Finding traction when you’re stuck

At some point in our lives, most of us decide that we want to make a change (in our image, lifestyle, health, spiritual climate, leisure pursuits, career, etc.). Whether we only think about changing or engage in start and stop efforts, the result is the same – we end up stuck in the mud of our fears, doubts, negative self-talk or old and useless baggage and spinning our wheels in our good intentions.   
If your wheels are spinning but taking you nowhere fast, the following tips could help you find the traction you need to get your wheels on the road.     

Look towards your destination  
Have you ever seen movies, where people are running from danger? They take off in a fright. They know only that they must get away, far away. Their frightened dash for safety usually takes them down a deserted part of town, a dark, lonely alley (usually with a dead end) or an abandoned house. Likewise, a real or perceived threat of danger or some other distressing situation can thrust you into a mindless flight.
Do you want a change in response to something negative? Are you so focused on running away that you’ve lost sight of what you are running towards? The memory of a difficult or painful experience, coupled with the long-lasting consequences could consume your mind and muddle your ability to function efficiently in your day-to-day roles. Moreover, looking back could send you off course, into a sticky mess and unable to get back on the right track. The first step to getting traction for your spinning wheels is to remember your destination. This is a perfect time to re-define it to ensure that it is current and right for you.

Lift your flagging spirit  
Desire alone will not take you to your destination. Even worse, it could keep your wheels spinning while life passes you by. However,
    (a)   Enthusiasm, determination and passion will keep your wheels on the road and    moving along the meandering course of your life change.  
    (b)   Family members, wonderful friends and people who have sort and mastered similar changes can lend immeasurable support to get you unstuck and moving again. Who can you call upon for advice, brainstorming new ideas or to offer a shoulder to lean on when you grow weary on your journey? Just knowing you have people on your side could motivate you to get unstuck and moving.
    (c)   Leisure activities add variety, fun and a welcomed respite from the demands of daily )life and the stress of trying to implement changes. Activities unrelated to your day-to-day responsibilities can provide the rest and nourishment you need to pry yourself free and into action.    
   (d)  Time alone to rest, reflect and recharge your emotional batteries is one of the ways you support yourself and lift your flagging spirit.

Push forward and keep moving. Make peace with the fact that detours, distractions and disappointments will happen along the way. You can’t foresee every eventualiy. So, plan as best you can but remain flexible. More importantly, develop your own rhythm and keep the momentum going. If you let distractions stall your movement, you could lose your rhythm and find yourself on the wayside nursing disappointment and regret. 
Have you lost your initial desire for some change? Are you stuck there spinning your wheels? You need to regain traction to get back on the road. Turn your eyes toward your desired destination, lift your flagging enthusiasm, push forward with determination, keep moving in the face of distractions and disappointments and you’ll be celebrating a successful change in no time.  
(Published on Sunday 11th March 2012, in the Trinidad Guardian’s Womanwise Magazine.)

4 thoughts on “Finding traction when you’re stuck

  1. This is tremendous advice, Cheryl. I like the image of people running scared in all directions when they are stuck — because this is what I often do when I feel blocked. It is hard to be still and to think through the process, especially in a culture that values “productivity” over most everything else. Thanks for this reminder.


  2. Hey Terri,

    The amazing thing is, once you shift your gaze to God, the fear and anxiety and stuck-ness eases and you slip into dependence on Him and confidence in His will for your life.


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