Stuck – Wondering Why

I haven’t written, posted, published since January 1. 42 days. (Written on February 11, 2014)

Man Crying Help

Why? I had absolutely no clue until this morning. During my counseling session this morning we talked about why I may be stuck. What we surmised is that I may have given myself too much grace.

Instead of feeling the pressure to move forward with my dream this year, I recently extended the calendar. My wife will be attending grad school for 20 months beginning next January. I can’t jump into my dream this year and still have a viable income while she is in school. She’ll still be working, but not full-time. Plus, while she is “under the gun” for those 20 months, I should be running the house. The boys and I should make it as easy as possible for her to have the necessary time to study and relax. She shouldn’t have to be concerned with the dishes, the laundry, the grocery shopping and all the other things a family needs to look after every day. So I gave myself a break. No pressure. Instead of this year being my year, I’m now looking at a 3 year window. Without any deadlines or immediate goals, I slacked off. Kind of like the college professor giving the class an extra week to complete a term paper. Woohoo! No need to work on it right now. Let’s watch the Olympics, sleep in, read books, hang out with friends, etc. The work can come later. Oops.

While the idea of having time to work on a dream is appealing, sometimes the pressure is good for me. I looked at the lack of a deadline as a relief. I always dream in my head that I could get so much reading and writing accomplished if I was isolated for a month in a cabin in the mountains. I imagine being snowed in by a blizzard and producing an epic volume of content for blogs and books and articles. After talking about it this morning, I’m thinking a situation like that may not be so epic.

Today is my first attempt at writing. I placed a bit of pressure on myself by asking a few friends to check in on me by text between the hours of 10am and 3pm. Even if they don’t text me, the knowledge that they might text me pushes me to write. I want to be able to show them I’m working.

I am working. This is my second “article” of the morning. I finished a rough draft of an article I’ll submit to a blog I occasionally contribute to. It will be a good article. It needs editing. It needs clarification. It needs to stew. This is what needs to happen today. I need to write multiple words on multiple topics. Rough drafts. Crappy drafts. They can be edited later. Getting my thoughts out of my head, onto the screen, and letting them be for a few days, or weeks, is a good thing. Clear the space for more thoughts.

How do you get “unstuck”? What gets you “stuck”? Let me know in the comments. Let’s learn together! #Next3Decades

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9 thoughts on “Stuck – Wondering Why

  1. Getting “unstuck” is hard. It is good to have an audience in mind…a group of people who WANT to hear your voice, your perspective, and your story. Focus on THEM…even if you can count them on your hand…even if they don’t include loved ones…even if the haters our number them.

    Write TO them…because you have a story they want to hear.

  2. Rick – regardless of the overall timeline, set yourself some mini/interim goals to hit on a monthly, weekly, and/or daily basis.
    It should help from having that focus totally backburnered…

  3. Great writing! Not having a deadline allows you to slack but rather than focusing on the finish line it should be about focusing on the journey, why you are on it and what motivates you. I get stuck when I focus too much on where I want to be instead of how to get there and being in the now. I just started reading a book called “Get Motivated” by Tamara Lowe. It’s so good I’ve already added it to my recommended book widget. It talks about that we have different motivational DNA and how to create motivational techniques that fits your DNA. Super interesting!

  4. Nice to see you writing again. Where you getting so close to that dream that you unconsciously backed off and saw it as giving your wife support? Looking forward to reading more from you.

  5. Getting unstuck .. ouch can sometimes hurt like ripping off super gorilla glue.. usually for me I have to get distacted to the point of chaos then it all falls in places. Get busy to the point of having no time, and overwhelmed then whoosh the gates are open and sometimes unstoppable. Rough drafts kill my objectiveness and creativity. Look forward to your next post even if it is months from now.

  6. Often times, being ‘stuck’ is your mind’s way of protecting you from something or stopping you from doing something that it perceives as a threat to your core! Usually, it is completely irrational because it takes something unpleasant from our past, and then links a small portion of that knowledge to a current situation and puts the brakes on our goals. Never mind that there is no logical correlation. Our mind can really be our worst enemy or our greatest advocate! It all depends on how you continually program and work with it. Are you ‘stuck’ because of the fear of the unknown with all the newness of a project? (If I never start, I can’t fail) Are you ‘stuck’ because the last time you had ample time for a project, it flopped because you squandered all the extra time? Are you ‘stuck’ because anything new is work, and stepping in for the family (definitely a must!) is the perfect excuse to not step out in faith? These are questions I have had to honestly answer for myself because usually being stuck for me has had nothing to do with actually being stuck. It had everything to do with me letting my brain go on autopilot and lead me from my past programming. Being honest and open with ourselves can often determine our success or failure of our goals (preaching to myself here too!) Blessings as you move forward!