Don’t you hate being stuck at the airport? Imagine your flight was supposed to head out at 6:52 am. You show up and find out it was delayed two and a half hours. You lament, “Couldn’t someone have let me know earlier? Do they think I like getting up before 5 am?”
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Your ride already dropped you off. Now what? You have a desired destination, but that journey is stalled until 9:22 am. You’re forced to drag around your heavy bags and be where you don’t want to be, way longer than you’d like.
You’re stuck. What part of your life feels that way right now? Is it your health? Relationships? Your career? Regardless, this is always true: you feel stuck when you want something, but you don’t know what to do to get it. You’re stuck when movement towards your destination has slowed way down, to a point where progress feels halted.
Sure, you might get past security, but then you spend hours at the airport Starbucks instead of flying high towards your tropical paradise. You’re stuck when you don’t know where to start or you’re scared to start because you don’t want to fall off the bandwagon again. I get it.
That’s why I’m so excited to share with you my quick and easy process for getting unstuck, now.
Bonus: this process is so powerful it won’t just help you get moving immediately, but it’ll also ensure you’re on route to sustainable progress so you don’t find yourself back in the same position again and again.
No. 1: Get Clear On What You Want
Every single time you feel stuck, you’re focusing on what you don’t want. What if I still haven’t met someone by the time her wedding rolls around? What if I don’t lose the weight before my class reunion? What if I’m stuck at this soul-sucking job (or one like it) 5 years from now?
The good news: in the midst of what you don’t want, you can pinpoint what you do want. Write it down. Get out all the details.
I want my future husband, Harvard grad of course, to be at this party. I want him to be a hunk…obviously. I’d like to get married in Greece and honeymoon in Turkey. I want to fit into that dress. I’d love for people to tell me how great I look. I’d like to turn a few heads. I want to make what I’m making now, but at a job that’s exciting. Actually, I want to make more. And I want to be able to work from home some days.
No. 2: Find The Feeling
This is big. Like, essential. Like, if you skip this part, you might as well say goodbye to your tropical paradise and set up camp in the airport Starbucks. Are you ready for it?
- Why do I want what I want?
- What feelings will these things/people/experiences evoke?
Are you wanting to feel more free? More vital? Radiant? Alive? More interested?
What are the feelings? Write them down.
No. 3: Focus On The Feeling
Let’s say you want to lose weight. There are thousands of diet books out there. Have you noticed? Multiple ways to reach the same goal. It’s the same with feelings. So, you got clear on the real reason you want to be able to fit into that dress for your class reunion, right? (If not, stop reading and do that now!) Let’s say it’s because you’re craving radiance and want to feel more vital.
The good news: there are thousands…millions of ways to cultivate the feelings of radiance and vitality.
Even more good news: now you don’t have to wait to lose the weight in order to feel that way. Ask yourself: what’s one thing I could do today to feel a little more radiant? Maybe you decide to spend a few extra minutes getting ready in the morning. Or, you commit to smiling at the people you meet in the skyway.
Here’s why this is so important:
- When you’re focusing on the general feelings (vs. the specific results) you’re focusing on the one thing that’s always in your control. And, when you’re focusing on what’s within your control, you can’t stay stuck.
- With so many choices available (i.e. thousands of diet books), how will you know which one’s right for you if you don’t know how you want to feel? You can lose weight on a strict, low-calorie diet and on a high-calorie, whole foods plan. Very different experiences. When you know how you want to feel and practice that feeling, you’ll know whether or not a specific action aligns with what you truly desire.
- The means must match the end. I love what Esther Hicks says: “You can’t have a happy ending to an unhappy journey.” When you focus on the feelings you desire, you get results, the results are more sustainable, and the journey’s more fun. It’s a win-win-win!
No. 4: Get Support From The Right People
“Here is the basic rule for winning success. Let’s mark it in the mind and remember it. The rule is: Success depends on the support of other people. The only hurdle between you and what you want to be is the support of other people.”
-David Joseph Schwartz
If you’re stretching beyond what you’ve experienced before, it makes sense that you don’t know the specifics of that path. That’s why there are wilderness guides, basketball coaches, and math teachers. We all need someone who’s been there, understands, and can lead the way. One of the quickest, most effective ways to get unstuck is to reach out for support.
Here’s the thing, though: it has to be support from the right people. By “right”, I mean, someone who:
- First and foremost, seems to emanate (most of the time) the essence of what you want. In other words, someone who seems practiced in the feelings you desire to feel.
- Secondly, has knowledge, expertise, and skills that also align with the results you desire.
Here’s an example:
If you’re wanting to lose weight and keep it off in a way that feels nurturing and kind, it doesn’t make sense to get support from a hard-a** group exercise instructor who only cares about you completing all four sets of your lunges.
Yes, her expertise may align with your weight loss goal. But the way she goes about it doesn’t align with how you want to feel. That’s foundational. If you’re not aligned at the foundation, you have nothing to stand on.
To take this further: if your experience with her doesn’t evoke the feelings you want to feel, you’re not going to continue going to her classes for very long. So, you can’t keep off the weight and you’re back to where you were a few months ago, feeling fat and stuck.
Again, you’re wanting to lose weight and keep it off in a way that feels nurturing and kind.
You meet a woman at a church group who is the definition of kind and nurturing. She adores her kids….even when they’re annoying. “It makes sense,” she says, “they didn’t get a nap or a snack today.” And, she’s excited about volunteering.
You know this woman aligns with how you want to feel. But the classes she’s teaching are on parenting. And you don’t have kids. She also likes to knit and teaches a class on that, but you’re not interested.
I think you get the point: give yourself permission to (#1) get support (#2) from people who emanate how you want to feel and (#3) have knowledge to share that aligns with the specific results you desire.
No. 5: Surrender To The Process
Take a deep breath. There’s no need to take score too soon or to be hard on yourself.
Let this be a baby-step-by-baby-step-sort-of thing. Give yourself permission to:
“Go slow to go fast.”
As cliché as it is, it’s so important I’m still going to say it: give yourself permission to enjoy the journey!