One of the worst negative emotions, in my opinion, is the feeling of being stuck. Defined as moving forward or back looks worse than staying in the misery of your current situation. How do you get yourself unstuck?
It is a place of no personal power
A few months back I received a note on LinkedIn from a young lady who said she was stuck. I felt her pain deep within my soul so I offered her a free coaching session.
She was in an abusive relationship. Her boyfriend was physically abusive to both her and her 2 year old daughter and she feared for her life. She had the courage to pack up and leave that situation. She lived in Florida and her only family lived in Atlanta, Georgia. So she quit her job, left her boyfriend and fled to her sister’s home in Atlanta. Her sister was unemployed and had 6 children. She was dependent on her husband for support. This young lady felt uncomfortable living in her sister’s home because she didn’t have anything for herself and now she had to feed her and her child. She called me because she felt she should go back to her abusive relationship!
How many of you can feel her pain?
Being stuck. When the pain of staying in your current intolerable situation looks better than the pain of leaving.
It could be a domestic situation
It could be an intolerable boss
It could be a demeaning job.
How do you make the decision?
How do you find the strength to want something better?
How did I coach this situation?
This is the major benefit of coaching, the ability of the coach to see the frame.
You see you can’t see the frame when you are the picture!
I knew that one of the reasons that my coachee was thinking of going back, was because she still loved her abusive boyfriend. She was trying to get someone else to agree with her.
So I asked her “Do you still love this man?” And she said yes.
Then I allowed her to become aware of what her brain was doing.
I told her that because she still loved this man, she is using the situation of her sister’s lack as the reason to return.
I asked her “Do you think your sister would want you to go back to that situation and maybe end up dead”? She said “no.”
I said think about it. What exactly are you taking from your sister? Space. Space doesn’t cost them anything.
I asked her if she had any money?
She said “yes.” So I said, use that money to buy food for you and your daughter so you can feel better about being a charity case.
After we got past the negative feelings, we were then able to plan for the future.
You can’t plan and have hope when you are busy wallowing in negative energy and self-pity.
I asked her about job prospects and she told me she had an interview scheduled for the next day.
That my friends is the First secret to getting unstuck.
1: Hope and Faith!
Faith that God can make a way out of no way.
Faith that even though you can’t see the entire stairway you know that the stairs are there.
The message of faith in this story is that you can’t think that God intended for you to live in an abusive home being dependent on an abusive man for your survival. You have to be able to get out of the valley and see the light of the mountain top. You have to know in your heart that you were meant to be more. You have to want more for your children.
Once you find that positive energy, things will begin to open up. Opportunities will come your way, God will open doors shut by the devil and your negative emotions.
My coachee got the job.
She now lives in Atlanta and she is happy!
The devil is a liar, don’t let him convince you that you can’t do better.
2: Another way to getting unstuck is to move the energy around.
The universe is made up of energy. We are a bundle of energy.
When you have stuck energy it causes disease.
So you have to force yourself to get off the couch, you have to do something, anything.
Do it until you feel like doing it. Do the things you don’t feel like doing until you feel like doing it!
Another client of mine got fired from his job so he sat around all day with his hurt feelings.
Blaming his boss and all his friends who did not support him.
You have to get over dissapointment and hurt so you can get on with it.
Don’t let tragedy destroy you.
Don’t stop, continue to stay busy.
Continue to work your plan take small steps if you can’t take big steps
Automatic negative thoughts don’t take any effort on your part they come naturally like weeds in your garden.
But if you want to grow roses or orchids in your garden it takes special effort and a process.
Similarly, being stuck on something someone did to you is natural.
Feeling angry when your kids are ungrateful for the sacrifices you made for them is natural.
Being fired after working at your job for 10 years, never taking time off for your kid’s soccer matches or dance recitals is natural.
Feeling vengeful at the betrayal of your spouse is natural.
It is natural to be angry, hurt, disappointed, vengeful; but it is important not to stay there.
It is important not to get stuck with your negative emotions. You have to get over them and move on.
3: Seek the council of others when you feel Stuck
What my friend on LinkedIn did was good. She contacted a coach. She received council and got a fresh perspective.
Even if she not heed my advice, she still moved the energy by doing something.
4: Another way is to find peace with the situation if you can’t or won’t move right now.
One way to do this is to memorize and recite the serenity prayer several times per day
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.
One of the first things they taught us in coaching school is that you can’t coach someone that is not in front of you. Why was this important? Because most coachees will come into the coaching conversation complaining that their life is a mess because of the actions of someone else. The only person that you can change is yourself. You have no control over the behavior of anyone other than yourself.
I remember a sermon I heard from my first Pastor. He said whenever he felt like complaining about his wife he would pray and ask God to change him!
So for example if you are stuck for the moment in job with a bad boss. Change the way you look at the bad things he or she does. If he or she talks to you with disrespect. You can tell yourself it is not personal, that he or she speaks to everyone like that because he doesn’t know any better.
If he only talks to you with disrespect you can tell yourself that he doesn’t know you and let his words not penetrate your consciousness. He can talk but you do not hear or transfer the words. It becomes just noise.
This is a simple example but it works with anything. This is also called the Law of Allowing. It especially works in intimate relationships.
When you stop resisting and allow your partner the freedom to self-express, you open up the path towards healing the brokenness and allow the relationship to become healthy.
Concentrate only on what you are doing and saying. Stop reacting to stimuli and watch what happens.
5: Another technique is to notice when you are stuck and distract yourself
Come back to the problem later
Write out options and solutions
Write out the worrying situation
Write what you can do about it
Write what you cannot control about it.
6: Most importantly are your thoughts. Whether you are stuck or not, your thinking makes it so.
The thoughts that matter most are your self-thoughts.
It is never the situation that causes you to be stuck but your thoughts and feelings about the situation that makes you feel stuck.
Your thoughts influence your emotions, so to get unstuck think differently, and you will feel differently.
Sometimes, how you think someone should respond to you, blocks your blessings. If you move yourself and your ego out of the way.
Then maybe God can give you what he has in store for you.
Look at the bible story of Naaman. Naaman was angry because the profit did not come out and greet him and bow down to him when he came to him to heal his leprosy. Instead the profit Elisha sent a messenger out to tell Naaman to go wash himself in the river Jordon seven times and he will be restored. . Naaman went away angry because he felt disrespected. But he was smart enough to accept council from one of his servants. The servant told him he had nothing to loose by following the instructions of the profit. The servant was able to see the frame around the picture. Naaman could not. He could only see the situation that was making him mad. He decided to follow the profit’s instructions.
He went and dipped himself in the river Jordon seven times and he came out perfect and clean!.
Naaman almost missed his blessing by reacting to what he considered disrespect.
Some of you are just stuck because of poisonous thinking.
Your thoughts can poison your spirit, and then you never see positive only negative.
As Neapolitan Hill said
As a man thinking so is he.
Shakespeare puts it another way
“Nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”
7: You have to know yourself to grow yourself
You have to know where your pattern started.
You have to make the connection between your old story and your current circumstances
You know better, that you are not your mom and she had her reasons.
The deeper truth is that you are responsible for your life and not what someone did to you.
You have to shift and take responsibility, you have to know that you keep getting into these situations because of your lack of self-esteem or because of your need for security.
Awareness is key. Once again, a coach can help if you can look at your patterns objectively.
What are you blaming?
What is your pattern? What is the evidence of your pattern?
I had a coaching client who had 3 failed marriages where the men stole from her.
We had to find her pattern and why she kept attracting and falling in love with the same type of man.
We discovered that she loved how her dad took care of her mom and paid all the bills, so she kept looking for that trait in a man.
She ended up getting the opposite.
Did you know that nothing exists without its opposite?
You can’t know light without knowing darkness.
In order to know if something is good you first have to experience bad!
She had to learn to create a new pattern.
She had to go inside and use her feminine power of intuition to pick a mate.
She had to listen to her inner desire and not the outer desire for material pleasures.
When she did that she shifted her pattern and created a new one.
Now she is in the best relationship of her life.
She tells me that she has touched the moon and it feels so good!