Ten Steps for Getting Unstuck

The bad news is everyone gets stuck. It’s not my job to pathologize stuckness, or people who get stuck. Stuck is a human condition and not a character flaw. The good news is it’s possible to get unstuck.

Imagine accidentally falling into a pit of quicksand. It’s a good metaphor for getting stuck. Play along with me as I guide you through getting out. Let’s call these the 10 metaphorical steps for getting unstuck.

  1. Don't thrash, the more you thrash, the more you sink.
  2. Take a big pause and breathe.
  3. Your quality of thought is going to help you get out faster. Panic will slow the process down.
  4. Assess your environment using all of your senses. What do you see, hear, smell, feel?
  5. Take stock of your resources. What resources do you have at hand, what resources are you going to have to work harder to get? Do you have a phone in your hand? Is there a vine hanging over the pit?
  6. Start moving out of the pit small step by small step, using your resources and clear thought to formulate tactics and strategy.
  7. Adjust your strategy and tactics as time brings the future into the present.
  8. If you start to panic again, breathe. Science has shown that breathing in deeply through the nose works as an emotional regulator.
  9. Ease yourself carefully back onto land. You’ll need a shower and to take it easy for a bit. Re-entry may feel slightly disorienting.
  10. Acknowledge your accomplishment. Celebrate your freedom of movement!
Everyone spends some time in the proverbial quicksand. 

Everyone spends some time in the proverbial quicksand. 

Everyone falls into the proverbial quicksand. And when you do it’s a boon to have guidance. A good coach can help guide you through life's sticking point without making you feel like you are any less than up for the work in front of you.

Are you feeling stuck? It would be an honor to talk to you more about it. Drop me a line at kaysterner.com to take the first step.