5 Reasons You’re Still Stuck

Cat starting out the window

It’s been several years since your last big idea. But you’re still reading or watching about other people’s dreams while yours fades in the distance.

If you’ve wondered why you haven’t “made it” yet. Scroll through the following list to see if you’re guilty of the following obstacles that are keeping you stuck.

1) You’re playing safe.

People who risk big are often the most successful and the happiest. Taking a risk means different things to different people. For some, joining toastmasters or a choir is huge in the department of facing their fears. For others, starting their own business is a risk worth taking. If you’re still stuck in the same place you were last year, you may be too comfortable where you are. True enjoyment comes from taking risks. Find out what would make your heart race and take the leap.

2) You’re on the wrong path.

Maybe you dream of great things. But the things you’re dreaming of has nothing to do with what truly matters to you. If you’re fantasizing about financial wealth, but your real goal is to help others, you’ll stay stuck in a false facade of what can really make you happy. The sooner you realize you’re on the wrong path and return to the one that will lead you to your true purpose, the faster you’ll be on the road to happiness.

3) You expecting something or someone to change.

Life doesn’t happen because you’re lucky. Life happens because you take the necessary action to fulfill your dreams. If you’re waiting for the circumstances to be right before you venture into your life, you will be waiting a very long time.

4) You’re burnt out.

Perhaps you’ve run out of steam and inspiration on the path towards the life you want. The key is to mix things up, take a break, reimagine your vision. Change won’t happen while you’re emotionally or physically drained. Things will happen when you take care of yourself and feel refreshed enough to go after your dreams.

5) You haven’t taken any baby steps.

Big dreams do require big steps. But they also require small ones too. Skipping steps won’t get you there faster. Hard work, patience and continually chipping away at the small tasks (from paperwork to research) to get to the larger ones will eventually lead you to your dreams. Sometimes we need to face the small fears in order to give us courage for the really scary ones. If you haven’t made any changes in years, it’s time to reflect on whether you’ve taken all the necessary steps to get there.

Need help finding your purpose? I’d love to help! I offer phone and in-person dream coaching for those who need direction in following their dreams.

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Confronting True Fear

{Etsy art print by SincerelyNoted.}

{Etsy art print by SincerelyNoted.}

We all suffer from bouts of fear. There’s your normal laundry list of worries (financial, relationships, career, health) and some not so common ones (birds, heights, etc.). Secretly, I believe a lot of our fears presenting as foes are actually friendly teachers in disguise. They help us overcome challenges and beef us up to be stronger individuals.

And most of the time what we worry about is so far-fetched that it’s pretty easy for a friend, therapist or religious teacher to point it out to us.

“What’s the likelihood of you really _______ (contracting the latest illness, getting killed by spiders, being alone for the rest of your life, etc.)”

Maybe statistic wise, slim to none.

But what happens if what you fear is your reality? What if what you’re worrying about has some bearings on the truth?

These are questions that hit me recently when I went from married to married with kid.

The fear that something could truly happen to that little baby you carried for 9 months and dreamed about even longer is excruciatingly painful. And while many times it’s like any other worries that run the gamut in your mind (not likely), what happens when there’s a real and true possibility that it could really happen? That’s the kind of odds no one likes to play with.

It’s the same thing if you’re dealing with a chronic illness or loss of a job. The fear of the unknown is painfully unkind.

The question switches from, “How likely is this to happen?” but,”What happens when it does?”

Dealing with Real Fear

When you’re actually confronting what scares, all worries stop. There’s just you and the fear. It is true moment-to-moment living. In your wildest imagination, you could twirl with the possibility of what-if back and forth in your mind. Worrying can feel like a full-time job. But when you’re face-to-face with what’s freaking you out, there’s only one option: react or respond.

How you choose to deal with whatever scares you is a true testament to how you perceive your life. Do you feel like the world controls you? Are you living life as someone empowered or in fear?

I was watching Pastor Joel Osteen talk about choosing peace even in the midst of chaos; that when the waves are rocky above the ocean, there is still stillness at its bottom.

Sometimes I forget that life doesn’t always require action. The most powerful thing we can do at times is to have faith in doing nothing. Things generally work themselves out after we’ve 1) done everything we can 2) surrender. We like to think we can control everything in life. Letting go can seem to be the least attractive thing when we’re controlling by nature. But sometimes it’s the only way to get through whatever scares us.

The single best advice I can give you is this: Walk blindly through your fear, naked and vulnerable, but powerful because you have love and faith as your greatest weapons.

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When Creativity Stops

{by The Inspiring Bee}

You might have experienced a flow of creativity in the past. Ideas were popping. Creativity was flowing. And then zilch. Just like that the river’s run dry. Does this mean you pack your bags and fly toward a new career?

Nope. Not quite.

Like anything else, creativity has its ups and downs. Just because you’re soaring on creativity Cloud Nine doesn’t mean you won’t end up in a valley somewhere. Similarly if you’re stuck in a creative rut, don’t give up just yet. You’ll eventually get back to the mountains.

The thing is we only ever hear about the triumph, the success stories, the grand accomplishments. We rarely hear about the failure, the surmounting challenges, being in the midst of defeat.

Most people want to glorify the former and forget about the latter. Either that or like labor, we forget about the pain it took to birth that beautiful baby.

In Jonah Lehrer’s new book Imagine: How Creativity Works he magically says the following. Yes I said magically. More on that later.

“Every creative journey begins with a problem. It starts with a feeling of frustration, the dull ache of not being able to find the answer. We have worked hard, but we’ve hit the wall…”

It’s a normal part of the journey. But as Lehrer points out. Here’s where the magic comes in.

“When we tell one another stories about creativity, we tend to leave out this phase of the creative process. We neglect to mention those days when we wanted to quit, when we believed that our problems were impossible to solve. Because such failures contradict the romantic version of events-there is nothing triumphant about a false start-we forget about them…Instead, we skip straight to the breakthroughs.”

The magical part is two-fold: 1) He reveals the truth no one likes to talk about-that all creative success involves failure. 2) It’s a natural step in the course of creativity.

The answer lies not in doing more work, forcing yourself to become creative or even giving up completely.

It’s in taking a break from finding out what’s next. It’s the unknown that holds your answer.

So the next time you feel frustrated and catch yourself in the midst of a difficult problem, don’t sweat it. The answers will come. Creativity will flow again.

Your biggest enemy toward your creativity isn’t outside yourself. It’s your own negative, critical thoughts and fears that hold you back.

When creativity stops, rest. And rest assure, the floodgates will eventually open again.

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