Being stuck in traffic is the worst. I was making my way out of Carlsbad, New Mexico and found myself on a two-lane road with a great deal of oil traffic — 18 wheelers loaded with equipment, pick up trucks full of oil field workers, trucks loaded with gravel, and a few people like me that didn’t know how they ended up in the middle of all this — vehicles piled up heading in both directions. It took 5 hours for me to make what would normally be a 1 hour trip. Some of you have been on I-35 through Texas the day after Thanksgiving. It was like that! Being stuck with no way to go left or right or forward or even backward is miserable. I would have been happy to just go back to Carlsbad and try again later. But no, I was stuck. In this place of stuck-ness, I went stark raving mad. I started thinking about driving through the ditch, private property, through fences — none of those were good ideas. I begin to think about the necessities I needed like a glass of tea, a bathroom, food, a walk. When I was focused on all of that, I felt trapped and begin to believe I would never ever get off this road.
When we are stuck, a few things start to happen:
It’s hard to get excited about anything.
We keep reminiscing about the past. It sounds like, ”If only, I had. . .” “Back when . . .” “I used to . . .”
Our health and well being aren’t a priority.
We spend our days dreaming about an alternative reality — wining the lottery; moving to Timbuktu; replacing our partner . . .
We don’t see the purpose of anything we do — nothing feels significant.
We stay in a situation because we believe there’s nothing else out there.
We’re asking, “Is this it?”
If you can identify with a handful of these things, you are definitely not experiencing forward movement — feeling trapped like I did on that road through oil country.
Now that we’ve established that you are stuck, I have good news for you!
YOU ARE NOT STUCK! You are simply focused on things that are keeping you in a place you don’t want to be. Notice where you focus. Where are you spending your time, energy, creativity, resources? When you have a very clear understanding of what you are focused on, you can shift that focus. Shifting your focus will give you completely different results.
The key to moving forward, getting rid of the feeling of being stuck, is shifting your focus. Where can you shift your focus?