Being stuck sucks.
There’s that part of you that wants to get moving, wants to make something amazing happen and doesn’t want to waste any more time, but there’s that other part of you that doesn’t know where to start, doesn’t feel enthused about the options and sometimes feels powerless to change anything.
So, yeah, it sucks.
The good news is, your best weapon in the fight against being stuck is in that wonderful brain of yours—your thinking and your beliefs.
So, here are seven beliefs that will help you get unstuck.
1. I don’t need to have all the information
It’s good to get your facts right before attempting to make a decision, but that can often become an exercise in gathering together and pouring over all of the information and details you can find, to the point where you contract a solid case of analysis-paralysis-itis. (Yeah, that’s a thing).
You don’t need all of the information, and as there will always be unknowns in life, it’s unlikely that it’s even possible to get all of it. Surrounding yourself with information and details is really just swaddling yourself in a comfort blanket.
It’s much better to know enough to make a choice and to let go of the rest.
2. I can trust my intuition
That quiet little voice way down inside you is pretty darn smart. It knows what matters to you. It knows who you are. It knows what you can do if you get behind a decision. The trouble is, with all the pressure to succeed and get things right, it’s easy to not hear it among the sound and fury of everything else.
But it never goes away. Your intuition is there, right now. It’ll give you huge clues about what’s next, and it will always try to tell you what you need to know.
All it takes is the belief that you can trust your intuition; then you just need to practice hearing it.
3. I’m more than my circumstances
When you’re stuck, all you can see are the walls around you. Whichever way you turn, you just can’t seem to find a way out or through, so you keep on butting up against those walls, getting more and more frustrated, tired and disillusioned.
After a while, it’s easy to start defining yourself by the circumstances you find yourself in. You may think you’re small, stuck and not good enough.
The truth is that you’re vastly capable, and have barely touched the ceiling of that capability. You have strengths, talents and experiences that amount to something. You have options, choices and the ability to make things happen. You have potential and possibility in your fingertips. You’re way more than any circumstances.
4. My next move doesn’t have to be “right”
The world rams success down your throat and tells you that you’re less than if you’re not successful. The pressure that creates to be successful and have your next choice be the “right” one is immense, and you can endlessly pressure, doubt and second-guess yourself in pursuit of what’s right.
But there is no right way. If I can paraphrase Frank Sinatra, there’s only your way. Pressuring yourself to get it right will get you nowhere fast, so what if there was no right or wrong answer?
How about simply believing that whatever happens, you can always make a great choice?
5. I can gently explore what’s next for me
Decisions are strange things. We sometimes in invest so much in them that we think everything hinges on our next choice; that it’s make or break, flourish or flounder, live or die.
The stories you tell yourself about what’s next for you and the drama inherent in those stories cast you as the protagonist struggling against the odds, and they can feel compelling enough to keep you stuck for a very long time.
But things don’t have to be full of drama and weight. Look at a choice with a sense of playfulness rather than fear. Approach an opportunity with curiosity rather than dread. Take that next step with light feet rather than dragging your heels.
De-dramify where you’re at and go play instead.
6. I don’t need to judge the process
Do you blame yourself for being stuck? Do you beat yourself up for not being able to move forward? Or perhaps you blame other people or circumstances for not giving you what you need?
However much you might resist it, life will always be full of twists and turns; those ups and downs are part of the deal. Judging the swings and roundabouts of life is like blaming a year for having a winter, so watch yourself when you’re judging or blaming things for being how they are.
Embrace the process, don’t beat on it.
7. Asking for help doesn’t make me “less than”
Ever felt like you need to solve your problems by yourself? What about feeling like you shouldn’t bother someone else with your “stuff”? Or, maybe you feel too ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help?
When you’re stuck, it feels as though it’s just you, doesn’t it? You see other people going about their lives, getting things done and having fun doing it, so you might think that nobody else gets stuck like you. But they do. You just don’t see what’s happening in their heads or hearts.
Asking for help and support doesn’t make you weak any more than having a bowl of pasta makes you Italian. It’s sometimes the bravest and wisest thing you can do, and we’re all stronger and better when we’re connected. You don’t have to do this alone.
The bottom line?
You’re only as stuck as you let yourself believe you are. There are always options and there are always choices. What counts then, are the beliefs you hold about what you do—or don’t do—next.
What’s your next move?