Are you stuck?

growth leadership personal development professional development Feb 13, 2023
Person pondering as they connect with nature

What if you remained stuck where you are right now?  Consider where you are, where you want to be and how you will get there.  Starting today.


Nearly a year ago, I realized that I was stuck.  We all get in ruts sometimes, but I was really stuck: I was not happy with my job, I wasn’t happy with my health or how little I was getting to spend time with those I love most.  I will not keep going with my list, but I am hoping to encourage you today if this is where you are.

I had lunch with a colleague a few days ago and I remember saying, “We just have to change the way our schools function.  We are failing future generations.”  My friend looked at me and said, “We are…that’s exactly what we’re doing.”  Full disclosure, we were meeting to work on a project we have both been envisioning.  But yet, I still sat there, somewhat defeated, that education seems to still be functioning in a top-down, non-individualized way.  That we don’t nearly support our educators the way they should be.  And that educators (often) don’t really know or understand enough about the neighborhoods and communities surrounding their school to bridge a partnership.

So I’m writing this article today to not only give you a charge, but to also give myself a charge.  We can only stay in that zone of “stuck” for so long before it becomes a dangerous pathway to acceptance and making remarks like, “Well, that’s just the way it is…”  No, that’s not the way it is. A question:  If you tripped and fell while crossing the busiest intersection in Los Angeles or Chicago, would you lay there, stuck, wondering about what you did wrong to get there?  I hope not!  You would get up and run as fast as you can to get unstuck.  And you would probably never look back.

Robin Hilmantel provides the four most common traps we fall into that actually cause us to get into a rut in her article for Oprah’s website, HERE.  In the following excerpt, she notes that many people often plateau because they see a “quick fix” for getting out of the rut they are in.  She utilizes research and interview insight from Dr. Hugh Thompson, author of The Plateau Effect.

“Are you a serial plateau-er—someone who breaks through a period of inaction only to find yourself stuck again months later? You may be falling prey to what Thompson refers to as the “greedy algorithm”—choosing a path that seems most likely to provide immediate progress but ultimately leads to a dead end. Fortunately, you can trick your brain to delay gratification with longer-term goals that can provide lasting results. “People who are accomplished, especially at work, do this by breaking big goals into small steps, giving themselves more opportunities for victories,” says Thompson. “This trains the mind to say, Hey, I’m doing something positive, even if I’m still a long way from the finish line.”  Read more here.

This article really resonated with me.  Especially for those of you who are over-achievers, it can be disappointing to not meet a goal.  What can ensue is a downward spiral into a stagnant rut.

Personally, I make a lot of mistakes and face failure often.  I’m sure if you reflect about this, it’s true for you too.  But I caution you to not spend so much time staying glued to where you are in life that you cannot move forward to what is next.  It is the only way that change can happen – for you and for others around you.



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