#YourTurnChallenge: Day Five

magicrockYour Turn Challenge prompt: “What advice would you give for getting unstuck?”

I know something about getting unstuck. I was stuck, on and off, from the age of about 11 until I was around 43. Move, get stuck, move a little, get stuck a little, break free only to get stuck again. I couldn’t seem to figure out how to free myself — until I did.

The most basic advice I can give anyone about getting unstuck is this: take one small step. That’s it. That’s all it takes. One tiny step, some kind of movement, anything, even just half a step — the half step that will change your life. It really is that simple, even though it isn’t easy.

We get hung up because we are able to imagine that far off distant place where we want to be, or the end result of a huge transformation, or the full scope of the big project we want to accomplish, and we get overwhelmed by the space, the vast distance between there and here. Somehow we think we have to get there in one giant leap, a lone action, a single grand gesture. All or nothing.

This leads to thinking we can’t get there at all, can’t do it because it’s too hard, too far, too much. Impossible. We forget the only way there is one step at a time, which starts with asking ourselves, “What is the one small step I can take in that direction? What can I do right in this moment to move?”

Part two is that as you are taking that small step, you focus on only that. You give what you are doing your full attention. You can’t allow yourself to be distracted by what you think an experience or project should become, where it should land. You can’t be worried about the details of how your effort is going to turn into a healthy body or whole book or successful business. You instead focus on just this moment, just this breath.

Part three is show up without an agenda. Sure you could have some sense of the bigger picture, but for now drop the plan. Allow whatever arises. Let yourself be surprised by the magic of something deeper, something else. If you stay out of the way, give up control, you might find your thing, or rather it might find you — something you never expected and even better than you could have planned.

As you take these tiny steps, as you focus wholly on each one as it happens and drop your agenda, you develop a practice that honors your desires, accumulates benefit, and allows you to make progress.

TL;DR: How you get unstuck — Take one small step. Focus completely on it. Show up without an agenda. This grows into an ongoing practice of movement.

9 thoughts on “#YourTurnChallenge: Day Five

  1. aramaticasper

    We talk about this as just getting the ant to crawl… (and with that I”m back to crawling my ant through editing an assignment I overhauled for this semester).

  2. Alane

    thank you so much for this jill. i really got sucked into the new year hype & mentally made some grand plans for how i wanted to begin 2015. i even wrote some of it down….. didn’t last too long & now feel stuck, again. such a vicious cycle… i’m going to follow your advice. 🙂

  3. lolshelley

    Perfect timing with this post Jill. I am trying to practice loving kindness and a guilt free zone in regards to my writing (or lack thereof). I am just finishing up 6 weeks annual leave. At the beginning I had all these grand ideas about how much work I was going to get done on my novel but every time I would open up that word document, I would get stuck and close it again. I only managed to write a little bit. Your line “we get overwhelmed by the space, the vast distance between there and here” is exactly how I feel. I WANT to write this book but it seems such a massive undertaking and I don’t know if I will get there. A few months ago, I was so full of energy and enthusiasm and excitement but now I just feel paralysed. I am going to try and take your advice “Take one small step. Focus completely on it. Show up without an agenda. This grows into an ongoing practice of movement”. Thank you ❤

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      I did the SAME thing! I’m working on two books, and just had three weeks off over the holidays. The last week, every day I set the intention to work on them, but then didn’t get around to it. I failed, but decided to not beat myself up about it — that was the small step I took. ❤


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