Feeling stuck is common in our world today. This article is a summary of insights that Work It Daily's CEO and founder, J.T. O'Donnell, discussed recently on the "That Makes Two Of Us" Podcast, and explains how to get yourself unstuck by starting new habits. J.T. has been a career coach for more than 20 years.
Why Do We Even Feel Stuck?
People are stuck for two reasons: they have either no options or too many options. In both cases, we experience an analysis paralysis feeling, which is even more likely to occur with growing age because we feel that the decisions we make matter more. Therefore, we need to feel comfortable that we make the right decision because we want to risk failure less as we grow older. The reality is that, at any age, we have to take one decision and make a predictable choice that promises the expected result.
How Do We Grow?
When we want to grow, it's never a straight shot up. We try something new and often fall back on the ground in the first place. When falling back, we need to find confidence again. Often, when we do fall back, the pain is so acute that it gets us unstuck faster because we have previously experienced a new level and want to go back there again.
Making A Decision
When making a decision, we believe that we make an objective decision, but everyone has a truth filter which is highly subjective. We never make decisions thinking they are bad ones
When we try something new and are not achieving the desired result, we may think we failed, while, in reality, it was just an experiment. When you fall back this way, typically it will be easier for you to get back up and try again because you have felt how it is to be on the next level.
When you experience failure, eventually you have to decide if you just want to stay in a Negative-Self-Talk Mode (NST) or if you want to make a decision to flip to Positive-Self-Talk Mode(PST). With PST, you can make a different decision, and "a different decision is a different action, and a different action is a different outcome."
Ancient Brain Habits
Our ancient brain's first goal is to avoid dangers. Any experience we have in life is codified in that part as good or bad, and if we experience a similar situation, we have the ability to react quickly according to the stored information.
J.T. presents the example of developing a habit of eating ice cream when receiving criticism. She emphasized that such a habit can be an opportunity, when we use the eating of ice cream as an indicator, that a non-useful habit was triggered. Professional coaching is then a great tool to explore that event that is stored in the brain and potentially change the decision we make going forward.
J.T. is a trained NLP Coach and she is giving a demonstration of the coaching process based on an example, when the goal is to become a fitness instructor.
Feeling stuck is not a bad thing. Busy people, for example executives, should expect to always be stuck on something because when we understand life as a game, every step forward can be seen as leveling up.
When we see a friend or colleague is feeling stuck, the best thing to do is ask questions, not telling solutions. This way, we empower them to find a solution and get out of negative self-talk.
Don’t Quit Your Job At First
When we want to build new habits, it is more successful if we set small, reasonable goals instead of overcommitting. If you want to develop a walking habit, start with a goal of five minutes a day. If you walk 10 minutes instead, you are already overachieving and it will motivate you to do more.
Often, we are stuck in different parts of our lives, career being only one of them. When getting unstuck, it is often beneficial to start with a situation outside of career because the process of moving forward on one issue often shifts multiple areas of our life at the same time. J.T.'s experience is that often her clients complain about the job, but the true issue is that they are stuck on something else in life, and once that is resolved, they love their job.
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