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.
When 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I like to think I am fearless, and in many ways I am. But in some ways I am not. One of the most noticeable ways is in regards to my business. I fear not having enough income to pay my bills. I fear I will not be able to make the business what I want it to be. I fear that I made a mistake making my passion and purpose my business. The problem is when I listen to my fears and believe them I make bad choices. If I believe I won’t have sufficient income, I feel it is hopeless therefore I am unmotivated to attract new clients or attend networking events. If I fear my business won’t be what I want it to be, I am constantly looking for proof of this and pull myself into a depression. If I fear my purpose is not meant to be my business, I am constantly distracted by other potential ways to bring in money. My fears then become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Yet fears in themselves are NOT reality. Fears are only real if we believe them and act as if they are already fulfilled. The answer is to see fears as beliefs and not reality. Fears are expectations we move and act upon because we believe them to be our fate. Our fearful beliefs and expectations are only thoughts. The simple and difficult way to move forward fearlessly in our lives is to release our negative beliefs and expectations.
Recently I was able to do just this on our trip to Panama. I had a fear of returning our rental car late. I feared my unexercised winter legs would not make it to the top of Cerro Ancón. I had a fear I could not stay afloat in the ocean. One by one I released these thoughts and amazingly found the power to move forward. In doing so, I also found new options and opportunities which had been blocked by my focus on fear.
One of the biggest fears this Recovering Type-A released, even before we left for our trip, was not having all of our hotels booked ahead of time. We were leaving for a country we never visited before where we did not speak the local language fluently and were going into cities we could find little information about. I released the fear we would be sleeping in our rental car and trusted. Had I not let go of the fear, my Type-A would have taken over and booked a hotel in Las Tables where I thought I wanted to go. As it turns out it is a really neat town – for a few hours. Had I booked two nights there it would have been less than desirable. In letting go however, things turned out better than I could have ever planned. Between the recommendation from the proprietor of our first hotel, La Estancia, and the assistance of a LinkedIn buddy from Try Panama, we stayed at a secluded beachfront hotel and a posh resort which were both available and within our budget. There was no hassle or any real effort on my husband’s or my part. We just needed to make our needs known and accept the great gifts given to us.
This experience helped me see and release the other fears which came up on our trip. I knew and trusted that releasing my fears allowed new, better, brilliant opportunities to arrive.
What are your current fears?
Do you have fears around paying bills? Around your or your loved ones heath? Do you have fears about some seemingly unattainable future goal? Look at the fear. Is there any substantial proof it will absolutely 100% occur as you fear? If not, let it go. Then feel the pressure and anxiety lift as you release what is not fated to be. Feel your power return. Feel your joy. Then keep your mind clear and take baby step after baby step toward what you want. You will be amazed by what happens – for the better – and without any major planning or substantial effort of your own.