Clients often come to me with the primary goal of getting them Un-Stuck. They are stuck in a loveless marriage, a dead end job, a body they hate, a sea of debt, and probably the most popular area of stickiness; a life without purpose. By the time they have come to me they are usually completely fed up and wanting a Plan of Action. And if I could kindly provide a 3 step plan to get them out of their crap that would be super duper.
An easy three step plan to discover your PURPOSE IN LIFE! My inbox seems to be flooded with versions of this and my response is always the same…delete, delete, delete. I’ve just never been a fan of the “easy X step” anything’s. We are all individuals and we move at our own pace when it comes to making significant changes in our lives. For some it might take 3 steps and for others it’s 30. Regardless of the number of steps it takes you to get un-stuck, there are three KEY ELEMENTS I consider critical “pre-work” to ensuring you achieve REAL, POSITIVE change in your life. None involve action steps (don’t worry Action Annie, this comes later) and all involve your glorious mind.
IDENTIFY the area in your life where you feel stuck.
SHOP for new Glasses.
If you are able to easily identify the area in your life that you feel stuck, gold star! This isn’t always obvious and the fact that you can clearly see the area that is causing you pain is a beautiful first step. If you aren’t sure what the area is but you just have an overall stuck feeling, it’s time to do some digging. Using a Wheel of Life (refer to my last blog post) can be very useful. List all the significant areas of your life (marriage, job, health, etc) and dig for the one that creates the most painful thoughts. Working with a life coach can also be helpful.
Once you’ve identified the area you feel stuck, it’s time to get real.
When I think of all the times in my life that I felt stuck (oh so many, many, … times) the same thought always prevailed. “Things should be different dammit.” Give me a Hell Ya! if any of these common “shoulds” ring true for you…
- “he should tell me he loves me more”
- “she should want to have sex with me”
- “they should appreciate the job I’m doing”
- “my ass should be smaller”
- “my skin should be tighter”
- “I should be able to afford a vacation”
- “I should know what I want”
Here’s the Reality
- he won’t
- she doesn’t
- they don’t
- it isn’t
- it’s not
- you can’t
- you don’t
As Byron Katie, a brilliant thought leader and author of Loving What Is, so aptly puts it “If you want reality to be different then it is, you might as well try to teach a cat to bark.”
We so desperately want things to be different when we are in a stuck state, but it’s in this pursuit we sink in deeper. Our brains get wired even tighter around these “should” thoughts and we find ourselves drifting further away from what we truly desire. Love, connection, fulfillment, acceptance, peace, and joy.
It’s these “should” thoughts around ourcircumstance that are causing the pain. Not the actual circumstance. I know…total mind F!
Once we are able to embrace what is and get over the thought that life should be different, we are ready to go shopping. huh? shopping?
SHOP FOR NEW GLASSES:
I recently bought a new pair of glasses. I must have tried on a zillion before finding the one that felt right for my face. It would have been so lovely if the perfect pair was handed to me the minute I walked in the store, but that doesn’t happen and this was a big deal for me, so I took the time. It was also helpful for me to have a second opinion from the salesperson. Especially when she firmly plucked a pair out of my hands as I was about to try them on “please, you’re not 80!”
This final step of your “pre-work” to getting un-stuck is about looking at your current painful circumstance with different sets of glasses. When we are ready to shake shit up in our life, it’s important to realize that the mindset that got us into this painful situation is NOT the same mindset that is going to get us out. We need to see things from different angles, and this can take some time. It can also be helpful to work through this with a trusted friend, family member, or life coach. Sometimes you just need to have someone that can pluck that old lady pair of glasses out of your hand.
Shopping can be fun and so can this process. It’s not about finding the Pollyanna perspective, we just want to look at our circumstance from different points of view. This is where it can get fun. Years ago when I felt totally stuck in my fledgling, cash strapped new retail business, I tried on a slew of different glasses to shake up my crappy mindset (which was “this should be easier” “this should be fun” “I should be making more money”). I chose to try on the glasses of:
- my Future Self (me in 30 years)
- a six year old
- someone with 6 months to live
- a millionaire
- my previous self (who worked as a pharmaceutical sales rep)
I brainstormed with my life coach how each of these “glasses” might view my circumstance. The process alone was invigorating. I could literally feel my mind becoming less stuck as I allowed creativity to flow freely. I truly had no idea that I had been wearing a nasty pair of specs that had me completely frozen in fear. I needed to shake shit up in order to see that I was operating from my “lizard brain” (that fight or flight place) and there’s nothing that melts a lizard faster than Creativity. The result was a new set of glasses that clearly saw my business from a healthy, hopeful place. It was from this new mindset that I was able to take courageous, bold action and my business began to turn around.
Once you play with perspectives and are able to free your mind from the thoughts that have kept you stuck in a negative circumstance, you will be motivated to move into action. Action steps that will feel positive, intentional, and powerful.
As always, I’m here for you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your FREE 30 minute consult.