It is currently raining as I write this blog and I can hear the soft patter of drops on the roof, it is chilly and grey outside. Days like this are wonderful for reflecting, and as an introvert, I do this a lot! My recent observations from coaching and from life are about leaning into discomfort and challenging yourself to do something different.
I like to use the analogy of a sheepskin rug or woolly mat. Whether it is round or square, I want you to find a rug or mat and step on it. Do not move, just stand there for at least five minutes and close off your inner voice. Now imagine brick walls slowly coming up around you, block by block. There are no windows and no roof and you cannot see the sun or feel fresh air. In fact, it is almost suffocating. This is the feeling describe to me as someone who is stuck. Stuck in life or stuck in a dead-end job and completely afraid of breaking out of their self-built chamber. We may feel stuck, yet being stuck is a belief and it’s not all the same thing. Often people just do not want to deal with the consequences of moving forward or moving away from their comfort zone (the rug!).
Even if you are standing on your rug or mat, there are no walls, and you can see a long way into the distance, for some clients, taking a step off the rug is difficult and uncomfortable. Introverts in particular are concerned about bursting their bubble and trying something new. Should you are ever be in this position; here are some of my coaching tips and powerful questions to start removing those bricks one-by-one and moving away from the sheepskin rug.
I want you to explore and play with the “STUCK” metaphor. What does stuck look like for you? What do you see and hear or possibly smell from being stuck on your rug? Look around, if you see a window then go an open it up, or maybe the roof has a hole in it and you can see the sky. What does the outside world feel like to you after being stuck for so long? What is the opportunity that you can visualize in your future to get “un-stuck”
One easy way to get moving is to do something and do anything NOW. No matter how small, even if it is more reflecting on a rainy day, or reading a book, researching the web, making a list, writing down your inner thoughts or calling a friend. What can you START doing and what can you STOP doing?
Now I want to think of possibilities for tomorrow, I want you to brainstorm, and let you mind go. What if time or money was not an issue? What if you could not fail? What might your inner child tell you to do? Think about what you could do to take one small step off that rug. Remember this is about exploring options, it does not mean you have to act on them.
Finally, lean into the discomfort and get moving by being focused and controlled. Identify how your feel about the problem or challenge that the situation gives you. What are you missing out on? What can you do to improve your career? What are the results of staying where you are, on the sheepskin rug?
A life lived is full of passion, joy, excitement and wonderful memories. People are not stuck – they just think they are.