I’ve spent much of the past year working on my bed because of the pandemic. My husband uses our office space — we swap once in a while, but he needs our desk because he’s an editor, and our nanny is with Ryder in the living room. We’re using every room possible in our apartment.
I know how fortunate my husband and I are to have been able to work from home and continue to have childcare during a time that has been challenging and difficult for so many. I love my job so much and pinch myself weekly thinking about the impact Work Bigger has made on many people’s lives. I’ve dreamt of this for more than ten years!
As a coach who helps people with mindset work, I know how important it is to manage your energy and mental wellbeing. That includes taking time and space away from work. However, because of the pandemic, I can’t separate my workspace from my personal space, and as a result, I’ve had days when this has taken a toll on my energy.
It’s hard to find a solution when you’re mentally and emotionally drained.
Can you relate to being caught in this mental space? Maybe you’re experiencing exhaustion from the pandemic, or maybe you’re feeling frustrated or stuck right now.
When I start feeling stuck, I ask myself, “What do I need?”
If you’re struggling in some way – maybe you’ve been trying to find fulfilling work for a long time, or perhaps you’ve been dealing with a toxic boss for way too long – I want you to ask yourself this question too.
It’s a simple but powerful question that will help you look inward and give you some space to consider what you need at this moment.
Take these three steps to work through feeling stuck and identifying what you need.
1. Acknowledge where you are.
However you’re feeling, make space for it.
I know you may want to ignore what you’re going through, but I want you to try something different. Instead, take stock of it.
Think about a time you explained a stressful situation to a loved one, and they just wanted to fix the problem. But what you really wanted was someone to listen to you and acknowledge your feelings.
We can do this for ourselves, too: recognize what part of you or your life needs some attention right now.
I always recommend labeling: label how you’re feeling and spend a few minutes journaling about it. Using this feelings inventory can help you narrow in on a specific emotion.
Acknowledgment is a powerful tool that can help you process what you’re going through.
2. Start with an imperfect plan.
Our brains crave certainty, and sometimes having a complete plan can feel really satisfying.
But there are also times when it can hold you back. You just need to start, and the solution will eventually present itself!
Make a list of any ideas you have about how to get unstuck. Give yourself space to write out those ideas without judgment.
Then explore the viability of each one. I know you may be resistant to this. Some of your ideas may not be realistic.
I want you to write them down anyway.
In the Work Bigger membership, this is how we identify what opportunities fulfill you. Often, after members complete their purpose work and get clear on their why, they ask, “Now what?” So we start with a list of anything they’ve been curious about, and they take it from there. As they follow that strategy, they end up with a list of possible job roles to pursue. It’s incredible to witness the progress.
Give everything a chance. Don’t fall into the trap of convincing yourself it will never get better.
I promise you with a clear strategy, change will happen.
3. Take one small action.
Baby steps are powerful.
When Work Bigger’s content manager, Claire, worked as a magazine editor, she would always tell a writer struggling to get an article started to break every element down into different steps instead of having one oversized item — write the article — on their to-do list.
By turning one overwhelming task into many smaller, easily digestible items, the writer would have a starting point that allowed them to make continual progress instead of just staying stuck.
You can apply this technique to anything. Take one small action, and don’t worry if it’s imperfect.
The goal isn’t to find the perfect solution but to get better each time. I always tell my members, done is better than perfect. Just get started.
Then tune in to how you feel as you take that action. Do you feel energized? More motivated?
Use that as your fuel.