Getting Un-Stuck!

What do you do when you’re stuck?

I was stuck the other day…

I took part in an online class, Day Schildkret’s offering on impermanent earth art, and found myself blocked—unable to move forward because of my preconceived notion of what I should be doing/creating.

Day’s beautiful work is symmetrical—and his creations often look like a kaleidoscope though they are made from petals, leaves shells, stones, and more. I entered my design stage of the workshop experience with a vision of what the final product should look like.

The vision of my goal got in the way of moving forward!

When I stepped back and looked at my materials, I felt symmetry would be impossible, certainly in the time I had to complete the task, maybe in any amount of time. With that revelation in mind, I turned to another aspect of the guidelines we had been given, and that was to think of to whom or to what I was dedicating the artwork. With a new lens for viewing the task, I had another avenue for interacting with my materials. I shifted my focus to meaning and not structure, and it led me to my final creation. (If you’re curious about to whom I dedicated my creation, visit my instagram page, @jillig to learn more. While you’re on insta, check out Day’s work too, @morningaltars.)

 

What about you?

When were you last stuck? How did you work through it to a successful result? As you reflect on how to move forward, does your approach depend on what kind of stuck you are? Perhaps you are

  1. feeling anxious about how to start a project
  2. a conflict with a colleague, friend, or family member
  3. a technique you are seeking to improve or master

In reflecting on just these few examples, I notice that I would use different approaches to get unstuck

  1. I’d work to move through the overwhelm at the beginning a project by referring to processes I’d used in the past or by taking a small step on the path that I have visualized. (I like George Kao’s thoughts on visualization of the process and not just the goal, in his book, Joyful Productivity)
  2. I would work to find some common ground with the person I’m having a conflict with, as suggested in one of my favorite books, Dynamic Relationships by Jacqueline Stavros and Cheri Torres. The focus on Appreciative Inquiry in relationships is powerful!
  3. In the instance of working with a challenge in drawing or facilitating with a group, I would keep putting myself in the situation of having to consciously practice new behaviors. Sometimes I ask a colleague for observations and reactions about what I’m doing well and how I might enhance my work.

While there’s a saying, “How you do one thing is how you do everything” that’s not true of me… for me, it’s more nuanced. I endeavor to discover what the circumstances need and create differentiated responses.

What are your thoughts?

And if all this chat about a new lens for viewing you, your work, or your relationships feels important and worth your time and energy, please reach out to me for a complimentary call about my Appreciative Coaching work. I believe that this work and play of how we see ourselves, others, and the world is one of the most crucial and exciting challenges we all face.

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