I recently did a FB Live in my Group In Her Element that outlines and highlights how to get the most out of your Stuck to Start Guidebook: 5 Steps to get from where you are to where you want to be and if you are a member already then you’ll easily find the video (I’m wearing my favorite peasant shirt :)). Feel free to watch along with a print out of this helpful blog post to really get clear and address any questions or concerns you were having about getting started. (You know you can always message me…I am here to help!) If you would like to become a member (yeah!) then check out In Her Element HERE!
This is not an exact transcript (but its pretty close). I hope you are getting really excited about the idea of not feeling shitty anymore and are looking forward to uncovering what has been standing in your way!!! Along the way I will be sharing a bit about my experience because I have been where you are! It is a journey and there have been times when I felt really unsure and I wouldn’t change a fucking thing!!
The goal of today is for you to walk away with some clarity and/or awareness of what being stuck is all about for you. Gain a sense of direction and start to really believe in the possibility of getting unstuck. Also to recognize where you need support and lastly to pick up some strategies you can use right away that will help you move forward.
We’ve got a lot to cover so put the kettle on, get a snack and let’s dive right in!
First let’s get a really clear picture of what stuck looks like and feels like for you. So before you read on I want you to stop and think of the first word that comes to mind when I say…
When I’m stuck I feel…
Good. Now why don’t you write that down on a scrap piece of paper (not the paper you are taking important notes on right now…something separate…trust me you don’t want it to be on something of value.
I have my own list here that I’ll share with you to add to your responses:
If any of these resonate with you feel free to add them to your scrap paper list. Now.
All of these feelings are pretty powerful on their own and if left to fester, can (and do) create behaviors that, I can say from experience, do NOT match the vision or dream we have of our best selves. For me, that included eating junk, drinking, watching mindless TV and drowning in social media. All of which I would leap into, hoping to eradicate my feelings of anger and aloneness, only to feel more void and empty as a result.
Here is where I am going to drop some serious knowledge on you…ready?
Being stuck is a choice!
Perhaps not one that we make consciously, yet it is still something we choose. Actually we choose it everyday when we decide we are stuck.
Right about now you might be saying “Great Dionne…now I feel worse!”
The truth is being stuck and cycling through this entire list of negative feelings is a habit we developed. A pattern created and ingrained over time (and now feels permanent). It may have started a very, very long time ago, perhaps it is a behaviour you learned from watching others. So here’s the good news…the patterns you are running on, the thoughts you’re thinking, the behaviors you’re exhibiting are habits and can be changed. (If you are willing to do the work). You simply have to start by deciding that you no longer agree with being stuck. You not only don’t want to be stuck you realize that being stuck is no longer an option. From this decision you will be forced to make even more decisions, more choices to honor what you decided needs to be your new truth.
Being stuck is no longer an option.
The Stuck to Start Guidebook is a tool to help you re-enforce your ultimate decision. To get started and increase your success, you need a few things…
WILLINGNESS to do what it takes.
COURAGE to answer the touch questions.
BELIEF that you are worthy of the time, money and effort.
Harnessing these 3 core elements will lead you to the following crucial requirements (which are necessary to move from Stuck to Start).
100% RESPONSIBILITY for your thoughts, your behaviors and actions…for your life!
CONFIDENCE in who you are and that you are here on this planet for a spectacular reason (that you might just not be aware of yet…yet is the key word here!)
DRIVE to follow through when the path is unknown (which WILL happen)
And…(this one isn’t on my chart…but is soooo important) TRUST THE PROCESS!
I 100% believe that each and every one of you has these superpowers.
And members of the Elements of Authenticity (and In Her Element) Community can trust that there will always be someone here to remind you of that! These are the skills it takes to start and continue on your journey, to help you arrive at a place of joy and gratitude, of ease and flow.
Now that is not to say that you will exhibit these skills 100% of the time. Actually the closer you get to your goals more obstacles will appear to test your tenacity.
Again I say…know that you are supported here!
When I started on my journey I had no idea what it took, what I needed or how I was going to do it. I just knew that I could no longer stay stuck. I had just had my second breakdown (after my second child) and I was about to have surgery (and no longer be able to have children…my choice btw) and I knew that…
Enough was Enough!
I had had enough of feeling anger (rage) resentment, fear, nothingness. Of numbing and blaming .I was tired of supporting Advil, trying to cure daily hangovers and chronic upper-back, neck and sciatic pain. I was done despising others (whom I loved) for living their lives freely and with joy. I had had enough with not feeling like I was a whole person. I was tired of compartmentalizing and having to be different to accommodate everyone else’s needs. I was exhausted from downplaying and discounting my successes in order to not be boastful or hurtful or too smart or too funny or too pretty because that could “hurt someone’s feelings…and we always have to think of everyone else first dear”. I was done needing approval to be myself and…
I had had absolutely enough with not feeling like I was enough.
As you may have read in some of my other posts…I self-identify with the Type E (Everything for Everybody) Woman. And just for some additional clarification on that (which by the way will be at the core of most of my writing from now on) Type E is actually a stress condition. It is a label for a series of physical and emotional responses that occur in women who are desperately trying to live the lives of more than one human.
Similar to the idea of Type A people (click HERE to read more about Type A stress), Type E Women are naturally high-achievers (like me), they say (think) “I want it all!” However the difference for us Type E Women is that our definition of “ALL” differs from that of a Type A personality who’s “ALL” often lies in money, power and status.
Type E Woman want those things PLUS we want a family along with our careers, a social life and high status in our communities (to be liked). We want what our mother’s and sisters fought for in the 60s and 70s and we still want to maintain many of the defining attributes of the traditional feminine role. We want all there is to have and we want to achieve these things independently…(because dependence is no longer in our vocabulary…we don’t need anyone). We do not have time to ask for help (not that we would anyway). Our schedules are so jam-packed there is no room for failure. Learning is not an option for the high-achieving Type E Woman (actually we tend to look down on other women who are weak and can’t handle the pressure).
We may not consciously be aware of all of this but the essence of it permeates our thoughts.
You see it when it shows up in our negative self-talk, when we bash other women (who are just doing the best they can with what they have) and when we judge others (along with ourselves) for not meeting unrealistic expectations.
Being STUCK is a product of a stress condition which is great news…
Because stress is created by our thoughts and decisions that we have the power to change.
WHOA!!! This is HUGE!
When I first started to really understand the power I already had within me to change I felt liberated to say the least. Here are a few take-aways I gathered along my journey that I want you to have:
You are not broken
You are not alone
You are not to blame
You don’t need to blame others
You can choose to be different
You have access to solutions
You can start…right now!
All you have to do is decide to take 100% responsibility for your thoughts and actions. Have the courage to do the work and maintain the drive to pursue a life you believe is possible.
This brings us to actually sitting down and doing the work…
Q1 – What do you want?
This is where you ultimate decision (that being stuck is no longer an option) comes into play. I want you to only focus on what you do want. Not on what you don’t not want. Your words have the power to direct your mind and you have a better chance at manifesting a new experience if you only say it the way you want it.
Be specific, use descriptive words, get magazine clippings, draw pictures. Bring the idea, the picture of what you want right up in front of your face (like 1-2 inches away), make it big and bold and bright, make it a movie if that helps…whatever it takes to really bring what you want to life.
This, by the way, will take as long as it takes. There is no time limit and it wont be perfect. It will be real. You can re-visit and add to it. You will dream about it. Good. Take a paper and pen to bed…don’t let those thoughts and wants fade away in the morning light…write that shit down!
This type of activity may be brand new for some of you and that’s okay, you will know exactly what to do.
Q2 – What is standing in your way?
Okay this is a BIG one! Here you are going to need to be 100% honest. This is where taking 100% responsibility for everything in your life will get tested. When you are listing your blocks, your obstacles I want you to list the external ones and pay very close attention to the internal blocks. Take the time to name them and write them down. Remember you decided being stuck was no longer an option and in order to follow through with this decision it is crucial that you know what is standing in your way.
Q3 – Are you ready to take the next step?
This question is about developing and practicing a growth mindset. (click HERE to watch Dr. Carol Dweck’s TED talk on Mindsets…you will be happy you did!) It will test your willingness to do what ever it takes (that is legal, moral and ethical). It’s about recognizing that you don’t have every tool or piece of information that will prove to be helpful (and possibly even necessary) to meet your ultimate goals yet. However you are bright, curious and driven. What you need to access is on the other side of failure. This question specifically highlights where to go when you need help (a big one for me…I had no idea how to ask for help…I hadn’t done it before without feeling like a failure).
Q4 – What are you willing to do (or not do) to get what you want?
This question is about awareness and calling upon your decision to take responsibility and choose to see your blocks, obstacles and experiences through a new lens. The truth is you have no control over what happens to you…the only thing you can control is your reaction. You can always choose to see things differently, give a situation a new meaning, apply a new context, to shift your perspective (fly on the wall kinda thing).
I once read about a situation where there was a traffic jam on a highway in California…4 hour delay during rush hour. Many of the cars were pinned in and could not turn around. A journalist reporting on the situation went and interviewed a few of the drivers to get their first-hand perspective of the situation.
The first person he interviewed was absolutely irate. He shared a number of harsh words directed at the city, the state, all the people who worked in highway maintenance, he blamed the other drivers for getting to close so he couldn’t turn around. He was freaking out about his job and what his boss was going to do to him “when he finally showed up”. He insisted that this was the absolute worst thing that could have every happened…”fucking figures…my entire life is like this…one fucking traffic jam after another!”
When the reporter stopped to speak to the next driver what he observed was that the driver was extremely pleasant. He was listening to an audio-book (which he brought specifically in case there was a traffic jam). He was enjoying some healthy snacks and happily shared that although he’ll need to shift a few things around at work, when he is able to get there, he is enjoying the quiet time to think and reflect.
So in case you are not quite sure how this example relates to this question think about it mathematically…(yes there math on this test!)
E + R = O
- E represents the Event…which you do NOT control
- R represents your Reaction to the event…which you have COMPLETE control over
- O represents the Outcome… which is the end result of both of those things added together
When events happen (as they will) you can change the nature of the Outcome (happiness instead of sadness, relaxed instead of angry)…the CHOICE is all yours.
Now to be fair…all emotions are warranted at some point. There are often reasons to be sad and to be angry (and to be all the other myriad of emotions) what I am saying that often we unnecessarily prolong an emotion long after the event has happened. We even find ways to extend the negative thoughts and feelings days, weeks, months, years after an event by continuing to re-live it with others who re-enforce the negativity.
Don’t do that.
Don’t surround yourself with other people who allow you to keep yourself small.
Remember you are in charge.
Q5 – Do you have it in you?
Now is the time to celebrate, celebrate, celebrate! The number one thing I still struggle with is owning my awesomeness and celebrating my successes. I actually have a pretty distinct and detailed habit of self-sabotage. When I can’t avoid success completely and when good things happen because of something I did, I (used to) find ways to punish myself in order to downplay and discount the goodness I had added to the world.
I would pull out all of my old negative coping strategies like eating, drinking, mindless TV and incessant social media and call them rewards for all of my hard work. In the end I would wake up feeling like shit and from there tell myself that I don’t deserve success because I am a fuck-up.
Don’t do this either!
And if you already have this endearing (fucking) trait then I suggest that you STOP IT! (click HERE you’ll thank me later)
Here you have the opportunity to highlight your accomplishments, toot your own horn, grand-stand, show-off…and recognize that, if you are like me and this activity will trigger you to self-sabotage, then remember to go slow and be patient. Better yet, pull out one of the support people you listed in Q3 and let them know what you’re doing and that you may need a little help to not slip down the slippery slope.
Okay…So What? Now What?
First…pull out that scrap piece of paper, where you wrote what stuck means to you, and rip it up. Yep into teeny, tiny pieces. Now, throw it out. Done and Done!
This entire workbook (along with ripping up what stuck means to you) is a huge step and just the beginning of an amazing opportunity for you.
You’ve identified what you want.
Uncovered what has been standing in your way.
Opened yourself to the idea of learning and growth
Tapped into resources and supports
Found the courage to come face-to-face with vulnerability (and you gave it a wink!)
You are amazing and capable of fantastic things. All you have to do is decide that your life can be different then follow-up that decision with thoughts, actions and behaviors that make that decision your reality.
I know you’re looking at your Stuck to Start Guidebook and thinking…
“Maybe I can get through this but how in the hell am I going to keep this up. My life is going to push back. This is going to be hard.”
You’re right, your life is going to push back.
Want to take this to the next level so that you are not only prepared for the push back, you also have tools, strategies and an arsenal ready to blow your old-life away.
Click HERE to find out how you can sign up for the 90-Day program that will help you to break the habits that have been keeping you stuck.
Contact me if you have any questions!
All good things are rooted in love, laughter and learning!