It’s hard to move let alone dance with your feet stuck in the mud. You could do an upper body jig but it’s really not the same. More flapping than flamenco.
Feeling stuck is a very common sensation in mid-life.
I should stay where I am – I might not get another good job.
I can’t afford to change career – I have a mortgage to pay.
My boss would never let me try something new.
I won’t be any good somewhere else – my experience and skills are here.
I’m too busy to even think about moving.
In a world that celebrates achievement and forward movement, it is really difficult to gift yourself the space you need to understand your stuckness. Instead, many people try to ignore the feeling or to push the feelings deep down inside – they don’t go away though, they pop up again before too long.
Being stuck is really uncomfortable. Most people try to think their way out of the discomfort – but that is rather missing the point. Feeling stuck is not just a thinking matter. The feeling of stuckness comes from a combination of four things – thoughts, emotions, imagination and body.
When stuck, your thoughts go around and round – reinforcing your current position, justifying why you are stuck, or fuelling self-limiting beliefs.
When stuck, your emotions are heightened – we can feel anxious, overwhelmed, defensive, frustrated, alone or unsure.
When stuck, you find it hard to imagine the future – out attention is drawn to obstacles and impossibilities.
When stuck, you experience uncomfortable physical sensations – such as shortening of breath, churning gut, or fluctuations in temperature.
Shifting the stuck dynamic
Becoming unstuck, begins with creating movement –shifting the dynamic which is keeping you stuck. A small movement can make a big difference.
We’ve all tried to open a jar when the lid is stuck fast – no amount of hand twisting is working; we need to try something else. A simple solution is to hit the centre of the lid on the corner of a work top. The dent in the lid changes the dynamic of the lid and the jar allowing you to twist off the lid. A small shift can make all the difference.
A similar principle applies to people who feel stuck in their careers. A wide range of factors can help you shift your position and change the current dynamics – a break from work, meeting new people, challenging yourself to try something new and different, putting yourself out there. Such a shift creates potential, space, energy, possibility.
To open the lid though, you also need movement.
A good coach can help you work through your stuckness and help you start to move in your own way. Dance your own dance. A coach is an unbiased, challenging supporter – unlike anyone else in your life. They can help you become your best self.
Almost everyone else in your life is biased – they don’t mean to be – but they are. They know what’s best for you, they need something from you, they have a vested interest in keeping you stuck or in your moving in a particular way. But what do you want??
Is it time for you to become unstuck?