You’re stuck in a rut and it’s time to climb out, Emily Bal



How assumptions and fear keep us rooted to the spot and four things you can do this month to get moving again...


I meet so many women who feel stuck.


Stuck being a person they don’t recognise. Stuck in situations they don’t want to be in.


Some are stay at home mums. Others are high flyers in the city. Some are trying to get into work. Or they love what they do but wonder if there’s more to life.


Feeling stuck really can strike at any time. And it’s a horrible, paralysing feeling.


It can be all-consuming.


Whatever confidence you had goes out the window and you’re left in a state of limbo – not satisfied with the here and now yet no idea which way to turn.


I believe there are two main factors in play. Assumptions and the fear of failure.



Assume, verb, suppose to be the case, without proof


What are you assuming that is holding you back? What are you assuming that keeps you in the rut and stops you climbing out?


We all assume things every day - about people and situations - and these assumptions can have a huge impact on our lives. They’re powerful. They work at a sub-conscious level and their roots are deeply entrenched in our childhood experiences.


How often do you find yourself saying things like ‘I can’t do that’ or ‘I’m such a perfectionist’?


Assumptions like these, also known as limiting beliefs, set boundaries. They hold you back and block your way and, more often than not, have no right to be there in the first place.


You see assumptions are unfounded. They’re not true. Sometimes made up. Incomplete. Your mind tells you things and, over time, you start to believe it.


And the only way forward is to challenge them.


All. The. Time.


Take away their power. Question yourself. Is this a fact? Is this my belief or someone else’s? Where did I learn this from? How is this assumption helping me/ hindering me?


And slowly but surely your mindset will change. You’ll find yourself enquiring about that promotion rather than instantly dismissing it because you will no longer assume it’s been earmarked for someone else. You’ll call that friend you’ve lost touch with because you will no longer assume that she’s too busy or doesn’t like you anymore.



Failure is not the opposite of success


The other factor is our relationship with failure. We need to start celebrating it. It’s not the opposite of success. In fact, it’s a huge part of it. Getting things wrong is the best way to grow and learn but there’s still such a stigma around it.


And fear of failure can keep us stuck in a rut for a very long time. You might know exactly what needs to change and how you’re going to do it yet you’re paralysed by the assumption that it’s all going to go wrong. So you do nothing. And then nothing changes.


As Thomas Edison, the inventor of the first electric lightbulb, famously said:


‘I have not failed. I have simply found 10,000 ways that don’t work.’

He was the epitome of the growth mindset which is the belief that we all have the capacity and capability to grow. We can all learn from our mistakes and be a better person as a result.


So with that in mind here are four things you could do this month to help you feel less stuck every day...



1) Just start


Take a tiny step towards a huge goal and notice how you feel. We get stuck in indecision and inaction because our ambitions are overwhelming. But if you break a goal down into all the component parts and then commit to doing just one small thing, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ve then moved onto the next thing on the list.



2) Work with focus


Women are said to be great at multi-tasking because it’s a muscle we’ve been flexing for years but it’s just not the answer. I say it’s time to down tools and focus on having some focus. By doing one task at a time, really well, your sense of achievement will go sky high and you’ll likely get more done in the long run.



3) See the positive in the negative


I truly believe you learn more from when things go wrong than when it all goes to plan. Take some time to think about some of your biggest cock-ups and write them down. Acknowledge how it feels just acknowledging them. Then alongside each write down what you learnt and what you’d do differently if it happened again.



4) Finish something every day


Write it down on a scrap of paper or in a fancy journal. It doesn’t matter. Just acknowledge what you’ve achieved and pat yourself on the back. It might start with something small but I can assure you you’ll be surprised by how quickly your successes grow.


 

This article was written by our partner coach, Emily Bal.