What You HAVE TO DO To Get Unstuck August 5th, 2016

What YOu HAVE TO DO To Get Unstuck

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”~Anais Nin

Recently, a friend asked, “ How do I get unstuck?  Her demanding life includes the demands of work, school and relationships.  Life has a way of either hiding options or presenting so many that it can become overwhelming.  Getting stuck is frustrating and we all experience it at some point.  It can happen when we’re making a simple decision, “like which one should I get?”  Or, it can happen when we are making major lifestyle changes.  “Should I go back to him?”  “Should I stay with her?”  Do I take the new job offer?  Can I live on my own?  Where do I reach out for help?  The list goes on.  While these are significant decisions to make, it’s the repetitive choices with negative outcomes that cause the most distress.  Ryan Straten said, “Repetition is the mother of perfection.” That’s true, whether it’s a positive or negative outcome.

Portia Nelson describes what it’s like to be stuck in her “Autobiography in Five Chapters” that follows:


I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
 It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place
but, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

What is happening at that point to make the decision to walk down another street?  Viktor Frankl would say “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”   Or, in other words, the journey begins as a graceful opening of a bloom.

There’s a space between the old familiar street and the next one.  Something is happening in that space.  Viktor Frankl would say it is the power of choice. Here are ways to make the power of choice work from being tight in a bud to opening into a bloom:

Figure out what you want

Situations come up where you really don’t know what you want to do.  This can make us feel stuck.  This is the tight in the bud feeling.  When this happens, take a deep breath, sit down and brainstorm a list of options.  Do this as fast as you can.  It doesn’t matter if it’s realistic just write all possible options.  Generate as many responses as you can.  This has to happen to get unstuck.  Remember not to judge what you’re writing…only generate.  This may take more than one encounter to do this.  You can review later.

Once you’ve completed your list, go through each item to see if more possibilities can be generated. If so, add these. 

Now, you are ready to eliminate those items that are not workable and promote those that may be useful.  Remember to eliminate all of those items that are not in your control.  What someone else does or says is not in your control.

Now you’re ready to add those possibilities to the worksheet for getting unstuck.  Weigh your pros and cons and evaluate the conclusions.  Contemplate your options and begin to open to new possibilities.  Print the worksheeet below and begin:

PDF iconProsandConsWorksheet.pdf

For an interesting presentation for making decisions, watch this Ted Talk video by Ruth Chang for inspirational insights for making choices. 

Now, you know that you are ready to bloom.


 If you are struggling with making changes in your life, call Dr. Carole Stokes-Brewer at 513-244-6990 or email: drcarole@changingwayz.com


Walk a New Path

Wood Bridge


"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step."

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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My Notes: Journeys To Inspiration

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