Feeling stuck is a horrible place to be. Feeling like you've got no choices but to keep on doing what you're doing is de-motivating. It can often lead to the wheels coming off the wagon it feels that bad.
I know. I've been there. Fortunately I found my way out of the rut I was in for quite some time. Whilst in this dark place, I felt depressed. I was ill. I literally couldn't drag myself out of bed some days. I couldn't see a different way of doing anything.
As a mum of two primary school age boys at the time and running a (what I thought) failing business, I felt there was no way out. I couldn't see any options available to me apart from what I was doing - hiding under my duvet and not opening post, emails or phone calls.
I kept going doing the basics - shopping, cooking, washing. Supporting my children to learn and play and have fun. They kept me going through those hard times and their cuddles made me smile. But they were also adding to my problem of not being able to get out of my rut. Staying stuck felt like a safe place to be. I knew I could be a good mum if I loved them, fed them and kept them happy. I could do something right in my life.
Looking back to that time now, from years of personal development, learning, support from family, friends, mentors and coaches, it seems a bit silly. Surely I must have been able to see other ways out of the rut? Surely there were obvious steps I could have taken to move forward in one way in my life and business?
At the time I couldn't see anything apart from the dark place I was in. Wallowing in my own grief and self pity.
I've no idea what helped pull me out of the rut. All I know is that I don't want others to have to suffer the horrible feelings of loss and frustration, guilt and fear.
Move out of the rut by listening more
I've been on quite a journey these past ten years. It's only in the last four though that I've really taken strides forward and understood more about how to stay out of stuckness forever. I've learnt to listen to myself. I've also learnt how to listen to my intuition which is slightly different but oh so much more powerful than just listening to that gut instinct I ignored for so long.
Easy you may think, but when you don't trust yourself, your instincts, any decisions you've made based on what you felt was your own failure, it's hard to trust yourself. I totally lost my confidence. I lost my get up and go and everything that made me me.
Or, I felt I'd lost it.
It was there, hiding behind fear, guilt, grief, frustration. My family and friends were trying to tease the 'old' me to come back out to play. But until I learnt to trust myself again I couldn't.
It took a lot of courage to trust myself again. But I've done it and so can you.
The most important step is that first one - to decide that you want to do things differently. That you no longer want to be stuck. I'm sure I thought about it for ages in that not knowing what to do or how to do it phase I was in for so long.
However, you don't have to be alone like I was. I'm here, along with Deborah and all those others who are standing up to say they've also been in a rut and don't want to be any more. We call them People of Difference. Those who aren't afraid to support others who may feel alone in their struggle to find their feet.
Once you learn how to trust your instincts by listening to your intuition you'll never be stuck again. You may find some of the steps out of the rut, or the steps towards your brighter clearer future difficult to take, but you'll know that it's the right step to take.
That's what kept me stuck for so long - not trusting myself taking a step. What if it wasn't the right one? What if it was going to cost me more? What if I can't do it?
How can you learn to listen to yourself?
I had the benefit of being asked to train as a listening trainer, which allowed me to learn to listen to others and myself. Only when we listen to ourselves better can we listen well to others. Training others to listen is just one of the aspects of the work I now do.
There's a few ways I suggest for you, as not everyone is called to be a trainer or a listener!
- Arrange time with a trusted friend, family member or mentor and ask them to simply listen to you. Ask them not to speak or ask questions, but just listen. Having that time sharing your thoughts out loud often helps you hear things your mind has been mulling over but you've been ignoring.
- Join an action learning set or mastermind group. Working with a small group of people who will support and encourage you by asking astute questions really helps you get clear on what you're saying and thinking. Some groups allow other participants to share their ideas on your challenge, then you decide to your course of action after the meet up. You commit to taking action, and use the group to stay accountable.
- Learn how to listen to your intuition and trust it with every step. We've created a 5 step program distilling Deborah's twenty years of learning and my listening, coaching, training and business experience to give you a simple program to follow with by your side support from us.
- Work with an experienced coach who is also a great listener (I've had some lovely coaches but not all have ben good at listening to me or allowing me to listen to myself).
I'm sharing this with you as I want you to know that I know how tough it is to feel stuck. I know what it's like to feel like there's no choices.
As I do with my clients and the business owners I support now, the first step is for you to decide that you want to do something different as how you're doing things currently isn't working for you just now. Once you've decided you want change, you may be like me and be full steam ahead. But what's the next step?
Commit to doing one thing differently. That's it. Just one thing. It may be finding a friend to listen to you. It may be joining the Intuitive Steps to Success Program. It may be finding the right coach for you. Whatever it is, commit to that step. The next steps will become clear after you take that first one. Honestly.
I really don't want you to have to struggle for as long as I did. My passion and skill is in listening. If you think I can help you get in touch. There's many ways I can help, or we can help through this business.
If someone had told me 10 years ago I'd be helping others to put joy at the heart of their success I'd probably have given them that inane smile you see in cartoons. "Yeah right" I would have said to myself. Maybe I had to face all my challenges so I could write this course for you to learn from with Deborah. Who knows? I simply know that my inner wisdom is guiding me every step of the way now I can hear what it's saying.
Please don't stay stuck. It's a very lonely place. It feels even lonelier when you believe others have all the success they want. Their story when they choose to share it may be very different from the one you see. Focus on yourself and take that first step to decide to do something different. I'm right here with you supporting you every step of the way.