Updated: Nov 4, 2021
We all get stuck at some point. Maybe it’s trying to lose weight, or grow your business. Maybe you are stuck in a dead-end relationship or can’t commit to writing your first book. Whatever it is, getting unstuck can be infuriatingly difficult to do. If it was easy, we wouldn’t be stuck now, would we?
The great news is: People do change. In fact, we are always changing. Most of the shifts we make in our life are natural and we are able to make them with moderate or no effort. However, there are those changes that we long for, but we just can’t quite seem to make the leap from “here” to “there.” Even if we do change briefly, we find ourselves sucked right back into the old pattern we thought we were rid of! Those are the places our soul most needs to grow.
My most recently published book, Own Your Own Shift: The Passion, Power & Freedom to Be Unstoppable contains a powerful and universal 12-stage process for getting unstuck. It is absolutely foolproof – with one exception. To get unstuck you absolutely must be willing to do the work. No one can get you unstuck, except you. That’s the unvarnished truth. However, I can help you do that work. Here are the stages that go from stuck to unstoppable, and a key insight for each one:
SHIFT 1: Sick & Tired
To get unstuck we must be completely through trying to do things the way we have been doing them and expecting a different result. ARE YOU AT THE POINT WHERE you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired with your current situation? Just knowing something isn’t working for you is not always enough to make a shift. We’ve all been there. We find some part of our life has become uncomfortable—or even outright self-destructive. We sit ourselves down and have a talk. We tell our self we are ready for a change. We might even go so far as to announce it to others.
But if simply wanting a change was all it took, we would immediately stop eating unhealthy foods and procrastinating on those deadlines. We would leave abusive relationships and jobs without delay. We would cast aside any addictions once and for all before we created havoc in our own lives and the lives of those we love. If awareness was all it took, making a shift would be so easy that entire industries built on helping us break through, like the fitness industry, would be out of business.
Will power won’t get you far. Instead you will need to redefine yourself. This idea of redefining ourselves is terrifying to many of us because losing our definition of who we are can feel like suicide—or worse, murder. Either way, it represents the death of who we had been.
SHIFT 2: Surrender
WHATEVER YOU WANT can be yours—when you are willing to give up whatever stands in your way. That is the underlying principle of surrender. We aren’t giving in to something outside ourselves. We are opening up to something inside ourselves. Surrender is like throwing open the door to infinity, where all things are possible. It is incredible. It is also incredibly disorienting. To pass through the door, we only need to let go of everything familiar that we thought we knew.
When we surrender, we stop resisting reality, since whatever we resist, persists. By resisting “what is” we paradoxically hold it firmly in place. Then, suddenly, we let go, taking our foot off the brake, and we are free. Surrender creates enormous freedom. So why is it often so difficult?
SHIFT 3: You Are Not Alone
One reason it is so difficult is because it is disorienting. We live in a world that values self-sufficiency. But we live in relationship to others. It is how we learn and how we are able to share our unique talents and gifts. Please know that you are not alone in your shift—and before you seek answers:
Learn from others who have been where you are or are headed where you want to be.
Stay motivated with the masters. Study the successful individuals who inspire you. What did they do to get there?
Increase your knowledge. Creating a vision for improving the world is just the first step. Next you’re going to need to develop the wisdom and skill to make your dreams come true. This always begins with learning.
Be open to feedback. The real trick is to avoid overconfidence. You can minimize the risk of premature action if you remain humble and be willing to adapt. Feedback is essential for progress.
Get a tribe. Surround yourself with cheerleaders and like-minded supporters.
SHIFT 4: Trust the Fire Within
To make a personal shift it is vital we learn to trust our inner guidance system. We will always have fears and doubts, but when we establish deep connection to our inner guidance, we don’t give them such a power over us as we used to. Our inner guidance communicates to us what needs to come next.
We’ve not built this internal muscle much, and so we don’t really trust it all that much. Therefore, it may feel scary and too big to follow the inner guidance, so we have to adjust to that idea first. We owe it to ourselves to spend some time learning how to rely on our own guidance system more than anything else, to trust the fire within. My book contains several exercises to strengthen this connection.
SHIFT 5: Get Clarity
Be clear about where you want to go. Clarity is always about what lies ahead of us. This is not a flight away from anything, but rather a pilgrimage towards something. This is where we will need our inner guidance to shed all the self-talk, doubt, inner criticism, and rejection. We will open up a channel for infinite creativity and possibility.
SHIFT 6: Own Your Shift
When you own your own shift, you realize your true power. You see that everything you have been wanting is actually possible for you. Here is where you will see the world for the first time. You know where you are headed, having shed what has held you back. You have identified the beliefs you have been holding onto, and are at least willing to begin to try a different approach with the support and guidance of others who have been where you are.
SHIFT 7: Initiation
But there is always more work to do – the bigger the sift, the more work there will be. Most of us don’t want to believe there will be times during shift when it will feel like it is easier to just stay like we are. In this stage, all patterns and conditioning that we’ve received from family and society come to the surface. The inner fear-based voice gets louder and stronger. The pain can reach our tolerance limits. But when we know that this is a possibility, we also know it is temporary—coming up for us to see what has been blocking us all along at last, and release it. The obstacle was our old self – nothing outside of us at all. This is much like the idea of being reborn.
SHIFT 8: Plan to Practice
We live in a world that expects instant results, instant success, instant food, instant weight loss, and instant return on investment. But most instant success stories take decades if you scratch the surface. And any major personal shift takes patience, persistence and consistent action.
Your habits will determine your outcomes. Getting there requires discipline, and lots of focused energy every day to make things happen. Long-term success with your personal transformation comes down to consistency with your daily habits, repetition, time, and believing the results are happening even before you see them.
SHIFT 9: Get Uncomfortable
If you want a different experience, you are going to need to step outside of your comfort zone. And there is nothing in the world we seem to resist more than discomfort. It is encouraging to me to remember the saying, “If you are not a little bit uncomfortable, you aren’t growing.”
Consider the intense muscle ache of doing a new workout routine or the intense pain of childbirth. Wherever your pain is on that scale, be aware that the discomfort is only temporary, and the result is nothing short of wonderful. Lean in. And lean on the trainers and midwives around you. New behaviors can be awkward, and we hate being uncomfortable, but discomfort is a sign of progress. Stay the course.
SHIFT 10: Be the Outcome
When we want something badly, we can spend a lot of time dreaming about what it would be like to get it. Human imagination is a wonderful thing that gets barely any opportunity to perform as it is meant to. We do our vision boards, littering them with pictures of people, places, and things—and this is absolutely fine for as far as it goes. It is how I found my dream home and my dream husband.
However, there is something deeper required for real shift. We must immerse ourselves fully, emotionally in the experience we want to have. What will we think, feel, say, and do when we are there? Then we begin to act like the person who already has the things and the mindset of the person she is ready to be. Our vision must be about us, not the stuff.
SHIFT 11: Choose You
Transform your inner critic into an inner coach. Choose yourself. Research indicates that people talk to themselves about fifty thousand times a day—and that 80 percent of that self-talk is negative. At the end of the day, if you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect others to believe in you? You need to be your biggest fan. Because if you don’t value yourself to the highest degree, who will?
Of course, this can be easier said than done in a world where we are taught to compare our insides to other people’s outsides, and value belonging over fulfillment. That’s why I have self-affirming exercises in my book, to help retrain your self-concept for making the shift you crave.
SHIFT 12: Celebrate the Shift
Gratitude is 100 percent necessary to retaining any shift you undertake. What we are grateful for – even before we achieve our ultimate goal – we get more of. If you are like me, you can become so goal-oriented that you forget to be present and see the incremental success. Appreciate your success. Failure to appreciate your shift drains confidence and returns us back into stuck faster than a bullet train. Here is where we take responsibility for the impact of our thoughts and decisions. Finally, we understand that we create our reality—and we affect the reality of those around us.
To find out more about Owning Your Shift and to get the practical exercises at each stage that really anchor this incredible work, grab your copy of Own Your Own Shift here!