stuck

5 Simple Techniques to Get Unstuck

It happens to each one of us at one time or another. We become stuck. We enter a state of lethargy. Whether it involves our work or our home life, there are just days (and unfortunately sometimes weeks and months) where we feel stuck. We don’t seem to have the energy to move forward. We feel the need to get things done but can’t find a grain of momentum to make it happen. After a while we know we have to do something, yet we sit on the couch like an immobile brick. Stuck.

stuckWhen this happens, remember that feeling like a brick is your key to becoming unstuck. When you can use the BRICK techniques – Breathe, Recognize, Initiate, Connect, and Kinesthetics – this BRICK will release you from your milieu and move you forward. Used in combination, they are a powerful source of movement while incorporating even one BRICK element will help you reduce the feeling of being stuck.

Breathe

When we are stuck, so is our breathing. Stop and notice your breathing. Is it coming from deep in your abdomen or is it in your chest? Is it deep and slow or short and quick? By actively controlling our breath, we can loosen up the grip of lethargy and begin to feel more ourselves.

Try this exercise: Expand your abdomen slowly allowing the breath to fill the expanding cavity. Hold the breath for two counts. Then release the breath out slowly, if possible twice as slowly as your inhale. Breathe in, hold, and release five times in a row at least once a day. In time as your breath becomes more natural, and so will your momentum.

Recognize

Focusing on what we do not have, the mountain of work before us, or previous disappointments can keep us stuck. By recognizing the good we have in our lives, we can detach ourselves from our negative stories and worries providing us with the strength to move forward.

To begin reframing your viewpoint and recognize the good, try to either think of five (5) things to be grateful for before you step foot out of bed every morning or at the end of your day write a list of the good things that happened. When we can shake loose from our fear and negativity, we find the courage to step ahead.

Initiate

Especially when we have large daunting projects in front of us, we can be so overwhelmed and full of fear that we are immobilized. As the saying goes, what is the best way to eat an elephant? One step at a time. Look at your own tasks and projects. What is the smallest, easiest step you can take which will move you forward? You don’t have to make significant progress. The goal is simply to make some movement.

If you are looking for a new job, maybe the smallest step you are able to make is to look for websites which may post relevant positions. You don’t need to find or apply for any jobs. All you need to do is find the sites. Then set your next goal to find at least one job for which you can apply. Again you don’t need to apply, just find an opening. Every day take just one little baby step and soon you will find yourself moving ahead.

Connect

When we are curled up on our couch hiding from the tasks which overwhelm us, we tend to isolate. This isolation keeps us trapped. At times like this, reach out to others. Is there a friend you can call you haven’t talked to in a while? Can you join your co-workers for lunch instead of eating at your desk? Can you go to a coffee shop to work instead of hiding in your house? Reconnect with the human race to begin feeling like yourself again.

Kinesthetics

Get your body moving! Do you like yoga? Do you like to walk? Can you do a few jumping jacks? Move your muscles, increase your heart rate, and just do something to take your body out of a static position. Moving your body can shake the cobwebs out of your mind. Don’t think you have to commit to a major exercise program. Touch your toes a few times a day. Do a few stretches. Park further away adding a bit more to your walk. Remember that your body is designed to move. As you allow your body to do what it does naturally, it can help you to renew your desire to act in the rest of your life.

Living your life

Working for a Living

Recently whenever I talk to a client or friend about their job I hear:

I have lost the passion for my work.

My co-worker undermined my project.

It seems we only shuffle paper and no longer provide anything of true value.

My boss took credit for my work.

I have to work overtime again, without pay.

There is too much work to do. I am completely overwhelmed.

Once again, I had a nervous breakdown in my office.

There are many reasons we feel this way. The economy tanked out in 2008 and led to layoffs but the same amount of work to be done, so those still employed are doing the work that used to be split between many others.

A primary focus on quarterly goals has created an atmosphere of short-term thinking. The best choices for the company, customer, and worker are secondary to trying to increase the appearance of quarterly profits for Wall Street.

Individuals are afraid of losing their job, feel their pocketbook tightening, and have increased pressures. Because of this, tempers are shorter, people share less, care less. Civility and compassion at work are diminishing.

How Can You Make Your Job Better?

Living your lifeThere may be a few very slow moving changes we can make to the state of our business and the economy overall. In the meantime, what we can affect to make a less than desirable circumstance better is our own perspective, thoughts, beliefs, actions, and reactions.

Often when there are issues or conflicts, we want the other to change. We want our boss to be fair. We want our co-worker to do their share. We want the economy to improve. However, these are not things we can truly affect. We are not in control of them. We may be able to state our case to our boss, but we can not control her response. We can bring the workload situation up to our co-worker but we can’t change his level of execution.

To truly change our experience, we need to change ourselves. You may be in a negative circumstance, but you are still in control of how you experience that circumstance.

We need to become Aware of our actions and reactions. Are our actions and reactions helping or hurting us? Are we making situations even worse by how we react and feel about them? Are we allowing a poor work environment to affect our sense of self worth?

We need to learn Acceptance of the situation and others. This does not mean we rollover and take abuse. Acceptance means ending our desire for things to be different than they truly are. Much of our pain can be the pain from expecting and desiring things to be different than reality.

We need to look for Alternatives. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. What are things you can change in your own beliefs, actions, and reactions which could improve your experience of your current job?

We need to take Action. Complaining about our work but then approaching it the same way is not action. Blaming others and waiting for them to change is not action. Every day what are the small steps you can take to make your experience just a little bit better? That is action.

For more concrete ideas to make your current job better, download the 10 Ways to Survive a Less Than Ideal Job. To learn how I used Awareness, Acceptance, Alternatives, and Action to change my experience download the first chapter of From Type-A to Type-ME: A Framework for Stress Reduction. Both are available gratis. Learn how you can help share Melissa’s story, reduce the amount of stress in the world, and reserve your copy of From Type-A to Type-ME.

What do you see as the answer to this problem for you? What are the small steps you can take today to make a difference in your own experience?