If you’re like me (and most of the human race), we spend so much time avoiding getting stuck. We set up every aspect of our lives to stay clear of that overwhelming feeling of stuckness. We play small, doubt ourselves, and instead of taking the road less traveled, we chose the path that is completely worn by humanity.
But the truth is, getting stuck and being with that stuckness, and ultimately getting unstuck, is what I believe to be your life’s work; and I encourage you to shift your thinking.
Whether you believe it or not, stuckness is there to help us wake up and frees us to live a life that we love. A life we were meant to live. When you free yourself from being stuck, something amazing happens… you’re in the flow, in the zone. It feels right. Everything is aligned, not only for yourself, but for the people around you. You’re in synch with the universe. The right resources or the right people are showing up at the right time for you, and you’re just kind of ‘in the flow.’ You’re on your path.
We’ve all had that experience and it’s incredible, but we also know that doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles that come down your path, Right? But here’s the thing: the more you stay on your path and consciously deal with those obstacles, something miraculous happens. Your thinking begins to shift. You see something in the middle of the road and rather than taking a detour, it’ll occur not as a problem, but an opportunity.
For example, say you have an unhappy client or an unpleasant co-worker. Look at those as opportunities to grow and expand, versus a problem that sends you into a tailspin. How can you improve your service and exceed that client’s expectations? How can you relate to that co-worker in a way that’s positive and nurturing for you both? It’s an opportunity for you to be the best version of you.
Getting Unstuck: The Shortcut!
Let’s be honest: while all this sounds good, wouldn’t it be better if there was a shortcut to this mind shift? We all love a shortcut. Here’s the quick path to getting unstuck. If you’re stuck, you’re focusing on the wrong thing. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in life is if I’m suffering, it’s because of where my focus is.
If you want to get unstuck quickly, shift your attention to something different.
But where to focus? I’ve found that I get the most juice from placing my attention on 3 things: Being of service, being grateful and being present.
Be of Service
Buddhism taught me that if I want happiness, I need to shift my focus from myself to serving others. To be honest, at first, it felt a little awkward. Put my mind on my breath so all beings could be happy? What did I have to do with their happiness? What about my happiness?
I would assert that if you look at your life and your business, those moments when you’re truly happy are probably moments when your attention is off yourself and focused on other people, on what will make them happy. Ultimately, that’s actually what’s going to make you happy. I think this is particularly important for entrepreneurs. If you’re working by yourself or with a small number of people, it’s easy to become self-absorbed: “What actions can I do to serve me? How can I make my business grow? How can I be successful?” But by just shifting a little of that attention to other people, it will shift your whole business.
What are your specific opportunities to serve other people? What actions could you take on a daily basis to shift the attention away from you and onto others? Answering these questions will support you when you’re stuck and to get you on track to unstuckness.
Another shortcut to getting unstuck is to enter a state of appreciation and gratitude. It’s that acknowledgement in the present moment of all you have and all you’ve done. It’s when you wake up in the morning and you just notice that you’re grateful for your pillow, how comfortable your bed is, the feel of the sheets, and the warmth of your blanket. You’re grateful that you’re able to get up and do what you love to do and what you’re passionate about. You’re appreciative of things that people do for you and just who they are. The experience becomes even fuller when you also acknowledge your gratitude out loud, letting people know that you appreciate them.
Have you noticed how the simplest appreciation can completely turn your day around? Extend that energy and see it come back to you!
Unfortunately, most of us will head down the wrong road at some time or other. But that’s okay. From time to time, we’re going to get stuck in the sand. We’ll push on the gas and spin our tires, hoping it’ll get us out of the mess we’re in… all the while, knowing it’s just getting us stuck further. However, once you let your foot off the gas and get out of the car, you’ll notice that you’re in the most beautiful place imaginable – life! I promise you’ll get present to the moment. Look around and enjoy the vista.
The whole purpose of getting unstuck is so you can live a fulfilled life. Be happy. Right? Those opportunities propel us to live a life dedicated to making a difference and fulfilling our purpose.
If you’re stuck, it’s not an accident. There’s a design and order to it. Those areas where we’re stuck are opportunities for us to be the best version of ourselves.