Have you ever felt completely stuck? Like you were backed in a corner and didn’t know what to do next? Like it would be easier to give up and start over than to try and figure it out?
That’s exactly how I was feeling last fall. I was so overwhelmed and frustrated with the progress I had made. I really wanted to quit and walk away. I let my limiting beliefs get the best of me. I felt like I was in the middle of the ocean, alone on a life raft without an oar.
As these things tend to work out, the right message came to me at the perfect moment. While I was working to prepare the garden for winter, I heard the voice of Rob Bell. A podcast episode I downloaded over the summer started playing and my life was forever changed.
The podcast was titled, What Happens Every 6 Months. Since the RobCast doesn’t have show notes, what I was about to hear was a surprise. Rob explained how he goes through the very same thing every six months and I realized that I had been following
He described it as needing to take a rest from what you can’t control. As someone who would love to be able to control everything, these were the words I needed to hear. He suggested that if we find the courage to walk away, it will all come together eventually.
Looking back, I can tell you that this advice works. At the time I was trying to create an audio course for my email subscribers. Each time I made progress, I felt like something wasn’t right. I stuck with it and tried to force it into being for close to six months.
I eventually completed a 16-page script, but I hated it and couldn’t force myself to record it. So I dropped it and walked away
Then two months later during my morning yoga practice, I knew exactly what it was supposed to be. I wrote a brand new outline and script and am currently in the process of creating the final product. It’s a product that I’m proud of and can’t wait to put out into the world.
I learned a lot about myself and this process that last time I felt stuck. I’m a different person every six months. Everything I learn, practice and create changes me. It makes sense that I would need to change my plans too.
Thinking long-term is an important part of creating an authentic and meaningful life. Writing a 10 Year Plan is one of the most fun and inspiring activities you could do. I also enjoy creating goals for each upcoming year.
But this experience helped me realize that I needed to change how I plan. As someone who loves to create elaborate plans for 12 months and beyond, I decided to no longer plan past six months. If a wonderful idea pops up in the meantime, I have a note titled, Ideas for My Next Six Month Plan. This has been a welcomed improvement to my goal-setting and planning strategy.
Another important lesson is to go easy on yourself. Let go of what you didn’t achieve and how far behind you feel. Focus on how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished thus far. It’s pretty amazing if you look back, three, five, or twenty years. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
This is also a great opportunity to take a step back and assess what else may be going on. While I was feeling stuck, I wrote the following sentence in my journal. “I’m sick of fall already. It’s cold, dark, rainy, and I’ve been stuck inside too long.” I think my physical state was exasperating my emotional state. So I took immediate action to reframe how I see fall.
Beware of getting trapped in stuck mode. It’s easy to stay in bad situations too long because we don’t know the perfect next step. I don’t believe that we ever have all the answers. So if you don’t start baby-stepping outside your comfort zone before you’re ready, you could feel stuck indefinitely.
Let go of what you can’t control. Step back, take a rest, and do something else. Be gentle with yourself and celebrate how far you’ve already come. Remember that your worth is not a reflection of your accomplishments. You’re already enough.
And when you’re ready, take the most important step of all. Move forward even though you don’t have all the answers.
When have you struggled with feeling stuck? What was the one thing that most helped you move forward? Share in the comments below or come say “hi” on Facebook!