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Why You’re Stuck

By Jessica Albon

If you’ve been doing what you do for more than 5 minutes, chances are, you’ve run into two challenges: 1) Your enthusiasm for what you do is no longer enough to sustain you; and 2) You’ve had enough experiences where you worked really hard at something only to get no result to be kinda discouraged.

When we’re new at something, it’s often pretty easy to keep working at it–even when we’re not getting results–because it’s new and exciting (and because we know we have to work at it before we’ll get results).

But after we’ve been in the game for awhile–whether that means running your own business, or working for someone else–all those times we didn’t get results start to add up and they erode our confidence.

We’re no longer so comfortable diving in and trying something new–now we want the tried and true.

The problem with this is that we each have a particular approach that is our tried and true but that we’ve often gotten negative feedback on. So, when we’re just getting started, we may feel comfortable diving in in our natural style, but once we’ve been working for awhile, we hear all those voices in our head about the ways we did it “wrong” last time and we try to get it right this time.

Which adds up, for most of us, to stuck.

Each of the Brand Sirens gets stuck in a particular way. (If you don’t know your Siren, take the quiz!) Find your Siren and see if this resonates. Then, take the small action recommended.

Audrey: You’re trying to help everyone. Audreys tend to have high-appeal which means you’ll get contacted by tons of people who want your help. But, you can’t help everyone. It’ll deplete and exhaust you to try! Take a look at your schedule for next week and cancel at least three appointments you’re not looking forward to.

Edith: You’re dousing your bossiness. As an Edith, you know what someone needs to do to get the result they want. You don’t need to ask a lot of questions or get a feel for the situation first. But, perhaps someone balked when you told them what to do and now you’re trying to soften your style. Stop that! Your right clients adore you because you cut to the chase. Reach out to one prospect (who you’d like to work with) and tell them it’s time for your work together to begin.

Judy: You’re everywhere at once. Judys tend to want to try everything and then they don’t always reassess what’s working and what’s not. So, today make a list of everything you’re doing, thinking about, trying out, and working on. Sometimes just having the list is enough. If not, cross off at least two things (and then stop doing them).

Katharine: You’re hiding out. Maybe someone reacted badly when you were just being yourself. Maybe someone accused you of saying something hurtful when that’s not how you meant it. Katharines are the most likely to be misunderstood and that tends to shut them up. Once someone’s been hurt by something you’ve said, it can be really hard to find your voice again. So, try this: treat yourself as the client. If you came to yourself feeling stuck, what advice would you give? (Do this as formally as you can–perhaps using different chairs for You as Client and You as Expert.)

Elizabeth: You’ve stopped taking care of yourself. I’m not talking “self care” in the traditional sense (massages, etc, etc) though that’s fine if you enjoy it. Rather, you’ve likely started steam rolling over the little things. Try asking yourself, “What would make this more enjoyable?” and then doing it. Maybe you’d like to listen to music while you work–or maybe you’d like silence. Maybe you need transition time before starting your next task.

Taking this small action can help you get unstuck very quickly. So, the next time you find yourself stuck, find your Siren in the list above and follow my recommendation. You can’t avoid getting stuck, but you can put the right tools in your toolbox that gracefully get you unstuck.