Three Questions to Ask When You’re Feeling Stuck

While listening to the Painted Guru interview series over the last week, or so, I found myself jotting down tidbits of wisdom that could be applied to how to move through periods of stuckness and indecision. When I turned these inspirational nuggets into questions, and answered them in relation to areas of my life where I’m feeling stuck, my next actions became clearer, so I thought I’d share them with you too!

pink flower1. Where am I pushing myself? What am I feeling pulled toward?

During her Painted Guru interview, creative living coach, Jamie Ridler, referenced a quote by songwriter, Alma Sipila, “Don’t push; follow the pull.” I know that when I’m feeling stuck it can sometimes come from trying too hard to make something work, especially something that I think I should do, rather than something I want to do. When I made a list of ways that I was pushing myself, and then a list of what I was feeling pulled toward, they were very different lists.

bees in passionflower2. What’s working?  How can I do more of it?

Painter and teacher, Flora Bowley, advised, Work with what’s working.” As a reader of many self-help books, I know that I often focus on what’s not working in my life, but constantly trying to “fix” things can take a lot of time and energy, especially if what isn’t working is a long-term habit, or behavior. I’m pretty sure if I took all of the time and energy I spend trying to correct, or improve what isn’t working into doing more of what is working, life would be a lot more fun ( :

Another pink flower3. What would I do if I trusted my heart? What is my first impulse?

When asked, “What is your creative process teaching you now?” artist and creative business consultant, Lisa Sonora, answered, “To keep trusting my heart. To follow the heart, for me, means to follow the first impulse, to go where my desire is, to really trust that my desires are trustworthy, that I can rely on them to lead me where I want to go; otherwise, I wouldn’t have them.”

When clients come to me because they need help clarifying their big vision, they often say, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life,” but most of the time, they do. They’ve just buried their desire because following your desires can sometimes be scary. As Lisa explained, “It sounds romantic, but often our heart leads us to challenging places.”

I certainly found that to be the case. When I completed my answers to the questions above, some of the answers that filled me with the most excitement, also felt like the biggest risk, which is probably why I’d removed them from my mental list of possibilities, and consequently, got stuck.

If you experiment with these questions, let me know how it goes.


Just for the Joy of It LOGO2Registration is open for the Just for the Joy of It: 30-Day Creativity Practice for Busy People e-course. I’m offering a discounted fee ($30) for this pilot version which will run from June 22-July 29, 2015. I hope you’ll be a test pilot for this first session! You can learn more and sign up here.

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