• Shanell Tyus

How to Get Unstuck - 9 Steps to Take to Stay 0n the Path to Your Purpose

As a chronic overthinker, I am always trying to work out the details and solutions to my problems in my head. The long and short of it is, my job is to trust God, and His job is to get it done….whatever it is. So if I’m worrying, fretting, anxious, or scared, I need to submit those cares to Him in prayer, and trust that it is already decided in my favor.

Silence is golden - take time to be still, listen, and center.
Not myself, in a funk, out of it, unmotivated, stuck.

You’ve probably felt one of these, ESPECIALLY during 2020. But with a new year comes new hope for getting your groove back. The truth is, we all need a reset from time to time, and the new year has NOTHING to do with it.


If you are battling anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation, please reach out to someone immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-273-8255.


Getting unstuck isn’t a one and done for everybody. You may need to engage several strategies to help you move from your current place of feeling stuck. I have had to engage several strategies at various points in my life to get unstuck.

TAKE A MINUTE & ASSESS

What’s wrong? I mean, do you know? As a believer, I often find myself feeling an emptiness that I try to fill with so many earthly things – food, shopping in the dollar bins at Target, crafting and DIY projects, food, binge watching a show, new creative ventures, food….and the reality is, that hole is there intentionally, waiting to be filled by the love of Christ. I know this sounds cliché, but so be it. More of Him means less emptiness.


As you continue to draw nearer to Him, the emptiness fills. And the beauty is, He created us a peculiar, unique, and set apart. So, we are able to draw nearer to Him in so many ways to get ourselves out of that pit of emptiness.


Pray and trust God to handle it.

PRAY

As a chronic overthinker, I am always trying to work out the details and solutions to my problems in my head. The long and short of it is, my job is to trust God, and His job is to get it done….whatever it is. So if I’m worrying, fretting, anxious, or scared, I need to submit those cares to Him in prayer, and trust that it is already decided in my favor.


Prayer helps release your worries and cares, and submit them to God in trust for solutions that you could never come up with on your own. No matter how much of an overthinker I am, I can’t think my way out of my need for a savior. Pray, and trust.



THERAPY

You may be thinking, ‘that escalated quickly’, and it did. Reason being, we often put this option on the back burner as a final resort, instead of seeking wise counsel and qualified assistance as an initial step to getting “unstuck”…from our habits, our anxiety, our fears, or our problems in general.


Can you imagine how much better our day-to-day interaction in society would be if each of us ran to therapy at the onset of our issues, rather than sitting with them and harboring them for years and allowed them to govern us, instead of the other way around?

Some of you reading this have serious aversions to therapy. You may have intended to skip this section altogether, but something brought you back to it (yay!). Collectivist cultures in particular feel like if it happens in the family, it stays in the family….”house music” so to speak. Just an FYI, that’s a total tool of the enemy to keep you, your children, and your children’s children bound by keeping you gagged.


Others of you are thinking about how difficult it is to find a therapist – maybe you tried it before and you found the therapist to feel cold or awkward, or plain unhelpful.

Finding the right therapist is a lot like finding the right partner….you may have to kiss a few frogs before you find your match. Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family, and or leaders in your church for recommendations, which can make the process less intimidating.


Once in therapy, you get the benefit of talking through your concerns with someone whose only job is to help you through to the other side. They don’t have an ulterior motive, their own vested interest, an opinion on what you should do because of what they feel it says about them….they just want to help you to the other side of your healing journey.


You’re not crazy for going to therapy. In fact, it makes you way clearer and more level headed than you realize. If only everyone could be as brave to grab ahold of help with the same determination.


JOURNAL

This will probably be a regular assignment in therapy, but you can always use this tool on your own.


Sometimes, our thoughts are swirling so fiercely, we can’t pinpoint one thought to focus on at a time.

Journaling serves as a mind-dump. It helps you say (write out) exactly what’s on your mind by giving you uninterrupted, unbiased space to share everything. There’s no fear of rebuttal or judgement, because it’s for your eyes only.


I have kept a journal since I was 16 years old, and have most of them in my possession. I admit, that’s risky business, lol, because some of the contents I would NEVER want to see the light of day


FOCUS ON STRENGTHS

Often times, I feel like a failure when I’m either juggling too many things at once, or am trying unsuccessfully to take on tasks that I am not great at. In that moment, I turn to my strengths.


There are so many things that I am naturally talented at (so are you), and so many things WAY outside of my wheelhouse. Knowing the difference between the two is so helpful in realigning with my “zone of genius”. Meaning, the things that come so easily to me, that I am operating in a form of genius when I perform them….I don’t have to think too hard about them, and tackling these tasks comes to me easily.


There are times when you just can’t escape a task, no matter how much you struggle with it (English wiz/math-struggler talking here). Although I excelled at English in school and was labeled “smart” because of it, I struggling in math and science courses so much. I had to leverage the strengths in those classes by paying particular attention to terms and word problems as my saving grace for getting through them.


Relying on strengths doesn’t mean you ignore your weaknesses. It means that you don’t put forth comparable effort into weakness fixing as you do excelling in your areas of strength.


So when you find yourself stuck, think about what you do inherently well and attempt to use that way of approaching the world/people/tasks to help you through.


TALK TO FRIENDS

What about your frieeeeennnnnnds? Seriously. Sometimes an hour-long talk on the phone with one of your besties is exactly what you need to pick you up and get some perspective.

We live in an age where a text or a DM reply to a story tricks us into believing we’ve shared a deep and intimate connection. And while we may be connecting over deep and intimate things (a personal piece of info shared in a heart-felt caption, or a photo of a special moment), these virtual experiences can’t always take the place of human connection. We need to see, talk-to, hug, and hold one another, because humans were created for community and relationship.


So pick up the phone and dial a bestie or auntie who knows you inside and out. Sitting in conversation with someone who knows how to nurture, challenge, and support you can often be the medicine you need. Maybe not the cure-all, but for me personally these talks often set me on the path for serious self-reflection, journaling, and prayer for deeper clarity. God uses everything for good. So consult Him, even in this, and He will put the right person on your heart to call who will be His hands, feet, and voice at the right time.


GET AWAY

Ok. I know we are in a pandemic. And I would NEVER encourage you to put yourself, or those you love, in danger by traveling or not social distancing. BUT, I will say that I have personally vacationed, and observed others vacation, in ways that are socially distanced and safe. An Air BnB with those in your quarantine pod, OR ALONE, are both excellent ideas for getting a change of scenery and being inspired by new surroundings.


A night at a hotel or even a week away could be just the medicine you need to unplug, recenter, and come back new. Even building in time to work, create, catch up, or just DO NOTHING for the first time in a long time.


Rest and recharging are essential to remaining motivated and creative.


GET INSPIRED

This can take so many forms. Getting inspired can include playing your favorite album, listening to a Ted Talk or podcast, a virtual visit to a museum or gallery, supporting a friend’s work or event, attending a virtual conference and hearing from other women pressing through in their creative lanes....so many places to draw inspiration.


Some of my most peaceful moments come when I've had a chance to clean my house to my favorite music. Something about the sound of vinyl, the smell of my favorite candle, and the feeling of my clean house give me the clarity I need to think, organize, and


Music is a soul soother and mood lifter.

Sometimes revisiting your “why” is the key to restart your ignition. If you have ever sat and established why you’re doing what you’re doing, you have already established your course corrector. Your why helps to remind you what you’re doing, and what you’re doing it for.


Reconnecting with your why is often a necessary step in helping you to realign, reestablish, or revise what’s most important to you in this season. Maybe your why has changed over time and what once motivated you is no longer the case. That’s fine. You’ll simply need to establish a new why. This can be difficult if you’re finding yourself stuck, but not impossible.


Think about your ultimate goals in life, and what you want to see happen as a result of this project or endeavor. Who or what stands to benefit? What would happen if you DIDN’T succeed? How would your life be impacted? These are all questions that help you remember, or establish, your why. And your why is often a great source of inspiration.

GET A COACH (FOR STRUCTURE AND STRATEGY)

Not unlike therapy, a coach is an experienced and outside perspective that is fully dedicated to helping you succeed by seeing you through to the other side of a process

You're a Goal Getter!

Have an idea you want to get out of your head and into the world? Need help in a particular area of your life? Feel like you have plans in place but no strategy behind them?

You've got goals to get, sis - let's do it!

Are any of these usual go-tos for you? What, if anything, are you looking to engage in order to help get unstuck? Share below!


I’m rooting for you in the new year, and always!



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