How to get “unstuck” in a few simple steps

Posted on August 30, 2017 by Heather

“My clients often come to me feeling “stuck” – either by a particular situation or circumstance, or just generally. They feel overwhelmed by life, to the point where they are just not able to move ahead.

This “paralysis” is common. It could be the result of a difficult decision we have to take, or it could happen when there’s just too much on our plates. Either ways, it’s never a happy place to be.

When we’re feeling like this, our minds tend to spin round and round, trapped by the same set of questions. As we keep circling around, we create a mental groove, which we end up sinking deeper and deeper into until we can’t see out. It can feel like we’re slowly sinking in quicksand…

The only way to get out of quicksand is to avoid panicking, lie down and drag our feet out. The more we flail around, the more we’ll be pulled in. The same is true for life.

So how do we get unstuck?.

Here are a few simple steps that we can take..

Acknowledge your fears.

There’s a simple technique to get rid of headaches which involves inviting the sufferer to answer a few simple questions about the pain. What shape is it? What colour is it? How fast is it moving? Nine times out of ten, the pain reduces or even disappears using this technique.

The reason it works is that when we consider these questions and look for answers, we effectively acknowledge the pain. And it is only by acknowledging it that we invite the body to deal with it. Our fears are similar. We must control our fear, or it will control us.

What’s the worst that can happen?

One simple question to ask yourself is – “what’s the worst that can happen?” We often spend so much time avoiding our fear, shying away from it rather than confronting it, that it gains excessive importance and starts to control us.

If you ask yourself – “what’s the worst that can happen?”, and really keep asking the same question until the truth is laid bare, you will find that the fear starts to recede.

Take a “glass half full” approach

Research has shown that when we start by focusing on a negative position, we are more likely to remain in that negative place, even if we are subsequently shown the positive angle..

However, if we choose to see things in a positive light from the start, then we’re able to continue to see that positive even if the situation turns negative.

The key is mindset – start positively and remain there. There’s always an upside to every difficult situation, even if it’s not immediately obvious. For example, if you lose your job, then you could end up with an even better one, with more money and great benefits. If a relationship ends, then perhaps your Mr or Ms Right is just around the corner. This is easier said than done, but I challenge anyone to not find at least one positive in every single “hopeless” situation.

Take a break from routine

Routines can enhance productivity but they can also be limiting. Ever watched a hamster on a wheel?. Try taking a short break from every day life. This needn’t involve days and days in a retreat or a week lying on the beach (though that might be nice!).

Even a few hours away from the humdrum of daily life can help you get a different perspective on a situation. Find your “peaceful place”, clear your diary and see if it helps you think things through calmly.

Stay healthy

Physical wellbeing and mental health are closely connected. When we are taking care of our bodies and feeling that rush of energy associated with a good workout or exercise routine, we’ll likely also feel ahead of the game, and in control of our lives. The mental clarity which comes from a healthy lifestyle helps us to focus and able to see answers more clearly.

One step at a time

When we’re trapped in that deep groove, it’s easy to feel completely helpless. The trick is to excavate yourself slowly and surely, by taking one step at a time. Like getting out of that quicksand … slow and steady. Don’t try to reach the end goal overnight, but break it down into small pieces. Just as you need to rest and adjust when you’re climbing a mountain.

Talk to an expert

Its often helpful to have the perspective of another person. You can talk to friends and family, and there are plenty of coaches (including me!) who are trained to ask you just the right questions to help you get “unstuck”. If you’re feeling that you need help to deal with a tricky problem or you’re just overwhelmed, please feel free to contact me for a commitment free chat.

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