We all know what to do when certain things are stuck in life, right? I mean if we are struggling with a rusted nut and bolt that needs loosening, we simply apply a little oil or WD-40. If we cannot twist the lid off of a jar, perhaps we run it under warm water or give it a good "pop" with the palm of our hand to get it open. When the ketchup bottle is new we know just where to tap the side of the bottle in order for the ketchup to start flowing.
But what happens when we are the one who is stuck? Maybe we are stuck in a rut, stuck in a job, stuck in a relationship, stuck in the mud, stuck in a belief system or judgment, or just stuck somewhere about something. If only WD-40 worked on any and all things stuck it would be awesome, kind of like pushing the "Easy Button" of life. The bad news is there is no "Easy Button." The good news is that there is a solution, and we are the largest part of that solution.
There are three things to think about if we feel like we are stuck. The first thing is to think about how we initially got into the situation or feeling of being stuck. The second is to try and understand why we are remaining stuck in the situation or with the feeling. And then lastly, what will it take for us to get un-stuck. We can almost think of it like this, where we were, where we are, and where is it we want to go. We just need to give ourselves a good "pop" to loosen the lid on our own jar of life.
So the first one is how did we get here. Did we develop a habit early on and the habit has just become increasingly worse? Or did we allow ourselves to slip into a comfort zone and just continued to get more comfortable with an uncomfortable or difficult situation? We have to ask ourselves these hard questions so that we can identify what it is that caused us to be stuck in the first place. We may not like the answers, but with awareness comes the potential for action.
Secondly, remaining stuck in any situation or condition could be a choice, as many times we have allowed the situation to control us as we invite complacency into our lives. So now the questions become even harder. Why am I still allowing myself to be stuck in this situation or feeling like this? If I could be doing something else, be anywhere else, feel something different, why am I not taking any action to fix things? Am I happy being or feeling stuck? These questions require courage and honesty. The good news is that the answers could help move us from potential for action to actual action.
The third element of becoming unstuck is the plan and taking action. Sometimes we have been doing the same things for so long we just keep doing them that way because that's the way we have always done it. Let's face it, change can be hard, and can be even harder for some people who are resistant to change or slow to change. But without the change, the cycle of stickiness continues and contributes to where we have been stuck in the past. So if we want to change something, get unstuck without becoming unglued, we have to be able to take the actions and steps necessary to tap on the side of our own ketchup bottle and get some movement going to get us out of the rut and into the next groove of our lives.
Now here's the secret: We already know what to do, don't we? Knowing what to do is the easy part. Acting upon it is a whole lot more difficult. It is indeed a tricky, and yes, even a sticky situation. So let's simplify this; look at what got us here; become aware of where we are and why we are still here; and then take action and do what we know is necessary to take us to where we want to be.
So how about you? Are you in need of a little or a lot of WD-40 in your own life or are you successfully moving through life's sticky situations with ease? If you need help with the plan and taking action I would love to hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. And when we can become unstuck in what seems like a stuck world, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.