Whether you are in transition and trying to figure out what’s next, or in a rut and unsure how to break free, being stuck can feel like walking through quicksand. Perhaps you recently left a job and want to understand what path to take next. Or you’ve moved to a new city, left a relationship, and decided to hit the reset button on life. Feeling frustrated and overwhelmed is normal during a transition.
You can learn how to make transitions work for you rather than against you, and tap into the power of change to create something better. The key is to address your underlying energy. Are you approaching change from a state of fear and victimhood, or are you moving with the flow, being intentional, and trusting the process?
If you can reframe what “stuck” means and view it as an inflection point, you can leverage this period to re-align with your core values and uncover answers from within.
Stay still for a moment, and notice the emotions that come up — without judging yourself. Then, identify your triggers and evaluate how you can manage your emotions and energy. Perhaps you recharge by taking a break, stepping into nature, or connecting with others. With trial and error, find fuel to push through the stuck.
Stuck phases can be traumatic and also transformational. If you are intentional during this phase, you can gain clarity about who you are and what you want.
Key Questions to Ask When Stuck
- Where exactly am I getting stuck?
- Why am I stuck?
- What’s getting in my way?
- What is within my control?
- What’s outside my control?
- What do I really want?
Being stuck is often a choice. Tangible progress can happen more slowly than we would like and “stuck” may just be a perception. You may understandably want faster results or confirmation when you put in the effort. Try to be self-compassionate, and allow time to reflect and for things to unfold. Remember you are planting seeds, and they take time to grow.
How to Get Un-Stuck
Find Clarity and Compassion
Through my own hardships, I was able to find my “power center” and operate from that space. After years of meditation, asking questions, and learning lessons, I found the power lies within each of us to create what we want. The hard part is staying consistent, hopeful, and doing the work to get there. It takes resilience, patience, curiosity and a deep desire for change — for something more.
It’s worth repeating: Be compassionate with yourself and patient with progress. If you can be, rather than feeling you need to do, achieve, or create something, you may feel more accepting of where you are and appreciate how far you have come. When you begin to let go of expectations and attachment to outcomes, you can shift the energy from being stuck to being still.
When you let go of expectations and attachment to outcomes, you can shift the energy from being stuck to being still.
To start, here are a few steps you can take:
- Get clear on where you are getting stuck. Notice your thoughts. When do thoughts like “I am not making any progress” surface? Catch yourself in those moments and inject a more empowering thought, such as “I am doing the best I can in this moment and will allow time for things to manifest.”
- Measure progress monthly/quarterly instead of daily/weekly
- Take accountability for where you have been stuck too long and recognize you have a choice
Reflect, Recharge, Reimagine
- Give yourself credit for how much you have accomplished, despite any setbacks
- Break the boundaries of your current reality with creativity. Imagine what the possibilities might look like if you become unstuck. What do you envision for yourself?
- Seek support and ask for help. Feeling stuck is normal, but you do not have to feel stuck alone
- Check in with yourself and celebrate the small wins
Take One Step Forward
- Write down one thing you can do to take a step forward. The act of writing can transform words into energy. As you put pen to paper, you can act upon ideas
- It may feel like weeks or months before you see things materialize. One step forward might feel like three steps backward. But movement matters nonetheless and things can shift quickly. When that happens, double down on the momentum or just ride the wave
States of stuck are normal and can even be productive. Inner change often happens before outer change, so starting with self can be a powerful step. Even if you do not see results right away, that does not mean you should give up. Consider how buildings are constructed, and how our bodies need time to transform with physical exercise. Changing our reality is no different. It takes time, patience, courage and trust.
Get comfortably uncomfortable with the in-between spaces of transition; between the now and the next. This space is full of hidden gems. Review your values and goals, remember the lessons and wins, and believe with patience and persistence that change is not only possible — it’s inevitable.
For additional support, download my free workbook here on navigating through change and getting unstuck.
Get comfortably uncomfortable with the in-between spaces of transition; between the now and the next. This space is full of hidden gems.
Copyright © Manisha Dhawan 2021. All rights reserved.
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Manisha Dhawan, Founder and CEO of MPath Coaching, is a certified professional coach (CPC), MBA and management consultant with 2 decades of experience leading digital innovation and change management initiatives across multiple industries. As a design thinking specialist and lifelong learner, Manisha is passionate about empowering executives to advance leadership skills, maximize team potential, and drive innovation forward. In addition to corporate coaching, Manisha works with professionals on career strategy and human skills development.