I have spent the majority of my life being “stuck.” For me, years 20-30 were filled with multiple google searches of “how to find my purpose” and “how to find motivation.” I always knew that I was capable of more but I didn’t have the tools to take actions to move forward. Like anything else, there are strategies you can use to free yourself of your personal stranglehold or as I like to say, go unst*ck yourself! Get it?! Okay first things first, taking yourself too seriously can lead to feeling stuck. Life is meant to be fun. Yes, we all have goals and ambitions but if you solely focus on goals without having fun you will find yourself unfulfilled and it is my belief that unfulfillment and feeling stuck go hand in hand. Through my 10 years of hands on research, I have come to realize that feeling stuck often comes from one of four things: limiting beliefs, lack of clarity, overwhelm, and not being in alignment.
The first key toward moving forward in life all starts with believing in yourself. A limiting belief is any story that you tell yourself to hold yourself back in life. They include any form of insecurities, fear, or self doubt. We all have them and as we grow our businesses and grow as people they will continue to be there because growing takes stepping out of your comfort zone. Every belief, both good and bad, comes from our thoughts on repeat. The more we think a thought the more power we give it until it eventually turns into a belief. Common self beliefs include, “I’m not good enough,” or “I don’t know what I’m doing.” These beliefs are not the truth, they are just the stories that you have told yourself over and over again. The good news is, you can change your beliefs by changing your thoughts. For more information on how to change your thoughts, download this free PDF guide.
LACK OF CLARITY:
What do you want? Do you clearly and specifically know what you want for yourself and your business? Do you have a vision of what the next month and year look like? If you can’t answer those questions without much thought then you probably don’t know - which could be leading you to feel stuck. If you aren’t aiming toward anything then you aren’t growing and like I said before, if you aren’t growing you aren’t fulfilled and unfulfillment means stuck. Start simple. What do you want? Is it more free time? Is it more sales? Say to yourself “I want more ___________.” That’s it. That’s the thing.
So now you know what you want but how exactly do you achieve it? Sometimes our goals are so big that the idea of achieving them is too overwhelming and overwhelm can easily lead to inaction. It’s time to slow down to speed up. Instead of focusing on how you’re going to get from A to Z, pull back and focus on how you will get from A to B. Start by making a list of all the things you could do to achieve your goal and then focus on 1 item you can do today. If you finish that 1 item you can move on to the next step, or if you find that 1 item to be ineffective then you now have an entire list of actions you can take, so pivot and try something else.
Let’s say for instance you want to start a podcast. There are several steps that you need to take from having the idea to launching your podcast. Make a list of all the things you need to do to launch. Some ideas may be “buy a microphone,” “record an episode,” “think of a name,” “research how to make a podcast.” Notice how these aren’t in any particular order. When you make your list, just write! Write down every single thing you think of without filter or judgement. Ideally you’ll have 20+ things on your list. Let’s look at the 4 things I just listed. Which one comes first? Well, if you don’t know anything about making a podcast, which you probably don’t if you have never made one, the obvious first step is to research how to make a podcast followed by buy a microphone. Start small and overtime you will build clarity, confidence, and momentum.
When I first started my podcast, Show Up to Go Up, I had no idea what exactly I wanted to talk about. All I knew was that I always wanted to create a podcast. I didn’t let my lack of clarity be an excuse. I started with the basics, kept moving forward, and I eventually turned it into what it is today - a podcast full of inspiration, tools, and tips for those who feel stuck in life.
NOT IN ALIGNMENT:
Hopefully I don’t lose you with the word alignment. That used to be a trigger word for me to stop paying attention. Fight that temptation! What I mean by alignment is - do your actions match what you say you want? Sometimes we say that we want something and yet we are pushing that very thing away OR you don’t actually want the thing you say you want. Let’s explore both.
Are you pushing away the thing you say you want? Let’s say you want more free time. Do your actions match that? We all know that actions speak louder than words. Are you allowing yourself to have more time? I used to say that I wanted more free time but I would say yes to everyone and everything and give away any free time I had. My actions of saying yes to everyone were not in alignment with what I said I wanted. Take some inventory here. Maybe there is a subtle change you have to make before you can achieve the thing you want. For me, it was saying no to others.
Do you actually want the thing you say you want? Maybe you say you want to open multiple locations of your store front business. And maybe at one point you really did want that. But in the past couple years you have shifted a bit and now spending more quality time with your family is important. The thing you say you want, more business locations, is no longer what you actually want and therefore you aren’t in alignment. You’re not fully focused on either thing because the two are conflicting and therefore you are stuck. You may have to do some self reflection to make sure the things you say you want are still the things you actually want. Goals change and that’s okay. Self reflection will lead to insight which will also lead to your actions supporting your desires.
Being stuck is one of the worst feelings in the world. It can feel like you are helpless. But remember, you are the driver of your life. The first step to get unstuck is to pay attention. If you don’t realize you’re stuck then how can you change? With these 4 tools you will be on your way to unst*cking yourself and living a life of fulfillment.
IG @stephygthatsme and @showuptogoup