We’ve all been there: a mental block, lack of preparedness, a case of self-sabotage, or even circumstances beyond our control cause us to reach a place of ‘stuckness.’ As coaches, we’ve helped dozens of clients move past barriers, and we’ve worked hard and sought help to move beyond our own. This week, we share what we’ve learned, revealing our top tips for helping clients— or ourselves— get unstuck or move past stubbornness. Spring is the season for rebirth and reinvention, so get inspired!

Jolene’s tips:

  1. Free your mind. Encourage creativity, & play to work through barriers. Oftentimes removing focus from the barrier at hand is the most powerful way to move beyond it. Encourage your client to release self-judgement and take time to relax, get creative, and play, whether that means creating abstract art, taking a dance class, or trying a new recipe. After a period of creative release, try again to approach the barrier with new perspective.
  2. Break it down. Sometimes a large task or looming goal forms an instant barrier in our minds. To make success easier, and more achievable, create small, step by step goals that serve as a roadmap. While you’re at it, build in a reward as incentive to get to your goal.
  3. Look around, and within. Explore the spectrum of ‘primary foods’— the aspects of your life, beyond food, that nourish and sustain you—to see if there’s another area of need that could be contributing to your stuckness. Look at your creativity, spirituality, finances, career, relationships, and physical activity, among other areas, and ask if those areas could use some attention to help you feel more balanced and move beyond barriers that you’re feeling.

Tisha’s tips:

  1. Ask for help. So many of life’s challenges and ‘stuck places,’ big and small, can be met with more grace or efficiency if we ask for assistance. So, even if you think you should or could handle it yourself, ask for help. First, gently swallow any stubborn prideful resistance. Then, get as clear as possible about just how someone could best assist you. Can you enlist an expert to delegate this task to? Can you ask a friend to provide you with some one-on-one hand holding? Do you need a family member to give you some space or time?  Take a deep breath and ask.
  2. Step into the light. No, that is not a metaphor. I mean literally. Step away from the computer, turn off the cell phone, put down the to-do list and go outside. Take some time to turn your face up to the sky. Breathe. I know very few stuck spaces that a little sunlight stroll or a moonlight soak can’t shift just a bit.
  3. Stop saying you are stuck. Neuroscience has proven that what we think about our situation (hopelessness or stuck) affects how we feel and therefore colors what resources we can bring to changing the situation. Dropping the shaming or self-criticising words we use to define our situation might help shift our behavior. So, instead of pushing on a door in desperate or angry exasperation, try opening the door toward you with a friendly greeting, like, “hello you mysterious growth opportunity” or “hi, you pre-action stage.”

Rachael’s tips:

  1. Think about another time in your life when you were ‘stuck’ in something, but overcame it. How did you do it back then? What patterns or behaviors existed back then for that situation that allowed you to move past that challenge? What’s in your way for the current one? What behaviors from back then can you translate to the current situation now?
  2. Journal through what it truly is that’s keeping you stuck. What are you afraid will happen if you move forward? Are you afraid you’ll screw up/fail? Are you afraid you’ll succeed? Are you afraid of being judged for succeeding or failing? Is what you think you want really what you actually want? Are you clear on what it is that you want? Because if you’re not, that could be why you’re stuck!
  3. Practice telling yourself that what you want is already yours. Use an affirmation such as “I am intuitively guided to the right opportunities at the right time, and I have all the support and resources I need to get the success/abundance/health/love, etc. that I want and deserve for the greatest good. For this I am thankful, I let it be so, and so it is.”


Further reading:

We recommend these books for even more helpful information and inspiration on getting unstuck!

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Big Leap by Gay Hendricks