Ten Powerful Ways to Get Unstuck in Your Career or at Your Job
Have you ever felt stuck in your career or job? Stuck happens, and it happens more often than you think. Maybe you’re not happy with the path your career is on, or your job responsibilities are no longer fulfilling.
Being stuck can also be a temporary state, like a writer’s block that you just can’t seem to get around. This was my own situation earlier this year. I struggled with the writing that I do to further my own career goals and coaching business. It was a writer’s block for sure. But this time around the block, I learned some valuable lessons.
I love to write. Writing is and always has been a passion for me. My junior high school creative writing teacher, Mrs. Graham, was a true inspiration. She nurtured and grew what had been planted as a seed many years before….by my mother and her love of books.
The inspiration I have had so many times in my career and now, as a coach who loves to write, comes from that beginning. So when you get blocked, you need to find ways to re-engage the sources and memories of earlier inspirations.
Understand how blocks happen
Blocks can happen when you’re trying to solve a problem at work or perhaps you have an assignment that just looks so big, you don’t know where to begin. Or, you know you need a change in your job or career, and yet, you don’t take the action you need to. So what do you do? Here are some thoughts for breaking the block you’re in and getting unstuck:
1. Find your inspiration muse
Thinking of my mother and Mrs. Graham made me realize that they would always inspire me to write from a place of excitement rather than the pressure of having to write. Get back in touch with sources of inspiration for you throughout your life. What would those sources encourage you to do at this time?
2. Re-engage with purpose
Ask yourself some direct questions. What am I trying to do, and how does this relate to a larger purpose, such as keeping my job or demonstrating greater leadership abilities? Remember what this is really all about from a bigger perspective. Write down your answers.
3. Change environments
It gets the brain cells firing again in a new way. If there’s a problem that needs to be solved, start by taking a long walk. Have you ever noticed how great ideas sometimes come in the shower? It’s because you have changed environments into a different space, and it frees up your brain.
4. Put a volume control on your negative self-talk
Is your inner critic telling you that you aren’t good enough to get a promotion? Or that you’ll never get a new job or don’t deserve a more interesting job than the one you have? Understand the critic and turn the volume down or off.
5. Ask for help
Recently I wrote about how asking for help can sometimes make all the difference in what you’re trying to do. A friend or coach can show you some different perspectives to get you unstuck.
6. Tap into your right brain
The left brain controls logic and thinking, while the right brain is creative and open. Engaging in anything creatively can help shift your thinking. Consider listening to music or painting or drawing. I enjoy crocheting, which I learned just a few years ago. These are ways to tap into the right brain and access greater wisdom and perspective.
7. Understand fear
What are you afraid of? Afraid? Me? Yes, you and me too. Fear can happen when you enter panic, thinking that you can’t possibly
8. Take steps forward to getting unstuck
But if I leave this job, how do I know the next one will be better? Activated fear can be a powerful way to stay stuck. Recognize the fear component you may be feeling in the situation. Fear can also be related to the next point.
9. Understand Perfectionism
When dealing with my own writer’s block, I realized that I was in a mode of writing with the expectation that I would be turning out the most inspiring message series that would turn heads and really make a difference in the world. While that is always an aspirational goal, I needed to understand that my perfectionist monster was on the job…big time. Progress, not perfection, is an excellent standard to remember.
10. You’re not alone
It’s easy to get stuck, and you may not always be aware that you are. We all go through this. It’s part of the human condition. Awareness is the key to removing the block.
11. Forgive yourself quickly
Don’t hang on to the block. Just move forward in a forgiving and loving way toward yourself.
Feeling stuck happens to all of us at times. If your career isn’t advancing the way you’d like, or if your job is making you unhappy, consider the ways you can move forward. As I tell my clients, the smallest baby steps can sometimes yield the biggest results…especially when it’s that first step.
Are you in the midst of a block right now (and you may not have even realized it)? Procrastination provides clues. Use some of the techniques above or share ones that have worked for you.
Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a Career/Executive Coach, and Author of the Monday Morning Inspiration, published weekly on Linked-In, and to her followers. Her specialties are untangling career challenges and choices through coaching for courageous results-oriented clients who need solutions NOW.
Contact [email protected] for more information.