By Paula Meir, Author of Your Life, Your Way: A Practical Guide To Getting Your S**t Together
It’s time for a quiz.
No, we’re not going to ask you about your favourite sweet or tell you which Disney princess you are.
In fact, we’re not going to ask—or tell—you anything. You’re going to ask yourself a few questions about getting unstuck. Really, it’s a non-quiz. And, if you are happy being stuck or you enjoy re-telling yourself and others your story of misery and woe this quiz probably isn’t for you.
But first, let’s talk about what “getting unstuck” doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean you totally change every aspect of your life. Remember the words of the serenity prayer: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. “
Most of us spend far too much time and energy trying to change what we can’t change and complaining bitterly about it. That bitterness begins to define who we are.
Don’t be that person. Use your innate wisdom to identify what you can change. Put your effort there. You may be surprised at how quickly you can become unstuck.
The next step is to look at your own personal narrative and explore how it relates to your present situation. And that’s where the quiz (or non-quiz) comes in.
Tough questions, transformative answers
Don’t answer these sitting at your computer. Go outside. Take a walk—perhaps by the water or in the woods. Breathe. Then think about your current situation.
- Is there any part of you that wants to preserve the status quo? Every situation, even a bad one, has advantages. Recognise and identify the advantages and disadvantages. Get the clearest, most realistic picture of the situation.
- With everything that you know and have experienced so far about your current situation, is there the possibility of change? If so, how long are you willing to wait?
If you choose to stay put and be more creative with options, be clear about what you need and would like. Here are some questions to help with that:
- Where are the boundaries drawn? What will and what won’t you tolerate?
- Do you need to redraw those boundaries?
- What’s the point of your action or inaction? Is there an outcome or end game that could make persevering worth the effort in the long run?
- Are you happy with the status quo?
- Are you being who you truly are and want to be whilst “stuck” in this situation?
- If I were to fast forward your life 6 – 12 months from now and things look the same how would you feel? (Go ahead and visualize this, see what you see, hear what you hear and feel what you feel). If it’s not pleasant you know what to do.
Asking these questions can be as powerful as answering them. When we run these types of questions through our mind/body system, we are better able to access our gut feelings and intuition. We can get away from the brain chatter and justification and feel the truth in our body. When we arrive at our own truth, (and not our story) it is almost always accompanied by a physical resonance we feel in our gut or heart—most decidedly not the head.
There’s one more question left in this non-quiz. It’s worth all 100 points.
Are you in control?
If the answer is “no,” you need to take some! Even if you decide to stay in the situation, realise you are choosing to do that. Use that choice to fuel additional choices and decisions regarding how you feel about the situation and what you are going to do. You don’t have to go from zero to hero on the stuck-ometer. Slow and steady is fine.
People change their life journeys all the time. You can be one of them. You just have to start moving.
(Extra credit: If this blog has made you hungry for change, check out my latest book, Your Life Your Way. For a quick review of some of the topics we’ve discussed, watch my short Facebook video, “Are You Stuck.”)