3 ways to get unstuck in your career
The dictionary defines stuck as being caught or held in a position so that you cannot move.
We’ve all been there—trapped in a situation, circumstance, or life phase that we don’t know how to get out of. It’s an awful feeling, and no amount of advice or counsel seems to help.
Here are three tips that might help you get unstuck.
Stop saying you are stuck.
If you are stuck in your career or some aspect of your life, one of the worst things you can do is to talk about how stuck you are. Talking about being stuck keeps you stuck. This is not a “woo-woo, manifesting universe” sort of thing—it’s a brain thing. Your brain’s job is to obey your thoughts and words and use that information to determine what to focus upon. Now, if you are stuck, you don’t have to lie to yourself and say, “I am not stuck.” That is pointless. Instead, try talking about what you want, or where you are looking for answers. For example, you might say, “I am ready to use my skills in a different way, and I am remaining open to whatever that might be.”
Stop saying “I don’t know.”
Anyone who has ever coached with me knows that the phrase, “I don’t know” is a no-no. I tell my clients that there is no “I don’t know.” I don’t know keeps you stuck in the same way that saying you are stuck (above) does, and it gets you nowhere. No progress in thinking is made when we keep saying we don’t know. Instead of letting yourself off the hook with “I don’t know,” talk about what you do know or what you want.
Ask yourself a better question.
When we are stressed and stuck, we tend to ask ourselves “low-level” questions. A low-level question is: What is wrong with me? Why do I always do this? Why can’t I get a break? Just reading those questions makes coaches all over the world bristle, because those questions can only take a person down the path of self-loathing, blame or seeing ourselves as victims—none of which is helpful or productive toward getting unstuck. The next time you are stuck, ask yourself a better question, such as: What do I really want here? That high-level question puts you in a completely different mindset, and if you pay attention you can feel a tiny sprout of hope. That sprout is your path to productive change. Another question you can ask yourself is: How can I lead? This will get you higher-level answers and put you back in the driver’s seat of your life or work.
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” Tony Robbins