So in today’s episode, we’re going to dive into 4 magical questions to ask yourself when you’re feeling stuck. And these questions will work for pretty much any form of stucky-ness.
So for instance,
- Maybe you’re feeling stuck in your job? Your current career is draining the life out of you.
- Or maybe you feel stuck in a relationship? You and your partner aren’t really connecting in the crazysexyloving way that you were just a year ago?
- Or maybe you’re feeling stuck in a rut with your health? Perhaps you have extra weight on your body that’s making you feel tired, heavy and just not like yourself?
- And the last example I’ll give is maybe you’re feeling stuck with your finances? You have all these things you want to save for and experience in life and yet you keep looking in your bank account and the numbers are not growing the way you need them to.
So all 4 of those are examples are so so common.
But what’s also unfortunately very common is people tend to ignore the signs of feeling stuck.
An example from my own life that stands out to me big time was when I was living in Las Vegas and working as a school psychologist at 2 different elementary schools and I was miserable. I had a super long commute, my office was a converted closet with no ventilation or windows, and I felt like no one knew my name or noticed if I was there or not…
All day long I was testing kids whom I would never see again and writing reports that no one ever read. I felt like I was stuck in that movie Office Space sitting in a little cubicle, except in my case it was a closet, typing TPS reports.
You get the idea. It was bad. And it wasn’t the schools I was at…this was just how the school district operated. And fun fact, there is only 1 school district for the entire Las Vegas Valley.
So I was a stucky ducky.
And in the moment, I realized that SO MANY OTHERS have asked themselves that exact same question…and decided that yeah…this is what modern day adulthood is meant to look and feel like. So carry on.
That idea scared me so much that I decided I wasn’t going to ignore the fact that I was feeling stuck. And not just stuck…I was feeling trapped.
My guess is maybe you can relate with feeling like that with something in your own life…it’s not a great feeling. But WAY too many people choose to ignore it + suppress it + and carry on.
But today, I’m going to share with you 4 questions to ask yourself the next time you DO feel stuck with something. And I hope you write these down or just remember that this episode exists so you can come back to it and walk yourself through these 4 questions.
And my hope is that in asking yourself these questions…you shine a light on your current stucky situation and you reclaim some of your power. Because you have power…even when it feels like your trapped.
So okay, let’s dive in:
So in the example I just shared with my soul-sucking job, I would answer “My current job is no longer working for me.” and that would be a very honest, but difficult answer to say at the time. Because actually admitting that something is no longer working…is admitting that it’s broken. And depending on what you’re talking about, that can be very difficult thing to admit (hence why so many people choose to ignore it all together).
Question #1: What is no longer working?
Many people might say that the way they’re currently eating is not working for them.
So trying to do keto is no longer working for them. Or eating only foods that are white.
The way they are eating and their current relationship with food is no longer working for them.
Another thing I’ve heard a lot lately is “drinking in the middle of the week is no longer working for me.”
So take an honest look at where YOU are feeling stuck and give an honest answer to the question “What is no longer working?”
OK, Question #2: What have you been unwilling to let go of?”
Oh this is a biggie.
So going back to my job example, I would answer this by saying “I’ve been unwilling to let go of the idea that I went to 4 years of graduate school for a job that I don’t think is for me.” And taking one step further, I’ve been unwilling to let go of the fear of looking like a failure.
Or even being a failure. I would see all my graduate school friends who so obviously love their school psychology careers and here I am sitting in the parking lot squeezing out every single minute of freedom before I need to walk into the school and start the day. Like…what’s wrong with me?
So in answering the question “What have you been unwilling to let go of?” I would have answered that I’ve been unwilling to let go of the idea that I made a mistake by spending the last 8 years of my life dedicated to a career that I don’t think is for me any longer.”
So that’s just an example, but maybe for some of you it might be something like “You’ve been unwilling to let go of your current online shopping spending habits.”
Or “you’ve been unwilling to let go of the hope that your partner won’t be unfaithful again?” Or “you’ve been unwilling to let go of that nightly glass or 3 of wine with dinner each night.”
Now again, these are only things that relate to Question #1. So first…what’s no longer working? And then in relation to that answer…what is it that you have been unwilling to let go of?
Question #3: This is a good one…What do you fear will happen if you DO let go of it?
And 2 quick but important things I want to say here:
- Just as most humans have a fear of failure…most of us also have a fear of success. That may sound weird to some people, but it’s true. It all goes back to our identities and what’s comfortable. We can talk more about that in a future episode…but this also brings me to the 2nd point:
- Most humans will always choose what is known and comfortable over the unknown and uncomfortable.
So when we ask ourselves Magic question #3 What do you fear will happen if you DO let go of it? We immediately might experience feelings of anxiety.
Anxiety happens when there’s a fear of the unknown…and what lies ahead in our future IS the unknown.
So for my job example, I could absolutely just squat in my closet office for the next 15-20 years and receive a predictable paycheck and benefits and experience NO anxiety because there is no unknown. Like…it’s been decided. That’s it. And that is comfortable for a lot of people right?
So that’s why that whole saying “ignorance is bliss!” Because for a huge percentage of the human population…staying in their lane and choosing predictability IS their idea of bliss.
But…that’s definitely not me…and my guess is that if you’re still listening to this episode, you’re a little like me.
So going back to question #3 – what do you fear will happen if you DO let go of it?
My answer back then would have been “I fear that I’ll be starting from scratch in a completely different career. I’ll have to start over.”
Okay, so now the final magic question…question #4: What will happen if you don’t let go?
This is the power question.
And I don’t want you to just answer it and let that be your ONLY answer. I’m going to encourage you to pretend that I’m sitting in front of you and asking your “And then what?” at least 2 to 3 times.
So for my job example, my answer would have been “If I don’t let go, I’ll stay stuck exactly where I am in a job that isn’t right for me.”
And then what?
I would stay unhappy.
And then what?
My son would grow up seeing his mom dislike her job.
And then what?
I wouldn’t be showing up the way that I want to in my life as a woman, a mother…a human being that chooses to live life and doesn’t settle.
Okay, so that’s how I like to approach Magic Question #4.
So for another example, let’s go back to the weight loss one. Here is an actual example of me doing this with a client of mine late last year.
Again, question #4 is “What will happen if you don’t let go?”
Her answer: “I won’t lose any weight.”
And then what?
I’ll probably keep gaining weight.
And then what?
I won’t be able to chase my babies around at the playground…I’ll be one of the moms who sits down and watches.
And then what?
I’ve always wanted to be the mom who runs after my kids. I’ve wanted to be the mom with energy and confidence. And I won’t have that.
So as you can see with her answers, it wasn’t really even about the size of her skinny jeans or losing a certain number of lbs. In fact it never really is about those things. It always comes back to identity.
Who we are at our core + how we show up + and how the people we care about perceive us.
So for her, she carried this vision of her running after her kids at the playground…and having all this energy and joyful confidence. That was important to her. It turns out she didn’t have that with her own mom and it was something that mattered to her.
And that’s important to recognize because just coming to me saying “I want to lose 20 lbs” is not really the focus. It’s not super motivating by itself. BUT when you dig deep and ask yourself these 4 super rad questions and you realize “wow…this goes a lot deeper than I realized.”
So okay, I hope those 4 questions were helpful.
So again, just to recap. The magic questions were:
- What’s no longer working?
- What have you been unwilling to let go of?
- What do you fear will happen if you do let go of it?
- What will happen if don’t let go of it?
And just know that if you are feeling stuck right now somewhere is your life…you’re a stucky ducky…know that you’re going to figure it out. It’s going to be okay. Have a little faith in yourself, know that you’re not alone and trust that sometimes God makes us uncomfortable, otherwise we’d never move.
I’ll see you next time!
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