The best question to ask when you’re feeling stuck

Most people are looking to move forwards in some way…

Whether that’s in your work-life, or your personal life, most of us want to keep moving towards whatever represents the next stage in the journey you’re on.

Which means that if you’ve currently reached any type of personal transition point, then you’re more than likely trying to decide ‘where to from here’…

And that can be tricky sometimes, because if you knew where you were going then I’m guessing you would just get on with it.

But the challenge comes when you’re no longer satisfied with where you are, but you’re not yet sure about what to do next…and so you feel stuck!

And feeling stuck sucks…

Because even though – on some level  – we all know it’s just part of the process there’s a huge difference between feeling stuck and not knowing what to do about it, and feeling stuck and knowing how to figure your way out.

So, at these times I like to ask myself, ‘Is it a question of SKILL, or WILL?

And here’s what I mean…

Chances are it’s SKILL if I know what I need, but I need some extra help to find it, or figure it out.

This usually refers to something ‘practical’ such as something you can learn, or implement, or purchase such as a new system, or strategy, or tool, or skill, or approach.

For example, if I know I want to build a brand new house but I have no idea where to start I might begin by researching different design ideas, as well as trying to figure out who can help me to develop a clear set of plans, along with what else I need to consider in terms of the right kinds of permissions, people to help me build it etc.

Whereas chances are it’s WILL when I know I’m not happy with where I am now but I don’t really know what I want, or how to go about changing it i.e. I just know I want it to be different

So this usually refers to a change in ‘mindset’ and require some sort of a change in perception, or attitude, or belief.

For example, maybe I’ve been feeling like my current job, or career, is no longer ‘a fit’ and I’m miserable but I’m not sure what else I would do or if what I want even exists.

Or maybe I’ve been struggling with my boss, or my partner, which is having a huge impact on me and even through I’ve tried everything I can think of I still feel utterly powerless.

So, in this case what I really need is a perspective shift to offer me a new type of clarity about how to move forwards in a way that offers me something I can’t currently see.

The point is that once you can clearly identify the type of help you need, then you’ll at least have a new starting point which means you’re not really stuck anymore because you’ll have a ‘next step’.

And just that slight change in momentum can change everything else because now you’ve created a space to start exploring your options, as opposed to feeling like there’s no clear way out.

Now obviously issues related to WILL are often trickier to solve (than issues of SKILL), because you’re generally starting from a place of ‘not knowing’, but if you can at least understand where your true problem lies then you’re one-step closer to being able to solve it.

So, if lately you’ve found yourself feeling lost, or stuck, or wanting to make some sort of change, then I’m guessing it might be more a matter of WILL which is great news because now that you can identify that for yourself then you’ll no longer be stuck and you can decide the best way to address it from a new place of ‘knowing’.

Nicola x

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