“I would really like to do it, but I’m afraid …..” She was attending one of my workshops on resilience, and related with tears in her eyes how horribly stuck she felt, but feared making the big change she desperately wanted to do. The harder she tried to live with the situation, not to complain and just get through each day, the worse her predicament seemed to get. Although she was desperate, she felt unable to make the change that she longed to make.

Most people feel stuck at times. This can be when you feel unable to change something. Sometimes it feels that the harder you try, the worse the situation gets. Deep down you feel helpless, a victim of circumstances over which you have no control. It’s a really nasty feeling.

So what can you do you do when you get stuck?

Firstly don’t try and sort your problems when you are most vulnerable. For most people, you are at your worst when you are tired, hungry, multitasking, and transitioning, such as from work to home. For many working mothers, this is what happens at the end of the day when they have just got home from work, tired and hungry, and are reunited with their family. They start preparing the evening meal while also trying to give attention to their their children. This is not a good time to think about addressing problems in your life!

So when you need to make important decisions, find a time when you have slept well, you aren’t hungry, and you’re feeling calm. Then ask yourself: what do I really, really want? Not what you want at a superficial level, but what you want at a much deeper level. Thus for the frazzled parent, who gets stuck arguing with their teenage offspring, at a superficial level they may just want the child to comply: “In my house and under my roof, you will do what I say!”

But at a deeper level, you probably want something more. Perhaps at a deeper level, you would want your offspring to begin taking accountability for their actions, and become a responsible member of society.

So critically pause, and don’t react immediately. Give yourself time to think. Then ask yourself the profound question of what you really, really want? It will give you a different perspective on the issue. 

So now you know what you really want, the next step is to start achieving it!

Begin by picturing your desired future, as though it has come about. Picture it in all its details, what is happening, what you’re doing, what people around you are saying and doing, and how you feel. Write all of this down, in as much detail as possible. The more detail, the clearer the picture will be in your mind, and the more powerful it will be.

Revisit what you have written the next day, and read it to sympathetic friends and loved ones, all the time living it and experiencing this wonderfully changed and different future. It will generate the energy necessary to make the shift in your life.

Now, and only now, develop plans of how to reach this wonderful future. Sometimes you will hear in your mind that dreaded “yes, but……” , which describes what is holding you back, such as lack of money, support or education. If this happens to you, replace that thought with “yes, and……… ”

By making this simple substitution, you will avoid sabotaging yourself, and instead engage your creative juices to find ways of solving the problem. In this way, “yes, but I haven’t got money I need” becomes “yes, and I could save the money that I need”, and “yes, but I haven’t got the support I need”, becomes “yes, and I could start with small steps on my own.”

It’s so easy for us to be held back by our fears, rather than being motivated by achieving our hearts desires and living our best lives. We only have one life, and as far as we know, this isn’t a practice run. If you don’t do it now, when will you do it?