Personal development is tricky stuff. One minute you’re in despair, the next minute you’ve dog eared every other page of your Brene’ Brown book and are feeling empowered! With your new found wisdom, you’re ready to show this life who’s boss! And you’ve got grand plans of integrating everything you’ve learned about yourself so that you can finally become the person you want to be.
But then... Stuckness rears its ugly head. You find yourself in this limbo between new insights and old habits. Between who you could be and who you wish you weren’t.
You might start questioning yourself, wondering if you will ever be able to make changes in your life. Maybe you start to see this Stuckness as a sign from the universe that you just don’t have what it takes. And soon enough, you start reallllly hating the Stuckness.
What if Stuckness isn’t the enemy though? What if Stuckness is your friend who demands to take your keys from you so you don’t drive drunk? Or that English professor who refuses to let you turn in the final draft until you’ve edited your paper 5 more times?
What if Stuckness is the pain in the ass that you just might need? And what if you started appreciating that stuckness, seeing it for what it’s giving you versus hating it for what you think it’s taking from you?
We’re so eager to move on from things in life, be it recovering from grief, developing better habits, or reaching our goals, that we forget that things aren’t always linear. And things don’t always have to be in motion in order to be developing.
Sometimes, things just need to steep.
And some of the things you’re working towards might need a little more steeping time than you initially thought. Which is okay. (And you are certainly more than welcome to beat yourself up over things not moving quickly enough, ya know, if that sounds fun to you. But then you’ll just be stuck and hate yourself… how fulfilling!)
So if rushing things or getting mad at yourself doesn’t help you get unstuck, what can you do instead?
Well, you can see the Stuckness as an invitation. An invitation to see what things you’re still afraid to let go of. An invitation to assess whether this change even matters to you. An invitation to release expectations and learn more about yourself.
When Stuckness shows up, it’s there to tell you something. Sometimes it means you haven’t learned the lesson adequately enough to integrate it into your life. Or you’re afraid that by moving forward with one thing, you’ll be losing something else. Or maybe you don’t actually care about what you’re working towards, and instead have only been doing it because you feel like it’s what you’re supposed to be doing.
The Stuckness can tell you what it is you’re not ready to let go of, but the only way you’ll be able to listen and learn from it is if you approach it with curiosity, honoring it as a natural part of the journey. Because if you continue to look at Stuckness as the enemy? Then you’ll continue to be at war with it. And with yourself.
Stuckness is not bad. And it’s not failure. And it’s not something you should try and obliterate.
Stuckness is your friend. Your teacher. And all it wants is for you to open yourself up to hear what it’s trying to tell you.
If you had to pick one part of your life where you’re feeling especially stuck, and if you chose to see that Stuckness as an invitation rather than a barrier, what might you learn from it?