Dealing With Stuckness


I’m sure that at some point in your life, if not right now, you have experienced a feeling of being stuck, or what a colleague of mine calls ‘stuckness’. It’s a common affliction and one that has a simple solution.

Just recently, and quite uncharacteristically, I have been experiencing muscle pain in my back, most noticeably in the neck muscles that connect my head to my back.

I went to see a local practitioner who specialises in a technique called body stress release and was surprised, at least at first, to hear his opinion that I had fallen prey to the dreaded ‘stuckness’.

It took a while for this to sink in and for me to recognise the condition.

“Stubborn problems always require a shift in paradigm.”
– Jamelle Sanders

Stuck? How?

I love my job. For me there is no greater fulfilment than that which comes from helping others grow and develop through learning and practising the art of empowering others through life coaching.

Sure, I experience times of stress. The responsibilities that go with managing your own business together with the ups and downs that are part of the economic reality within which we operate are enough to keep me on my toes … but I am fortunate to have left the unrelenting demands of international corporate life and its uniquely debilitating stress long ago.

So, with a job that entails imparting to others techniques for encouraging the growth and development of others … how is it that I, myself, could become ‘stuck’?

As I mulled over this it suddenly dawned on me how a project that I had committed to about a year ago had sucked me into an uncompromising daily routine which involved many hours of writing and sitting behind a computer each day. Though the end of the project was in sight, it was clear that it had induced in me something of a tunnel vision mentality over an extended period.

Looking at this in hindsight I realise that this was a form of ‘stuckness’ that had caused stress to build up in my body.

It’s Easy To Let Stress Build Up

Recognising the condition

The first and most important part of the solution to ‘stuckness’, whether it be a temporary thing brought on by specific circumstances or a more lingering feeling of treading water and not progressing the way you want to in life, is to recognise the condition in yourself.

Any person who is ’stuck’ yet cannot recognise or admit to it, is doomed to remain stuck.

“A body at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an external force.” If my physics serves me correctly this is an extension of Newton’s First Law of Motion!

Sometimes, as in my case, realising that you are stuck requires the help or intervention of someone or something else. (Now for a word from the sponsor … A life coach is just perfect!)

In cases of people who are very seriously stuck yet totally oblivious to it at a conscious level, I believe the subconscious mind (or the inner being, if you like) resorts to engineering an accident or incident that will serve to awaken the individual concerned to the condition.

You Have To Realise You’re Stuck

Bringing about a paradigm shift

Once you are able to appreciate that you are ’stuck’ more than half the battle is won. The next part of the solution is the need for a change of perspective or what I call a ‘paradigm shift’.

You’ve probably seen one of the many optical illusions that do the rounds as brainteasers (if not, go here: Depending on how you view them they appear as totally different objects.

How you see something depends on the ‘paradigm’ or mindset that you adopt. The late Dr Wayne Dyer is quoted as saying: “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.” This is one of my favourite quotes that beautifully sums up what I am trying to say.

‘Stuckness’ results from continually viewing a situation (or the entire context of your life, even) from the same perspective, or from within the same paradigm – while hoping for a different outcome.

The outcome is, of course, inextricably linked with the paradigm because that offers the context within which you choose your actions. So the actions you take and the outcome you get are unlikely to change until your paradigm changes.

But how do you bring about a paradigm shift?

Relatively simply … but it does require a little action and an open mind!

Act Now For Change

A six step process

A process that works well for me is my six step Time-out–Pause–Observe–Reflect–Question–Act process.

This process is also one that works well when you want to step away from life as usual and allow your inner being to voice your life’s purpose.

It is basically aimed at temporarily suspending ‘business as usual’ to bring about a paradigm shift and clarity of thinking driven by the inner voice.

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