5 Practical Ways To Move Forward When You Don’t Know How
Life is unpredictable at the best of times. No matter how hard we plot and try to make things happen in our own timeframe, somehow the universe steps in and says, “Uh-oh, you’re not doing that, you’re doing this.” And no matter how hard we resist, the resistance just seems to get worse until we say “OK Universe, you seem to know what you’re doing here” so I’ll follow your lead.
Sometimes letting go is harder at times than others. But when you let go – that’s when the magic happens. Sounds counter intuitive? Stick with me.
Significant events – divorce, diagnosis and death make us sit up and think about our own lives. There’s something about a major life moment that naturally directs us into questioning our purpose. Why are we here? and what’s it all for? are common questions that roll around in our thoughts when we are going through any dramatic moment of change. Chemically any major emotional experience creates a surge of energy within the cells of our physical body and this surge creates a positive or negative charge. Your ability to manage this charge and in turn manage the emotions that trigger the charge makes all the difference.
But what about times when you just feel stuck? You haven’t necessarily had a major upheaval but things aren’t moving as smoothly as you would like? From my own personal experience feeling “stuck” really comes down to two things:
1. You’ve lost confidence. This could be for a variety of reasons – fear, things haven’t turned out as you thought they would, uncertainty, stress or a lack of motivation.
2. You don’t know the next step.
Either (or both) of these things can cause feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. I know when I was first diagnosed with Scleroderma I experienced both states of emotion. These reactions then fuel your desire to do nothing more than retract! Retreat and remove yourself from the perceived danger! Cue our reptilian brain and the fight or flight response.
So how do you move forward when you don’t know how?
Here are a few ways that have helped me on my journey, both in running my business, living with an auto-immune disease and my marriage.
1. Recognise the present moment.
When you acknowledge that the present is the present and you stop living in the past or predicting the future, you gain control over your emotions. This is most powerfully experienced when you close your eyes and enter a state of mindfulness or meditation.
Personally, whenever I feel stuck it’s a sign for me to return to my meditation cushion, sit, breath and close my eyes. And yes – in that order. Even 5 minutes of deep breathing will automatically shift your state and it will bring you back to the present moment.
Very few of us know what is going to happen down the track, so your most powerful position is always the present moment.
2. Choose love over logic.
In my opinion, there are two places from which you can live your life – One from your heart or
two from your head. And I will always, always choose to listen to my heart over my head. Even when my head is screaming at me – and yes someday’s that happens. Normally when I have let the demands of everyday life take me away from the present moment, which reminds me to go back to Step One.
But how do you know what your heart is saying? Your feelings are the greatest barometer you have.
Feelings are a conduit to your intuition—that gut feeling, that voice inside of you. That thing that you can’t fully explain (or maybe doesn’t totally make sense!)—but you feel it.
Most of us have to re-learn how to listen to what we actually feel instead of what we think. So stop right now and choose how you want to feel – follow the feeling.
3. Share your thoughts
Sitting down with a trusted friend and just getting it ‘off your chest’ can do wonders. When you bring a voice to your feeling of being stuck, something is moved. It could be that you decide to take a certain action or sit it out for 24 hours. It’s fundamentally about moving energy around so you keep moving, as they proverb says – A problem shared is a problem halved.
4. Celebrate the little wins
A long time ago a dear friend of mine (also a Success Coach) told me to start celebrating the little wins along the way. The fastest way to stay stuck is to look at how much further you have to go without stopping to look at how far you have already come.
The “achiever” in us wants to win, win, win, but in actuality, there is no quicker way to create burn out than to only look at where you have to go—which in the end only compromises your accomplishments!
So, to stay in forward motion make it a regular part of your routine to recognise and celebrate the things you’ve already done.
5. Focus on the next smallest step
Scale down your focus to your next smallest step. Even if your next step is to ask someone your next step!
The small steps are what lead up to big changes over time. So don’t think about the business you want to build or the book you want to write. Think about who you want to help or how you can be of greater service. And then write a list of small things that you can do each and every day to get you closer to doing that.
And remember life has a habit of presenting us with a series of events or assignments until we learn that lesson. Even when we think we’re finished with ‘that experience’ if we’re not then the universe will deliver the message again in a different way. More often than not the experience will become more and more painful until we take heed of the pain and change our behaviour. Stat.
The key to mastering your emotions and getting unstuck is to understand what matters most to you in life. One of the most important actions you can undertake in any form of personal development is to identify your values. Your values are those things that you hold dearest in life and are the key to inspiration and finding your purpose in life. (Values are coming next week!)
Remember the world needs you more than you know. So make sure you come back to your heart and keep moving forward. Set the intention for the clarity to come and I promise you it will.
Now I would love to hear from you. What is the one thing you can do today to bring more clarity, focus and inspiration into your life? Please share it with me in the comments below.
Thank you so much for being here. I am thrilled that we are on this journey together.
FOR TRUE SELF
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