When You Are Stuck

Today I am going to answer a question that came to me. And the question says "What do you suggest to people who think, maybe they need to do something else, but they are stuck in indecision, not knowing where to go?". Thank you for this question, M.

What catches my attention immediately is the word stuck. And then the other thing is, "maybe I should be doing something else". Let's tackle these two things.

I might disappoint you. Because the question feels like it wants something practical. "What should I do when I bla bla bla". And I want to say that this will take time. This will take your attention. This will take your full presence. I am going to share with you ways to approach it. It's not going to be ABCDE, here you go, you will find it. No. The matters of doing work you love is an ongoing process of understanding yourself, understanding the world, and staying on this being with, changing yourself, reflecting the changes in the work you do. It's a fluid process, don't expect magic solutions, please also don't fall into traps of these solutions.

It's your life, your life is not straightforward and simple, your life is deep. So is your work. This depth comes from your being, your thinking, your giving yourself. I would lie to you if I say there is a practical answer to it, but there are approaches we can take. And that's what I'm going to share with you today.

I want to start with stuckness. What is being stuck?

It feels like you are trapped in a place that you cannot go out from. It feels like there is lack of choice, lack of freedom.

I want to challenge you. Is that so? Is it true that there is no choice?

Who is making you go to work every day? Who is making you stay in your workplace every day? It's you who is going there. And even though it might not feel like so, you are choosing to go there, you're choosing to work there.

Instead of using this word, I am stuck, I would invite you to make a different choice: a choice that reminds you of your choice, a choice that reminds you of your autonomy. You can say, "I don't like this job, but I don't know what to do", "I don't like the conditions, but I don't know what to do". Bring your language to a specific expression, a specific expression that takes you into the place of power, into the place of choice, because you are going to choose. If you want to do the work you love, you have to train the muscle of choosing what it is that you want, and choosing not to do and not to say what it is that you don't want.

Let's start there, let's start at the choice. And let's really look into this. You are in this place, You are working there. What are you choosing? What makes you go to that workplace? What makes you stay in that workplace?

You might have answers like I need to earn money. That's good. What does money give you? You might say, security. Okay. How much security do you need? How much money do you need to feel security?

With every question go one level deeper so that you understand based on what you are making these choices. You might say, I am choosing to be there, because actually I like my colleagues. I don't like my job but I like my colleagues. Okay, good. What about your colleagues do you like? What does it feel like to be with these people? You might say, well I love the connection. I love the humour that we share. I love learning from them. All these answers you are giving are showing you what is important to you, it's showing you, based on what you are choosing to stay in that job. That's a quite different mindset and energy space than saying, I am stuck. No, I choose to be there, because it serves this, this and that. And these are important to me.

I want you to get clear on the choices you make, based on what is important to you. This is your power, your choice is your power and you're making a choice that is good for you in a certain way. It might not be the perfect choice. But there is goodness in the choice that you are making.

The thing is when we don't like something, our attention goes to this negativity. This general unfulfillment becomes the title of our story, but our story is nuanced. There are details to it, not everything is dark. There are parts of sunshine, there are parts of blue sky. Only by taking a step back, sitting with yourself, with this question, what am I choosing now, and what does it mean, you can get clear about your power, which is your choice.

But as it's this negative state, there might be lots of emotions going inside of you that makes it difficult for you to come to a place of calmness, to come to this place of mindful inquiry. That's another work. It's actually an important gift of being unfulfilled at work this emotional work: being with your emotions and using their wisdom. I talk more about it in my book The Gift of Being Unfulfilled at Work that I'm still working on editing. And it's going to come in October, I will share more about this later with you. But you can, in this moment really be with your emotions.

The emotions are there like a horn of the car. They are calling your attention to something, and maybe the car behind you is a nervous driver. It might not be that you have to be really stressed about this but it makes sense when you hear the horn, you pause and you look back what's happening. That's the thing of the emotions. It alerts you so that you pause and assess the situation. And when you are in this place of emotional turmoil regarding your job, there's sadness. There is, maybe even a sense of shame that you haven't chosen wisely, and shame about not knowing what is next for you. Be with this emotion. Because if you are not with this emotion it will continue to perpetuate itself. And this emotion will come up with bigger intensity in the way that you don't want it to be reflected into your life.

Feel this emotion. How does it feel right now to be in this job? I told you I don't have any practical tips for you, but here actually I have one. I have noticed that there are three steps that you use the wisdom of the emotions. The first step is feeling the emotion, the hurt. ouch. And then the second step is to get curious about this emotion. Hmm. What does it tell about what is important to me? Usually sadness tells you that something is being lost. Fear tells you that something might be in danger, anger tells you that somebody is threatening to harm what is really vital and important to you. Whatever your emotion is, what does it point out to you that is important to you? And when you sit with this question - maybe the answer comes to you immediately- then you get to the knowing which I call Ah!, this awareness of understanding what is really important to you that you didn't know until you felt the feeling, or it was subconscious you brought it to your conscious awareness.

We transform the word "I am stuck" to "I feel sad", "I feel angry", "I feel ... whatever feeling you have. We will also define it physically. Feel the feeling. We want to bring the understanding work from our brain to our full body, because we are whole. Our wisdom, not only lies in our intellect, but also in our body, and in our soul and psyche and our energy. We want to be all in to understand fully ourselves and to learn about our lives.

These three steps -I actually created a mini training for this- are feel the feels, let it hurt, get curious about what it means. And then realise and learn about it. You can find this mini training and the worksheet here. Use this mini training and worksheet if you want to work, take your time and work with it deeply.

So far we've talked about the stuckness. We've talked about changing the phrase stuckness into how I feel. And what I choose. You see what we are doing here, we are shifting the energy from reaction, from being at the receiving end of life, to being at the choice end of life, from reaction to creation. Only when we choose, and when we decide, and when we create, then we can work towards knowing. Knowing comes from insight that what you already know about yourself but there is also the part of discovery that comes through action. And to come to wise action, you have to step out of reaction, and choose to go towards creation. That stepping out works with your reflection of where you are standing right now and what it means and what you are choosing, and what you feel and what you feel tells about who you are and what you care about.

So this is your reflection. And then when you are clear about what is important to you, then you can start the steps of creation. And as I said in creation there is insight, and also discovery. The question that was asked was, "What do you suggest to people who think, maybe they need to do something else but they are stuck in indecision, not knowing where to go?". You're not stuck. You have a choice, based on what you know right now. And I will challenge "I don't know what to do", we already discussed about it in the previous episode "When You Don't Know What You Want". So you come to the place of knowing that: you know something already about yourself but there might be places of you don't know. So you are rephrasing: When you don't know about this and that...

Usually it's about "I don't know what else I can do", "I don't believe that I can do what I want to do" because usually there is something you want, or "I don't have enough information of if that's feasible what I want to do, or in the form I think I want to do it". Here the way that I phrase it you see there are lots of possibilities: the way I want to do it, What I want to do. These can all be tested. These can all be expanded. These can all be recreated. But this takes your action. And this action should come from this place of choice.

First, it comes from this, "I don't know this, but I'm going to find out". I don't want to go now into the details of how you find the work you love. I'm sure we had talked about it in the past and the previous episodes of people I interview, telling me how they found the work they love could be beneficial to you. I will refer to these episodes, but it's really important for you to get out of your head here, because you will not figure it out, just by thinking. Here you need your partnerships, you need to go out of your current state and current environment, you need to get curious-

First of all, what do you want to know about? Do you want to know about jobs in the field of let's say you start with what you are interested in, let's say in the place of arts, and then your look into "Okay, who do I know in arts, who do I know someone working in relation to arts?", you talk to them, you learn something from this and then maybe you want to test something out of it. You might talk to the artist who is maybe in visual arts, who is designing book covers, and through talking with them what they do, what is interesting to them, you might find something inside of your body responding. So here your wisdom in the form of your energy, tells you something is calling you. Here again you sit with it and understand what it means, maybe you like the idea that, seeing your creation, some idea in your mind seeing it happen in front of your eyes, is interesting to you. Okay, so here, you might go deeper into being a visual artist. In which way you can be that, or you can talk about Okay, in this idea of seeing my creation physically, what opportunities what possibilities are out there, and then you can think of "Okay, what do I already know that I like how this can combine with what I now discovered that is interesting?". Maybe you're working in finance, you're working in financial reporting, and you find that, "Actually, I know that there are agencies who are creating visual representations of technical reports that might be interesting. Let me check that" and you talk with someone else in that place. What you are doing is you are taking yourself out of the previous thinking to a new thinking with the curiosity.

That's one of the ways. I told you I don't have exactly the road for you because you and your own way of being and doing will influence this, but I know that you have to come to this place of being with yourself and being curious and knowing yourself and letting yourself discover more and more, so that you can take action towards future, and you can create.

That can take time. That can take time because you don't want to just react and take the new job that is much better than this. The place of reaction can cause you to miss what is important to you. You want to take conscious action. And while you are discovering, you will probably still be at your job, or in a place that is a little better but similar to your previous job. There you still have also choices. There you can also make changes. Now that you discovered what is important to you and you declared what you cared about, and what you also don't want, now you can talk about this with your manager, with people. You can design your work, change your work in the way that is fitting more to who you are. This is called job crafting and it's implemented in organisations. People are happy to support you to design your work or do changes in a way that works more for you because everybody benefits when you do your work in a more fulfilled way, it's beneficial to your organisation not to lose you and to use you. Using is not the right word. To have you give yourself in the most fulfilled way, because your being, your presence influences other people, and you are an important asset to this company they want to work with you.

You can raise your voice you can express what you want, and also do experiments that we talked about like talking with people and understanding in your current work field. All these are possible for you. It's about you taking the responsibility and being at the place of choosing rather than reacting. That's how I answer to this question "What do you suggest to people who think maybe they need to do something else but they're stuck in indecision, not knowing where to go?".

In summary, my suggestion is to rephrase "stuck" to I choose to be here because of that, get clear about what is important to you that makes you choose to stay where you're at, and also get clear about what you don't like about this and be the place of choice rather than reaction and check in with your emotions. Check in what your body tells you, name the emotion. If it's sadness, work with understanding what do you feel you are losing. If it's anger, what do you feel that is in danger, or being threatened, and understand from these emotions, what is important to you because when you understand then you will also release the emotion and you will not be at the place of reaction.

With this clarity, now you can step onto creation and creation means going one step further to take action out of your old patterns to your new curiosity and discovery. You can use this discovery and curiosity, out of your work field, but also you can use it in your current job. That's how I suggest that you work with this feeling of stuckness and not knowing, you will be knowing, once you get clear about your values and you take action to discover more about yourself.

Let me know how this lands on your side and let me know if you have any questions that I can answer in this podcast. If you want to work with these emotions get the wisdom of emotions. I have this little gift on my website which you can find on isiluysal.com/gift.

I wish you all the best in your life, in your work. I'm here, if you have anything you want to express and if you have any questions. And I'm looking forward to talking to you in the next episode. Take care.

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