We feel stuck for many different reasons, but when you boil it all down, most ‘stuckness’ comes down to some form of fear. It might look like overwhelm or denial or uncertainty, but at the root, it’s a form of fear. We are afraid. We don’t like to talk about being afraid, so we make excuses to externalize our fear. It’s not the right time to act. We haven’t figured out our plan yet. We need to gather more data. The economy is weak. Blah blah blah. These excuses serve to keep us even more ‘stuck’ because they allow us to justify why we are not acting. The problem… we are still stuck. If you are stuck, try one of the following actions and see if it helps you take even a baby step forward. Three baby steps give you one full step, so let’s get started:
1. Remind yourself of what the compelling opportunity is if you were to move forward. What have you got to gain?
2. Evaluate the real consequences of taking action now. It might not be as risky as you think.
3. Brainstorm alternatives that reduce the risk – even crazy ones can show you a path forward, or can demonstrate that your current situation isn’t really that risky.
4. Talk to someone who has taken this risk or a similar one and find out how they did it. Maybe you can apply some of their lessons learned to your situation, or maybe you can increase your confidence in yourself.
5. Ground yourself in the wisdom and experience you bring and remind yourself that you have overcome many challenges before. Tap into the strengths that enabled you to do those and you may find they apply here too.
6. Go away. Really! Get out of your current environment and get some fresh perspective. Stop thinking about where you are stuck and immerse yourself somewhere new and different. Even for an afternoon. Get a cup of coffee downtown if you work in the burbs. Get a cup of coffee in the burbs if you work downtown.