Feeling Stuck? How to Shift Your Mindset by Amy DeRosia

CC Photo by Pauli Carmody

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
— Anais Nin

Any major transformation usually starts with stagnation. The desire to change is the result of discomfort. This is true about our personal lives, organizations, and society in general. 

We don’t always know where to start. So there is a tendency to do more of what we’ve always done. Sometimes we ignore the problem and hope it will simply go away.

Feeling stuck is never comfortable. But we can learn how to handle this phase of growth better by changing our perspectives.

Fixed and Growth Mindsets

According to Dr. Carol Dweck, there are two types of mindsets -fixed and growth. All of us have a little of each one.

When you have a fixed mindset about an issue, you believe things are what they are. You cannot change them. This attitude often results from fear, comparison, and shame.

A growth mindset is about believing you can improve. Circumstances are malleable.  There is expansiveness about this viewpoint. Failure isn’t so personal. You’re able to focus on behaviors you have control over.

Growth Mindset: People believe…their talents and abilities can be developed through passion, education, and persistence. For them…it’s about a commitment to learning-taking informed risks and learning from the results, surrounding yourself with people who will challenge you to grow, looking frankly at your deficiencies and seeking to remedy them.
— Carol Dweck

When you choose to see the potential in yourself, you are more likely to achieve greatness. Little improvements add up overtime.

Mindset also affects how likely we are to affect change in the world around us. There are too many assumptions made about the potential of our creative projects, systems, and ideas. Staying determined is easier if you're working with your strengths and looking for bright spots.

Noticing Bright Spots

Most of us have a plan to reach goals. We have an idea of what progress should look like. But our rigid checklists don't create space for unexpected obstacles. One of the easiest ways to keep moving forward is to pay attention to bright spots.

To pursue bright spots is to ask the question, ‘What’s working, and how do we do more of it?’ Yet, in the real world, this obvious question is almost never asked. Instead, the question we ask is more problem focused: “What is broken, and how do we fix it?’
— Chip and Dan Heath

Here's a short video by Dan Heath explaining this concept:


Getting unstuck is much easier when you consistently take action and focus on what is working. 

What do you do to keep moving forward when you're feeling stuck? Let me know in the comments.