I could tell you to simply take a few deep breaths. Or to step back, away from whatever activity you’re engaged in. To take a little break. Get some fresh air. Go for a walk. All to help you alleviate your stuckness.
I could tell you to just ‘keep going’ and that ‘things will get better’ or that ‘you just need to do this one thing’. But none of it is really going to release you in a way that fully lasts. In a way that means you get to unhook and unwrap yourself from the cloudedness you may be feeling in that exact moment. Whether that moment lasts for you just seconds, or whether it settles in like a fog and hangs around for months. Years even.
The moments in my life when I’ve felt the most stuck or lost have also been the moments I felt so helpless, irritated and frustrated if someone were to reach out with a simple ‘go get some fresh air’. Yes, I get it. Valid advice. And most certainly would have helped in some way no matter how brief, no matter how big or small. Yet what I most needed in that moment was a sense of comfort. A desperation inside of me was calling for control. For certainty. To regain some of that confidence and certainty I felt like I “used to have”. And truth be told, nobody could really give me that.
Hugs helped. Nodding heads helped. “It’s okay to feel like this” helped. But really, what really truly deeply helped was me coming face to face with my stuckness. Me acknowledging it for what it was. And not wrapping that up into some sense of achievement. Me acknowledging that perhaps things really could be different, even if it felt like they couldn’t. It’s not a huge mindset shift. But it made a huge difference. It was like listening to a fuzzy radio station only to nudge the dial ever so slightly for it to crystalised.
Stuckness comes and goes. Feelings of lost and despair too come and go. Just remember the last time you were arguing over directions in the car, or walking new unfamiliar streets with someone, to feel that build of frustration, mild anxiousness, annoyance, for it to immediately fade the moment you turned the corner and found your place again.
I like to think that this is what our thoughts and emotions are going through on a daily basis. They too are looking for street signs, for the ‘map’ to give us back that feeling of control, safety, certainty. That joy that comes with knowing you’re in the ‘right’ place. And yet mostly the stories and tales we tell from those moments of lost in our lives, gravitate on that moment of peaked emotion. That moment of complete despair. That then turned ever so slightly to see the street.
What if your feeling of stuckness right now was purely representational of where you are standing right at this minute? How you are viewing the streets, the buildings. Your vantage point and the way the light is reflecting on the buildings around you.
What could happen if you stopped? If you pulled down the windows, or rotated 180 degrees if you’re standing in one spot? What would happen if you crouched down, would the view be different? What would happen if you dropped the map, for a moment, let go of your phone, for a moment, and simply strolled? How would things look and feel different from that perspective?
Getting unstuck often comes from that decision to let go. That decision to take on a new perspective. Find a different map. Consider the alternative route options. The unstuckness and release from lost comes after that decision, the movement that happens after that point unravels a whole new picture. One where you may suddenly turn the corner and see that while you were searching for the restaurant, you now can see a whole street full of options. That would have remained completely and utterly undiscovered should you have stayed still, head buried in your map. Determined to feel secure, certain and in control of your destination.
The next time you feel stuck, lost, clouded in anyway, ask yourself “What am I not seeing right now?” or “If I were standing from a different vantage point, how would this situation look?”.
Your willingness to ask yourself a different question in that space, to pause ever so slightly to consider how things could be different, is what will propel you forward and unhook you for good.
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