Guest post by Angie Dixon
I just connected with a cousin of mine on Facebook, which reminded me of a funny story. When I was eight or so, my parents and I went to visit this (much older) cousin in West Monroe, Louisiana. Then we planned to visit my (also much older) sister in Conway, Arkansas. That’s not the funny part.
The funny part is that my mother called my sister, Sandy, to ask the best route. Seeing that Sandy had lived in central Arkansas for years, everyone thought she’d know the best way to get there coming from Louisiana, in general. And of course they thought she’d get out a map.
What she said, though, was, “You can’t get here from there.”
Sure, it’s a funny story.
But I see so many people who want more from their lives, and are convinced they can’t get there from here.
And most of the time, they’re just stuck. They’re not permanently messed up, or even really messed up at all.
The thing is, we haven’t been taught how to get past stuck places—or even that we can get past them.
What we’re taught, usually, is that life is hard and achieving goals is hard, and it’s all supposed to be hard.
Lesson #1: And that’s the first key in overcoming the stuck-ness: Realizing that it doesn’t have to be hard. Hard is not required, and easy is not only acceptable but preferred.
Lesson #2: The second key is realizing that “stuck” is normal. Everyone gets stuck now and then. We all start out gung-ho and excited about our goals, and we all make great progress for some length of time, and then get stuck. That’s the way life works. Being stuck doesn’t make you different, bad or in any way special. If you’re stuck, it means you were moving. And you can start moving again.
Lesson #3: And that’s the third key, starting again. Moving through the stuck place or getting over it and going on. Taking action.
I have another great story, which I’ll share if you don’t mind (or even if you do). You may have heard of Charlaine Harris, the creator of the Sookie Stackhouse series, on which the television series True Blood is based. But when I met Charlaine, she was, as she put it, “a lowly midlist author” of two other mystery series. And she told this great story.
Charlaine was on a panel with Mary Higgins Clark at a writer’s conference. It was one of those panels where one person starts a story and the next person continues it. So someone (I think it might have been Charlaine, but I’m not sure) got the hero couple stuck in a tunnel with a grate at the end and the villains bearing down on them. It was hopeless. And the timer passed to Mary Higgins Clark, who said, “And when they got out of the tunnel…”
And that’s how the best mystery writers do it.
But that’s also a great way to implement the third key of getting unstuck. Don’t focus on the stuck piece. Do what you can to be unstuck and go forward.
This makes more sense when you put the first two keys in place, and then just take action on the third one. When I say it, it sounds like it can never work. But when you see it work, you’ll understand.
And remember, being stuck means you made progress to get where you are. Don’t let it bring you down.
Angie Dixon helps people get past the stuck places and live their real lives. Join Angie’s tribe to find out how you can get a free life strategy coaching session with Angie, at http://www.angiedixon.com/
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