Stuck is a nerve-wracking place. And takes a ton of energy. So much energy, in fact, that it’s hard to find the oomph to do anything other than be stuck.
People who are stuck often face some kind of big decision or life change. And they torment themselves with, “Is this the right choice? What if I make a mistake?”
That is the stuck place. Can’t move forward for fear of doing something wrong, and can’t go back due to the space-time continuum, so… stay stuck.
There’s only one way to break through the muck and get un-stuck. And that is to reframe the question from, “Is this the right choice?” to “Am I choosing growth?”
Dr. Carol Dweck has written a terrific book on making this shift – it’s called Mindset, and reading it has really turned my head around and refined the way I coach.
Dweck’s research shows that simply shifting to a growth mindset opens up the stuck places. Of course, you have to believe it’s possible to learn and to grow. Think it’s possible? Yeah, I do, too. In fact, I value learning and growth as life-long pursuits. Do you?
If so, then when faced with a choice, always choose the option that gives you the most growth.
Doesn’t that feel easier?
The other half of the stuck factor is: “What if I make a mistake?”
Because we all know that making a mistake is the worst possible thing that can happen, right? Right?
When you’re coming from a focus on growth, though, mistakes have a lot less weight. Why? Because even mistakes are a place for learning.
If you choose growth, you give yourself a way to judge whether what you’re doing is working – you just ask, “Is it possible for me to grow? Am I growing right now?” So you take a job and six months later you are doing something other than what they hired you for and you are uncomfortably bored and disappointed. Did you make a mistake? Or did you just stop growing? How would it feel to tell a prospective employer that you took a job, the conditions changed and you realized you couldn’t grow there? Would feel pretty clear and clean to me. How about you?
When you choose growth, sweetums, you always win. Why? Because even in a worst case scenario, you’ve learned something. Something that will allow you to do better next time.
OK, I will address the elephant in the room which frequently factors in stuckness – “What will other people think?” That’s a powerful mindset. And it’s easy to say, “Well, I don’t care what anyone else thinks”, isn’t it? But much harder to act in a way that runs counter to the beliefs of our families, our friends and our community of peers.
In a growth mindset though, my growth is my responsibility, and my commitment to myself. And if I am fully committed to my growth, then I can also be open and fully committed to yours. Which shifts the question from “What will other people think?” to “What will I think?” And removes another big stuck spot.
If you’re stuck, I’m telling you, all you need to do is make a simple choice. Just choose to grow.
If you’d like to get un-stuck and figure out where you need to grow, consider joining my What’s Next? Coaching Group, forming now for April. Details? Go here.