Get out of stuckArts
“Use your mistakes as a springboard into new areas of discovery; accidents can hold the key to innovation. When things fall apart, make art. Carry this spirit through to every area of your life.”
Philip Toshio Sudo: Zen Guitar
Ever have days where you feel like this – stuck in the mud? Most of us do. And when you’re stuck in “stuck,” it is imperative that you get yourself moving. Momentum is one of the four cornerstones of Core Action Value #4, Focus in our course on The Twelve Core Action Values. Everything’s better when you’re on a roll. Here is my 6-Get It Formula for Getting and Staying on a Roll.
Get real: When you’re stuck, it’s easy to hope and pray for someone to rescue you – which all too often leads to playing the victim role and blaming other people for your problems. The first step to getting out of Stuck is to accept responsibility for your circumstances and to acknowledge to yourself that the cavalry is not coming and you are not going to win the lottery. You are going to have to work your way out of the problem, whatever it is.
Get the facts: Anxiety and fear breed in ignorance. When you’re stuck in “Stuck” the first step to freeing yourself is often to ask more and better questions, do some research, and get the facts. In particular, the assumptions we make (about ourselves, about other people, about the world) can contribute to keeping us in “Stuck” – challenging assumptions with knowledge is often the first step to gaining freedom of movement.
Get centered: Being stuck can be seriously anxiety-provoking, and when you’re in a state of high anxiety three bad things can happen at a cognitive level: memories are distorted so past failure loom large and likely to be repeated while past successes seem insignificant and unlikely to happen again; perception is distorted so risks seem much bigger and more threatening than they really are while the resources you have to draw upon seem small and inadequate; and vision is distorted to the point that it’s hard to imagine a positive outcome because a bad outcome feels so inevitable. Getting emotionally centered helps achieve the mental toughness and spiritual equanimity that are essential to pulling yourself out of the metaphorical mud.
Get connected: The cavalry is not going to rescue you, but you probably can’t get out of “Stuck” all by yourself. Think about the help you most need – counseling, a bank loan, a new customer, the support of a caring friend – and be willing to ask for it. And don’t just ask – keep asking. In their book The Aladdin Factor, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen say that the secret is to ask the right question of the right person at the right time.
Get out of your mental box:You’ve probably heard that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. When you are stuck in “Stuck” because what you’ve been doing isn’t working, it’s time to try something else.
Get moving: Tom Peters says the only characteristic of excellent companies that has stood the test of time in the 40 years since his book In Search of Excellence was published is having a bias for action. What specific action can you take to help you free yourself from the state of “Stuck”? Just do it – and do it now.