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Breaking Free from Being Stuck

Monday, May 12, 2008
“Too many of us wait to do the perfect thing, with the result we do nothing. The way to get ahead is to start now. While many of us are waiting until conditions are “just right” before we go ahead, others are stumbling along, fortunately ignorant of the dangers that beset them. By the time we are, in our superior wisdom, decided to make a start, we discover that those who have gone fearlessly on before, have, in their blundering way, traveled a considerable distance. If you start now, you will know a lot next year that you don’t know now, and that you will not know next year, if you wait.” –William Feather

Dear friends,

Would you like to join me in a little mental/emotional Spring housecleaning?

I ran across William Feather’s quote and started thinking about “being stuck.” Most of us have experienced the feeling. Though we really want to change something in our lives, we just can’t seem to get moving on it. Can you relate? Often, our “stuckness” sounds something like this:

…I know I should _______ but I can’t __________
…If only______, then I would ________
…It’s not my fault that__________
…I wish I could _______ but I can’t because __________

When we fill in the blanks, it may sound perfectly reasonable that we can’t move forward toward what we desire. “I know I should lose weight, but I can’t because I have to entertain clients constantly.” “If only I had an advanced degree, then I would apply for that position.” “It’s not my fault that the economy is in the tank so my finances are a mess.” “I wish I could find a relationship but I can’t because my job demands all of my time.” Most of us can find excellent justifications for our inability to move forward.

But the excuses we use to keep ourselves stuck are rarely valid. For every person who avoids going to business school because she’s “not good with numbers,” there is someone who flunked Math 101 but still managed to earn an MBA. For every person who is “not attractive enough to find a mate,” there are plenty of people much less attractive who have fun and satisfying love lives. For every would-be actor/singer/musician who never auditioned “because he wasn’t talented enough,” there are several others with much less talent who are performing regularly.

So what’s the difference? Is it lack of will or courage? Usually not. Usually the inability to get started on something you really desire stems from an unconscious conditioned thought that sabotages your best intentions. Until that thought is brought to light and uprooted, every time you think about what you want – that exciting career, healthier body, or new relationship – you’ll find invisible shackles pulling you down and slowing your progress.

But how to unearth the unconscious thought that is keeping you stuck? Try this exercise and see what pops up:

Think about the thing you desire. Now imagine taking action toward it. What excuses come up? What do you feel you need to do or be or have before you can start toward your desire?
What is the statement and feeling underneath the excuse? In other words, if you feel that you can’t start dating until you’ve lost some weight, the underlying statement might be “no one will love me because I am flawed” and the underlying feeling might be fear of rejection.
Try to remember the very first time you heard your underlying statement. For instance, when was the first time you decided (or were told) that you were not smart enough or strong enough to do something?

Clear the underlying negative message by breathing with it. Breathe in and allow yourself to feel the negative statement. Breathe out and feel yourself releasing the negative message.
Breathing is key to much of the work I do with people and is a critical component for re-wiring the brain. So I’d like to teach you how to breathe properly for full benefit. Here is a link to a 12-minute instructional audio – Breathing Instructions — that explains more specifically how to breathe and another link to 5 Magic Minutes, a guided breathing exercise that you can download to your computer or iPod – 5 Magic Minutes . It’s a tool that can literally improve your health, calm your stress, and increase your mental clarity within five minutes. Try it out for yourself and let me know how it works for you!

Wishing you focus, fitness and flexibility in body and mind!

Adrianne Ahern, Ph.D.
Performance Consultant, Keynote Speaker, and author of Snap Out Of It Now!
P.S. If you find value in this newsletter and wish to share it with others, please do so! I only request that you forward it in its entirety.
P.P.S. For further tools, information and upcoming appearances, please visit my “evolving” website!

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