In my experience of working with countless professionals on their careers, there is a strong recurring theme beneath the detail of issues and challenges. And it’s this:
Choosing to stay stuck.
Difficult to hear or admit to. But useful, if that is – at least, in part – what’s really going on.
Of course, the immediate challenge that comes back to me is: why would I choose to stay stuck? Why would I choose to stay stuck in a career I find so frustrating, unchallenging and unfulfilling?
You tell me. Because of course, we do choose these things. And it’s not as alien an idea as it might at first sound. Staying stuck could mean all sorts of (false?) benefits for us. Benefits like comfort, certainty, known knowns, familiarity.
And once again: we choose unhappiness over uncertainty.
If you’re feeling stuck in your carer – even if just a little – challenge yourself now with 2 questions:
- How, where and in what ways am I choosing to stay stuck?
- What am I getting from choosing to stay stuck?
And see what comes up for you.
And if you find that you are, indeed, choosing to stay stuck: here are 6 steps you can take to get unstuck.
#1 Bring your reasons into awareness
Starting with those questions above: bring your reasons for choosing to stay stuck into conscious awareness. How am I doing my stuckness? What am I getting from my stuckness?
#2 Take responsibility
Now, own it. Take 100% responsibility for the career reality you’re currently experiencing. Not always easy – but when we do take responsibility, we take back the power to generate useful options and create positive changes.
#3 Give yourself permission
Give yourself permission to let go of your stuckness. It’s become an old friend who can be hard to let go of. But let go, you must. If that’s difficult for you, try this: make a list of gratitudes for the stuck situation. Acknowledge them. And then swiftly move on to the next step …
#4 Allow yourself to dream
Really imagine what it will be like to be unstuck. To be moving forward, apace, enjoying a career full of challenge, recognition, fulfilment and satisfaction. Connect with that vision – and enjoy it. See what you’ll see. Hear what you’ll hear. Feel the feelings.
#5 Choose to get unstuck
As simply as we’re choosing to stay stuck, we can choose to get unstuck. So make the commitment, right now. Simply: decide. That staying stuck is no longer your project. That getting moving is your thing.
#6 Move forward
At the moment you decide to get unstuck, move forward. At the moment you get a glimpse of what needs to happen next, to remove these obstacles and choose instead momentum instead, take action.
And when I don’t know? What then?
Work with what you do know. With what you do have. And all the rest of it will show-up when you do. Because the answers were there, all along.