Feeling Stuck

Authors may experience writer’s block. I believe we all have times where we feel mentally stuck. I know I do. I can feel the ideas are there, but I just can’t grasp them. It’s such a frustrating feeling. Often I sit in front of my computer screen and try to force myself to get through the stuckiness , only resulting in finding many ways to procrastinate and feeling very guilty for not being as effective as I believe I should be.

Accepting the stuckiness

The first step to becoming un-stuck is accepting that you are stuck in the first place. By rejecting that you are stuck, you reject your feelings and emotions, resulting in struggle. And struggle leads you nowhere.

Accept the stuckiness and even embrace it. Because all your feelings and emotions have a message for you. This stuckiness is trying to teach you something about yourself. Rejecting feeling stuck, means rejecting this lesson. Be happy to feel stuck, because now you have a great opportunity to find out what causes the feelings you are feeling. What underlying belief is keeping you from being the most amazing you that you can be?

Move your body, move your mind

Okay, you accept that you are stuck. Maybe you can even feel excited for this chance to getting to know yourself better. Now what?

What doesn’t help me when I feel stuck, is staying in my chair, focusing on my screen or sitting on the couch with my mind fully absent and feeling emotional. What does help, is to get moving. To reconnect my mind with my body. And when the mind doesn’t want to take lead, it’s easier to get the body moving. Sometimes yoga really helps, other times I just get myself outside and start walking. Putting one foot in front of the other, I don’t even care where I’m going. I just want to walk until my mind becomes peaceful and open to communicate and look at things from a different perspective.

Sweet responsibility

Becoming stuck is often a result of inner processes that were triggered by an external cause. It’s easy to point your finger outward and blame others for your feelings. But no one is ever responsible for how you feel. Others do what others do. Their activities are neutral. It’s up to you how you react to what appears in your reality. So it’s not the situation that causes you to feel stuck, but the emotions you attach to the situation.

One of the reasons I felt stuck over the last days, is that I fear what I produce is not good enough. Yeah, I can be quite the perfectionist. My solution: when I don’t begin at all, the result can never not equal my (very high) expectations, because there is no result. I can blame my three young kids for running around and keeping me from focusing. I can blame my parents for calling me. I can blame my partner because he didn’t empty the dishwasher so I felt responsible for doing so. But all these accusations have nothing to do with the emotions I felt: tenseness, irritation, nervousness… My loved ones didn’t force these emotions to me. I did. They would prefer to see me relaxed and happy.

Because I wasn’t ready to realize that my feelings of being stuck were caused by internal processes, I was blaming others around me for the emotions I attached to their actions, believing it was their actions that caused my feelings of being stuck.

I deeply felt that I always have a choice when it comes to reacting to the situation I’m in. Being stuck is a choice. So is the motivation for becoming un-stuck.

Become proactive

The next step is as simple as it is difficult: taking action.

You’re stuck, you know you have the power to change the situation, and you are motivated to do so. You have to become proactive instead of reactive.

The best thing I believe ever written about proactivity is in the book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Steven Covey. Covey explains proactivity as the responsibility for your own life. Staying stuck is a reactive choice. By accepting the situation as it is, we choose to not take responsibility. Reactive people blame the rain for feeling bad.

We are able to create our life, the circumstances surrounding us. There can be things that touch us but that we can’t change. Maybe we have to be a little creative to find a matching solution. I cannot tell my kids to sit quietly on the couch for hours. But I can ask my partner to look after them for a while and work on my laptop in the library. Or play with my kids and work while they sleep.

Feeling stuck is unpleasant and dissatisfying. The only way out is going in.

In short:

  1. Accept that you’re stuck
  2. Get yourself moving
  3. Take responsibility for your feelings
  4. Be proactive: create your perfect circumstances

Do you feel stuck sometimes? How do you react? What is your perfect method to become un-stuck?

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