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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 Negative Self Talk Is Bad for You (And How to End It in 3 Steps) How to Find Happiness in Your Everyday Life Why Are You Stuck? 5 Questions to Shift Your Mindset And Get Unstuck

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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

How to Attain Self Realization (Step-By-Step Guide for a Better You)

How to Attain Self Realization (Step-By-Step Guide for a Better You)

Chances are, you’re busy hustling between the 40 hours a week you need to work, the family you need to provide for, and the bills that need to be paid.

As the years pass by, you’ve begun to feel the burnout from all the needs and expectations required of you. You don’t feel like you are in control over your own life. In fact, it feels like the circumstances in your life are controlling you.

What if there was a way for you to be able to have better control of your life and create all the positive changes you’ve been aching for?

This can be done through self-realization.

You’ve probably heard of this concept before, but you’re not really sure what it really is or how it can help you.

I’m going to dive into what exactly self-realization is and the exact steps you can take to attain it for yourself. Read on if you want to learn how to unlock your potential and find a way to decrease your stress and anxiety, and gain crystal clear clarity about who you are and what you’re capable of.

What Is Self-Realization?

Self-realization has a few big definitions. In the Western world, it’s generally defined as the activation of one’s full potential of talents and abilities.

How Psychologists Define Self-Realization

Humanistic psychology also follows a similar train of thought about self-realization.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow has named people he considered to have reached self-realization such as Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt to name a few. His famous hierarchy of needs theory states in order to achieve self-realization (or in this case, Maslow uses the term “self-actualization”),[1] one needs to have a certain set of needs met before achieving it:[2]

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    For example, self-realization cannot be achieved if you are struggling financially and too caught up in worrying about how to pay for the rent and provide food for your family. Unfortunately, this is usually the case for many people, which leaves little opportunity for them to maximize their abilities.

    How Religions Define Self-Realization

    In religions, the concept of self-realization is taken from a different perspective altogether. Connecting with your truest self has a lot to do with transcending your own mind and body. This self is often considered as an eternal being that is not confined to the physical space that your mind and body take up. Many recognize this part of yourself as the soul.

    To put all of these definitions together, self-realization is ultimately learning the answer to the foundational question, “Who am I?”

    The answer lies from understanding that you are not your emotions or your thoughts. Who you really are is not even your body or your mind. These are all things you as a self experience, but they are not you.

    And when you are too caught up in these things that are not yours, that’s when you fall victim to and get stuck in your negative experiences such as stress, anxiety and fear.

    While your thoughts, feelings, and physical body always changes, you do not.

    I know this concept can be a bit confusing to understand, so here’s a great video that explores who you really are explained by Prince EA. It was a video made in response to a bizarre interview session with Comedian Jim Carrey at the red carpet interview at the 2017 New York Fashion Week.

    Here’s the video:

    Why Self-Realization Matters to You

    How often are you distracted, lost in your thoughts, or overwhelmed by difficult emotions?

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    Being in the present is more difficult than ever with the technology today. People are often buried in their smartphones or laptops while others around are craving their attention.

    Most people spend so little time in the present. They’re usually either hurt and having trouble letting go of their past, or busy worrying about their futures:[3]

    “People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy.”

    Here are some amazing benefits to self-realization:

    • The ability to monitor your emotions. Rather than being controlled by your emotions, you can now use your observations about them during the experience to learn how to effectively handle things like fear, anxiety and stress. Self-realizations helps you do this by giving you the skill of letting go of debilitating feelings and taking hold of the empowering ones instead.
    • Improved focus and concentration. Guided by your own inner goals and values, self-realization helps you easily identify when you are entering into distractions and eliminate them. By getting rid of the meaningless things in your life, you stay committed to what matters most and you begin to see real results as you reach your fullest potential.
    • Increased confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem. By being connected deeply to your truest self, self-realization frees you from any insecurities, worries, and low sense of self worth that you feel tangled up in by helping you really grasp the truth that you are not defined by them.
    • Becoming more accepting of yourself and of other people. You are able to be more authentic and express emotions freely and clearly. As a result, you are able to form deeper relationships and spend more time connecting with people rather than trying to impress them.

    When people don’t have a strong sense of their own self, they get easily swayed to live life the way other people tell them to live it.

    The truth of this has been shown through Bronnie Ware’s famous work, which has shown that one of the top regrets of people who are dying was:[4]

    “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

    There can be tons of pressure whether it’s from work, society, and even friends and family for you to be a certain way. Maybe your rough upbringing instilled a strong need for other’s approval in you so you do what others expect of you. Maybe you’ve stopped trusting people because of your struggles with letting go of the thoughts and experiences that hurt you.

    Whatever the situation, self-realization gives you the safe space you need to heal and grow.

    How to Start Developing Self-Realization

    1. Start Meditating Regularly

    Aside from all the scientific evidence that shows the health benefits of meditation, it is also a prime way to achieve self-realization.

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    One of my favorite apps that guide you through meditation is Headspace.

    I particularly love this app because it is very straightforward without all the woo-woo types of things you normally associate with meditation. It does a great job of demystifying what meditation really is and how it can benefit you to achieving self-realization.

    Here’s a great explanation of what meditation does for you:

    You can get the basic meditation guidance for free or pay for a premium version for access to more specific meditations that improve things like self esteem, creativity and relationships.

    In case you don’t want to download the app, here is the simple meditation practice you can do right now:

    1. Sit comfortably on a chair.
    2. Start by leaving your eyes open with a relaxed soft focus.
    3. Take about a minute to take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
    4. After a few deep breaths, gently close your eyes while you are breathing out.
    5. Resume normal breathing.
    6. Take a moment to pause and enjoy being present in the moment with having nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to check.
    7. Take a moment to feel the pressure of your body on the chair beneath you, the feet on the floor and the hands and the arms just resting on the legs.
    8. Gently bring the focus back to your breathing.
    9. As you sit there beginning to notice the breath and the body with its rising and falling sensation, don’t try and stop your thoughts. Simply allow them to just come and go.
    10. At this point, the only thing you need to do is when you’ve realized your mind has wandered, gently bring the focus back to your breath again.
    11. Gently bring the attention back to your body, back to that feeling of contact to your chair and the space around you and when ready, gently open your eyes again.

    Even if it’s only 5-10 minutes a day, learning to train your mind to be present is so important to your journey towards self-realization. You need to take a step back from the craziness of life and recompose yourself to be present for the things that matter most.

    Another great method that can be used to achieve self-realization that involves a bit more body strength is yoga. While there are many variations of yoga and has also become a very popular form of exercise in western culture, its original purpose served as a meditative practice to achieve the higher level of consciousness that comes from self-realization.

    You can access plenty of free Yoga channels on Youtube or join a gym to get started.

    2. Make Time for Self-Realization Every Day

    I know what you’re thinking.

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    “I don’t have time for this!”

    I beg to differ.

    About 40 percent of the things you do in a day don’t involve you actively making a decision. Instead, it is actually a habit.

    Out of all of your habits, there are probably a handful of bad ones. If you can observe your daily routines, there is a simple way to change a bad habit into a good one, which is to start making changes to your environment to make it easier for you to change your habits.

    The idea is rather than trying to squeeze in more time to do something, simply alter a daily habit you have into something else.

    For example, let’s say you start your morning by brewing your coffee and sitting down on the dining table for 20 minutes to browse the internet to catch up on the news.

    The news is usually full of negative information, so why not spend those 20 minutes in meditation instead?

    One easy way to make this change is to change your environment up by keeping your laptop and phone in a different room so you don’t have immediate access to it when you sit down on the dining table. You make it easier on yourself to spend time meditating rather than staring at a screen.

    Want some more great tips on breaking bad habits? You can try out Lifehack CEO’s secret Control Alternate Delete method, which was the method he used to break 3 bad habits in less than 2 months.

    Final Thoughts

    Self-realization doesn’t happen overnight. It will take some time and practice, but if you turn the practices into a habit, you’ll be guaranteed to get there. Once you do, you’ll finally feel like you are in more control over your life and be able to get yourself to the next level.

    Now that you have a better understanding of the importance and benefits of self-realization, why not take a moment to put everything down and give it a try?

    More About Self-Realization

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

    Reference

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