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Published on April 9, 2019

Why Are You Stuck? 5 Questions to Shift Your Mindset And Get Unstuck

Why Are You Stuck? 5 Questions to Shift Your Mindset And Get Unstuck

Most people struggle with mastering their mindset, they feel stuck in their lives, careers, and relationships. They struggle to find a way to move forward. They have big dreams, but they feel like something is holding them back.

If you feel this way, you are not alone.

Most people want to increase their productivity and profitability. They want to have better relationships and better lives. However, getting unstuck is about having a better mindset and tactics. Ignoring the mindset will not lead to durable change.

In this article, I will mention five questions that have the potential to help you master your mind, gain a better understanding of your emotions, manage your time better and help you get unstuck.

A positive mindset is the most powerful weapon in your quest for success. The road to success is hard,  it is full of obstacles, and adversity. If you doubt yourself, you won’t be able to attain the success that you deserve.

Mastering your mindset requires you to unleash your inner strength, avoid negative self-talk, and ask yourself the tough questions:

1. What Is Holding You Down?

“The hard choices—what we most fear doing, asking, saying—these are very often exactly what we most need to do.” — Tim Ferris

My inner voice held me down for a long time. It convinced me that I was not smart enough, strong enough or good enough to do what I was trying to do. I finally learned to silence my inner voice and go after my dreams.

If you feel stuck and your inner voice is holding you down. Ignore that voice.

Some people allow fears to keep them stuck in their situations. Fear has the ability to keep you stuck and control your mindset. Tim Ferris silence his fear by stating his fear out loud,

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“By becoming familiar with the worst case scenario, you begin to melt the fear holding you back.”

He designed an exercise called ‘fear-setting,”[1] Ferris learned when he faced his fear on paper, it was easier to defeat it in real life. He understood that fear was holding him down and preventing him from accomplishing his goals.

What is holding you down?

2. Whose Permission Are You Looking For?

“You Don’ t need permission to chase your dreams. Go execute.”  — Gary Vaynerchuk

You do not need anyone’s permission to be yourself and to share your gifts. Gary Vaynerchuk, a serial entrepreneur and New York Times Best Selling Author, wants to write a new book about giving yourself permission to do your thing.[2] He believes that the only permission you need to be yourself is your own permission. Give yourself permission to be great.

When you want something, go for it. Do not wait for others to approve your choices. If you want to quit your job, quit. You do not need your friend’s approval to do it.  If you want to improve your relationships with your kids, start today. You do not need your ex-wife permission to do it. If you want to lose weight, start eating healthy. Do not worry about what other people think of you.

As a little kid, I was fascinated by writing short stories, but I was too afraid of what other people would say about my writing. I was waiting to be picked, for someone to tap on my shoulder, and ask me to write. I was waiting for permission.

If you want to do something, stop asking for permission, and go make great things happen. When you succeed, your fans will show up, do not worry about them, start shipping your work.

3. What Ignites Your Fire?

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” — Ferdinand Foch

If you want to get unstuck and grow, you need to start asking yourself, “What ignites my fire?”  Answering this question will get you closer to your goals, and it will help you master your mindset.

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Find out what ignites your fire. What makes you happy? What drives you?

Steve Jobs knew what ignited his fire, he was obsessed about design. His obsession started when he was a little child, he loved the idea of simple and elegant design. Anytime he faced with a problem and felt stuck, he asked himself, “What is my obsession?” The answer was always the same, simple design.[3]

Designing simple products is what ignited his fire. Find out what you are obsessed about, and you will find what ignites your fire.

If you want to get unstuck, adopt the finding the fire mindset, and ask yourself  “What ignites my fire?”

Feeding the fire will keep you focused, motivated and productive. Find and fuel the Fire.

4. What Commitments Are You Making?

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”  — Vince Lombardi

If your marriage is not as good as you like it to be, check your commitments. If your relationships with your kids, it is not where it should be, revisit your commitments. If you are not earning the money that you like to earn, recheck your commitments.

Your commitments are the bridge between you and your ideal life. Commitment is a mindset that is guaranteed to get your unstuck from any situation you find yourself in.

Being stuck is not about lack of knowledge, it is about lack of execution. If you want to execute your plans, adopt a commitment mindset.

Commitment mindset is about accountability and ownership. If you want better results in life, own your problems. If you want faster results, be accountable for your work. Commitment is the bridge between you and your goals.

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If you want to get unstuck, commit to doing the work. Ken Blanchard talks about the importance of commitment,

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”

If you want to get unstuck and move your life forward, stop accepting excuses, and commit to doing the work.

5. What Change Are You Seeking?

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” — Abraham Maslow

If you want to master your mindset, you have to be clear about the change that you are seeking.

Are you trying to have a better work-life balance? Are you trying to launch your first business? Are you trying to regain your health? Are you trying to manage your emotion better? Are you trying to build a better relationship with your spouse?

What change are you seeking? Once you get clear on your goals, it is easier to get unstuck and shift your mindset. Be clear on your goals, and the change that you are seeking.

In 1954, Roger Bannister was 25 years old, a medical student at St. Mary Hospital in London. Bannister was vocal about running a mile in under 4 minutes. He devised a new training regimen, he started to run alone more frequently and with harder intervals. The British press called him a ‘lone wolf’ and suggested that he needed to change his regimen if he is serious about competing.[4]

He would spend hours envisioning himself crossing the finish line in under 4 minutes. He shifted his mindset  from “This is an impossible goal” to “I want to be the first to do this.”

At that time, it was considered a physical impossibility to do that, but he focused on psychological training more than his physical training. He started to master his mindset. Bell Taylor wrote in HBR that Bannister understood that he had to overcome a psychological barrier first and a physical barrier second.[5] On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes – 3:59.4 to be exact becoming the first human being ever to do so.

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Roger Bannister silenced his inner voice, gave himself the permission to be great, understood that running alone ignited his fire, made a promise to be the first human to break the 4-minute mile, and he was very clear about the change he was seeking.

Final Thoughts

If you are stuck, ask yourself the above five questions. Once you answer them, you will realize that you are more powerful and capable than you realize.

Stop letting fear, society and your inner voice slow you down. You have the power within yourself to follow your own dreams and achieve your goals.

It starts in your head, and your head can be a scary place to be. Don’t allow your negative mindset to take control of our own feeling. A little self-criticism is a good thing, it can be a reality check that recalibrate your actions. On the other hand, excessive self-criticism tends to prevent you from moving forward and cause you to identify with your shortcomings.

Instead of beating yourself up, and identifying yourself with your shortcoming, take a few deep breaths and reflect. Instead of saying I’m a failure, say I failed at this project. Do not say I’m a smoker, say I smoke. Focus on the action that you like to change instead of focusing on your feeling.

Start practicing positive talk, instead of saying I’m overweight, say I would like to lose 5 pounds and I know how to do it. Make the choice to be kind to yourself, and stop all negative self-talk.

Answering these five questions will unleash your inner strength, allow you to master your mindset, and get you unstuck from any undesired situation you find yourself in.

These answers will be your guide to master your mind, build better relationships, manage your time, conquer your crises, overcome daily obstacles and increase your productivity.

More Resources to Help You Get Unstuck

Featured photo credit: Luke Southern via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Luay Rahil

Luay Rahil is a speaker, and the Founder of Lead with Integrity.

Why Are You Stuck? 5 Questions to Shift Your Mindset And Get Unstuck

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Last Updated on April 17, 2019

15 Inspiring Ideas to Boost Your Motivation for Success

15 Inspiring Ideas to Boost Your Motivation for Success

If you get stuck feeling unmotivated, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief to learn there are simple, yet high impact, changes that will steer you back on track.

Here are 15 tips that will not only restore your motivation for success but raise it so you can pursue your personal definition of a successful and happier life.

1. Practice Looking at the Glass Being Half Full When Life Is Challenging

This is not as easy to do if you feel like you’re unsuccessfully playing dodgeball in most areas of your life. Practice short bursts of radical acceptance[1] paired with looking for fine threads of your day you are grateful for that bring you happiness.

It will feel strange at first but with time your brain’s neuro-circuitry gets fitting in focusing on what motivates and inspires you.

Start practicing this exercise at times during the day when you feel okay, so then when rough times hit, your ability to rebound will be more automatic. However, you need to practice.

Before you know it, your battles will become like a walk in the park!

2. Review the Happiness Level of Your Everyday Social Network

Jim Rohn’s famous saying:

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”

It is not gospel. But in examining whether or not your relationships support, encourage, inspire, educate and nurture you, you actually need to look beyond those five people.

Social science professors James Fowler and Nicholas Christakis explain how we need to look at our third degree of separation to identify those who influence our happiness in our social relationships.[2]

People are generally happier because their first-level friends are also central to a happy network of people. To increase your motivation and happiness, don’t just look at your friends. Look at your friends’ friends!

3. Clean up Your Relationships — Work and Personal

Do you ever ask yourself what aspects of your relationships are healthy for you and bring you happiness? Do you also consider what you contribute to those and whether doing also brings you happiness?

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It’s time to not only reflect on what you gain from relationships but what contributions you can make to help them further flourish.

Caution! Over-helping is not the answer here. Sometimes you need to cull the time you spend with certain people. However, it’s about being more accountable and choosing to improve how you want to show up for people in your life, work-wise and personally.

Set yourself some personal goals and get to the task. Cleaning up and stepping up will continually motivate you. You’ll heighten that positive vibration of your everyday existence.

4. Develop a Personal Development Plan for Your Own Definition of Success and Happiness

Goal-setting isn’t just for helping us attain better cars, houses or greater income. When you change goal focus to become the person required to obtain those things, your goals expand beyond tangible limits. Having a personal development plan is essential.

Draw a circle and divide it up into pie segments (like having spokes on a wheel) that represent the following areas of your life:

  • Finances and money
  • Intimate relationships
  • Friends and social relationships
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Spirituality and religion
  • Hobbies, leisure and fun activities
  • Vocation, career and work

The center point of your circle represents zero. Zero means you are least satisfied. The outer circumference of your circle is ten. Ten means you are the most satisfied and content.

For each area, plot on the spoke your current rating of satisfaction. Then, review each area again and denote on the spoke what level of satisfaction you desire.

See where the differences between your current and desired satisfaction levels are smallest. These may be the easiest areas to start brainstorming the changes you want to experience. Some areas won’t be as important to you to make changes. Others will be. Working with an impartial coach can greatly help to flesh out clarity.

Regularly doing this exercise (e.g. every quarter) will reignite your motivation and keep you on the path to reach greater success and happiness.

5. Invest in Personal Development

Your personal development plan will give you strong clues as to what programs, books, podcasts, networking groups and social activities to tap into. But be wary of the bright, shiny object syndrome and well-meaning friends and family projecting their countless recommendations on to you!

Be gracious and thankful for their advice and guidance (even though it can often be uninvited!), choose wisely and make your own decisions.

Focus on the challenges you face now. Are you experiencing problems with your significant other? Are your children suffering from bullying at school and you’re unsure how to help them?

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Perhaps you are experiencing a plateau in work satisfaction or your business is experiencing a slump. Whatever problems are present for you now, explore activities and education that will help you solve those.

6. Invest in Experiences, Not Material Things

Splashing your cash on physical possessions to reward yourself won’t just send you bankrupt. When you constantly rely on external things to motivate you, you’re in real danger of never being satisfied.

Instead, ignite your motivation internally by investing in experiences which allow you to feel those feelings you believe you will have when you’re successful.

If becoming a public speaker is a dream you have, invest in Toastmasters or a public speaking program. If whisking you and your partner away for a luxury weekend at a second’s notice fits your definition of success, save over time to do this.

Don’t just set your sights on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Practice feeling success at each step in your journey.

7. Create or Join a Mastermind Group

Napoleon Hill created the concept in his book Think and Grow Rich first published in 1937, yet today, being an entrepreneur is still often a terribly lonely existence. Joining a mastermind group, your motivation is fueled by the collective genius of others also wanting to collaborate, solve problems, cross-promote, network and learn new things.

Not only is keeping motivated easier in itself, your thinking also grows exponentially.

Choose your group wisely and collectively, your contributions will escalate you all to refreshing new heights.

8. Work with a Coach

We have personal training coaches, health and wellbeing coaches and career coaches yet we rarely engage a coach to help us with two of the most significant factors influencing our success and happiness: money and our psychological well-being. Our approach is often remedial and it’s not until we’re in dire straits that we call in the emergency services.

Money may not buy us happiness but financial freedom is having freedom of choice and freedom of choice means wider opportunities for greater happiness. Risks and growth always pose threat to our mental and emotional stability.

By learning proactive skills that strengthen your resilience in your personal and working life, you can lift your motivation to tackle challenges with greater courage. You have a backup plan and safety nets to catch you when you fall.

Whether it’s a money mindset coach, a performance coach, a business coach or a relationship coach…open up the conversation. Get to know yourself better, make plans to clear the hurdles and get ready to sprint!

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9. Focus Your Conversations on Your Ideas and Goals

When you increase emphasis and focus upon certain things, feelings and thoughts, you are telling your brain these things are important. The feelings and thoughts will become more easily amplified and neural pathways which access similar feelings and thoughts become activated.

Given this, be strategic. Deliberately reframe the conversations you have to discuss ideas, plans and progress to take you toward where you want to go.

Stimulate and train your brain to increase its stretch. Direct it to dwell on positive experiences and results you have had, and deliberately share in conversations these feelings and results are what you want more of.

Not only are you training yourself to feel happier for greater parts of your day, you are communicating your true desires and wishes for a more successful and happier life to the wider community.

Share with them more of what you desire to experience and achieve. You create a greater likelihood of receiving favorable surprises in answer to your requests.

10. Have Goals to Become a Better Friend, Partner or Work Associate

Examine your relationships by asking yourself what aspects are healthy for you and bring you happiness. Also, consider what you contribute to that relationship and whether doing so brings you happiness.

Think about not just what you gain from the relationship but also what you can do to help make that relationship flourish more. Can you improve how you show up for people in your life, work-wise and personally? Set yourself some personal goals and get to the task.

Do you need to organize a get together instead of waiting for your friend to organize the rendezvous yet again? You might put the garbage out without being asked by your partner from now on. Stepping up and stepping into healthier and happier relationships will only heighten the positive vibration of your everyday existence.

11. Learn How to Lead Better by Encouraging Others to Become Better Leaders

If you’re a leader, it can be really hard to resist the urge to take the steering wheel when you can see others are about to drive off a cliff. However, stepping out of the limelight to let others have their fifteen minutes of fame is the sign of a true leader.

Supporting and coaching others to develop confidence and stay in the driver’s seat on their journey is truly soul-enriching. Stay beside them when they drive into the fog and be persistent with your encouragement to keep them focused and on track.

You have greater purposefulness to others when you empower them to work through their own trials and tribulations and help them build greater resilience in the process. Your self-esteem and internal happiness will deepen on a richer level and stay with you for far, far longer.

12. Embrace Negative Feedback and Criticism

We don’t actually learn best when people agree and applaud us. We learn best when we make mistakes and experience the intense emotions connected with the failure or rejection.

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Invite yourself to look for the lesson in every perceived misfortune. There is always a golden nugget for growth; we just have to increase our practice of looking for it.

Lick your wounds only for so long and move quickly to look for the lesson. When you can do so, you can charge your internal motivation from within and still experience happiness even in the darkest of times.

13. Exercise a Sense of Adventure Every Day

When you set small goals to do things slightly differently each day, you can entirely re-shape the level of happiness you experience. Here’s a list to play with:

  • Try a different coffee brew to start your day
  • Dress in work attire even if you are working from home today
  • Walk a different route from your final subway stop to the office
  • Smile at a stranger as you make eye contact passing them in the street
  • Pay a compliment to one of your work colleagues when you notice they are feeling stressed
  • Go out walking during your break if you usually eat lunch at your desk or inside

Spice up small changes in the brief moments of your daily living. Small shifts lift not only your motivation but shed light and happy vibes to those around you.

14. Orchestrate Your Destiny Using Daily Imagery

Take advantage of the fact your brain does not know the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined when it comes to imagery. Instruct your day-dreaming activity to envisage what happiness and success look like, feel like, smell like, taste like and sound like.

When you daily rehearse your mini movies of your success and happiness goals, your brain’s reticular activating system will begin filtering in information to help you reach these.

Before too long, your plans, actions and decisions will increasingly honor these. Keep your eyes on the prize and you are more likely to reach success sooner than you might think.

15. Become an Expert Researcher of Your Own Challenges

Whilst we have all the resources within us, we don’t necessarily have all the answers. However, when knowing more, we feel (and are) in more control.

Look further afield and gain from the knowledge, experience and insights of the qualified experts in those areas. However, be aware of ulterior agendas being pushed upon you.

Sifting through the information relevant to you and following your gut instinct will only spark your motivation. The considered decisions you make in the moment will always be the right ones.

More Articles to Boost Your Motivation

Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Marsha Linehan: Radical Acceptance
[2] James H Fowler, associate professor, Nicholas A Christakis, professor: Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study

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