How to get unstuck and get moving

Arriving at my hotel at 2 a.m., I had hoped to change into a suit before my presentation that afternoon. However, the front desk person informed me the rooms would not be available until 4 p.m. Since the event was at a nearby country club, I figured I could use their locker room when I arrived.

As I drove into the parking lot, it was teeming with hurried golfers and enthusiastic conference attendees. When I inquired about the use of the locker room, they informed me it was fully reserved for the golf tournament in progress. Thinking it could be very awkward for some unsuspecting audience members to see their conference speaker in his underwear before the conference, I made a decision I would soon regret.

I decided the back seat of my rental car had ample room for a discreet wardrobe change. I parked a distance from the front entrance to stay out of sight and confidently moved to the back seat. Everything was going smoothly: crisp shirt, pressed pants, and nicely buffed shoes went on without a hitch.

As I moved to exit the back door, however, I discovered a problem. The child-proof locks had somehow become activated, so in order to escape the vehicle, I would need to climb over the front seat. I thought to myself, “No problem, this should be fairly easy!”

The first stage of my maneuver went well, the second not so much. As I was lifting my artificial leg over the front seat, I lost my balance, launching myself headfirst into the dash, slamming into the pedals, and landing in a heap on the floor, tearing off three shirt buttons during my descent. I was stuck, wiggling like bacon on a hot frying pan and trying to extricate myself.

After a couple of minutes of thrashing about, a bewildered looking club employee appeared at my driver’s side window. I asked him to help open up my door, and when he did, I toppled out from the car with my arms first, like someone tipping over to do a handstand. When I asked this kind young man how he knew I was in trouble, his answer gave us both a hearty laugh. He said, “Sir, I saw your emergency flashers and thought you just wanted me to come get your golf clubs.”
We all have times when we become stuck physically, but more often, we become stuck emotionally.

The next time you feel stuck, before flailing and popping your buttons, here are a few alternative and useful ways to get yourself unstuck and moving freely!

Getting in motion will help your emotion

Sometimes, we get stuck because we want to make that perfect next move. We spend excessive time planning and can obsess over what could go wrong. I promote the practice of careful planning as long as we do not over-plan and create an excuse not to take action. Hasn’t it been your experience that the “right move” is most often to just get moving? The decision to get moving will boost your confidence and change your emotion.

Embrace the stuck as an opportunity

A shift in how you perceive being stuck can change how you view the experience. When you focus on what’s wrong, you perpetuate negative thinking, deplete creative energy, and stay in a rut. In short, being stuck does not mean you suck.

By contrast, if you look for the positive aspects of where you are, new possibilities can emerge. It is a chance to re-evaluate, re-engineer, and repurpose your life. Being stuck presents an opportunity to find a solution you have been seeking.

By the way, my presentation went very well, but my arm movements were limited. I had to be careful my dress shirt did not fly open due to my missing buttons!

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