When you’re thinking about places you’d like to visit, I suspect that the State of Stuck isn’t on your list. For one thing, it’s not even a place; it’s a state of mind.
What I’m calling the State of Stuck is the nagging frustration that comes with believing we’re not making progress. Some of us spend uncomfortably long periods of time there.
If you are not familiar with this state, then please happily carry on with your life. This discussion is for folks who know very well how it feels to be stuck and who would like to start moving.
There are plenty of reasons for feeling stuck. For example, maybe we don’t know what we want. It’s hard to decide what to do if we don’t know where we want to go, isn’t it?
Or maybe we do know where we want to go, but we don’t know how to get there. Without information, we take no action. We’re Stuck.
Another possibility is that we know what we want, but it seems so unattainable that we may as well not even think about it. If we can’t possibly succeed, why bother to act? May as well sit in Stuck and be miserable.
A really difficult scenario is one where you’re stuck about something that you don’t want to deal with. You know you “should.” Other people expect you to handle it. But you don’t want to. In this situation, the State of Stuck is on the border of Avoid-Land.
Or you may be convinced that the only way for you to make progress is if someone else changes. But we can’t control what other people do. So, where are we? Stuck and waiting.
Finally, Stuck could be a place of retreat; peace and quiet. If you believe that not acting is the most effective thing you can do, that’s not necessarily Stuck; that’s coping.
That’s a long list of reasons for why we might find ourselves in Stuck-State, and it’s not even complete. Now the question is, “What can I do?”
Different reasons for being stuck call for different actions. If you truly want to get out of Stuck, then one suggestion that applies to all those situations is to devote time to the issue.
Dedicated time makes a difference. Choose a specific quiet time in your day that you can stick to. To do what? Think: Why am I Stuck? What action can I take to get out of Stuck?
What if you don’t have time for that? Even 10 minutes a day, every day, is much more effective than no minutes a day, isn’t it?
When we’re stuck and can’t see a good solution, we may think we shouldn’t start anything. However, just like driving down the road, the view changes as we progress. We see different things, we learn; we meet different people. The next action becomes clearer once we’re on our way. Each step of progress brings more information.
You might even find that you don’t like this road at all, and want to choose another. But you won’t know any of that unless you take that first step.
Do you know your first step? Is there an action that you can take to help you emerge from Stuck?
Welcome to Reality Check:
articles and observations inspired by the work of Dr. William Glasser
- Choosing Behaviour
- Choosing Perspective
- Control and Choice
- Develop Understanding
- Doing, Thinking, Feeling, Physiology
- How it is sometimes
- Love & Belonging
- Perception & Reality
- Personal Freedom