The feeling of being stuck is one of the most frustrating feelings I know. In that state of mind we easily end up playing not to lose, which of course only takes us further from where we’d actually like to go and be.
One of the biggest reasons to feeling stuck is unclarity. This I’ve noticed with both myself and my clients. When we are not seeing the vision and/or the why and/or the next steps clearly, it feels more or less like a struggle.
The fuzzy image of the step ahead is not much of a supporter.
A little side not here, though. All what I’ve said above does not mean that you can’t go forward with something if you don’t have an exact clear picture of the outcome in your mind.
It does mean that you need some kind of an image of the desired outcome to help you get onwards, but the most important thing is to have clarity of the next step. Not all of the steps, just the next step.
All we ever really have to know is the next step.
Let’s try this quick exercise I’ve done with most of my clients, before we go forward. Yes, it’s a bit silly, but it serves a purpose. You with me? Ok, good.
Get into a space, physical space, where you’re able to take about 5-10 steps forward freely. Now, stand in the other end of that space and freely take those few steps forward. How was it?
Just bare with me, there’s a point in all this!
This time, go back to the other end, close your eyes and again take those few steps forward. What was different this time?
Even though you knew the route, there usually is this slight hesitation in your steps when going forward with your eyes closed. That’s how it feels to go forward if you don’t have a clear vision in your mind of what the next step is going to be. Not to mention, not having a clue of where you’re heading.
Like I said, you don’t need to have an exact picture, but you do have to have an idea of the destination and clarity about what the next step is.
How can you make sure you have your eyes open when going forward with your dreams and goals?
More specifically, how do you get clarity of the next step? Or the desired outcome? Or the reason for taking action?
It’s simple. By asking questions.
When something is fuzzy or unclear, that situation in itself already provokes questions in your mind. And what’s even better is that whenever we ask a question, our mind starts to look for the answers. That’s how our mind works. Just as long as we don’t close the search by our own words or by ignoring the questions altogether.
By immediately replying something like ‘I don’t know’, we actually close the door for new answers to enter our mind. And stop ourselves from getting clarifying answers. Or sometimes we do get some answers, but they’re the kind we don’t want to hear and disregard them with words like ‘that can’t work’ or ‘that’s not true’.
But with a little tweak we are able to leave the door open. For instance, by simply saying ‘I don’t know yet‘. Or ‘could that really work’ or ‘could that be true’?
If we’re willing to acknowledge the questions that come into our mind and open to have answers to them, even those that first pop into mind and don’t make the most sense, we’re going towards clarity. Bit by bit.
We can also take a moment to consciously think about what questions would actually clarify the next step. These three simple ones, for example, have worked well:
- What is the next step I’m going to take?
- What can I do next?
- If I’d have clarity, I would…
When we have either an idea or full clarity of the next step and act accordingly, that action will bring with it the clarity of the following step. And that’s the brilliance of this all! As we only ever take one step at a time (no matter how small or big it is, it’s still one step), we only ever need to know what that next step is going to be!
Just realizing this has helped so many people and brought them right out of feeling stuck and into the clarity. We also have regular clarifying sessions with all of my clients to ensure they stay out of stuckness.