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Every once in a while (and sometimes more often) I feel stuck. My mind doesn’t want to focus, I feel like I’m going in so many directions with so many ideas and so much to do, that I spin. The faster I spin, the more I feel like I’m not moving – until finally I feel STUCK. Can’t move, don’t know where to turn and don’t know what to do. I’m Just STUCK.

When I was about 7 years old we had a garden in the backyard and grew the best tomatoes and cucumbers. I loved going out in the back and picking them right off the vine and eating them – so juicy and delicious! That summer we had a lot of rain, so much rain that the ground was more like a mud puddle than a garden. Determined, I put on my galoshes (yeah, those silly yellow things that Mom’s made us wear when it was raining. You remember?), put my raincoat on and slopped into the backyard for my daily treat – a fresh cucumber. Got the best ones – hanging right off the vine waiting for me.

When I went to turn around to go back into the house, my feet wouldn’t move. My galoshes were stuck about 3 inches into the mud. STUCK. I couldn’t move, couldn’t turn and didn’t know what to do. The harder I tried to move, the deeper in the mud I went. So I did what I did best at the time – I started to cry and call for my Mom. When mom opened the window and looked out all she could see was her little girl, yellow galoshes and raincoat, cucumbers in both hands, crying because she was stuck.

Holding back a giggle, Mom said gently to me, “You aren’t stuck, the galoshes are. Just step out of them and you’re free!” EEEWWW. Do I want to step out of my galoshes and get my toes mushy in the mud? Sounded like a fun idea. Gingerly I wiggled one foot loose and stepped into the mud. Felt kinda gooshy as it oozed between my toes. I took the other foot out and now both feet were lathered in mud. It was a wonderful feeling of freedom. I wasn’t stuck! I could move, wiggle my toes and move again. I was UNSTUCK! And I still had my prized possessions – cucumbers fresh off the vine!

So whenever you’re stuck, how can you get yourself unstuck? Ask yourself, “What can I do right this moment to feel free?” Maybe you simply take your shoes and and wiggle your toes. Or perhaps you have a good cry and call for help. Let someone else give you an idea you can use. You don’t have to do this all by yourself.

Tips to Getting Unstuck

  1. Recognize that you’re stuck and stop struggling. Struggling doesn’t fix anything. It only gets you deeper in the mud.
  2. Understand that it’s not permanent – there is a way out. You just can’t see it from where you’re standing.
  3. Ask for help. Call a friend and ask if you can spend 5-10 minutes brainstorming things you can do to move you out of your current situation.
  4. Take a “time-out.”
  5. Go outside or that’s not possible, look out a window. The view you see will help widen your horizon and your thinking.
  6. Close your eyes for a few moments and notice the simple rhythm of your breath: In and Out. In and Out.
  7. If you’re at home, take a bath or shower. Sometimes water can be a natural conductor of ideas!
  8. Meditate or be still for 5 minutes or more. Let all your thoughts drift “in one ear and out the other.” If a good thought comes, write it down, then close your eyes and continue drifting.
  9. Make a list of things you can do in the future for yourself when you get stuck.

Like those ideas? Want more? Be sure to sign up for my “Got 30?tm Tips.
When you’ve only Got 30 seconds, these tips will come in handy to shift the way you think and the way you feel!



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