Sometimes you just can’t seem to get out of a particular situation. Whether you’re stuck in a relationship or career that doesn’t feel right or if you’re stuck in a job that isn’t satisfying, it can feel as though no matter how hard you try, nothing will change.
This feeling can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to let the negative emotions take over. But if you can learn to shift the way you think and feel, you can overcome the negative emotions that are holding you back.
First, you need to identify what state you are in. For example, you may want to change from being stuck in procrastination to motivation or from confusion to resourcefulness. Or you might need to move from apathy to inspiration or from feeling overwhelmed to being in control. Or, you may need to change from being stuck in a position where you don’t have any options or where there are no opportunities for growth and improvement to feeling totally in control of your life and work.
Next, you need to decide how you want to feel when you get out of the state you’re in. You might want to shift from being stuck in a place where you’re overwhelmed and can’t see any way out to feeling inspired and motivated. Or, you might want to shift from being stuck in limbo between two worlds where you can’t make your choices or leave one to being able to make choices and choose the best option for your future.
Now you need to create a simile that helps you connect your current situation with the state you’d like to be in when you get out of it. Using a simile can help you visualize a solution for your problem, and it can also provide a bit of humor that will keep you going when you’re facing tough situations.
To create your simile, start with a real-life example that you know well and use it to help you brainstorm what a solution to your problem would look like. For example, if you’re stuck in a rut with your writing and you don’t know what direction to go, you can imagine your story as a leafless tree. Or, if you’re stuck in mud and need someone to push you over the edge, you might picture yourself as Norah Jones’ light bulb.
Then, you need to take the simile that you created and build on it. For example, if you’re in a rut with your relationships and you don’t know what to do about it, you can imagine a man coming up to your mother at her funeral and saying that he always loved her. Or, if you’re stuck on creating the right promotion plan for your company and you don’t have a clear sense of what your goals are, you can imagine your company as a love letter to Valentine’s Day.
When you’re facing a challenging situation and you’re feeling stuck, you can use a strategy called micro-yeses to shift from asking why to naming three choices or micro-yeses that are available right now. This strategy will give you the energy and confidence to take action that moves you forward toward your goals.