The worst thing you can do when stuck is to focus on how stuck you are! It's best to use your brain and energy on devising and carrying out a plan to get unstuck.
Focusing only on all the reasons why something doesn't work sucks away every body’s energy and doesn't help to move things forward.
Here are seven behaviors that I teach my clients to use for gaining momentum and getting unstuck.
- Do something different. Stop doing the “same old same old” that is not working anymore. Instead of thinking of all the reasons why you can't advance, take the first step. Imagine yourself successfully accomplishing the new. Feel the satisfaction of raising up to the challenge and conquering it.
- Sleep. Don’t believe the myth that sacrificing an hour or two of sleep a night helps you get more done. Sleep deprivation affects our cognitive capacity, our ability to think creatively, our emotional resilience, the quality of our work, and even the speed at which we perform. Especially in times of change, getting enough sleep is very important.
- Stop procrastinating. Changing from the familiar to something new can feel overwhelming. We are good at finding excuses why we can’t start tackling the new today. Yet, the more we delay, the worst we feel, and the more our fears multiply. Take the plunge, start now, even if you are not sure of the results.
- Reach out for help. Others might have a clearer idea on how to go about your task. Set up an impromptu brainstorming session with a couple of people, look for an expert that can help you figure out a difficult issue, ask a couple of friends to hold you accountable. You don’t have to go at it alone! There is strength in numbers!
- Make a list. Instead of worrying, write down what you need to do different. Be specific and assign a time each day for practicing the new.
- Focus. At the assigned time, turn off distractions (phone and email alerts switched off) and give your concentrated attention to the task for no more than 40 minutes. Working within a specific, limited time frame increases good, motivating stress while reducing negative stress. Instead of feeling overwhelm you will experience forward movement.
- Measure your success. Notice how much you have accomplished, instead of how much more you need to go. Learn from today’s experience and plan how to do even better tomorrow. If there was a snag, take time to plan what you can do different to be successful.
Whatever challenge you’re facing, trust that there must be a way to work through it and get to the other side. Then take action and enjoy the success of conquering the difficulty.
What do you think?
What helps you get unstuck? What other "tricks" have you seen work? Share your comments with us.
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