the title is hyperbole, but I can guarantee it is not. We’ve all been stuck. It leads to futzing on the Internet, wanting to bag the whole idea, and frustration. We think we cannot move forward because of being told no, because of waiting for someone else to make a move, because our brain is not flexing its creative muscles. It is no fun being stuck and it is keeping us small and from succeeding.
I experienced this most acutely last November when my husband, Brian, took a job in California giving us six weeks to move across the country from New York State. His experience of the move was that we could relax in December because his new company was paying for the move, including packers. My experience of the move was much more complicated. I needed to complete the sale of my business. We had still-packed boxes from the last move I did not want to schlep across the nation, especially since we were downsizing our housing by half. I had a whole community to bid a fond farewell. I needed to train the new owner of the business. In other words, all I saw were loose ends and endless to do lists. What overtook my brain was an incredible sense of urgency. I consider a sense of urgency a really good thing, a valuable asset for a big move. Brian did not share that sense of urgency because his experience of the move was completely different. Not only that, he could not relate to my frustration, my desire to get it done, to get moving, to get going because hey someone else was going to take care of it.
I was frustrated and agitated. I was stuck. I called my stepmother, Deb, a retired high school counselor, to vent. She had the answer.
How does one get out of it? How does one create the ability to get unstuck?
You ask yourself, “How can I empower myself in this moment?”
My brain was in monkey mode so I kept asking her if that was it. She said take it for a test run and see what happens. I had been waiting for Brian to become motivated rather than moving forward on my own.
That one question was simple and it was brilliant. It was easy to remember. As is well known, moving is upheaval through and through. It was easier to manage the chaos with this question. Every time I felt stuck, I just asked what I could do to empower myself. Sometimes it was taking deep breaths, stopping banging my head against the wall, and doing a load of laundry or running a carload of donations to Goodwill. Just the sheer act of doing something, anything, helped to free me and create forward motion.
As a health coach, I rely on this question to move my health and my business forward. I give it to clients as a tool to liberate them from being stuck. What do you do get unstuck? Have you tried asking yourself this powerful yet simple question?