What You Need to Get Unstuck Depends on How Stuck You Are

Have you ever been stuck? Just not sure where to go from here? Maybe you have so much to do that you’re stuck in a paralyzed way. Or perhaps you’re stuck choosing between two options. Or even stuck because you don’t have enough information or skill in a particular area.

Everybody gets stuck now and then. What you need to get unstuck is entirely dependent upon how deeply stuck you are.

Metaphor ahead.

Imagine you’re stuck in a little bit of snow or mud. If it’s not too bad, you can rock yourself out of it. Give just a little gas while you repeatedly shift from forward to reverse. Get a little momentum going and you can use the weight of the car and inertia to drive right out of the problem.

If you’re stuck a little more than rocking yourself out is going to fix, you may need a push. Time for your passenger or a good Samaritan to help get you moving. You’re behind the wheel, but someone else is providing extra muscle outside of the car.

But finally, sometimes only a tow truck is going to get you out of your fix.  The snowbank was too high or the mud too deep. Just that quick you find yourself trapped and unable to get back on the road.

Mental stuckness works the same.

A Little Stuck?

If you’re just a little stuck in your mind, you may be able to haul yourself out of that.

  • Don’t panic
  • Slow down so you can think
  • Perhaps recall another time this has happened and what you did to get moving then
  • Is there a process you’ve inadvertently abandoned and could get back on track if you just went back to what you know?
  • Grab a “how to” book on the subject and get some ideas about how you can get over the hump
  • Talk to yourself. Aloud. Maybe it’s a pep talk or vocalizing what’s bugging you or walking through the first step you could take. You are often wiser counsel than you might assume.

A Little More Stuck?

If your level of mental stuckness is something you can’t dig out of alone, reach out to a trusted adviser, colleague, mentor, accountability partner or friend who can help you look at things in a new way or give you the pep talk you weren’t able to give to yourself. They can give you the firm but gentle nudge to get you moving again when you share what’s holding you back.

You may not even be completely clear what it is that’s troubling you. All the more reason to get outside help. Talking it out with someone can give you the clarity and ‘rescue’ you need.


When your level of stuckness is that deep, you need a human tow truck. Somebody who can get you on firm ground and back on course. You need someone who can listen to what’s going on, ask insightful questions, help diagnose the core of the issue and offer solutions that can involve new skills, processes or mindset. Or maybe all three.

Useful? There's more where that came from.

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