Stuck in a Strategy


Are you stuck?  How do you know?  What does this question even mean? 


As I reflect on this question, I think I have the answer to what the problem is.  We are actually stuck in our strategy.  We are aligned only with what we want to do, what we think we (or someone else) should be doing.  We are having trouble making it happen, so we ‘feel’ stuck.

First off, I’m not so sure we can feel stuck.  We might feel frustrated, or disappointed, or hopeless because we can't make something happen. 

Was making this distinction helpful?

I hope you will say yes as you read on.   Why do I think it is important?  Because we will at times, or often, or regularly, find ourselves in situations where what we have planned on doing doesn’t happen.  If we don’t have another plan, and we continue to try and try the same thing over…chances are we will feel disappointed or frustrated with a great deal of regularity.

What’s missing?

You guessed it?!  NEEDS!  Knowing what we hope to have more of by doing and/or accomplishing the thing – strategy that we have set in motion. 

For example:  I want to bake a cake.  I go into the cupboard and find that I have no flour.  I go to the refrigerator and find no eggs.  [Okay vegans, enough with the ‘you can use tofu, and brown rice syrup…this is just an example. ;)]  I am pretty frustrated.  I found almond flour and apple sauce, and now I can’t find the recipe.  I go to buy the ingredients I am missing and remember that I lent my car to a friend (pretend I don’t live 2 blocks from a supermarket).  augh.  More frustration.  I call a couple neighbors to see if they have what I need and I get voicemail.  Basically, I can not bake a cake.  Am I stuck?

Not at all!! Why?

Because I check in and ask myself, “Why do I want to bake a cake?”  After some deep meditation I uncovered that I find baking very relaxing.  I had a pretty intense day and wanted to find calm.  I like the rhythm and flow of being in the kitchen, I like the creativity of making something delicious from many things, I celebrate the beauty of my countertops and design of my kitchen.

Break it down:
Baking a cake = strategy
Needs met = calm, rhythm and flow, creativity, beauty, ease

If I believe the only way to get these needs met is baking a cake, I am truly stuck. 

As I was writing this, I thought of at least a dozen other ways [strategies] to get these needs met.
1.  Do some paper crafting
2.  Cook something with ingredients I do have
3.  Do some gardening
4.  Write down some gratitudes (see:  Upping Your Gratitude Game)
5.  Take a walk
6.  Clean the basement (or bathroom, office, closet —basically clean anything)
7.  Read a book
8.  Listen to a book
9.  Call a friend and get some empathy
10. Go to the beach
11. Watch a movie (maybe?)
12. Take a nap

Say (Do) This Not That.

sliding - unstuck.jpg

Next time you ‘feel’ stuck…

1.  Spend a minute checking in to connect with the actual feelings you are having (as a practice to get more familiar with feelings).  Click here for a feelings list.
2.  Ask yourself, “What’s important to me?  What needs am I trying to meet by doing this?”  Click here for a needs list.

Write down a dozen (okay, at least 3) other ways you might get those needs met.  And find yourself UNstuck!