How You Can Never Get Stuck Again by Following These 6 Steps?
How You Can Never Get Stuck Again
by Following These 6 Steps?
I want to start this message by acknowledging just how awful it can feel to be stuck in a situation, a relationship, a job, etc., that is unfulfilling, disappointing, frustrating, etc. - and which ultimately can cause feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, increased stress and anxiety, depression, and lead to unhealthy avoidance behaviors. It’s probably the number one reason for referrals that we get - that in some way or another - an individual, a marriage, a family dynamic, or a situation at work has gone unresolved - and the cumulative effect of that has created significant relational and psychological pain.
So - in light of how significant we believe this problem to be - we want to provide a framework - or process - that you can apply and use to ensure that you don’t stay stuck - and that you become extraordinarily resourceful. Or - as I mention in the video - we are going to teach you how to develop and strengthen your inner McGyver!
Six steps to follow/apply - so that you never get stuck again:
1. Exercise Cognitive Flexibility/Keep an Open Mind:
When we feel stuck - we experience a stress reaction - and if this internal state becomes pervasive - we can trigger a level of stress and anxiety that basically shuts down our creative problem solving abilities. As a result - we tend to default to old patterns of dealing with the issue - which obviously hasn’t been effective - and therefore keeps you stuck in a cycle of frustration (if you start to feel like there is nothing you can do about the problem - it can create “learned helplessness” - a mindset that often leads to depression).
However, if you can be open to trying new ways of dealing with or resolving the issue/circumstance you are facing - then you are much more likely to identify an effective resolution. Cognitive flexibility is the key here - and it also is a major indicator or attribute of individuals, couples, and families that thrive. Getting overly rigid in your responses to stress and challenges is a good way to stay stuck!
*If you are interested in receiving an actual coaching tool that we use with clients to get them into a creative problem solving space - please email DrAndy@ag-thrive.com (reference this email)
2. Stay solution focused:
When we are facing intense challenges or obstacles - it can be difficult to stop thinking about and focusing on the problem. Unfortunately, what we tend to focus on gets magnified in our thought process - so, if we are really focused on how awful the problem is - then the awfulness of the problem keeps getting amplified - and it can quickly feel overwhelming and catastrophic.
Having said that - if what you focus on gets magnified - then focusing on possible solutions is a good way to remain hopeful and positive (do not underestimate the power of hope in becoming stuck proof). Plus, when you stay in a solution oriented mindset - you are more likely to maintain an internal locus of control (psychological term that means you believe that you can impact, influence, or control what happens in your life - as opposed to an external locus of control). Staying in an internal locus of control mindset is going to be a major asset (think duct tape for McGyver) in making you unstuckable!
3. Identify and access your internal resources:
This requires some healthy self-awareness of your particular strengths and virtues (which is always good to be aware of!). In getting unstuck - it’s helpful to take inventory of the particular attributes that you possess that will empower you to successfully resolve your challenge. When you get connected to your strengths - it will also help to energize you and give you more confidence that you do have some innate resources to rely on.
If you are having a difficult time identifying your character strengths and attributes - we can give you some great resources that will help. You can also think of incidences from your past when you have overcome adversity - and what strengths you demonstrated in doing so. That’s also a great way to tap into past feelings of resilience and confidence - and use them to increase your current resourcefulness.
4. Identify and access external resources:
This step simply requires some thought and reflection on who you might know - or - what environmental, spiritual, familial, community, or professional resources you might be able to access that could contribute in a positive and meaningful manner to effectively resolving your issue.
Sometimes - we unnecessarily feel like we must solve life’s challenges by ourselves - but, in doing so, we cut off potentially valuable sources of support. Unfortunately, it often takes reaching a breaking point or crisis for us to finally reach out and ask for help. So, I suggest that you create a list of family, friends, colleagues, spiritual support, professional services (like AG Thrive!), books, classes, etc., that you value and trust (or that has been recommended from someone you really trust) - and keep that list ready to access for whenever you may be dealing with an issue that has you stuck. Now you will be well equipped to quickly access valuable support resources that will keep you stuck proof.
5. Experiment with Solutions:
You can greatly increase the likelihood that you find an effective solution by experimenting with possible solutions. A good exercise you can use to help identify solution options is to brainstorm a list of 20 possible solutions (this also helps with cognitive flexibility - as it stretches you to think outside of your fixed patterns of thinking about the situation). After you have your list - begin prototyping the most likely outcome for each idea you came up with - and once you have established the top 2 or 3 options - experiment with them. In this scenario - you are acting like a curious scientist in solving your issues - which is a great way to approach difficult situations.
The other thing I will note in this step - is to be ready to “course correct.” That means that if you try a solution out - but it doesn’t give you the resolution or response you were hoping for - you may need to identify what worked and what didn’t - and keep tweaking the solution to improve upon it until you get a satisfactory result.
6. Never give up!
Perhaps my favorite step (or to be more clear - the one that I have the most experience practicing!). As long as you don’t give up - there is always hope - and it has consistently been my experience that the people, couples, and families that are the most persistent in achieving a goal - or finding a solution - are the ones that tend to be the most successful and fulfilled.
*The last comment I want to make on this important topic - is to be very careful about the language you use when describing your challenges (even using the word challenge or opportunity - as opposed to troubles, problems, etc.). Stay away from words like “can’t,” “impossible,” and other disempowering statements. Also, be mindful about who you share your challenges with - there are people who will add to the problem and not the solution - and you’re better off avoiding that dynamic.