When you are stuck, it can feel like there is no way forward.
People can believe that they are somehow ‘broken’- what is possible for others to do is simply not possible for them. However, getting unstuck is often easier that you might think. What if it was more about learning and enacting something which is missing from your repertoire and less about ‘you’?
Most people who feel stuck are often so ‘deep in the experience’ they often overlook the four key drivers that stop them changing to live the life that they want. These four things are:
One or more of these four things are often the root cause of why people get stuck. Rather than assuming you cannot change, perhaps consider these four factors and ask ‘what is missing’ from these things as a place to start your process of getting unstuck.
Consider someone who is stuck (or, if you choose, consider a place where you are stuck):
- Without knowledge of where they are stuck, what is needed to move forward and knowledge of what it is like to be on the other side of the change, then regardless of any actions they take, they cannot change.
- If a person has incorrect beliefs (about themselves, their capabilities or the situation) then this will also ensure failure.The old ‘imposter syndrome’ is an example of a very common false belief that limits many people from changing. What if you were actually ‘good enough’, for example?
- If the person doesn’t have the skills then they will not be able to take the steps to drive the change.These can be physical skills (like using a computer or juggling) or cognitive skills (having the skill to sit with uncertainty or to recognise procrastination). Without developing or learning the correct skill, people cannot do the tasks that will make them successful beyond being stuck.
- Processes are the ‘how’ of enacting the new changes. How do you know when to deploy a different skill? What steps (in what order) are most likely to get successful outcomes? For example, knowing the process of using the clutch, accelerator and gearshift together are going to be critical to know if ‘driving a manual car’ is your new goal.
Looking the wrong way:
How often do we assume motivation is the reason people stay stuck? It is easy to assume that some part of them doesn’t really want to change, either because they son’t think changing is valuable enough, or they will ‘lose’ something by changing (getting what is called ‘secondary gain’). For example, it might be easy to assume that someone doesn’t want to really change because then they will ‘stop getting all the attention’, or will have to take on more responsibility for their actions if they can change.
In my experience, people hate being stuck. Motivation and secondary gain are rarely the reason they don’t change. More often than not when a person updates their knowledge, beliefs, skills and/or their process around where they are stuck it leads to massive relief as change becomes possible for them.
Consider where you are stuck at the moment. Ask yourself:
- What additional knowledge do I need to be able to shift?
- What beliefs do I have that might be blocking me?
- What skills would I need (both physical and cognitive) to move ahead?
- What are the key processes that I would need to adopt (and develop as new habits) to allow the change to ‘stick’?
What do you notice when you ask yourself these questions?
These are powerful areas for coaching or clinical exploration. Sometimes the things we see about ourselves can be powerfully augmented by a coach or therapist to help you ensure that you have the keys to get unstuck. Contact me now if you would like help if getting unstuck, or to discuss these ideas further.