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148: Getting Unstuck

Brief summary of the show:

Feeling stuck and struggling to find motivation is a common experience. In this podcast episode, I provide guidance on how to break free from a rut and regain momentum. I emphasize the importance of identifying the feeling of being stuck and reflecting on how you got there. I also encourage you to rediscover their why, take small steps towards their goals, surround themselves with positivity, and explore new approaches. Journaling and reevaluating goals are highlighted as powerful tools for personal growth. The episode concludes with a reminder that feeling stuck is not a sign of weakness, but an opportunity for evolution and growth.

Listen in as we talk about:

00:00 - Introduction: Feeling Stuck and Struggling to Find Motivation

02:15 - Identifying the Feeling of Being Stuck

03:13 - Reflecting and Reframing

05:44 - Rediscovering Your Why

07:39 - Taking Tiny Steps and Finding Tiny Triumphs

09:59 - Surrounding Yourself with Positivity

11:15 - Inventive Exploration

12:06 - Journaling Your Journey

14:09 - Reevaluating and Realigning

Notes from Natalie:

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View Transcript of the show

Natalie Tysdal 

Hi, everyone. It's Natalie. Welcome back to the podcast today. Today we are leaning into a topic that touches us all at some point. What to do when you feel like you're just not moving forward. Call it feeling stuck, unmotivated, a little bit down, maybe stagnant. You all know what I'm talking about. And as we get started today, I want to thank you for being a part of this community and for taking the time to better yourself. It's a continual thing in life and something I am passionate about. Personal story to kick things off. So from my own life where I hit what I felt like was a brick wall, but I found my path again. The news business was like a hamster wheel. I used to call it same grueling schedule every day, same depressing news every day and no one wants to feel unhappy and unfulfilled in their job or their life. People used to ask me about that early alarm clock and yes, the 2 .30 a .m. morning show alarm clock was really hard but when I enjoyed the job, it really wasn't that hard. Once it became a chore and not something I was passionate about or motivated by, it became grueling.

A friend of mine, actually a past guest here on the show who has become a close friend, Stephanie Nelson, said to me recently, if there's something you love to do, figure out how you can use it to help other people. And if you can do that, you've landed on God's amazing plan for your life. What I love to do is interview people to learn every single day from other people, to grow, and then to share that knowledge with all of you.

So what is it for you? What do you absolutely love doing? And how are you sharing maybe that knowledge or some of those things with other people? So getting started today, I first want to encourage you to identify that feeling of being stuck. Sometimes we end up feeling stuck without really knowing how we got there. It just sneaks up on us really slowly as time goes by. Our motivation then takes a hit making us feel kind of meh as we like to say. So notice these same old patterns. That is the first big step to finding your way out of the rut is to identify I'm in a rut. This is how I feel. I can see it. Look from the outside in so that you can identify those things in your life. All right. So next we're going to reflect and reframe. Picture yourself in a sailboat a drift on an endless beautiful lake. The breeze is stagnant. The waters are perfectly calm. So it's a beautiful thing, but it's also a metaphor as stagnation. Like the sailor, you're going to have to wait for some winds of change or find a way to move forward. You might have to paddle yourself forward. So reflecting on where you are and how you got there is the first gust of fresh air.

It's not about looking at the past, but understanding what you've achieved and where you have stumbled. It's an important exercise for reset and then renewal. After you've really spent the time to reflect, then the time to reframe, ask yourself the tough questions. Is this really a setback or is this an opportunity? Although it never feels at the time like an opportunity. Can't you look back and see that it actually was an opportunity? What was really hard for me in the news business thinking I have spent decades building this amazing career. Okay, God, why are you telling me this isn't where you want me anymore? And yet if I hadn't realized that that hardship and that hamster wheel as I call it, was actually an opportunity for something new in what I'm doing now and bringing new interviews to you, then I would still be stagnant. I saw it as an opportunity. At the time, I didn't, but now reflecting back, most certainly was an opportunity. Almost all of our hardships are actually opportunities. So you just have to change your way of thinking and change that course into being a new adventure.

Often, it's not our circumstances, but the lens through which we see things that determines our next steps. Remember, this process is not about dismissing your feelings whatsoever, but instead transforming them into something constructive. The winds of change may not be in your control, but you can control your reactions and your next steps. All right. So next, we're going to rediscover the why.

The most powerful word in your arsenal is why. It gives purpose to your actions and it gives meaning to your life. When you feel like your momentum might be waning, it's because you've lost sight of your why. So let's rediscover it. Your why is not just a flimsy statement that you put together quickly. It's really the fuel that ignites your passion. The reason that you push through adversity.

It's often the very reason that you began your journey in the first place with your goals. So it's a topic that I'll save for a deeper dive one day. Maybe you already know your why, but stop and think about it. What is your why? What pushes you? What is your purpose? What is your identity? For me, my identity is not my career, my possessions, my friendships, even my family. Although I find myself feeling that sometimes and certainly those things are so important to me but deep deep deep my identity is in my faith when we're really thinking about it and when you stop and you reflect on what drives you what is the most important thing for me I know that that is my relationship with God for you it might be something different but when you put that why first and everything else falls under it. I put on my faith glasses and I live this life for me. I live this life for my Lord and Savior and all of those other things fall underneath that. So I want to encourage you unearth your why. Plant it firmly in your present. All right next we're going to take tiny steps and we're going to find tiny triumphs.

A marathon is not one with a giant leap, but with countless steps, each one very important in its own way. So your momentum doesn't need to result in a major life change. Instead, it can just build over time with these tiny triumphs. So start with setting achievable bite -size goals, the kind of goals that when completed make you stand a little bit taller, smile just a little bit wider.

So let me give you an example because when I was working the early morning news, again, I use that as my example. My afternoons were like everybody else's. I used to say my four o 'clock was like everybody's midnight. So when everybody was energized in the mid afternoon, I was just ready to collapse. I often felt like that afternoon time was just wasted. I called it my zombie zone. I was off work, but I was too tired to really do anything. I wanted a new career, but I had a hard time motivating myself to decide what that was going to be. My goal became three things a day. Not a long list because my lists were always long of things I needed to do, calls I needed to make, just bills I needed to pay, or setting the kids up for camps, all those things. Those lists were so long. And you know what it's like when the list is long and you freeze? For me, it became just do three things a day because over the course of that week,

That turned into over 20 things that I accomplished that week. So sometimes it was making a call. Sometimes it was just going to get groceries. That was on my list. But it might also have been organizing my workspace three things a day. Those were tiny triumphs for me. So my encouragement to you is to identify little tasks, accomplish them, and then celebrate them.

because these tiny triumphs can remind you, you are capable. Your progress isn't in the huge things, it's in the little steps we make every day, even when the day -to -day grind might feel like too much. Next, surround yourself with positivity. I can't encourage you to do this enough because energy is contagious. The company you keep can transform the landscape of your life. 

When feeling stuck, surround yourself with positivity, supportive friends. Maybe it's uplifting books, motivational podcasts. I hope that this one is one of those motivational podcasts. Cultivate a circle of influence that inspires and encourages you, offering a fresh perspective. Sometimes it might just be a good swift kick in the butt, but it's in the direction of where you need to go this network and these positive things really act as a cheering section, your own personal cheering section. And we all need that. And we all need to celebrate these victories. We also need a little push sometimes. That's okay. We all need it. And it's important that you do that. Fill your environment with verbal and visual affirmations of where you want to be. Maybe it's a vision board. And by the way, I've talked about this many times here on the podcast and I have a free download to help you create a vision board. I'll be sure and put that link in the show notes so you can just click on it and create your own vision board of positivity and goals.

Next, inventive exploration. You know, routine and boredom are Momentum's worst adversaries. Let me say that again. Routine and boredom are Momentum's worst adversaries. When you do the same thing the same way every single day, it's easy to feel like you're on that treadmill or you're, like I said, in a hamster wheel just going round and round and not accomplishing anything. Inventive exploration is about trying new pathways to familiar destinations. Think of it as forging new neural pathways in the brain. When you approach your goals from different angles or try different methods, you're not just brightening.

When you approach your goals from different angles or you try different methods, you're not just breaking the monotony, but you're invigorating your mind with fresh ideas. This new approach might involve a new workout. This new approach might involve a new workout, maybe a new network event that introduces some fresh business perspectives. The beauty is that trying new things that you might stumble upon or something that rekindles your passion and purpose moves you in that positive direction. And next, journal your journey. It's kind of hard to say journal your journey. The act of writing is cathartic and it's also very clarifying. Journaling your thoughts, your challenges, your achievements. It's really a powerful exercise in reflective learning. It's a companion to self -discovery. There's a reason that every self-expert and therapist tells us to journal. It can seem like maybe a waste of time when you're busy, but you just have to admit how powerful it is and that stillness is also so powerful of being able to sit with your own thoughts. A journal is really a time capsule. I like to call it representation of your progress, something tangible that you can hold onto during those times of self -doubt. Seeing your growth mapped out on paper by actually writing, not typing, because there's something about that process of writing that's so powerful and it can be a potent reminder of momentum.

Next, reevaluate and realign. Just as a gardener tends to their plants, all while pruning to promote healthy growth, we have to reevaluate and realign. Often we find ourselves at a standstill because our course needs correcting. So revisit your goals, maybe that vision board and your journal and your strategies. If you have a journey or goals that you have actually written down, that's when you can go back and make notes on it. Get the highlighter out. I love using colored pencils and markers. I know it's silly. I'm very visual. It helps me to go back. And even when I was studying, when I'm looking at courses or in my Bible or going back to college days even, and I was just telling my son this the other day when he was studying, I said, take a sheet and put all your notes on that one sheet and get some colors. And it just is a visual representation of what you're studying or where you're going.

I want you to think about your circumstances and if they've changed requiring maybe an adjusted approach, that's perfectly fine.

Are there new avenues of growth that maybe you've neglected? Sometimes the path to renewed momentum is as simple as pivoting to a brand new strategy. Remember, reassessing isn't about admitting something that you've done wrong or a defeat or what you might call a failure. It's really about working towards better results. It's saying that you haven't figured it out yet. I mean, life is all about just trying to figure things out. None of us have all of the answers, but we're gonna get better over time. Each reassessment brings us closer to the alignment that once again is gonna set things in motion and give us that motivation. Maybe you haven't achieved the goal that you set a year ago, several years ago. Maybe you haven't achieved that goal that you had when you were five years old, but that's okay because you're a different person now. We evolve and that's the beauty of life. We continue to get better and changing those goals over time is absolutely okay. Just keep moving forward. In summary today, feeling stuck is not a sign of weakness. It's a byproduct of being human. As people with amazing potential, as I believe we all have, we have the capacity to overcome challenges and to thrive.

I'm going to go over these things again. Reflection, rediscovery, incremental triumphs, positive reinforcement, exploration, journaling, and course correction. We not only regain our momentum, but we create a surge of power that can help us move forward. So remember, it's not just about getting unstuck. It's about evolving and growing.

I hope this episode has blessed you and encouraged you. Please reach out if you have any ideas, comments or questions. And by the way, I have a voicemail set up. You can call me, leave me a question or a comment here for the podcast. And also I have a newsletter with more inspiration and tips and you'll find links to both of those things in the show notes today. Make it a great day and I'll talk to you next week.

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