Getting Unstuck: Moving Forward To Success
Ever find yourself stuck in that awful loop of inactivity? You circle around and around between wanting to move forward and then apathy? Covering the same ground and never moving forward? It could be that you are stuck in the web of your own comfort zone. It's a place we hang out at that's routine, predicable and safe. We've stopped growing, taking risks, and seeking. We can get stuck eating certain foods for comfort, not taking the risk to lose weight, not choosing the next step to overcome an eating disorder, or not getting started at that creative project you already know you would succeed at. The comfort zone offers a safe shelter, a familiar beaten path for us to follow. As long as we stay within the protected shelter, we feel secure and safe in what is already known.
However the cost we pay for allowing ourselves to stay stuck is extremely high. Resisting change and avoiding risks exhausts your life energy. We end up feeling lethargic, energetically drained. Continuing to do the same thing day after day, year after year, can leave us in a motionless rut. Within the comfort zone exists narrow thinking, a lack of creativity, and monotonous actions and reactions. A sense of emptiness prevails as inner dreams and aspirations lie dormant. Our position of inactivity is rationalized with excuses. Then we hammer in our position with the words, "I can't". We feel paralyzed by our fears, real or imagined.
MEANING OF STUCK
Stuck implies lying balanced in inertia and fear of the unknown. The longer we wait to choose, the deeper we bury ourselves in future problems. Inaction is created as we put up barriers within ourselves. Internally, we block off emotions and refuse to feel them. We avoid looking at the truth and pretend that everything's OK. We refuse to acknowledge that there is trouble. We think one way, but feel another.
The most common barrier is not listening to our hearts. When we cut ourselves off emotionally, we sever the connection that allows our love to flow outward. Sometimes this action is necessary, but it always comes at a great price. The price is your creativity, joy, and love. You are cut off from your own heart, or your own life's purpose.
Being stuck occurs when we are not willing to accept some truth about our self or the situation. Perhaps we are choosing to trade a piece of ourselves to create harmony. Maybe we choose to turn the other cheek regarding unpleasing issues. What are you really feeling? Are you resisting tender feelings because you might be hurt? Are you furious even though you're smiling? What are you refusing to look at?
ACTIONS THAT ACCOMPANY BEING STUCK
denying true feelings
stifling a natural response
keeping another at arm's length
turning a deaf ear
maintaining your cool
avoiding the truth
refusing to look at facts
pretending everything's fine
ignoring the warning signs
closing your eyes to what's going on
avoiding an unpleasantness
choosing not to know
feeling afraid to act
reaching an impasse
refusing to decide
being unwilling to rock the boat
staying on the fence
An important aspect to look at is that there is always a payoff for the action (or non-action) we choose. You are 100% responsible for your own life. Be willing to acknowledge (without self-judgement or criticism) that you alone are keeping yourself stuck. Let go of blaming yourself, your background, parents, partner, friends, education, etc. You can not master what you do not understand. And understanding is incomplete without compassion. If you are stuck, it is important that you ask yourself, "What is my payoff for staying stuck? What am I getting out of it?" Be honest with yourself, even if it hurts. If you can't figure out what you are getting out of it, ask someone close to you. They may know the answer right away.
* How does staying stuck serve you?
* Do you really want to move forward?
* If so, what are you choosing to be your reason for staying stuck?
* How would moving forward serve you?
* What percent of you is ready to change?
* How supported do you feel about life?
Staying stuck also means that you are not clear about the issues holding you back. Take time to ask yourself what's really going on. The following are some possibilities:
* I'm afraid.
* I'm overwhelmed.
* I don't know what step to take first.
* I fear failure.
* I fear success.
* I fear both success and failure.
* There's no order to what I want to accomplish.
* What's known seems more comfortable than the unknown.
* I don't want to deal with this right now.
* I'm too _______________ to handle this.
* I don't want to let go.
* I'm not sure what invisible force is holding me back.
Copyright 2005, Dr. Annette Colby, all rights reserved.
Dr. Annette Colby, RD
"Opening Creative Portals to Success"
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