It happens to all of us at varying times. We get stuck. We know what we “want” to be doing, or where we “should” be going, or what we “ought” to be achieving. But something is holding us back between what we desire and where we are in our job, business, or life. As a leadership coach, I often work with clients who are stuck. Stuck in their current job or position. Stuck in a business they don’t find fun or fulfilling anymore. Perhaps they’ve gotten caught up in the details and have lost sight of their intended vision or outcome. Or perhaps they are unable to focus on what they really want because they have a fear of the unknown, or a loss of confidence. Often times they just feel plain overwhelmed and don’t know where to start and can’t make a decision. Whatever the reason, it’s painful, frustrating and downright depressing to be stuck.
If you are a leader or business owner, being stuck also has an impact on our employees and organizations. New ideas, projects and innovation within our organizations are jeapordized. Your direct reports feel frustrated that things are not moving forward and there is probably a loss of trust and respect. Productivity and profitability are compromised and customers may start to lose interest and patience with your products and services.
Again, we all get stuck at different times of our lives but what’s most important is how we choose to move through what’s keeping us stuck. After working over the years, with clients who have found themselves stuck in a job or business, I have found the five following tips help get most people unstuck and moving toward their goal and vision.
1) Consider playing a bigger game. Perhaps your goal is too small and you are bored, which if the case, will clearly not motivate you to take action and move forward. Look at your vision or goal…and double it!
2) Perhaps your goal is too large and you need to play a smaller game. If your goal is too big, you could easily get overwhelmed and stuck in a rut. So either set a smaller goal, or set milestones along the way and target those.
3) Do the opposite. What might happen if you started doing the opposite of what you’ve been doing to help move yourself forward, or reach your goal? Sometimes taking a 180 or even a 90 degree turn is what’s needed to help move you along.
4) Ask yourself: Is this really the goal I want, or is this a “should” goal. So often I ask my clients this question when they are stuck and many, many times it’s a “should” goal. Not something that’s coming from your heart. Fill in the blank and answer the question, “If I do _______________, am I doing it to make ME happy or just to make someone else happy?”
5) Identify your top five values. This is a very helpful exercise in getting clear on what values in your life are most important to you. Only then can you authentically move forward towards a goal or objective that clearly expresses your value(s). Working with a coach or mentor is an excellent way to identify your value list, which helps create the cornerstones for any change, movement, goal or objective you hope to achieve.
I would really welcome your comments on this subject. If you’ve found a successful way in helping get yourself unstuck, I would love to hear from you. In the meantime, if any of this post resonates with you and you’d like to have some support on getting yourself unstuck, please feel free to call me at 207-653-6977.
- Lauren Mackler: 5 Steps to Getting Unstuck (huffingtonpost.com)
- Just JUMP: Getting Unstuck (outsmartingaging.wordpress.com)
- How to Get Started When You’re Stuck (thechangeblog.com)