Getting Unstuck

A lot of my client’s come to me in a state of stuck.  Mostly mind stuck – frustrated with being in transition or lack of career progression.  It is very easy to get stuck and sometimes it proves very difficult to get unstuck; but everyone gets stuck in any given aspect of their life.


I get stuck a lot – because I have a continual battle in my head between the creative and analytical sides; and sometimes it is an all out war which deepens the stuck.  I do a lot of research on how to get unstuck and I have come to a couple of conclusions:


It aint easy getting unstuck.

There is no one size fits all cure for getting unstuck.


If your frustration about your job search or progression has led you to the point of feeling stuck, here are some things you can do that can help.


Take A Complete Break.


This involves two parts: the first is to literally put your resume away, shut off the computer, turn off the phone and just disengage from the whole thing for just a little while.  The second step is during this time of disengagement do something that makes you smile.  Go sit in the sunshine and read a book, go watch your favorite movie, take the dog out for a walk or go have lunch with a friend – just do something that will make you smile.


Get Your Blood Pumping.


I am not an exercise freak, sometimes my greatest exercise of the day is one flight of stairs to let the dogs outside.  When I feel like my mental capacity is a nil then I have come to realize if I get up and move then my energy level increases.  Sometimes I’ll push myself on the treadmill – which completely exhausts me but shortly thereafter my energy level does come back better than before.  Sometimes it is a matter of simply popping in the earbuds and dancing it out for a while.  I just find that getting off my butt and moving with intent makes a difference.


Allow Yourself To Accomplish Something – Anything.


Sometimes I have a project that is very complex or involved and I begin to feel that until the entire thing is completed I have not accomplished anything which allows for the stuck feeling to sneak in.  At this point I step away and find something small around the house or office that I can complete and mark off my checklist.  Load of laundry done, dishes put away, floors swept, brush the dogs, clean the bathroom – anything that I can accomplish easily and relatively quickly just to have the sense of accomplishment.  Sometimes we just need a win – no matter what the size or in what area.


Kick Your Own Butt.


I have had a silly idea rattling around in my head for quite some time and the longer it lingered the more space it took up and the more frustrated I became.  I tried the above tactics and they didn’t seem to help so I did what I really needed the most – admonished myself for being silly.


Literally, had my own little conversation in my head asking why I was giving this so much attention as it was proving to be of very little consequence and once I started I really got on a roll.  It went from boo-hoo stuck feeling to a feeling of empowerment.  End story: I let it go, gladly, willingly and finally.  Whew.


Give To Someone Else.


Too often we get wrapped up in our own little world so much that we lose perspective.  No matter what the day brings I wake up every morning with a supportive and loving family including relatives and friends, a beautiful home, food in the kitchen, the ability to live life that day in whatever manner I choose and of course my four dogs.  I am blessed before the day even begins.  When I start to loose perspective I find that putting someone else before myself often helps get me unstuck.


Making business introductions, helping a friend, volunteering – whatever it takes to stop being selfish really does help diminish the stuck feeling and the bonus – I’m helping someone else!


Start Fresh.


When coaching clients I often have to remind them that they hold expertise in their area and they should learn to use that knowledge rather than neglect it in moving forward.  An example would be if you have been a supply chain manager for 15 years then you know the industry – so if you were interviewing for someone to train to take your job what would you be looking for?


Stop looking at your resume as this black and white simple recollection of your past and look at it from the eyes of the reader.  Put yourself in their shoes.  What would you think of you?


We tend to put ourselves tightly in our own little boxes and stay there, afraid of changing the box for fear of failure or what others might think.  Fear is a great partner to stuck – they go hand in hand.  Break their bond by simply looking at yourself in a new perspective.


Have you always dismissed others compliments about a certain skill that you posses?  Now is the time to recollect all those compliments and this time really listen – and take them in.  If you were recognized by someone that means they appreciate something about you – learn to appreciate yourself.  We rarely appear to others as we see ourselves because we are hiding insecurities, fears and all sorts of negative baggage.


Here’s a little butt-kicking for you relative to your baggage: we’ve all been hurt, rejected, ridiculed etc – but we’re all still here.  Hang on to those negatives and it is more than likely you are going to continue along that negative path.  But if you take the attitude, “Well, that sucked, won’t be doing that again!” and move on it will be amazing what kind of doors will start opening for you.  The secret is you really do hold the key to opening those doors.


Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


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