Motivate Yourself from Stuck to Successful

Motivate Yourself from Stuck to Successful

There are a lot of different aspects of our lives in which we can feel that we have fallen into a rut. We can go through periods during which time we feel like a relationship is in a ditch, our job is humdrum, we can’t budge a project we’ve been working on, or we feel like we’re in a general funk.

We start to say things like, “I’m stuck,” “I don’t know what I can do,” and “I’m running out of options.” We feel desperate, frustrated, and anxious. This can be a bit of a rabbit hole, and we find ourselves in the dark without a light.

So, what do we do next? How can we step out of this rut and get back on track?

First, clarify your goals. Write down what you want your outcome to look like. This can be anything from “I want to like my job,” to “I want to have a satisfying relationship,” to “I want to produce a product of which I’m proud”. The goal can start out abstract or concrete.

Second, ask yourself a few questions:
a) Why is this goal important to you?
b) What will be made possible for you if you achieve your goal?
c) What is at stake if you don’t achieve your goal?
d) What will you have to give up to achieve your goal?
e) What would have to be true for you to achieve your goal?

Here is an example of how to use these questions. Let’s say you have identified a goal to run a marathon. It is important to you because you want to feel that sense of accomplishment and because you want to see how far you can push yourself. What will be made possible by running a marathon is a new sense of your abilities and a deeper understanding of how you work. What’s at stake if you don’t achieve this goal is the feeling of a lack of discipline, inexperience of your abilities, and reinforcing the belief that you can’t accomplish a goal you set for yourself. What you will have to give up to achieve your goal is some of your free time which you will spend training and the freedom to eat whatever you want whenever you want because you will need to take excellent care of your body. What will have to be true for you to achieve this goal is that you are committed to your goal and yourself, that you are going to train even when you don’t feel like it, and that you are going to eat a healthy diet.

Third, break down your starting goal into smaller goals to be met within shorter time periods. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by a goal. The more intimidated you are, the less likely you are to feel confident about achieving your goal. Figure out smaller versions of achievement within the same big picture. About the marathon example, you might set a smaller goal of eating one healthy meal today/ running two miles today after work- something that you need to do to help get you achieve your goal, practice your self-discipline, and that feels doable.

Fourth, anticipate obstacles so that you don’t use them as excuses. Every path to a goal contains obstacles. There will be times when you have to be more flexible within the parameters you have set. There will be times when the person who wants to run a marathon gets sick, has to take a few days off from training, and must motivate to get back on track. You know that accomplishing something can be hard- you’ve been in a rut! You also know that there will be days when you’ll feel less motivated, experience discouragement by something that doesn’t go your way, and doubt yourself in various ways. None of this means that you’re on the wrong path or that you won’t/can’t achieve your goal. It means that you have to build up to it, be persistent for yourself, and think of the obstacles as valuable lessons.

Fifth, remind yourself of accomplishments past and present. You have faced obstacles and hardship on your way to these accomplishments. You can do it again. Remind yourself of what it took for you to achieve prior goals.

Sixth, keep yourself on track by regularly reviewing your goal. Orient yourself to your current progress, where it needs to be, and what else you can do to improve your progress. This will also help to validate how far you’ve come.

Try out these steps with a small goal and see how rewarding your effectiveness feels. This will whet your appetite to apply it to more complex goals. Now, go out and conquer!

Love and Be Loved,

What to Do When You Feel Stuck

What to Do When You Feel Stuck

I hear the words “I feel stuck,” multiple times a day. This phrase is uttered by clients, friends, family, and by people, I don’t know who are simply passing by. Sometimes these words are accompanied by fear and anxiety, other times by hopelessness and desperation, and sometimes, mild frustration. It’s clear that people are experiencing at least some portion of their lives as being lived under duress.

Most of us don’t readily see the choices available to us. (If we did, we probably wouldn’t feel stuck quite so often.) We feel confused by our feelings, and we begin to take long detours down the road of overwhelming despair. Feelings of guilt and shame make a lot of appearances here.

Feeling stuck can manifest in any aspect of our lives. The top categories most of us report a feeling of being stuck are in their jobs, relationships, in various behavioral patterns, in a feeling, financially, and in particular thought processes. We no longer experience as much enjoyment and whatever it was that drew us to these things in the first place, and we become preoccupied with our discomfort and unhappiness. And then, from there, it just feels like things get worse.

So, how do we regain sight of our choices? Well, we’ve lost site of our awareness. We’ll have to take some steps to reconnect ourselves to it so that we can move beyond knowing the feelings of “I feel stuck,” toward why we feel this and start strategizing solutions.

The first step toward reconnecting ourselves to this basic awareness is establishing our objective. What do we want? The objective can begin as something as broad as “to feel better” or “to feel unstuck,” though this is not where we will leave it. Gather as much information about the situation as possible and organize it. Find out the components that make up what we are dealing with, why, the roles of said components, and their importance. Prioritize these components.

The second step is to come up with actions, which meet our objectives. How will we get there? What will need to happen first, second, third, etc.? Taking what the first step produced; things like, what we want our situation to eventually look like, what we can control versus what we can’t. This will help us to gain perspective about the best way to achieve what we want.

The third step is to evaluate our chosen actions for potential consequences, both positive and negative. By taking this step, we can allow ourselves to become more aware of our motivations, the intricacies of our situation, and think critically about the strategies best suited for us. It provides forethought.

Once we see the choices available and the steps we can take toward making a change, we start to feel less stuck. We begin to experience our power. Sometimes we realize we don’t want to make the change at all. Other times, we recognize patterns never-before-seen patterns, and we begin to address those. We stop seeing ourselves as helpless and start to move into our capability.

Love and Be Loved,