Why You’re Stuck and What to Do About it 5 Steps to Breaking Free and Moving Forward
Why Am I Stuck?
Where are you stuck in life? Think about where you are now related to personal growth and where you want to be in the future. If you’re like most people there is a gap.
Recently, an executive I was coaching mentioned that he had always wanted to learn to play the guitar. Like most of us, he had a million excuses why he couldn't--the biggest being that he did not have time. After some discussion I asked him what he thought of this statement:
"When it comes down to brass tacks, you do the things you really want to do. If you don't do something, it ultimately means you don't really want to."
With a shocked look on his face he responded by saying, "I see. I haven't wanted to play the guitar enough to take action. I have only wanted to do it enough to make excuses."
Some gaps are particularly annoying because we have wrestled with them for years. Our hearts yearn for more but we are unable to close the gap because we feel stuck.
A key question to ask is, “Why am I stuck?” What is it that keeps you from closing the gaps in your life? If you can identify that, then you can start to move forward!
Identifying Your Gap
I will discuss specific steps to close the gap in more detail later, but first let’s identify what you want to do in your life, but are not doing. In other words, let’s identify some gaps in your life right now.
Do you want to:
Start a business
Buy a new house
Go back to school
Start volunteering in your community
Write that book
Go on that trip to Europe
Save for retirement
Be more organized
Be a better friend, son, daughter, mother, father
Connect more with God
Start a journal
Clean your garage
This list could go on and on. The point is that there are gaps in our lives and there always will be, but the goal is to work on closing key gaps in our lives daily.
The next question is, "What is keeping you stuck so that you don’t close the gaps."
"The key to becoming unstuck and closing the gap is to eliminate the excuses we make to ourselves." Doug Nielsen
Why We Stay Stuck
The biggest thing holding you back from moving towards where you want to be is the excuses you allow to grow in your mind.
So the key to becoming unstuck and closing the gap is to eliminate the excuses we make to ourselves. This is a quick exercise that will help you do that.
Closing the Gap
Get a paper and pen. This exercise only takes a minute, but yields tremendous results. 1. Select three gaps in your life either from the list above or from another area that you want to experience growth in. Write them down.
2. Choose which gap you want to close first. Write down where you are and where you want to be. How big is the gap?
3. Identify what is sabotaging you from closing the gap. What "excuses" are you allowing yourself to live with? Think of the gap you identified and then write down all of the excuses that hold you back from moving towards where you want to be.
4. Take one excuse you identified and write 3 steps you can take to overcome that excuse. Ask yourself, “What steps are needed to move from where I am to where I want to be?”
5. Schedule those 3 steps into your calendar and hold yourself accountable for taking each step.
Repeat the process with the other excuses you identified. Don’t be afraid to tweak the steps and adjust as needed. When you feel you are closing the gap in one area, move on to a second and then the third. I think you will be surprised how quickly you become unstuck and how rapidly you move forward when you follow this simple process.