Getting unstuck

We’ve just introduced a couple of new chickens to our back garden coop. Saga and Pernille (yes, we’ve named the new girls after characters from Scandinavian crime dramas: naming them after our grandmothers became too traumatic!) have joined Cissie and Jessie and it’s not been plain sailing. Cissie’s in charge so she’s not bothered; on the other hand, Jessie sees her position being challenged by these upstarts.

How does she deal with this? She chases them. Round and round, under the henhouse, over the logs, knocking over water dispensers and feeding trays en route, Jessie pursues Pernille and Saga to let them know who’s boss. They’re pretty nimble but the other day, poor Pernille got herself stuck and in her panic couldn’t see how to extricate herself.

Pernille finds a quiet corner

Pernille finds a quiet corner

Have you ever felt stuck? I have. So have my clients. Here are some of the ways we’ve come up to help us get unstuck.

Where are you stuck?

Get specific. Is it your work life or your home life which feels stuck? One particular situation at work or the whole role? Difficult as it can be, stripping off the layers of ‘stuckness’ to get to the core can help you see what needs to change to stop you feeling stuck.

What can you do yourself to become unstuck?

If Pernille had just turned around, she’d have seen a whole garden of freedom behind her and that Jessie had got bored of chasing her and wandered off.

Once you’ve identified the specific area in which you feel stuck, mindmap the situation to help you identify options you could pursue. If you feel stuck because you can’t find a new recruit to fill a gap in your team, what could you do? Could you offer a secondment to someone elsewhere in the business? Should you offer an incentive for one of your current team to refer someone they know? What about an internship? How about moving around your current people to fill the gap and finding a different role to replace? Do you need to reword the recruitment ad to attract the right person?  Note down as many ideas as you can – maybe one will help you get unstuck.

Talk to others who aren’t stuck

If chickens could talk, maybe Saga would have shouted to Pernille ‘Hey, turn round! Jessie’s gone now. Let’s go and find some corn.’ Getting someone else’s perspective can help shift you from stuck to unstuck. Depending on the situation, you could talk to a trusted colleague, a close friend or family member, or get in touch with a coach like me. Choose wisely: if you want more than a sympathetic ear, look for someone who you feel has succeeded in meeting the challenges they’ve faced in life and whose opinion and advice you would value.

Talk to others who are stuck

In our digital world, someone somewhere is chatting on a forum or posting a blog or releasing a podcast about the very area in which you feel stuck. Why not use these resources to see what and who is out there? Maybe you’ll can find new information, strategies, techniques and even connect with others who have felt the same way.

Look back

Doubtless you’ve felt this way before. What did you do last time? What skills and experience helped you get out of the situation? You know more and have done more now than you did then so with the benefit of greater experience and hindsight, what can you do now to become unstuck?

Look forward

Sometimes fear and uncertainty can make us feel stuck. You dream of taking a sabbatical and working overseas for six months. You have a great idea for a business. You long to progress within the organization so you can help shape the future of the company. Will these dreams work out? No-one can be sure. The uncertainty can cause ‘stuckness’ and keep us living life in the middle, in our comfort zones. However, as a wise friend of mine said, ‘You can’t win the prize if you don’t enter the competition.’

Taking a small step out of the middle towards the edge can open up new opportunities for us, present new possibilities and we’ll find other people who are working their way out to the edges too. Where do you want to be and what’s the first step towards it?

These are just some ways to become unstuck – you may have other ideas: if so, please do post a comment.

Today’s pebble for you to contemplate:

Do you feel stuck? What will you do to help you become unstuck?

I’d love to hear from you,


Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?

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One Response to Getting unstuck

  1. Pingback: What’s next? | Turning over pebbles

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