Why most of us get stuck

Written by Fay Sharpe on 19 October 2017

I talk to a lot of people and most of them seem happy in their lives and careers, but often this veneer masks feelings of frustration and ‘auto pilot syndrome’. We often plod along without addressing what’s really bothering us and sometimes the mountain of change seems too hard to climb alone.

I’ve felt this way on various occasions over the years in both my work and personal life and sometimes it’s hard to know what the right thing to do is. When someone asks how you are, mostly we say fine or great, not wanting to appear like were moaning, but being polite can sometimes suck and often means we don’t get to the root of the issue.

This ‘stuckness’ usually comes from fear, complacency or sometimes just not having the right person to talk to, one who won’t judge us and wont ‘tell us what to do’ (even though that’s what we think we need!). Someone to offer gentle council, maybe options and suggestions, but often just a listening ear.

Being stuck happens to all of us, learning to reflect on your situation, talk to others and move on.

That’s what a good mentor should be. A neutral mentor with nothing to gain is probably the best it’s going to get. Often mentors and mentees benefit each other in ways that don’t seem obvious. What I have learnt is that being stuck happens to all of us, learning to reflect on your situation, talk to others and move on is the key.

Making a change and adding things to your life mix is a good thing. Being stuck and staying stuck isn’t.
 
Ways to get unstuck
 
Balanced life list

Write down the eight most important things in your life, i.e. family, friends, relationships, work, fitness, travel, learning and home. Once you have your list, grade each one happy or sad and focus on fixing one of your sad faces every week.

If possible, join up categories to fit things in. If you’re not seeing enough of your friends and you need to get to the gym more, plan to meet a friend for a gym date and have coffee after.

Get a mentor

Seek out people that set high standards in their life and work with those you respect and admire. If you have something on your mind, ask them! You’d be surprised by how many people are flattered and will even be happy to give you an hour for a coffee.

Set yourself a goal

Even if it’s something small, having goals with set outcomes and time lines make us more motivated to do it! So I want to be nine stone by 1 December? Right, then I’m going to do weight watchers, write down daily consumption, exercise 40 minutes four times a week, walk, run and hit the gym etc.

The more detail the better. Why? I want to look incredible in everything I wear.
 
Ask for whatever you want

As they say, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, but remember to ask nicely. If you want a promotion, a change of role, different hours, just ask. Assume your boss isn’t psychic.

Think positive

I’m a great believer in the power of positive thought, if you believe in yourself, anything is possible…

 

About the author

Fay Sharpe is vice president of BCD Meetings & Events. Fay is also a huge advocate for personal development, gender equality and championing the role of women in the events industry, and was voted ‘Mentor of the Year’ at the 2017 Shine Awards. 

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