Three Questions to Ask When You’re Stuck

I’ve struggled to come up with a single title that I want to stick with, even as I sit down with the intention to write a few posts. I tell myself that I want to choose a narrative for several posts, a place for the story to go, rather than just sitting to write what best suits me in the moment. If I let myself get bogged down in these things, then the trap is sprung and I’ll end up with another half-done saved draft or seven, rather than anything complete that I actually want to post.

Instead, I realize two things: one, that anything I write is part of my narrative, and, two, that I’m not obligated to start with the title just because it reads “Enter title here” at the top of the page. So, I skip the title, I accept the narrative will be what it will be, and I write.

Will it be the most perfect post ever in all of history? Uh, no. Will it be helpful? Maybe.

Here’s what writing this has already accomplished for me. I’m reminded that I don’t have to fill in the boxes in the order that they are laid out before me; I’m more productive and more fulfilled when I question establishments to find what is meaningful and worthwhile for me than when I am obliviously complicit. I’m reminded that I don’t want to bottle things up, that I don’t want to spiral, that I don’t want to distract myself with meaningless things. I’m empowered to stay engaged with life, to express myself, and to manage my feels.

Here are three questions that help me get unstuck.

What am I feeling bound or constricted by? If I can’t identify what’s got me stuck, then I probably can’t move past it. Once I identify it, I can figure out how to deal with the obstacle.

Am I really constricted by the obstacle or do I just feel like I am? I need to clarify whether it’s a true obstacle or whether I just feel like it is. If it’s a feeling, I need to deal with the feeling.

Can I remove the obstacle, change my perception of the obstacle, or go around the obstacle entirely? At least one of these is usually a realistic, achievable option. It might take a process of elimination, it might take time, but just by asking the questions, I’m no longer stuck; I’m working my way through.

May you find yourself empowered to start moving again, to defeat the inertia, and may you do so knowing that your movement encourages others, too.

Choose and Walk

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