Getting stuck is part of life. It happens to us all. We all suffer setbacks and experience lethargy, confusion, or discouragement. The key to getting unstuck is to have a method available that is really effective at freeing your mind from the mud so you can get your wheels turning again.
The following seven ways to get unstuck have proven effective for me and many of my clients. I hope you find them helpful!
Trace your train of thoughts back to the last time you felt good and productive, then use that awareness to get unstuck.
Example: You are feeling down and lethargic, unmotivated to do anything. You begin to think about the last time you felt good. This morning, right before you heard news that gas prices were rising again, you felt OK.
With the bad news, you began telling yourself that you will never be able to go on a road trip again, that this ruins everything and so on. Talking to yourself in a very discouraging tone creates very discouraging feelings.
You realize what’s been going on and STOP speaking to yourself this way. Soon, your mood lifts a bit!
Reach out to someone you trust and consider a resource. The key here is not to complain or burden the other person. Just tell them you feel stuck and why, then listen to their feedback. Ask them what they would do if they were in your situation. We all have great advice to give. Merely feeling heard will help. Connection with others is so important. We can be stuck just because we lack connection.
Sometimes being stuck is unavoidable. It just needs to play out all on its own. Take this time to rest and ease up on yourself. Careful with this one, though! Taken too far, it can lead to self-indulgence.
The idea here is that giving yourself a break may be just what you need. If you are too hard on yourself, setting yourself up with impossible expectations, you are bound to feel stuck. Relax and take it easy – even for a day.
This is one of the classic NLP drills. To get unstuck, remember a time when you felt really resourceful – then step back into that time. See what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt at the time. You cannot do this fully without changing your inner state.
When you feel your state change, then it is important to act on it!
Give yourself permission to be inspired by an imagined future. Of course, the more realistic it seems to you, the better. Let your mind be free for a few minutes to dream about your plans coming to fruition. Is this motivating? Can you use your positive future as a way to get unstuck?
Often we get stuck in a muddled mind that seems to be running on autopilot. It turns out that autopilot thinking is related to the brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN). Turning off the DMN is possible through a certain kind of awareness practice.
Try this: Write down every stray thought going through your head for at least a minute. Then, tune into a mundane, white noise kind of sound. The sound of a fan, the refrigerator, or distant traffic will do. Just tune in and listen. Do you feel yourself settle after 10-15 seconds? Now, write down what you need to do and get moving again. If this method works for you, this personal development program will be very helpful.
If all else fails, let your emotions out! You MUST do this in a totally responsible way, never infringing upon another person’s space or making a nuisance of yourself. Hop on your bed or the couch, lie down and kick and scream. Let it out and get your psychic energy flowing! It will absolutely change your state.
What are your best ideas for how to get unstuck? Share them in the comments!
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Last reviewed: 24 Apr 2013