Are You Stuck? Want to Move Onward?

We all suffer from bouts of indecision. Business owners are often confused or lack clarity. It’s not uncommon. Knowing what to do next may be tough for some. Are you stuck? Want to move onward?

Ever gotten stuck while driving down a dirt road?

The roads where we used to live in FL were not paved. And, they were deeply rutted by use. When it rained, the potholes became deep mudholes that could trap a car.

And, it happened to me! Yup. I was coming home one evening, not really paying that much attention to where I was going. Boom! There I was, up to the middle of my hubcap in mud. Nothing I could do would dislodge the wheel from the muck.

This was in the days before cell phones. My only recourse was to walk back to the main road and ask someone to pull me out.

Why is it that you get stuck? And then, how do you get out of the muck?

Chasing Rainbows

Sometimes you get stuck because you’re chasing an idea or a thought.

When I got mired, I wasn’t paying attention. I was daydreaming about the plot of the novel I never wrote. I didn’t see the hole until it was too late to avoid it.

I bet you got stuck sometime while chasing your inspiring idea. So, you didn’t see the pitfalls ahead until too late.

You aren’t alone. Never fret or beat yourself about it.

Business owners are prone to doing this all the time. There’s inspiration everywhere. Perhaps your favorite teacher does something amazing and you want to emulate her. Or, there’s an article you read that inspires you to act. Or, you see a peer do something that makes you think you need whatever “it” is.

Those rainbows aren’t always distractions. Sometimes they pay off. But, if you’re finding yourself in the mud over and again without any idea of how to get out, it is time to stop chasing the rainbows and stick to your priorities.

You Ignore Your Gut

Sometimes you know, you just know things.

When I commuted to work, I’d get these “hits” to go a certain way or another. There was this little niggly thing saying: “Hey dummy, you’re gonna get stuck going that way.” More times than not, I’d ignore them. Until it dawned on me that I should pay attention.

There is something telling you to back out. To turn around. To stop and go another way. But, if you’re like me, you ignore that niggly thing somewhere in your gut and push on anyway. And, then, you regret it.

Well, maybe it is time not to ignore it. When it says to go a different way, it might just save you a lot of trouble.

Well, You’re Stuck

What do you do now?

Unlike me in the mudhole, you may not see that you’re stuck right away. Are you spinning your wheels? Are you putting a lot of energy into a thing that’s not paying off?

Once you accept you’re stuck-ness, it’s time to find the way out.

What’s Going On

First off, take a step back.

Look at what you’re doing and ask yourself where the problem is. Then, you can solve it. Or go ask for help from somewhere.

It wasn’t fun getting stuck in the mudhole. If I’d not walked to the gas station on the main road, someone would have eventually found my mummy behind the wheel someday. I’d never gotten home that night. I had to face what the problem was and do something to help myself.

Try Something Else

You aren’t a helpless baby. You may want to play dead and just wring your hands and ask “Why me, Lord?” But you really aren’t totally helpless.

There are resources at your disposal. You can talk to other people. It’s possible you have team members to support you. Your experience is something to draw on. You’ve got creative energy at hand. All of these things can help you get out of the mud.

Try something, anything. See if something works. At least you won’t feel like a victim. You’ll have tried to get unstuck.

Get Someone’s Aid

It was January and sunset comes early, even in the lower latitudes of mid-Florida. I knew that I had to do something fast. So, I locked up the car and walked the half-mile back to Rte 39 (remember, cell phones were still sci-fi fodder).   I could ask for help and some kind soul with a big truck came to pull me out.

Sometimes, you just need some help. Have you tried to resolve it and can’t? Then, it’s time to call Ghostbusters.

Asking for help is not a thing of shame.

There is usually a cost to you.  But, when you weigh what it’d cost you to stay stuck, getting out is so much cheaper.

Stay focused on solutions. Don’t just sit there and complain. It may be tempting to share the mess you’re in on social media. But that’s a distraction. Big. Time.

Focus instead on those who can help you and on solutions.

Change You

When you’re stuck, it is a large temptation to sit and wait for something to change. But, that’s rarely the answer. Environments don’t change for our benefit. How long would I have sat on that lonely road, waiting for the mud to dry out?

Instead, you’ve got to change yourself, your strategy, your tactics.

You could throw a tantrum arguing that long form emails aren’t read by anyone anymore. Or, you could change the way you write emails to get a better response.

It is your choice. You can stay put and wait for something external to change. (See ya, mummy!) as an alternative, you can adapt to what’s real around you. You can pull yourself out the quagmire to reach your goal.

Your Turn

What is making you feel stuck? What are you going to do to get yourself outta there?


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