Sunday, May 3, 2009

Feeling Stuck? Eight Steps to Get You Moving Forward

"I know what I need to do, but I just can't get myself started." Who among us hasn't been caught in this scenario before? We know what to do, but we cannot seem to put knowledge into action. As a result, we feel frustrated and stuck. Common signs of being stuck include boredom, stress, increased focus on distractions, or a constant internal "should" voice.

When you know what to do but don't take action, it is because you have an inner conflict. One part of you wants to get started and move forward. Another part of you wants to stop or give up. As a result, you have an inner tug of war, and neither side is stronger than the other side. You know what to do, but you just can't seem to make any headway.

Moving forward into action requires not allowing these two parts to maintain a perpetual battle and keep you at a stalemate. You really are not jammed between a rock and a hard place, it just seems that way. When you bring your conscious awareness into the situation, when you become aware of your two opposing sides, you can lead yourself to success. Both sides of the conflict are your inner team players and it is up to you to get your team out of conflict and into a cooperative effort - moving forward together toward a specific destination.

Use the eight ideas listed below to move beyond complacency and start making your dreams come true:

1. Move Forward Even Though You Have Fear

It is normal that the part of you that has fear insists, perhaps rather loudly, not to get started. Manage your fear by reminding yourself that fear is a normal part of making change. You can even look at the bright side of fear and realize you wouldn't be so scared unless you really wanted to have the outcome of your goal. Fear acts as an imaginary wall to keep you from moving forward. Since it is your wall, you can always find a way over, around, or through it. Take a deep breath, take some action, and the action itself will eventually dissipate the wall of fear. Action does not need to take place in the absence of fear.

2. Listen to Both Sides of Your Conflict

Listen to what your fear or procrastination has to say. There is a good chance your fear has something important to tell you. For example, it might tell you that you don't want to experience failure, you don't believe in your ability to succeed, or that the step you want to take is too big for where you are right now. Once you know the message behind your fear, you can revise your definition of failure, take steps to beef up your belief in yourself, or take a smaller action step. Fear can often guide you to gain the skills necessary to build confidence and belief in your eventual success.

image


3. Thoughts Determine Success

Earl Nightingale has a saying: "We become what we think about." So what do you think about? Are your thoughts centered on fear of failure, or the joy of taking action? Thoughts have a powerful impact on your attitude, and your ability to get started. Learn to focus more on the excitement of your goal or dream. Spend time thinking about the outcome you want. Play with your goal, have fun with it. Feel how wonderful it is to imagine yourself having what you want - exactly the way you want it.

4. Start Small


Sometimes it is difficult to begin taking action because you are overwhelmed by the enormity of what lies before you. Your goal looks HUGE . . . so daunting and complex that you freeze up. It helps to break down your goal into manageable pieces. You probably already do this in other successful areas of your business or personal life. You take something big and chunk it down into bite-sized pieces. You make a list of action steps, prioritize, and separate the "nice-to-have's" from the "need to have's". Then you work the first piece first, eventually moving on to the second, the third, and so on. Soon that overwhelming task doesn't look so insurmountable any more.

5. Change Your Routine

How long has it been since you have wanted to have the outcome of your goal, but you haven't moved forward? One way to get unstuck is to shake up your routine. Take a moment and notice the patterns of your day. Have they become predictable and dull? Now check out the goal you have in mind for yourself. Is there perhaps one step in your goal that sounds kind of fun, exciting, different? Not only could you begin taking action on something you have been wanting all along, but it could shake you out of a rut.

6. Reward Yourself

One way to motivate yourself to do something when you don't feel like doing it is to offer yourself an incentive. Don't wait until after you achieve your goal to reward yourself, start now. Give yourself small rewards on a regular basis. Take one teeny tiny step forward and reward yourself for 1) remembering that your goal is important to you, 2) for choosing an action, and 3) for following through. Rewarding your efforts and your successes can do wonders for your motivation. Find ways to make the change you are creating as enjoyable as possible. No one is forcing you to change; it's something you've decided to do on your own. Rewards don't have to be big or expensive, they just have to be something meaningful to you. Make a list of delightful rewards and link them with your actions!

7. Connect The Action With Pleasure Not Pain

When you find yourself lacking motivation, you may be associating the action with pain, rather than pleasure. For instance, when deciding to lose weight, you may be associating the experience with having to eat food you hate, feeling deprived, associating exercise with physical pain or embarrassment, or envisioning failure. Turn this negative cycle around by reminding yourself of your immediate and long-term positive benefits. Make a written list of the instant and future payoffs to working on your goal. What will you gain by choosing to work on the goal? Staying focused on the positive unleashes your internal motivating force and changes your attitude about the actions you are considering.

8. Act When the Idea Is Hot And The Emotion Is Strong

Eventually it's the right time to turn ideas into action. If your ideas have been nurtured and developed, you will know intuitively when it is time to begin. Be aware of when your idea has gained momentum. Notice when positive emotions are present and the idea is strong, clear, and powerful. When this happens, follow up immediately! If you hear about a motivational book that makes you curious, go out and buy it. Get the book before the idea passes, before the emotion gets cold. Begin the process. If five minutes of exercise sounds good right now, don't wait until tonight. Don't force yourself to do forty minutes. Go outside and walk five minutes. Tell yourself you did a great job. Feel really good about listening to your inner self and following through. When the time is right, take action.

Give these eight ideas a try and see if you don't find yourself pushing through feeling stuck into invigorating action!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog