Get Unstuck

Get unstuck! Before we go into that, let’s explore why you are stuck. It is February and the shiny newness of your New Year’s resolution is probably fading. You thought this year would be different, right? Some of you are still meeting your goals. If that is you, good on you! But, let’s be real. You probably wouldn’t be reading this right now if things are still going according to plan.

So, why do we get stuck. Well, there are a few reasons….

  • It is much easier to form a self-defeating habit than a “healthy habit”. Research shows that it takes anywhere from 21-66 days to secure a new beneficial habit, but only 3 or so for a self-defeating habit. Sad, but true. This is probably because most of our self-defeating habits give us dopamine surges. Also, they have most likely been with you much longer than you have ever stayed with a healthier habit.
  • Humans often suck at follow through. It’s true. I think most people like the idea of change rather than change itself. Case in point, I recently released an e-course (check it out if you are interested) and even though people paid good money for it, very few moved beyond the very beginning. Apparently this happens with courses and books often. When it gets challenging or we are running short on time, we sacrifice things that would ultimately be beneficial to us.
  • We often have conflicting values. Have you ever said, “Part of me wants to change and part of me doesn’t”? Bet you have! We all have different parts of ourselves that want different things. Have you ever checked in with the part that sabotages you to find out what that part wants, needs or gets out of the sabotage? To get unstuck, this is crucial because you will stay in this holding pattern until your parts are on the same page. I will give you a hint…it probably has something to do with the fear of change. This part is afraid that something bad will happen if you do this thing you want to do. That might sound strange, but it happens all the time!

    Next time you are feeling conflicted about something, try this trick:
    • Imagine you are holding one side of the conflict (the part that doesn’t want to change) in one hand.
    • Spend some time getting to know what it looks like, sounds like and what that part wants/fears.
    • Identify an image to represent that part.
    • Do the same with the other side of the conflict (the part that does want to change).
    • Hold them in each hand for a few moments and then bring them together forming a 3rd part that combines the needs of the 2.
    • Notice what it looks like, sounds like and what it wants. Often things seem like they are all or nothing, but many times there is a compromise waiting when we listen.

The bottom line is that if you truly want to get unstuck, you can’t solve the problem using the same thinking that got you into it (thanks Albert Einstein!). So, if you keep doing the same thing, you will get the same result. If you want to change these patterns, dig deeper and figure out what your resistance is trying to communicate by not allowing you to change!

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Weber State University and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. She has been working in the mental health field since 2001.
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