Rigid Gridlock - What To Do When You're Feeling Really Stuck
Earlier this year I met a man who’s very accomplished in his particular field of work. In fact, he’s done quite a bit of work for me over the years, but I didn’t really know him personally. As we talked, it became clear that he had something else on his mind so I asked him about it. He replied that he was actually sick of his job and had been trying to find something else to do that he could really put everything into and come out ahead.
It was soon apparent that he really didn’t know what he was going to do and finally asked me what I would suggest he do to get out of this rut that he found himself in. Not really knowing him, I asked him to come back in a week with a list of 20 things that he had an interest or knowledge of and he agreed.
Over the next few days, I found myself asking the same question over and over and pondering what actually causes people to get stuck and feel as though they don’t really know what they want to do. I jotted down a few notes about it and since that time, a few months ago now, I’ve formulated what I believe is a way for you to get past the rut when you’re feeling stuck.
What's In A Word?
Examining where you actually are and what to do about it
Although we don’t often think of it this way, you need to understand that the word stuck is a verb. It’s the simple past tense and past participle of the word stick. So if we feel that we’re stuck in a rut it’s a word that actually implies, because it’s a verb, that we’re moving through it.
Granted some people stay in that rut for a long time and others live their entire lives in there. Yet others learn from what they’ve done and find a way to dig their way out of the rut. It’s not because of a lack of intelligence or determination that people often stay there though. I believe that much of it has to do with environment and how we’ve learned to deal with things that control our lives.
Someone once said,
"Insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result."
No, it wasn’t Einstein, or Ben Franklin, or Mark Twain. Even though it’s been attributed to all of them. The fact is, the earliest version of that quote can be found on page 23 of the Narcotics Anonymous basic text which was released in November 1981. Weird I know. The point, is that if you do the same thing, you can’t expect different results, and so many people that are in a rut rely on the same things that got them there in the first place. Namely their own thinking.
Now Albert Einstein did say that,
“…a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.”
What you’ve probably heard was something like this,
"Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them."
"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."
Okay, so no matter how it was said the meaning is essentially the same. You need to think differently if you expect to make any real change. So then the question becomes, how do we do this?
"Something happens in the brain when we find evidence that someone else is experiencing the type of things that we want in our lives."
Divide And Conquer
3 steps to unlocking the gridlock
Here I’m giving you a few suggestions as to how to figure out where the gridlock is and then how to get out of it. The basis of it all is that there are 3 steps you must follow:
1) Examine and define
2) Find significant evidence
3) Take massive action
Let’s examine those and see if we can make some sense of all of this.
Examine and Define – First and foremost to starting to move, (remember our verb), is that you need to be able to define everything that you are seeing in your life. Even from getting up in the morning and your routine all the way through your day to going to bed at night. Examine it. Define it. What are the things that you want to see in your life? Do they align with how you spend your day?
Never mind that you have a family and a schedule and there are a thousand things to do in a week. None of that should matter as you go through this process. Instead, you need to put all of that aside and concentrate on whether the things that you want in your life align with what you actually do in your life.
Find Significant Evidence – Something happens in the brain when we find evidence that someone else is experiencing the type of things that we want in our lives. For instance, if you’re wanting to workout every day, but just haven’t found the time to do it. What evidence can you find around you, on the internet, or from people you’ve known in the past that were able to set aside the time and do what’s required to workout every day. Now we’re not talking about a couple of people. We’re talking about significant evidence which means that it has to be a lot of it. Enough to prove without a shadow of a doubt that people actually are able to do what it is that you want. The more evidence you have, the better.
Take Massive Action – For each thing that you want to change write down 20 different ways that you can make it happen. Most people can write 5 or 10 things without any problem. When you force yourself to find 20 different ways to make it happen then your subconscious and your creativity kick in and you’re able to find ways of doing things that you had never even thought of before.
Once you have those written out for you, don’t delay and get started immediately. Someday is not a day of the week and tomorrow is always a day away. To take massive action we need to drop what we’re doing and do something different now.
This isn’t a game. This is your life and you’ve only got one. In case no one ever told you, growth is painful, change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't want to be. This is the beginning of something that you’ll be able to look back on and be proud of. It’s the beginning of a huge amount of confidence that’s just waiting to be unleashed. Your mind needs a taste of success and when it gets it, I think you’re going to find that it suits you very nicely.