How to get unstuck

As our lives have grown more complicated, it’s become almost impossible for us to keep on top of everything. The more responsibilities we have, the more difficult it becomes for each area to be running smoothly.

Getting stuck along the way is inevitable. But being stuck isn’t an occasional event. It’s a process that can feed on itself and without intervention, it gets worse. When we continually see no evidence of progress, resistance to action just strengthens.

To be stuck is to be human.

It’s not overly helpful to beat ourselves up about being stuck. Systems that we’ve had little control over often prevent us from making progress. Cultural forces within organisations can work against us too.

Thankfully, it is possible to get unstuck and even if we can’t immediately wave a magic wand to make things as we would want them to be, it is within our control to move in the right direction.

Here are four steps, conveniently alliterative, to getting unstuck:

Awareness: Where am I stuck? What hasn’t happened that needs to happen? What’s gnawing away at me? Where do I need help? (Knowing the answers to these questions allows us to see more clearly)

Assessment: What have I learned? What requires immediate action? What patterns am I noticing? What is most urgent? (Lessons learned now can help us avoid getting stuck as easily next time)

Assistance: Who can help me with this? Who would be better than me to do this? Who else needs to be involved? (Remember that most people appreciate being asked to contribute. In this Covid age, most of us are stuck somewhere. Let’s make shame a pre-Covid thing!)

Action: What am I committing to do and when? What else needs to happen? How am I rewarding myself when I do it? (Start small. Be very specific. Don’t over-commit. Get ready for a surprisingly pleasant change in mood and energy).

Move through the 4As. Notice what you’re learning. Enjoy the feeling of not being stuck.


This post was adapted from one of Aodan’s Sunday morning newsletters, eagerly anticipated by hundreds of readers. Give yourself the gift of that weekly wisdom by signing up here.

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