Have you ever had that feeling when you’re stuck around a particular issue or dilemma and you’ve just got no clear idea how to move forward?
I’ve been in that place more times than I can count. And so have many of my clients.
Whether it’s facing a tricky issue that you need to resolve in your relationship, deciding what to do in the next phase of your life, or moving forward with a project at home or in your business, we often come up against these situations that bog us down like quicksand.
If you’re like me, you try and think your way through these things and analyse your way out of the problem, but that’s the equivalent of you trying to struggle your way out of the quicksand – and we know how that ends. With you sinking even faster (or feeling even more confused).
And when you look back and see you’ve been circling around this same problem for weeks, months or even years, you can guarantee there is something else at play here. Logic will not solve your problem – because practicalities is not what’s getting in the way of you moving forward.
BEATING YOUR HEAD AGAINST A BRICK WALL WILL JUST GIVE YOU A BRUISED HEAD
Before my last Joy of Business workshop, one of the ladies who was coming had emailed me and told me she was really stuck around creating an online programme for her business and that’s what she’d really love to have a breakthrough around at the workshop.
She said she had been thinking about creating this programme for ages, really wanted to do, she had a clear vision of what it would be, and she could see why it would be great for her income and business goals.
So she had all the reasons in the world to move forward with her project, but she wasn’t taking any significant action toward bringing this project to life. She procrastinated, found other things to fill her time with and reason after reason for why she couldn’t sit down and make head way on her project.
Can you relate? Is there something you’ve been talking about doing or wanting to get done or resolved, but you just don’t seem to take any steps toward it?
Then keep reading as the technique I shared that gave my workshop participant a breakthrough will work for you too.
THE ROOT OF YOUR STUCKNESS IS NOT IN YOUR MIND
One of the reasons we stay stuck like this, and feel like we get more stuck by the minute, is because we are focusing on the wrong thing to find our solution. We’re trying to think our way through the problem, when the real issue is actually what happens when there isn’t a problem!
Stay with me and I’ll explain what I mean by that.
Traditionally, when we have a problem to solve, we focus on what we need to do to get through to the other side – to get the outcome that we want.
But sometimes, what is actually getting in the way IS the outcome.
It might sound crazy, but here’s the thing… when you have a goal – so anything you want to achieve is a form of goal, be it lose weight, earn more money, have more fun or resolve an argument – and you don’t take any or limited action toward it, especially when you know what you need to do, there is more often than not an inner block around that goal.
The inner block is usually a subconscious fear of some sort. For example, you may be avoiding talking about a certain issue in your relationship because you’re afraid it will make your partner angry (or worse, leave you); or you are afraid that if you lose weight you will get more attention and hence feel more visible, which may leave you feeling exposed and vulnerable.
These links may sound far fetched, but they are the kind of subconscious blocks I help people uncover all the time – so they’re actually very common and normal.
So when you are feeling stuck and you really can’t shift it, there is usually some subconscious fear in play that is preventing you from taking action.
Which is exactly what was happening with the woman who came to my workshop.
THE ONE QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF TO UNCOVER YOUR INNER BLOCKS
During one of the breaks we got to talking, and she was explaining to me that she felt really stuck and just couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t taking the actions she knew she needed to. She was clear on them, she just wasn’t doing them.
So I asked her one simple question:
“Have you thought about what the downside would be if you got your online programme up and running?”
She looked at me blankly for a brief moment and acknowledged that she hadn’t.
So during the next part of the workshop I got her and the other participants to dig into the areas of their business they were finding challenging, and list all the reasons why it would NOT be a good thing if they were to achieve their goal.
After about 5 mins, I heard an excited “I know why I’m not moving forward!!”
The exercise revealed that if she created her online programme and ran it, she felt it would be super time-intensive and she would be working way more hours. So essentially, she could kiss goodbye her current work-life balance, which was incredibly important to her.
So you can see why she wasn’t in a hurry to make that project happen!
But once her real fears were out in the open, she was then able to look at it objectively and we brainstormed ways that she could create the course in a way that ensured she wasn’t working silly hours and actually supported the lifestyle that she wanted. The next week she emailed to tell me she had taken huge actions and was well on her way 🙂
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Often, just bringing the real issue into your conscious awareness can shift everything for you.
So if you’re feeling stuck or blocked in an area of your life, try this:
- At the top of a piece of paper, write the desired outcome you would like to happen e.g. “I want to create my online programme; I want to get more clients; I want to have a better relationship with my sister; I want to buy a house”. It can be anything big or small.
- Ask yourself the question: “What is the downside to [your desired outcome] actually happening?” – and list as many things as you possibly can. Generally you start with small things and then the bigger/surprising/unexpected things start spilling out, so keep an open mind and keep listing.
I’d love to hear what insights you have after asking yourself this question, so please go ahead and share them in the comments below. Or if you need some help with the next step – brainstorming an alternative solution – happy to help with that too!
Oh, and if you want to have a breakthrough in person, I’m running my next Joy of Business Workshop: Release the Struggle and Find Your Flow, on Saturday February 27 in London. Buy yourself a ticket here and join us on the day for insights, inspiration and good ol’ fashioned fun 🙂
Big hugs to you