By Todd Craig
I was stuck. After twenty years doing what I had always dreamed of doing, it was clear the season was ending, and I didn’t know what was next. I was experiencing anxiety, anger, and was finding it difficult to be fully present at work and in my relationships. These experiences were compounded as I discovered the harder I worked at getting unstuck the more stuck I became. All the wisdom and strategies I had gained over the years that served me in the past seemed ineffective at helping me move forward.
Feeling stuck is not an uncommon experience. We can feel stuck and directionless in our work, relationships, finances, personal growth, spirituality, or any other area of life. Sometimes we experience being stuck as frustration and other times it feels like restlessness or boredom. Regardless, the feeling of being stuck is actually a positive indication that forward progress and growth is possible! And, yet, that forward progress and growth will likely require some new thinking, disciplines, and outside help. This is the role of a coach and finding a good coach was the key I needed to unlock my thinking and move my story forward.
A good coach will help you uncover your dreams and potential and live them out. They will help you clarify direction, build self-confidence, and find greater fulfillment. Coaches have many tools for helping clients move forward. Below are some that I find most powerful. If you are feeling stuck, these are helpful practices you can pursue on your own. Finding a good coach to work through them with you will save you the time, energy, frustration, and pain of being stuck in your own thinking. Coaches help create space through intentional listening and asking powerful well-timed questions that help break the gridlock of a client’s thinking.
Many of us are living aimless lives without intention because we don’t take the time to create space and think. Growth won’t happen if you don’t intentionally carve out space to reflect on where you’ve been, where you are and where you want to go.
Carve out time to reflect on your past, your present and your desired future.
Often the most productive step in moving your story forward is to learn more about yourself as the main character in your story. Identifying strengths and blind spots, passions and values, and aspirations and fears provides insight about restlessness with your present state as well as some of the obstacles keeping you where you are.
Take some time to list out your top 3 strengths, passions, values, aspirations, fears, and potential blind spots.
One of the most deceptively difficult questions to answer is, “What do I want…really?” This question is so difficult to answer many are dismissive of the question or only engage it on a surface level. What do you want to be true about your life? And are your current decisions and disciplines aligned or misaligned with this vision?
Take some time to write an answer to the question, “What do I want…really?”.
Develop a plan of action
The self-awareness of your present state and the clarity about what you want will clarify the gap from “here to there” and steps to bridge that gap. This clarity will also give you courage to say yes to opportunities in alignment with your desires as well as the confidence to say no to the ones that are not, guilt-free.
What is the next step you need to take toward the life you want to live?
As you take steps toward your desired future there may be voices seeking to sabotage the progress. Sometimes these voices are external and sometimes they come from within. In your journey forward it is important to identify and challenge false narratives and to author new empowering narratives.
Write out one narrative that is holding you back. Now, rewrite it as an empowering narrative.
When you live the life you were meant to live, not only is your life made better, but so is every life around you. If you are interested in learning more about how working with a coach can empower you, you can find us at journeybravely.com.
Todd Craig is a Life and Leadership coach whose passion is to see others discover and thrive in the life they were meant to live. With over 20 years of having clarifying conversations and guiding people through life change, Todd has coached others to identify places of feeling stuck and overwhelmed in work and life and provide effective, strategic tools and questions to help them move life forward both at home and work. Todd offers coaching in both professional and personal capacities toward identifying, developing and living your goals, desires, and dreams.