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Jackie Harder, Coaching, Training and Consulting

Taking the Next Step

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How to get unstuck


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Are you stuck? Here are a few clues:

  1. You’re not actively unhappy, but you’re not really happy either. 
  2. You can’t remember the last time you felt joyful. 
  3. You feel a vague sense of dissatisfaction about almost everything.
  4. You feel like you’re waiting for something to happen. 
  5. You feel like you should be doing something. 
  6. You feel something is missing from your life.  
  7. You’re sick and tired. 
  8. You’re sick and tired – of being sick and tired. 
  9. You feel a little guilty; you have a job, a roof over your head, you can pay your bills (barely, but still…), your family and health are fine – life isn’t horrible, so what’s your beef? 

Even one of these symptoms can be an indication of being stuck. Two or more mean you’ve got a great opportunity to get what you want out of life.

So how do you get unstuck? The willingness to make substantial change is absolutely vital. Without willingness, there is no chance of success. And the motivation for change has to come from within.

Why do you want what you want?

You have to want to change for your own reasons, not because of something imposed from the outside by someone else. That’s why it’s important to find out what you really want. Once you know what you really want, you’ll have the motivation to make the necessary changes, which will make the process so much easier.

How do you figure out what you really want? Determine what one thing would make a huge difference in your life if you had it. What goal or outcome are you pining for? What are you really, really ready to achieve?

After you’ve identified that one thing – love, money, whatever – keep digging. Why do you want love? What is it about money that puts it at the top of your list?

Keep asking yourself “why do I want this” until you’ve reached the underlying reason. Here’s a hint: It will be because of the way it makes you feel. It is the desire to feel a certain way that will motivate you to move forward to make the changes you need to make to get to where (or who!) you want to be.

What changes do you need to make right away to get that thing you really want, the thing that would make a huge difference in your life if you had it right now?

Do you need to set boundaries with your kids? Do you need more respect (or money or responsibility) from your boss? Do you want to improve your health?

Pick three, any three

Pick three changes, put them in descending order of importance and ask yourself: “How do I go about making these changes?”

The fastest way to doom yourself is to pick some change so big that you overwhelm yourself before you even get started. You need to break down the “bigs” into “littles.” You need to take little steps, successfully, that will add up to the big change you want to make.

And by taking little steps first, you’ll create a track record of success that will motivate you to keep going. Need assistance at any level? The support of a coach can help you move forward.

Where do you feel stuck?


When i get stuck, i must pull myself out or i will be stuck there for a while.. Great Post!
Posted @ Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:16 PM by Rob
Posted @ Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:24 PM by sheila gallant
Rob, do you have any special technique that you use? And thanks to you and Sheila for your remarks.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:42 PM by Jackie Harder
I believe we all get stuck once in a while. I know I do and I get unstuck as well. It's taken time and patience. Thanks for sharing this post.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 23, 2013 2:41 PM by Alexandra McAllister
We do, indeed, Alexandra. Do you do anything special to help you get moving?
Posted @ Tuesday, July 23, 2013 3:50 PM by Jackie Harder
What helpful tips. I will have to try some of these.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 23, 2013 6:39 PM by Maureen
Finding your true, underlying "why" will allow you to hold onto something bigger than yourself. I felt stuck for years until one day, my granddaughter spoke those magical, I know what my why is, why I want it, what it looks like, what matters most to me within the why and I'm more motivated daily than ever. Great post.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 24, 2013 12:12 AM by Carla J Gardiner
Glad you found them useful, Maureen. And Carla -- what a great inspirational message! Thanks for sharing.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 24, 2013 7:50 AM by Jackie Harder
EXCELLENT article Jackie! Chock full of very useful tips:) 
Thank you for sharing!
Posted @ Thursday, July 25, 2013 7:43 AM by Niki Barr, PhD
Very insightful post! Thanks for sharing. I'm sure you will help lots of people get "unstuck"!
Posted @ Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:45 AM by Martha Giffen
Great points that you brought up Jackie. Like you mentioned, it's important to choose changes that are within reach. Otherwise, it creates doubt and that's a negative spiral toward a self fulfilling prophecy.
Posted @ Thursday, July 25, 2013 3:23 PM by Edmund S. Lee
Taking those little first steps make ALL the difference. They free up so much in your life. Great post!
Posted @ Thursday, July 25, 2013 5:36 PM by Mona
Thank you for your comments, everyone. Glad you found something you could put into use.
Posted @ Friday, July 26, 2013 5:46 AM by Jackie Harder
I am going through this right now and sure did appreciate this post!
Posted @ Friday, July 26, 2013 5:47 PM by Anita
I remember hearing someone suggest you go five levels deep, asking "And why do you want that?" again and again Seems that will get you to the true core driver ... what you hinted would be "how it makes you feel."
Posted @ Friday, July 26, 2013 9:18 PM by Sharon ODay
Glad to hear it resonates with you, Anita. Success is a wonderful thing to have -- as long as you're ready to accept it...on all levels!
Posted @ Saturday, July 27, 2013 6:51 AM by Jackie Harder
I never heard about the five levels, Sharon, but I have no doubt it takes most of us that much digging to get at the real "why" of the thing. And the real answer always involves how it makes us feel. Once we identify that and hold onto it, it makes the bad times less bad...because we know how we want to feel. Thanks so much for your comments!
Posted @ Saturday, July 27, 2013 6:53 AM by Jackie Harder
Great article....and having been there, done that, I love your approach! It can be a discouraging place and I really like your "small steps" to help people get back on track! Thanks for sharing these thoughts!
Posted @ Sunday, July 28, 2013 9:48 PM by Cindy Taylor
Great post! I am happy to say I don;'t feel stuck, but I guess if I ever did feel stuck the thing that would make me feel better is exercise or writing about it:)
Posted @ Monday, July 29, 2013 3:29 PM by Daniele Holmberg
Glad to hear you're not stuck, Daniele. Writing helps me, too. Also driving.I get great ideas when I'm behind the wheel! 
Posted @ Tuesday, July 30, 2013 7:22 AM by Jackie Harder
Thanks for your comments, Cindy. It's so easy to just spin our wheels and get deeper into the rut...until we can't get out! Small steps give a feeling of accomplishment, and the encouragement to keep going.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 30, 2013 7:23 AM by Jackie Harder
Great list of information. I need to get out of my own rut, I was sick last week and now this week I am coming down with a cold. It's never ending.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 30, 2013 3:18 PM by Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families
Oof, Christy! Getting sick like this is nature's way of telling you you need to make some changes, girlfriend. Feel better soon!
Posted @ Tuesday, July 30, 2013 5:37 PM by Jackie Harder
It is so important to love what we do! Very grateful I'm where I need to be. Great post!
Posted @ Saturday, August 03, 2013 10:14 AM by NormaDoiron@Explode Your BIZ Online
It sure is, Norma!
Posted @ Saturday, August 03, 2013 10:56 AM by Jackie Harder
Great post. Love your suggestion to take little steps successfully. Thank you for sharing.
Posted @ Tuesday, August 06, 2013 5:43 AM by Vicky
Thank you for coming by, Vicky. Almost anything is doable in little steps!
Posted @ Tuesday, August 06, 2013 6:12 AM by Jackie Harder
This is a great post. I typically don't get stuck; however, when I want to brainstorm new ideas sometimes I have to step away from the computer. I have come up with great ideas while in the shower, while laying in bed, and thinking outside of the box. If you are feeling burnout on a task, put it on hold if possible and work on something else for a bit and come back to the dreaded task. ;)
Posted @ Tuesday, August 06, 2013 8:17 AM by Christy Garrett @ Uplifting Families
Wonderful ideas, Christy. I also find just walking way -- getting a change of scenery -- helps. With you on the shower thing, too! But I probably get my best ideas when I'm driving. Very liberating! Thanks for coming by. 
Posted @ Tuesday, August 06, 2013 9:26 AM by Jackie Harder
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