Four ways to get Unstuck

26 Apr 2016

4 powerful ways to get Unstuck from negative thought patterns

If I say the word ‘frozen’ you’ll probably think of the movie. The association won’t be entirely without merit. In the movie, Elsa has a problem. Owing to childhood trauma, she is frozen on the inside. She is stuck and feels no emotions. She cannot develop lasting mature relationships with anyone – even her own sister. Many of us are also frozen but in a different way. We are frozen or stuck in a certain path of our lives from which we cannot seem to move forward.

Do these ways of being stuck strike you as familiar?

– You are unable to take a decision as you are anxious as to what the outcome with be

– You are unable to choose between two options, as both seem good for you

– You are not taking a leap, as you don’t want to fail

– You are delaying starting what you want to do, due to reason unknown to you

– Your relationship with spouse has reached a dead end

– You won’t see eye to eye with your parents

– Children won’t obey and you have lost control

– Work life balance has gone haywire

– You have a creative block in your head

– Something has changed and you can’t quite figure it out

If you look at the above list, you will see that these happen to all of us, at some time or the other, and can happen many times. So, how does one get unstuck.

Here are a few tips to unstuck, no matter what the situation is.

1. Gratitude: When you are stuck, it is very easy to assume that life is all bad. This is a fallacy. Life is not bad at all. There is much to be grateful for. But we just cannot see it right now. The next time you are stuck in the middle of a complex project, think about the fact that unlike so many other people in the country, you have a project to work on, a partner to work with and a house to work in. You have so many talents. You are lucky. All you need to do is focus. Gratitude is the #1 anti-depressant, besides, of course, exercise!

2. Intent: The second default behaviour when we are frozen is what I like to call a ‘poverty of intent’. This means we see only what is wrong or what others have/don’t have. But we fail to see what we can do right now. We do not take responsibility for our freezing. We fail not owing to a lack of resources but a lack of intent. Whenever you are frozen, tell yourself, “OK, what do I want for myself now?” Choosing an intent, however small it is, is a way out of chaos and anxiety and stasis.

3. Reach out: Very often some of us – especially the more introverted variety – tend to get insulated from the world when we have problems. We cordon ourselves off in our homes or we just mechanically do our work at the office. We speak to no one. We sulk. We resent the happiness of others. The world becomes a mirror of our contempt. This kind of voluntary social alienation deepens the frozen feeling. When we’re down is when we should force ourselves to get out of the cocoon of our small minds and help others. Helping others, giving someone else confidence and direction can be a huge boost to our own self-esteem and sense of purpose. This is possible because of the simple rule, “You cannot solve the problem from the same plane where you found it.” You have to move elsewhere. Reaching out to people helps you get to that magical ‘elsewhere’.

3. Name your emotions: Fear and anger muddy the waters of our mind. When something muddies your mind, it is like being in a dark room with a dangerous, unseen enemy. We are scared all the more because we feel powerless. Being frozen makes us feel anxious and powerless doesn’t it? Except that in this case, the feeling is low grade and spread out over time. And we come to recognize it and sweep it under the carpet. We refuse to deal with it. But top psychologists say naming your emotions is the first step towards dealing with them. Try saying these things out loud or write them down in your diary:

I am afraid I am wasting my time

I am regretful of my actions because I think I could have done better

I am angry at myself for wanting you so much

The minute you name the emotion, you name the enemy. And it gets harder to deal with. Words being shape and clarity. It is like throwing a coat over the dangerous invisible man in the room. Now you can see him and detect his movements.

So if you’re feeling frozen or stuck in some way, I want you to put these 4 rules into practice.

Experience a slow unravelling of the ‘unstuck state’.

If you are stuck and are looking for a change or for a breakthrough, register and participate in Chapter Two’s revolutionary workshop ‘Unfollow’ on the following dates:

Saturday, Sept 3rd, 2016 at Chennai

Saturday, Sept 10, 2016 at Bangalore

Saturday, October 1st, 2016 at Mumbai

For more details and registration, write to

About the Author:

Sandhya Reddy is an Executive coach, Leadership and Business coach based in Bangalore, India. She is the Founder and Principal Coach at Chapter Two Coaching, a coaching consultancy that enables everyone from CEOs to work-from-home parents and entrepreneurs to achieve their goals by replacing self-imposed limitations with enabling stories.

Many of us in our thirties experience a disquieting realization: what brought us to middle-management may not take us to senior-management. This is true. To chart a new career path, one needs to think and do things differently. This is where Sandhya can help. She is a coach. Life coaching, executive coaching, personality development, leadership coaching, business coaching… they are all part of her forte. Her Executive coaching programs helps tomorrow’s leaders set new goals, make new plans to achieve those goals.

Starting your own business can be exciting and daunting. It means coming face to face with hidden beliefs and behaviours that may be coming in the way of success. If you are an entrepreneur, Business Coaching helps you craft a vision, take responsibility, prioritize strategic thinking, and complement the best-laid plans with systematic action. Entrepreneurship involves a significant mind-set change but the right positive self-talk is the first start point.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *