3 Powerful steps to shift from feeling stuck to WOWing yourself

I love getting questions about journaling. And one I’ve heard in various forms over the years is — “what do I do when I feel stuck?” Or blocked? Or just don’t know what to write? Or where to start? Or like “I don’t have anything important to say.”

Everyone has experienced feeling blocked or stuck at some point in their lives. Whether it’s with journaling, or pursuing a creative endeavor, or figuring out your next career move, or deciding if you want to end a partnership.

While all of those scenarios appear different on the outside. They all have one thing in common.

Whether it’s fear of getting it wrong. Or fear of rejection. Or fear of failure. Or even fear of success. The underlying limitation is a story of fear that paralyzes.

Congratulations, if you can relate to feeling stuck or blocked about any aspect of your life now (or in the past), you just identified a patterned threat response to fear called freeze!

Luckily, there’s a way out of this. Journaling.

Now, perhaps you’re thinking — “but journaling is the thing I’m blocked doing, what gives Ariana?!?!”

You might recall the children’s book, “We’re going on a bear hunt.” Whenever the characters encounter an obstacle they “can’t go over it…can’t go under it…have to go through it!”

The same rule applies here. If you want to journal, and you’re experiencing a block to journaling. The best way to find an answer is through journaling about it!

Flannery O’Connor put it well, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”

This technique is one of my favorite go-to’s for any occasion where I feel stuck because it’s so powerful.

Eleven years ago I was feeling pretty miserable about my life. I was in a dead-end job that wasn’t challenging me. I had been rejected from every single open position I applied for over the course of a year. And the one person I could always count on to lift me up, my Grandmom (Rose Puzzutelli), had passed away.

I felt so stuck, it was as though someone Gorilla glued my life into a loop of misery.

So, I journaled, using the technique I’m about to share with you here. And as I wrote, I realized that a new job wasn’t the answer to my woes. I accepted that my happiness was my responsibility. And I started to consider other possibilities, like “connecting with my entrepreneurial spirit.”

Then it hit me. What I really wanted was “to earn a living while being true to myself.”

Journaling was the Goo Gone that removed the Gorilla Glue from my life.

I felt in control. I was excited by the possibilities. I was in-route to launching Rosabella Consulting a year later.

If I told you that I’ve never felt stuck again I would be lying. Heck, not so ironically, I was stuck figuring out what to write for this week’s Journaling prompt. But the moments of feeling stuck or blocked are less viscous when I have tools like this journaling technique.

Would you like to connect with others and experience the impacts of powerful journaling techniques like this? Check out our next Journal Jam — more information and registration is available online here.

Ok, back to the technique! If you’re ready to shift from stuck to WOWing yourself, here are some journaling prompts to help you get started:

  • Where’s this coming from?
  • Observe your inner and outer world without judgment, shame or ridicule (and write it down)
  • What else is on your mind or in your heart? (and keep asking yourself that)

Originally published at https://www.rosabellaconsulting.com on March 4, 2021.

Ariana Friedlander, MPA, is an organizational anthropologist, a leadership development expert and an author. She’s certified in Conversational Intelligence.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store