A few months ago, I was really starting to gain momentum in my life and business.
At least that’s what I thought.
I had just finished re-branding my website. I changed my domain name to my name and set a new focus for the direction I was going to take.
I was excited, motivated, and working my tail off day and night to put everything together. I was coming up with fresh ideas on how I was going to use my new platform to finally turn it into a business and quit letting it be just a hobby.
But, there was a huge problem.
I was about to make the same mistakes that led me to feeling like I needed to re-brand in the first place.
I had a vision, a plan to implement it, and all the encouragement in the world coming from friends, family, connections, and subscribers. That was all great and grand, but I was missing a key element that soon stopped me in my tracks and left me in the same place I had been before.
I soon became stuck, lost, unmotivated, confused, lazy, and my progress slowed to snail speed.
My confidence in what I was doing started to wane, I was doubting my abilities, and lost all sense of direction on my path.
I spent weeks going around in circles in my mind, trying to figure out what had gone wrong. I didn’t understand how I went from being so sure about my vision, to suddenly doubting everything I had just created.
I just shut down. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t do anything that required me to take action and move forward.
Ahh, but then it hit me.
It wasn’t that I was stuck. It wasn’t that I had lost direction. It wasn’t even that I had lost focus.
It was the reason WHY these things were happening to me. The reason why they happened to me on a consistent basis for the past 3 years. That reason was ME.
I was the one getting in my own way. I was lying to myself, thinking that I could just keep doing what I had always done, expecting different results.
I would get excited about a new idea, run with it, then get lazy, distracted, lose focus, and then eventually lose confidence in what I was doing. That led me to becoming stalled, stuck, and settling back to inertia.
I knew I had to do something different, even if I knew where I wanted to go, and even if I knew what I had to do to get there. Having a plan meant nothing if I couldn’t follow through.
I had been slap dashing my work for years and then would get upset when things weren’t progressing how I wanted them to. Instead of coming up with a better strategy to take action on my ideas, I would just sit around not doing anything remotely productive that would lead me toward my goals.
Now that the light bulb was on, I just had to come up with a strategy to take action, and keep taking action. To do that, I had to figure out how to not get lazy, stuck, etc.
So that’s what I did.
I sat down and put my thinking cap on. I wrote down all of the problems that contributed to becoming stuck and not following through. I must have come up with at least 20, but when I really started to look deeper, I noticed a trend that helped me get a better understanding of the root of my problems.
My overall well-being was a joke. I realized the reasons for my setbacks were all stemming from different areas of my health and lifestyle. I needed to become fully engaged in changing the areas of my life that I knew would help me become more productive, focused, driven, and take continuous action on my goals.
I came up with a strategy to increase my well being by focusing on my mental, physical, and spiritual health. I started meditating to help with my focus, spiritual presence, and quiet my lizard brain. I began doing a 30 minute workout routine to better my physical health. I also threw in some yoga to try and mix all three areas together.
It’s been about three weeks since I started these exercises and already I’m experiencing lower stress levels, I’m performing at a higher level in my work, I’ve become more productive, am more focused, and have greater clarity on my vision. I’ve also been more motivated and have an increased ambition to move forward, an expanded self awareness, and have become much more confident with myself and abilities.
I’ve progressed more towards my goals and vision in the past three weeks than I had in the previous three months. I’ve also felt a lot happier, healthier, and have a strong feeling this is just the start of a giant leap forward on my journey.
What about you? What have you done when experiencing similar struggles? I’d love to hear your thoughts as well. Please share in the comments :)
Photo by Lara Cores
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63 thoughts on “How I Became Unstuck and Took a Giant Leap Forward In My Life and Business”
Hi, i ‘m afraid of starting a bussiness alone. I fear failure. How do i conquer? I am 60yrs old
You’re not alone. In today’s business world it’s the support we get from the connections we make with those with similar business goals and aspirations that help us grow and move forward. That includes the fear of failure, which everyone experiences at one time or another. There are many ways of approaching it.
One approach I would suggest off the top of my head is to look at fear as a tool for progress. Whenever a fear comes oozing to the surface of my thoughts, almost every time, it happens right before something that has the potential to significantly impact/change my life in some way.
Once I started to realize that, I started to see fear as a tool that shows me that I’m on the right track. After awhile, you don’t see it as fear anymore, you see it as a way to take that next step. Hope that helps in some small way. Feel free to reach out and contact me anytime :)
Great blog! I am motivated to shed the excess weight! by doing exactly what you have described.
Hi Moira. Thanks. I’m glad I could help :) Keep the momentum going and turn it into a everyday habit.
Justin, I relate to many of the things you struggled with and realized too that most of it was me, and how I dealt with life/society/other people. Even when the situation or circumstances aren’t ‘right’, we can only control so much. Its often more productive to do what you can to fix things, and to also stay focused on what your goals/needs/wants are too.
What you describe sounds a bit ADD-ish, just like me, always inspired with great ideas and good at starting an idea, but not so good at completing it and seeing things through to fruition. I think each person has a unique ‘formula’ for their own success, and its a matter of finding it. For you & I, that includes getting some good rigorous exercise, eating right, meditation (although I think this is probably beneficial for all). Finding the right kind of exercise and also the type of meditation is important, b/c we’re all different and what works for one, may not necessarily work for another.
Anyway I’m rambling but thank you for the nice article and helping keep us inspired.
It’s absolutely true, everyone has to find what works for them, and that included finding the right “type” for them as well. After all, it’s not so important as to what kind of exercise and meditation one is doing, but that they are doing it and realize the benefits it can bring.
Thanks for your ramble :)
Love that you shared. I can relate as I get too many things going & need to re-focus
Thanks Eve. Focus is definitely a problem in such a distracting world. :)
Justin, thanks for you’re story. Getting to the real root cause of what’s holding us back is important. For me it’s often been setting too big a goal – world domination of the blogosphere or such like – which can become daunting and disempowering. Instead I’m working (when I can) on smaller targets that will hopefully build to something bigger – a really neat bit of the blogosphere.
Hey Peter. Glad you liked it man. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with setting a really high goal, but yeah, it can become overwhelming when you realize everything you need to do to get there. Good for you for setting up smaller targets and going after them. One step at a time my man ;)
Thanks and best of luck to you!
Hi there. I just graduated. I’m looking for my first job. I’m also on the same track as you were, before the change. I always try to start a new thing or, for that matter, study for an exam in the same way. I gather lot of confidence in the start, but, gradually my confidence, interest and everything else related to the work I should be working on, dies off. I always had this problem whenever I wanted to change some aspect in my life, but, gets stuck there itself where I started. I even find it hard to get out of bed in the morning (I usually wake up around 10am) ! I read your post & it inspired me a lot. But, I know the same would happen to me again. Please give some more advice. I’ in dire need of advice about this problem of mine.
“”But, I know the same would happen to me again.”” WHY ? Have you really think at Justin”s words : “‘I was lying to myself, thinking that I could just keep doing what I had always done, expecting different results.”‘ This can mean that you are not consistent with your ways to change ( what did you tried – Yoga, or meditation, or sport …). you are a young person, the life begins now, perhaps you need a little effort to make the first step : like wake up earlier and make some HATHA YOGA exercises— but every day !!For me , it was helpful . I bought a book, with such exercises , there were weekly structured, and I felt every day better and better. Justin says “” I am more focused, and have greater clarity on my vision””. This can happen to you too. We are body, soul and mind and if your mind says every day to the soul and body “” I will have problem whenever I wanted to change some aspect in my life”” , than it happens exactly so !! It is like a PC command. But YOU can make the change possible . Make a list with what you want to do. Or with what bothers you at work. Make the Problems clear. And make some daily body training. Because the time … day by day … flies. And you need to be happy !!
I definitely understand frustration surrounding different things that lead you right back to where you have always gone. It sucks. But, it starts with a small step, changing one thing at a time, etc. First thing is mindset. You say that you know that the same thing will happen to you again. Although I know what you mean, that’s also something that could be crippling your efforts, but I don’t know. It’s hard to know your full situation, thought process, etc. without having a full on conversation with you.
And by all means, feel free to email me if you want to talk further. So, mindset and even more than that, taking a step back from your thoughts, becoming present, and really just realizing what the reason is for what you’re doing. How you keep getting wrapped back into the same situations that get you stuck. Is it what you’re trying to do that you may not really want? That type of thing.
Hope this makes sense and helps a little. Remember, my door, rather email box is always open where we can have a deeper dialogue.
Justin, you shared what so many people go through. Maybe not the same way, but getting stuck or waylaid after a dynamic start. Your taking the time to realize the problem was you, and to take the steps to uncover the root of the issue, is a testament to your courage. It takes a certain courage to look deeply into ourself.
When I get stuck or unfocused I stop and ask, “What am I not seeing?” If I sit quietly for a while and let things come, I do get an answer. In my case, a lot of the time it is a fear that says I can’t succeed at whatever I am doing. A few deep breaths, letting go of the fear, and asking for help unusually does the trick.
Great work! Keep going forward!
Thank you :) I’m definitely getting braver the further along I go on my journey. I get that fear of “you can’t succeed at what you’re doing” a lot. Then I have to tell that voice to shut up cause I’m done listening to that rubbish, lol.
Justin thanks for sharing. I can definitely relate with what you wrote. I am also learning how to focus and be in the moment and change around my ways of doing, being, reacting to issues.
Hey Genevieve, you’re most welcome :) That’s great news! Keep moving forward…
I feel as if you have just told my story, and, ironically enough, my steps to changing my story are not dissimilar to yours. I sat down and made a list of all the reasons I started my project in the first place, what I hope to accomplish through it and what my end goal is. I started by thinking back to a time that I felt I was making strides toward success; before the complacency set in. I began implementing a more strategic health plan, revisiting some of the things I had in the past, like beginning my day with Matcha tea and exercise. I created a gym plan and signed up for a yoga class. I also started to write to people I have met along the way who have achieved some of the things I hope to. This led to, what I am hoping is now, a breakthrough. I have agreed to launch into joint project with someone who has similar visions to my own. I am hoping this will keep me motivated and focused. Sharing a collaborating with someone whom I admire, as well as learning and creating something new is bound to catapult me in the direction I need to head.
Thank you for sharing your story with me and for continuing to offer great insight and encouragement.
Hey Jennifer, it only seems like I’ve told your story because, that’s exactly what I did, lol. Seriously though, I’m glad you’re moving forward and found change in a similar way. That’s awesome that you found someone to team up with. Having support and someone who is there with you is HUGE! Can hold each other accountable, motivate each other, and keep the momentum flowing. I wish you the best moving forward :)
“I would get excited about a new idea, run with it, then get lazy, distracted, lose focus, and then eventually lose confidence in what I was doing. That led me to becoming stalled, stuck, and settling back to inertia.”
Wow, this really resonates with me. Thank you so much for writing this.
One of the things I’ve been doing lately is breaking down my large ideas into smaller, actionable steps I can complete each day. In the mornings, I write these down in a notebook designated for that purpose only. Next to each task, I draw a cute little box I can check when I’m done. This practice serves the dual purpose of keeping me from becoming overwhelmed by the lofty goals I want to achieve and helps me feel like I’ve accomplished a lot a the end of each day.
Hey Alana, so glad you can relate :) Writing your daily tasks down is a great way to set yourself up for success. Great way to keep things in perspective without becoming too overwhelmed. Like the check mark box idea, good stuff.
Totally relatable and did find the WORKING solution is to move. Physical and mental movement works wonders for the body and mind. Kudos to you for taking a deeper look within and DOING something to generate RESULTS. Keep it up and thank you for the wonderful reminder that there’s always a solution when we find our live a bit stuck.
Thank you and you’re welcome :) It’s very liberating once you take a bigger look within and start to realize the true power that each of us hold inside.
I liked your post. I liked your reply comments just as much. You are very supportive.
Thanks man. I try to be as supportive as I can :)
Hello, well, I just had the same experience like you a few days ago when I learning the guitar, you know everything is hard at the beginning, and I learning by myself, I had make so many mistakes that made me down, waned my motivations, lose focus. But last night, my friends came and guided the way how to play, it’s really helpful for me. MAYBE WE CAN GO FAST WHEN WE ARE ALONE, BUT IF WE WANT TO GO FARAWAY WE NEED A GROUP OF PEOPLE.
Support is definitely crucial. Keep it up!
Loved the read, Justin. I’ve found that just about all obstacles we experience to progress, passion and motivation are on the inside. It’s very self-massaging to look outside for the problems we experience on the inside, but even when there are actual bad guys on the horizon, guns blaring, real reasons we can point to as challenges that are getting in the way of our dreams, it’s almost always our reaction to the problems that are truly the reason we’ve stalled. Once that is realized, it’s just a matter of doing exactly what you did: Figure out what the overlooked personal characteristic is and take steps to fill in the empty holes.
Thanks for the personal story and insight it provided.
Thanks man. It took me a long time to realize that and even longer to change it. Glad you liked it :)
I couldn’t agree with you more. I found that I was getting frustrated at work with everyone, I couldn’t focus on what I was trying to achieve and was getting sick all the time from the stress. I ended up going to see a counselor who recommended mindfulness meditation. It is only 25 minutes a day and my results have been amazing. I am less stressed, happier and more focused. I really notice it when I miss a day or two of meditation. My motto is bad meditation is better than no meditation.
Great results! That’s awesome! I’ve definitely gotten a lot of benefits from meditation, the greatest being about an 80% reduction in migraine frequency.
First of all, Amazing! loved it! I don’t know why it feels so good when when I hear someone surpassing various obstacles in their path with courage and dignity.
You brought up a very important point, Justin. Unless and until we don’t get our physical, mental, spiritual parts in proper place, it will be very hard to achieve any kind of success.
These aspects form the foundation on which we build any kind of success or lifestyle.
Wish you all the best in your en-devour.
Thank you very much! Yes, having a balance between these areas are crucial and work so well.
I’m having a similar experience; I just restarted my attempt to become physically healthier and find it’s improving both my spiritual and business pursuits. Namaste!
Awesome and Good luck on your new found journey!
Hi Justin, Just what I needed to hear. I knew what I had to do to move from a lifetime pattern of going around in circles but you have given me permission to do it. Funny how a book, an overheard comment or a someone else’s experience can clear the obstruction so often :)
Permission granted ;) It’s definitely cool how that works huh? Thanks again!
HI Justin. Thank you very much for an article that clearly resonated with a lot of people. It is helpful to know so many of us experience this feeling of being stuck when we start to move towards something we want.
I have done the have-an-idea-get-all-motivated-take-a-few-steps-feel-stuck-everything-falls-apart a lot. It has all been related to creating my own biz. It is so frustrating at times and can really take a chunk out of your self-worth.
For me it is fear of putting myself out there naked of personas with my true values and desires and vulnerabilities for the world to see. I wish to serve by being true to who I am and yet I have many beliefs that tell me what I am and what I have to offer is not worthy, not enough.
I think the feeling of being stuck is synonymous with the feeling of resistance. I feel resistance is something to be appreciated for it allows me the opportunity to identify what I am resisting. It always presents as a coping mechanism for doing something I don’t feel completely safe doing. We form beliefs to keep us safe so in other words, it is identifying a belief that is most likely false.
I find it is facing these beliefs and re-framing or retooling them has helped me to make leaps and bounds. It can also be as simple as asking myself what do I need to do to feel safe in proceeding? Or consenting to the resistance–true acceptance always shifts me to further insight to actions I can take.
I am not taking about the level of safe where taking a risk is a matter of pushing beyond a self-imposed limitation. I am talking about the level of safe that feels like a threat–some of it is primal and some of it comes from what we’ve been taught to believe will keep us safe.
This has been my experience with feeling stuck.
Thanks so much for your heartfelt and open comments Tricia :) Great insights that I can definitely and I know most can relate to. I would say that you’re spot on. Stuck is definitely a form of resistance. I know I’ve done it time and time again and still do..a lot. And with fear that you mentioned about putting yourself out there naked, that was one of my biggest forms of resistance. Still is. I can now easily just let out anything and everything without holding back, at least through writing.
When it comes to any other forms of communication, especially face to face, I still am terribly afraid. Even though I know the truth and have faced and defeated that fear on multiple occasions, it still opens it’s ugly face and has me sulking in a corner until I stand up and realize that it’s not such a big deal. Hope that makes sense. The way you beautifully presented your thoughts has left me a bit fuzzy ;) Seriously though, I can relate and would agree with you on all of it. Thanks again Tricia.
Justin, I am loving your honesty, encouragement and empowering story. Thank you for sharing your experience. I have found that when I get in my own way, the underlying fear sneaks up, is nuanced and before I know it I am not moving forward with my goals. I liked your exercise, which asks us to slow down, lean into where we are feeling blocked and explore what underlying needs are not being met. This invites us to find places within ourselves and routines to become more balanced and inline with all avenues of our expression.
Hey thanks Jackie!
That exercise has helped me almost completely shut down my lizard brain, lol, and do more self exploration for sure.
Nice Post. I can relate as well to what you have written. We can think it is all about doing and forget to be who we want to be first. I am pleased that you wrote about getting all your aspects of yourself in shape, including the spiritual. Meditation really helps us slow down and reduce the stress in our lives, so we can start to feel better about ourselves. That is really key to any success from my experience. If we don’t feel good about ourselves, we are not motivated and we can’t hear the inner guidance that supports us in our success. Clearing that all out and practicing feeling good about yourself everyday as long as you can, can open those success doors and provide creative insights for future growth. I started my own business 5 months ago and have had complete fun doing it. I think that is an important factor as well. really enjoy what you are doing. I’m still not done with the basic setup, but I am getting close and look forward to getting into the grove with it.
Thank you Thank you Thank YOU! I have experienced the same highs & lows of being an entrepreneur.. today is day 3 of my morning walk.. just adding that component has sparked energy and excitement towards my passions. I pray and read my bible, now I feel like I’m making progress mind, body and soul!
Have a wonderful day.
Thanks again for sharing
Nice! I find the same problems of becoming stagnant when working on my business. The meditation is a good way to quiet the mind and focus on whats important.
Meditation is such a great tool for focusing the mind to what we want to achieve, and keep it focused. Exercise is also a great motivator, the two combined are a great recipe for keeping on track and moving forward in life. A great article Justin and one that explains what many people go through and how easy it is to get distracted and demotivated.
Great read, Justin. I’ve been there before too. Many times! It’s so easy to fool myself into thinking that I need to do all this busy work instead of building a strong foundation and creating from there. I find that my business flows exponentially better when I’m disciplined about making time to move, exercise, slow down and think, and eat consciously. It’s so important to keep these things front and center yet it’s also a slippery slope. It’s been easy in the past to ‘put things off until tomorrow’ because I’m too busy today. Thank you for the great reminder to remember what’s really important – especially for new and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Thanks man! Putting things off til tomorrow used to be my forte, lol. Seriously though just getting down to the core and building that foundation changes everything.
Great post, Justin! It’s funny, I work with creative grasshoppers, passionate entrepreneurs that have many passions and ideas but struggle with finishing and following through, and what you said in this post are the same things I’ve heard over and over again from my clients.
One piece of advice is, I think that many people (not just creative grasshoppers) benefit from and enjoy seeing specific examples and having more concrete frameworks to follow. Perhaps it would be helpful to follow up giving specific details of exactly how this worked for you, your timeframe of transformation, and actionable questions and steps people can take if they want to do the same. Great story though, I enjoyed reading it!
Thank you so much for the compliment and the advice. That actually made me smile because just earlier today, I was re-reading this post and thought about doing that exact thing. Taking it and doing a follow up article going more in depth that is :)
Great looking site btw. I immediately felt a comforting and resonating feeling just from visiting your home page. Really good stuff!
Thanks again :)
Thank you, Justin! That means a lot. Glad to hear you thought of the same thing! If you do write that in depth post please let me know – I’d be happy to check it out and share it!
Thank you Justin for this post. It has taken me a while as well to really understand and realize that it is ME that is the stumbling block to my success. But I since figuring that out I have gained a much clearer picture of what and how I want things to be. I know need to learn to get out of my own way and let me do what needs to get done. And yes I too have just started meditating and think this is something that is really going to be good for me. Thanks again for the great post and reinforcing what I have been learning about myself.
Hey Kendra, you’re welcome. Meditation is a great practice. Keep it up :)
Good stuff Justin. Sometimes the simple things are the best / most effective things.
I try to incorporate exercise as I travel and work – that and eating lean is essential for higher energy (at least for me).
Thanks and keep it up!
Hey Tom, thanks. Good lean eating definitely helps. I’ve been drinking green smoothies as well to get my fruit and veggies in.
I really related to your post, Justin, and enjoyed reading all the comments and your responses.
I fall into this mind-trap of “stuck” quite often and I appreciate seeing it from a different perspective. Caring for your mental and physical health is such an obvious thing, but it’s so often the last thing we think of when it comes to getting unstuck. In fact, sometimes in the midst of a stuck period, I avoid mental and physical self-care because I’ve convinced myself that I just need to knuckle down and exercise or journaling are just another way for me to procrastinate. But, you know, this doesn’t make me more productive in those times. It makes me less so. Looking back over the last 6 months, I can clearly see a correlation between times of active journaling and exercise with more productivity in my work.
Also, during those stuck times, fear rules. I appreciated your response to someone’s comment about this, that fear is a signal that we are getting close to something important that we need to pay attention to, and to use it as a tool.
Thanks for the insight!
I’m glad I could help. I have thought that way for years. I used to think that taking the time away from writing and building my brand would just slow me down. It was my excuse to not pay too much attention to my exercise, health, etc. But it’s just the opposite. If I’m just pushing myself to work work work, I get less done. Since I’m becoming healthier, I’m becoming far more productive by all the benefits I’m experiencing from it.
Thanks again :)
Thank you for being so open with your journey and the struggles involved — it’s truly amazing to see how powerful the mind!
Ozymondias (from the graphic novel The Watchmen) reminded us all that the disciplines of meditation, study & physical exercise would allow even the most mundane of men to excel past heights previously considered unapproachable by mortal men. You’ve got the stuff of greatness within you, and considering how huge your blog is, you’re doing the right stuff. Congratulations and thanks for being an inspiration!
Thanks Terry :)
I’m humbled by your praise. Thanks for that. I haven’t read The Watchmen, but I’d agree 110%.
This article is exactly what I was searching for in my current situation. I get excited for new things very easily so there is always a dynamic start in the beginning, but after some time I’m just not interested in the particular thing anymore because there is a new one instead of it…
Your post made me think of if it’s because of I’m still making the same mistakes, but I’m really not sure if this is the main reason. I was always interested in many areas and not really able to pick one and focus on it. Sometimes I’m considering it as a positive point, sometimes not. What do you think? Can this kind of multiplicity lead to a happy and satisfied life?
Thanks and I’m glad you found some value in it. I absolutely think you can lead a happy and satisfied life that way. You should check out Puttylike, it’s a site specifically for people who enjoy doing a multitude of different things.
Hi that was great! We all make the same mistakes of being stuck and not realizing that we should do something about it, your article will really help us move forward. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.
Thats so true. I am using this approach when I get stuck and need to change a habbit or anything really. :
1. Focus on one habit at a time.
2. Become aware of when you feel this way and how it manifests within you.
3. Deliberately choose a different reaction.
Thanks again for such a wonderful article. I am currently finding myself in another sticky situation. But more about that next time.