In many parts of the world, 10 feet of snow is no big deal. Life goes on! That’s not the case in the south! A few years back while still living in the Atlanta area, we received a measly three inches of snow that shut the town down, literally!
Parents were unable to pick up their children, forcing schools to become shelters. The snow storm brought the best out in some as they reached out to help others in need. Others just whooped it up in the snow.
The snow turned to ice, stranding thousands of motorists on the interstates overnight. More than a hundred people were injured. Many that were stranded abandoned their cars in pursuit of essentials like food, water, and especially warmth! The cars left behind turned the freeways into parking lots. It was a mess!
I just happened to have a house full of college age kids at my house in the midst of the storm making life especially interesting. Thank heavens I had a freezer full of food, because we were stuck together for about a week!
I know the whole nightmare that took place in Atlanta in 2014 is baffling to those who live in areas where snow is a regular occurrence. Atlanta just wasn’t prepared to deal with snow. When you only get a dusting of snow every couple of years, you just don’t anticipate being stuck.
Being stuck doesn’t just happen in freak snow storms in Atlanta. Sometimes you are stuck personally and professionally and don’t even know it! Other times, you might have a tiny inkling, but you don’t know what to do about it.
God created you for a unique purpose. He has placed unique gifts and passions in you. He wants your life and work to make a difference in the Kingdom and reflect Him in ways that bring Him glory. Being stuck brings everything to a halt. It shrinks your possibilities leaving you ineffective. That’s not a happy feeling!
Wondering if you are stuck? Here are a few warning signs:
Do you lack energy and drive? Is your purpose fuzzy? How is your attitude sagging? Is being extra sensitive resulting in conflicts and a lack of patience? Do you consider self-care a luxury rather a necessity?
Are you frantically busy, even checking things off your to do list but not actually achieving your goals? Are you lacking a sense of meaning and purpose in your life?
Do you feel weighed down by the immensity of the tasks looming over your head? Do your tasks seem too numerous? Are you struggling to know where to begin? Is procrastination your friend?
4. Consumed by Conflict
Do you feel like no matter where you turn there is no peace? Are miscommunications, misunderstandings, differences in opinions, hurt feelings, and gossip the norm? Does harmony seem illusive?
Even when surrounded by people, the sense of isolation can be paralyzing. Are you lacking a sense of belonging or camaraderie? Do you feel unsupported? Are you lacking the opportunity to brainstorm ideas or get feedback?
Do you feel like all your efforts are in vain? Does progress seem impossible? Has your motivation evaporated? Is apathy the word of the day?
Do you feel undervalued, unappreciated, unrecognized, and ignored? That thing that made you feel alive, does it now seem pointless and like it can’t possibly make a difference in the world?
Ignoring The Warning Signs…
In the Atlanta area, when a few inches of snow are forecasted it’s important to pay attention. It might mean changing plans, purchasing some provisions, or altering your expectations. Ignoring the warnings can be detrimental.
Signs of being stuck personally or professionally are also best not disregarded. I guarantee it will limit your ability to lead successfully, or thrive, enjoy life, and much more!
Do You Relate to These Examples?
Once you can identify what’s keeping you stuck then you can proactively make changes. For example, if you find yourself frequently overwhelmed, it might be time to assess what you have on your plate. We all have our limits! What’s worth your time and energy, what can you delegate, and what just isn’t important? Or maybe you need to break down your tasks into smaller chunks that are easier to manage and will make it easier to see that progress is being made.
Perhaps you feel alone. Many leaders do! It can be tough to have folks in your circle that you can bounce ideas off of or get the feedback that would move you in a better direction.
Sometimes your skill gaps are major contributors to feeling stuck. Your inability to manage time, prioritize, communicate, cast vision, can all keep you from getting where you want to be.
Or you might be minimizing your need for self-care in an effort to surge ahead, only to wear yourself out so you don’t have the energy do anything.
To get unstuck, it requires doing something different. Even a tiny step forward can make a big difference in creating the forward momentum necessary. It’s surprising how energizing moving forward is – even if it’s only a little move.
Getting unstuck by yourself isn’t easy! Did you know that only 65% of people ever reach a goal on their own? And that’s when they have set a goal, made a conscious effort to do it, set a deadline, made a plan, and even committed to someone else that they would complete that goal! When you have a set accountability appointment with another person, or persons, your odds of achieving your goal increase to 95% according to an accountability study done in 2004 by ASTD (now ATD)! And taking steps, even small ones, is what getting unstuck is all about!
I know firsthand that along with goals come obstacles; that you will want to quit along the way! Even when you are pursuing a vision straight from God it’s not easy!
So whether you are pursuing a massive dream, attempting to polish up your leadership skills, or just make some necessary changes, working with a coach naturally speeds up the process so you can get on with what you were made for!
Looking back, I have fond memories of the week I was stuck in the house with a bunch of college age kids and was forced to create some interesting meals using what I had in the freezer. Living like that permanently…no thanks!
Where are you feeling stuck? What baby step can you take?
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / JackyBrown