Feeling stuck can be one of the most frustrated states I can think of. Usually my mind gets stuck when trying to do too many things at once, when taking a decision that I usually overestimate the importance of, or when I feel I have completely run out options and I am a victim of my circumstances.
I consider being stuck is the mental representation of the statement ‘I don’t know’ (how to act, what to do, which to choose) and there is nothing inherently wrong with not knowing. Yet in the society where I grew up and went to school, not knowing was considered something bad and connected to failure in many ways. As a result, I pride myself on the amount of information I hold and feel insecure when I am apparently lacking knowledge.
However in my coaching work I see the true power behind the statement
I don’t know! It just means that there is unchartered territory up ahead and new thinking is required to make sense of a situation.
Much like not knowing, stuck-ness shouldn’t be avoided, rather celebrated. Feeling stuck is the predecessor of all real understanding, just like I don’t know is the starting point for all knowledge.
When I see it like this stuck-ness becomes potential growth instead of unknown information; a chance for me to be a conscious part of creating new neural pathways in my brain, a little something I like to call learning.
As I see it now there are three ways of dealing with stuck-ness as it shows up in my life. Action/Change, Outer Acceptance & Inner Acceptance . These three roads help me deal with many problems actually. I start by defining the question. What is it I don’t know?
When I know the question behind my feeling of stuck-ness I also get an idea of where I might find an answer. This is my opportunity to learn, discover, go, see, listen, ask, feel, adventure…
I can take action and change the situation by finding out the answer to my question.
Not knowing can also be very beautiful in its own right. I like to think of all the different things in life where I still don’t know. These are all places where I am still capable of feeling a child’s wonder and curiosity. This should not be taken lightly. Stuck-ness can actually be an opportunity for humility, letting go of control or of the desire to know everything.
To avoid falling into the bliss-trap of the new cage movement it is important for me to know that sometimes I just feel stuck and it sucks! I don’t know what to do and I don’t feel like seeing the opportunity in the stuck-ness. That’s ok! When I accept my inner state of resistance I create space for the emotion. I try not to judge myself as this just creates further suffering or panic. I’m just fine with not being fine.
I hope my experiences can help you get unstuck or at least be fine with your stuck-ness. If you know someone who would benefit from this post, please share it with them.