With the change of the season many of us find ourselves a bit introspective and thinking about making a change ourselves. This week we want to look at getting unstuck.
At points in our lives most of us find ourselves feeling stuck. In order to make changes we have to recognize that we’re stuck and decide to do something about it. Being stuck can mean many things. It can be a thought loop, a behaviour, a routine, a feeling but what’s clear is that you feel as though it just can’t change, you feel stuck.
Getting unstuck means making a change but sometime it is easier to ignore what isn’t working in our lives, but then we remain stuck. In 7 Ways to Get Unstuck the author points out, we might have to take a risk. Taking life to the next level doesn’t happen without at least a little risk. Look before you leap and examine what isn’t feeling right in your life and how you might feel if that changed.
An Internet search suggests that this problem isn’t uncommon. There is actually a website dedicated to Unstuck Life Courses. To get started we identify the barrier or quite simply ask the question What is stopping you? It is easy to be complacent because honestly, change is hard. Who really wants to do something hard when life feels exhausting already.
Be clear in what you are looking for in this change and think about the benefits. What positive payoffs are there for getting unstuck?
Talk to people in your life that have made a change. People love to talk about their achievements, just ask them. Although every situation is different the commonality is positive change. Knowing that someone else was able to get unstuck can be quite inspiring. Take some time to inspire yourself. Change your environment with a new plant or do something that makes you smile. Small changes mean you are on the road to bigger changes.
Make a plan. How are you going to get there? Be concrete but leave room for revisions because sometimes the plan requires a bit of tweaking when life gets in the way. Be kind to yourself and focus on the end game. You are going to feel happier and more fulfilled when you become unstuck. Be realistic blogger Kristy Campbell points out in Getting Unstuck .
So get started and do something for you. Today take 5 minutes to view this motivational video by Iyanla Vanzant on How To Get Unstuck and you will be grateful you did.
Last year I wrote a blog about trying something you’ve never done before for 30 days in Lidkea Stob’s 30 days of Change Challenge. How did you do?
I really wanted to take on 30 days of decluttering or maybe reading a novel each night. I am certain that it would have been very good for my own mental health, but it seemed like a lot of work. I came to realize that yes it is true that you can create a habit in 30 days but maybe that’s not what I wanted.
So for 2016 I want to try something different quite literally. Let’s keep it simple this year.
I want to try something new at least once a month. So 12 times this year I will dare to do something I have thought about doing but never have. Are you with me on this? Once a month you will dare. It doesn’t have to be complicated it can be a new food or you can dare greatly.
We live in a time where we worry too much. The media tells us what might happen and we buy in to the idea that the world is a scary place. Daring means being vulnerable but it also means that we get to see our authentic self. What happens when we stop worrying about what others think and put ourselves out there?
There are so many people that I find inspiring but one that keeps coming up and it surprises as he is not traditional for me, that is Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Cadillac has a marketing campaign that celebrates the daring and there he was with his great story. I love that he has experienced failure and success and still is humble enough to stand in line for the next new Apple product.
I also enjoyed this short article Let’s All Take a Deep Breath and Dare Greatly by Alivia Hall a young psychology student who experienced anxiety in childhood.
Daring brings hope and that means finding out we can be more. It can transform us and frees us from the belief that we are not enough.
Where to start
I plan to start this month with reading social scientist, Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly. This morning I started with watching two wonderful pieces with Brene Brown and Oprah Winfrey. The first was Living Brave where Brene interviews Oprah and the second is Brene Brown’s Greatest Truth where the tables are turned and Oprah talks to Brene.
I am motivated and ready to be just a little bit vulnerable because you have to start somewhere. Choose something simple for your first dare and just get started. Here is an article by Huffington Post, Dare Yourself: 10 New Things to Try This Month. So whether to decide to play tourist or go to your first meditation class just dare yourself and see what happens. We have started a Pinterest board Dare Greatly for 2016 to help get you started.
Go Ahead Dare Greatly
What will be your dares for 2016? I thought about this myself, how can I do something that will dare me but that I will actually follow through on? I think I might take a social media class. I have so much to learn and admit that although I am ahead of many peers my age I am indeed a dinosaur. I also plan to enrol in the Living Brave Semester from Courage Works. So yes, I will dare greatly and learn something new.
- go to your first opera
- attend an art gallery opening
- book a counselling appointment
- volunteer at your local Food Co-op (Garden City Co-op)
- write a letter/email to a friend who has inspired you
- ask a new acquaintance out for coffee
- take a class on Courage Works
- start a new business
- try a meditation class
- check out 30 New Things to Do Today
- join a writers class
- offer to speak at your next staff meeting
So often in therapy clients utter the words “I can’t” when faced with new challenges and the possibility of making a life change. The idea of change can be frightening but in the end can be very rewarding. Overcoming barriers to change is necessary in order to make the transformation you are working towards. Perhaps the key word to this is “working”. It is hard work to do something differently. We all have habits and ways of doing things that are ingrained and that have been with us for years. Making changes can be uncomfortable and difficult in the beginning.
One barrier is fear which is very real and sometimes debilitating. Maybe it is fear of failure or fear of the unknown. What about fear of not trying and staying stuck? It is important to personal growth to keep moving forward and trying new things.
In a 2012 article from Life Hack, 4 Ways to Overcome Barriers to Change and Make New Habits Stick they suggest that taking on too much all at once can be a barrier to lasting change. Start small, you do not need to change everything all in a day. Remember that some of the habits you are trying to change may have been over a lifetime so it will take time.
Remember that change is constant in the world today whether we want it or not. Change is not always optional so we must be ready to embrace both good and bad changes. In The 3 Most Dangerous Psychological Barriers to Change the author points out exactly that. Change happens with and without our permission.
Change by choice is always nice and we all get to a point in our lives when we know it is time to make a change. In 10 Signs It’s Time For a Major Life Change the author looks at some subtle signals. Do you find yourself feeling like you are just settling and not reaching for what you really want? Do you feel like you’re not living your truth?
I love the article by Tiny Buddha that suggests 13 Ways to Change When Life Changes Around You. As humans we are adaptive creatures. So look ahead and see change as a chance for renewal and rejuvenation. You might be surprised by what you can achieve by having the courage to try!