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4 Simple Tips to Getting Unstuck

By Linda S. Pucci, Ph.D.


Every day I talk to people who are feeling stuck. Some feel stuck in their jobs, working in a career they don’t like. Some feel stuck in relationships where they aren’t treated with respect. Some feel stuck in their financial situation, barely making ends meet. Even though the reasons for feeling stuck may be different, the feeling is often the same–one of not having any options.

The feeling of being stuck is usually an emotional reaction to the perception that there are no options. Typically, when you are stuck you believe there is nothing you can do, or that you don’t know HOW to change the situation.

Even though it may not seem like it, there are always options. In reality, your perception may be based upon the obstacles you put in your own way.

How does this work? Many people feel stuck because they want someone else to fix the problem. They would like some one ELSE to do something different–to change their behavior. For example, you might wish that your boss appreciated you and recognized that you are overworked. Sitting and wishing that other people will change is a sure-fire way to feel stuck.

Tip #1: You have NO CONTROL over another person’s behavior. You only have control over your OWN behavior. Look at what YOU could do to change the situation.

A common thing that often keeps people feeling stuck involves wanting to avoid making a mistake. People often hope for the “perfect” solution, and are hesitant to take action unless they are convinced that everything will be perfect.

Tip #2: There are no perfect solutions. Take action and hope for the best.

Sometimes people are reluctant to make a decision and take action because they are afraid someone will be angry with them or won’t like their decision. When you give your decision-making over to someone else, you are essentially saying that their feelings are more important than yours. You may be saying “It’s O.K. if I’m miserable, as long as my boss is comfortable.” “It’s O.K. if I’m miserable about my spouse’s repeated affairs as long as he/she isn’t inconvenienced by my demanding they stop.”

Tip #3: Give up the idea of pleasing everybody. It can’t be done. Whenever you change something or stand up for yourself, someone may not like it. You have a perfect right to ask others to stop walking all over you.

If you want something to change, you’ll need to look at what you can do. And there is almost ALWAYS something you can do. Yes, it might be uncomfortable to stand up for yourself in a relationship or in a job. No one said that it might not be uncomfortable or inconvenient. If you are hoping that you’ll stop feeling stuck by not having to DO ANYTHING, you’ll probably continue to feel stuck.

Getting unstuck requires ACTION. It requires determination, a commitment from you that things are bad enough for you to take some action. That might mean demanding that you be treated differently. It might mean leaving the relationship or the job. It will certainly mean that you’ll have to do something on your own behalf.

Tip #4: The key is being willing to take some action. Once you ACT, you are automatically UNSTUCK.

I often give my clients a task to do which demands that they take SOME action. Sometimes the task is related to what they are feeling stuck about. For example, the task might be to explore other job options. Sometimes the task is symbolic, jumping into a swimming pool, going skydiving, or some other symbolic way to “take action.” The idea is to help them recognize that they CAN DO SOMETHING, and that they are only stuck if they are unwilling to take action.

© 2012 Linda S. Pucci, Ph.D.

Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a life coach, trainer and owner of Inner Resource Center, LLC in Maryville, TN. She has 34 years of experience helping people overcome obstacles and self-sabotage by using her solution focused approach. She is dedicated to helping people find the resources they need to transform their lives. Check out how an Intensive Personal Breakthrough session might be just what you need to get unstuck. For more information and more free resources, go to InnerResourceCenter.com.