Getting Unstuck

by: Lauren Broussard, Co-Founder, The Memo

These past few months, I've stared at a lot of blank screens. Big projects were looming, but I didn’t know where or how to begin. So I stared. I stared for long stretches of time, trying to will myself in a direction that seemed to not come. As time passed, I grew weary and increasingly frustrated with myself. This was a very simple example, but I know many of us have felt stuck at some point in our lives or careers.

Stuck on a specific project or assignment.

Stuck in a job that no longer serves you.

Stuck on a decision.

Stuck on a path you no longer want to be on.

I know I've felt this way in certain seasons of my career, and the longer we stay stuck, the more frustrated we can feel with ourselves. The key in many of these situations is figuring out how to get unstuck as quickly as we can, while giving ourselves grace along the way. Some situations are more complex and require different solutions, but here are few things that helped me to get unstuck in this season:

Talk About It: Often, sharing what you’re struggling with can be beneficial. I shared with some friends the project and exactly where I was getting stuck. I was able to bounce ideas off of them. This conversation was the catalyst I needed to take the next step. The more we are willing to be vulnerable, the easier it can be for people to help us and meet us where we are.

Take a Break: Sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away for a short while. The longer you stay stuck and fixated on being stuck, the worse you may feel. Do something to get your mind off the thing looming over you, and you may find your "AHA" moment along the way.

Do One Thing: This is advice many of us have heard before -- do one thing every day that advances your goal. It can be large or small, but make sure you get it done. You may feel stuck in a job that you know you want to leave -- what is one small thing you can do today to move further towards where you want to be? It could be connecting with someone in the industry you want to move to, or completing an application to a training program or conference that would get you more of the skills you need. Whatever the thing is, start there.

Give Yourself Grace: Most importantly, know that we're all figuring out our lives and our careers as we go, and that you are not alone in any of it.