Do you ever feel stuck about a particular challenge? Have you noticed that when you are stuck, you spend more time focusing on the problem of the challenge? You’re actually focusing on the problem rather than placing your attention towards the solution. And because you are focusing on faults, mistakes and general negativity, you feel more stuck. The cycle repeats and deepens and the solution never presents itself.
You’re trying to find more clients, or make more money, get better grades or achieve that promotion. The knock backs keep coming and it reinforces your focus on the problem. Just because your brain is wired to see and focus on problems, it does not mean you have to keep your focus there.
Evolutionarily, it serves your survival to focus on the negative. You see problems so that you can plan and act to prevent or mitigate them. But that is not where you want to maintain your focus. Once you have identified the problem, you want to empower your creativity, imagination and intuition to bring forth the solution. Do not let yourself get caught in the low energy, negative vibe of the problem. Orient towards high energy and positivity and the solution will present itself.
How often have you been stuck on a project or been struggling to find the answer to a problem? In frustration, you take yourself off for a run, a workout, a shower, a nap, meet with a friend, play a game……. And at some point, in the midst of that fun or pleasant activity, the answer comes to you. Like a bolt out of the blue, the solution is crystal clear. This happens so often to me, yet it never ceases to amaze me that it works. I am not bothered why it works. I just know that it works. And that is enough for me.
Give yourself a break
Recently, I felt very stuck and unsure how proceed on a project I am working on. When it is a bigger challenge, I have learned to take myself off for a few days alone. That usually involves long hours walking in glorious countryside without mobile signal, e-mail or distraction from work, friends or family. I allow my mind and body to relax, rest and enjoy the scenery. I sleep a lot, remain in solitude as best I can (it’s hard to find in the UK sometimes unless you’re up a mountain, and even then), and keep a note pad with me at all times. When the answers come, they happen fast, and it can be challenging to keep up. Flashes of inspiration, insight and clarity come to me. Then I can spend time working out how I can implement them.
This stuck project is a book I have been researching for years. I set aside 111 days between November 2019 and March 2020 to write a first draft. By December 2019, I was stuck as the writing felt flat, uninspired and dull. I had researched for a book about science and spirituality but found it hard to make it relevant to people’s daily lives and what was true for me at that time in my life. In a biting storm with horizontal hail near Coniston Water in The Lake District, the answers came to me. Buffeted by the wind, I struggled to get the notes down, but I had the essence of the theme for the book now. I’m taking a break from writing to write this.
Get out of your own way
So, I have learned that there is a process that I need to allow to happen. I have to get out of my own way. My Inner Critic or Saboteur will try to keep me focused on worrying about the problem. The job of my best self (Inner Leader, Superhero, CEO, Head of the Board, Captain of the Ship) is to focus on the fun stuff, the positive thoughts that bring me joy, relax me and allow the answers to come winging in from the inner wisdom of my intuition, imagination and creativity. As Liz Gilbert says in her TED talk “Your elusive creative genius”, keep showing up in that process, connect to what brings you joy and if and when the solution comes, act on it.
Whether it is short-term goals or long-term, the process is the same. In long-term goals, there will be more flashes of inspiration, that will guide you along the way. Do not spend the time focusing on the negativity, mistakes or faults. That is where you are, but it is not where you are wishing to be. Allow what is to be to become and be guided by your creativity, intuition and imagination.
When I coach people through their challenges, I support clients to connect to that positive inspiration, the resonance that affirms a life well-lived, in fulfilment, meaning and purpose. When clients are stuck, we focus on core values and the things that bring their inner strength and wisdom to the fore. Together they build a head of steam from which the solutions emerge. If you have challenges you want to overcome, get in touch and let’s connect you to your creative, empowered and best self.
Over to You
Do you feel stuck sometimes? What do you do to overcome the feeling? Do you focus on the problem? Or are you focusing on the solution? When you try this method, how did it work out for you? What would you change or fine tune? What methods do you use to get unstuck and get solution focused?
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