Finding The Way Out
By now I hope you understand that personal change doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens because you take an active role in what is happening. It happens because you change your environment, your thinking, the way you act, and your perception of how things are.
Sure, sometimes we get ‘stuck'. But know this: you can get ‘unstuck’.
Creatively, I feel like I get stuck at least once a year, maybe more. It’s when I feel like I’m not getting what I personally want out of what I’m making. I want to feel like I’m reaching people, that I’m making just a little bit of a difference. When I was doing the comedy show with all the different voices, I felt stuck because I was playing a character. Several of them, actually. When I got stuck there, I would pivot and do a current events show with my own opinion, but then I felt like it was cookie cutter and not remarkable. Then it felt like I wasn’t consistent enough, so I overcorrected and did a daily show, but then I felt like it wasn’t up to a standard I set for myself. I’ve gone though this cycle many different times. So literally, Rinse…Podcast…Repeat. I get ‘stuck’.
Professionally? The last time I felt like I was going nowhere was the first half of 2015. I had been trying to make a certain goal which required top performance in call center stats for six months straight. I felt like I had it. The last month of the six, I stumbled. I was frustrated, I was sick of working second shift and wanted to work normal daytime hours so I could see the kids and the wife more. It’s hard when everyone else works or goes to school during the day, and you work at night. You hardly see each other other than coming or going. I didn’t know what to do, so I started putting my name out there to volunteer to do things. One such thing was a special project making a video.
That project became my new job. So, after feeling stuck for six months, I took some action, and it worked out.
Now I must tell you, I’m not sure I like the word ‘stuck’. I’ve been using ‘The Doldrums’ this month because I like the nautical stuff, and we’ve been talking about how to get out of there. In the main podcast for this month’s issue, I talked about this on a more broad level, but I’d like to drill down into why people get ‘stuck’. You might relate to one or more of these:
You might be always worried about what might happen, you get stuck because you're afraid to move forward.
You might be stuck because you've always been disappointed by everything you've tried.
Maybe you don't hold out a lot of hope for what's coming, or you're not personally clear on what's coming
Maybe you're a person that doesn't take personal responsibility for what you do.
Maybe you're just burned out, you've lost focus, or you never had any focus to begin with.
Maybe you just don't believe in yourself.
Maybe you're not inspired by anything right now.
You need to ask yourself if any of these apply to you. Maybe more than one of these applies, actually. The point here is to get some clarity on why you're not moving. Then, you need to own it. Once you do that, you're ready for change.
This isn't easy, because you have to ask some hard questions of yourself. What's causing this lack of movement? Am I making excuses for it? Are there behaviors behind this? Why am I engaging in those behaviors?
What do you want to be doing instead?
Let's cut to the chase. That last question is the hardest to answer, especially if you're stuck. Now is the best time to answer it, though. It provides us with the way out. Get clear on your purpose, and your values, and ask yourself this fundamental question: Do those two things align? If they don't, that may be a big reason you're stuck. Take the time to decide what it really is that you're passionate about, whether those things align with your values, and then refer to this month's issue podcast where I lay out the steps in creating a chain. I've found it the best way of creating forward momentum, and getting unstuck.