picture-9Stuck!  Know the feeling? 

You can’t find a way forward, and it’s too late to go back.    You’re cornered in one of life’s cul-de-sacs.  Your wheels are spinning; you can’t get traction again.   You’ve driven off the edge of your map onto a slippery slope.

It’s way more than run-of-the-mill frustration.  You’re at a complete impasse.   You feel trapped in a blind alley, a situation with no exit.  Your mental maps don’t work now.  You don’t know what comes next, but you dread whatever it will be.  You have your toes curled over the edge of the ledge, deepening a “sense of abyss.”  You are stuck!

There are common reasons for becoming stuck. For example, important relationships have ended in death, divorce, or disappointment, leaving us feeling abandoned and off-stride.  Or, we’ve had big failures, and they’ve unsettled our confidence.   Maybe markets have shifted seismically, and the old rules of the workplace no longer apply.  Or, the economy has soured, and we feel trapped.  You’re on alien terrain.

 Usually we stall and plug along, hoping the impasse will pass soon.  Unfortunately, that tactic often just amplifies our negative inner voices to full shout.  But, impasses open new worlds to you by closing old ones.  When your maps no longer work, adopt a pioneer perspective.  Scout new territories.  Draw new maps to new places.

 Launch out to a new place.   You’re stuck, right?  You want to get somewhere else, right?  The time is right to risk drawing a new map.  Go. 

 Venture to the verge.  In Old French, “verge” described the brink or border where fields merged into forests or coastlines into seas.  It was clear a margin would soon be crossed.    The adventure of getting unstuck will take you past the verge.  Step over lightly into adventure.

 Exploration creates new maps.   Approaching new places invites learning.  With new eyes and ears, you will sense more possibilities.  With a pioneer’s innovative repertoire, you can map yourself to a place beyond your current impasse.

 Use the perspectives of low and high places.   Explorers prefer vistas—places with long views like seacoasts, middles of rivers, tops of mountains, outer space—for charting directions.  Position yourself to “see” a longer distance.  That larger perspective can get you unstuck.

Being stuck demands new directions.  Don’t give up.  Enlist a coach, and get past your impasses now.