By Jackie White
Sometimes in life, we are in the flow. Everything is going our way and we are on top of the world! We feel unstoppable, like a productivity machine and then there are the times when we are stuck. S T U C K, stuck. It’s as if you have lost your mojo! You feel like you can’t make a decision if your life depended on it. You have a million things to do and yet you sit there doing nothing. Yikes! What is going on? How do we find ourselves sinking into this sort of depression in life?
The perplexing thing about being stuck is that you really want to make things happen, but the motivation is gone. It can slowly creep in over time, chipping away at your motivation to get anything done, or it can arrive swiftly slamming the door on your productivity. Either way, it creates a log jam in your ability to get stuff done. It fools with your creativity and ability to think. It can stop you dead in your tracks.
5 Ways Being Stuck Can Show Up
When you are stuck, it can show up in a number of ways all stemming from the same feeling of really wanting to do something but feeling like you are stuck in the mud and can’t pull yourself from its grips.
If you see yourself in any of the above scenarios, know that you are not alone. Most people feel stuck in life from time to time. It happens. So, what can you do? The first thing is to realize that all of these strategies and coping mechanisms that put you in a state of stuck come from the same root cause. That root cause is fear. Fear is the master of disaster. It wants to steal your thunder and at times it does. We can all think of a time or two where we were scared to do something, right? However, when you get stuck in life, fear disguises itself so that it confuses you. You can’t quite put your finger on it. Fear is a chameleon. Let’s get some strategies on board to kick fear and stuckness to the curb.
3 Stuck-Busting Strategies:
Visualize: You must upset the applecart of fear and to do that you must change your state, your stuck physiology. To do this, a very effective tool is to use visualization. Visualization is an excellent tool to work through some of the roadblocks that keep you stuck. It helps you see what’s possible and even can help you feel what success feels like. Visualization is not some mumbo jumbo. It is actually rooted in science. Because the brain can’t always discern between a memory and vision for the future, you can trick your brain to start believing in what you are visualizing. Visualize a time when you were successful and feel that in your body. Now visualize that same power as you apply it to the task you have at hand. See yourself completing the task and feeling triumphant about it.
Exercise: Move your body and as you move get yourself thinking of climbing out of the stuckness. Put on some music that lifts your mood and moves your body. Add in your visualization of accomplishing your desires. Think of a time when you were strong and powerful and feel it in your body as you are moving. Combine your visualization with your body moving to really set this into your mind and physiology. The combination of the two work on changing your physiological state and state of mind opening the door for change.
Get Outside: The outdoors can do wonders for a stalemate. Literally, get yourself a breath of fresh air and a new perspective on things. Breathe in and relax. Let the worry of stuckness go. The change of scenery and activity can be a catalyst to help you bust out of your stuckness.
When you are stuck, you have to shake things up. You have to rid your body of the chains of stuckness. You can use mental and physical ways to shake it off. Decide to do things differently, not perfectly, just take one step at a time to work your way out of the funk of being stuck. When you begin to push forward, notice how good it feels to be released from the stuck! Then take that feeling and be sure to celebrate your accomplishments no matter how big or small!
Bonus: Join our FREE UnStuck Challenge: https://soulshinelifeconnections.podia.com/unstuck-challenge to get a great start on pulling yourself from the grips of stuckness!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Failure. What thoughts, emotions, or even physical feelings does that word evoke in you?
It’s crazy that a word, a simple word, can be attached to so many deep feelings and reactions. Your feelings and reactions to failure run deep, created from multiple sources like expectations placed on yourself by others, society, and yourself as well as personal experience. Typically, the reaction to failure is negative - fear, worry, anxiety, or sadness. It is associated with self-doubt, inadequacy, “not enoughing” yourself…the list goes on and on.
Failure. It’s too bad that a normal part of the learning process, truthfully your very best teacher, has such a bad reputation.
Let’s have a reality check, DreamChaser. If you are starting something new, something brand spanking new that you have never done before, is it realistic to think you would get it right the first time? Think about a time you were a newbie, perhaps you were playing a sport for the first time or starting a course for a career path. Were you a rock star right off the bat? Probably not. Did you give up? That depends.
Depends on what, you ask? Your mindset! You got it…like many things, your thoughts and beliefs about the new task at hand will determine if you feel positively or negatively about failing. In fact, you might not even recognize you are failing, accepting your novice status for what it is, a normal part of learning. It’s when you are really stepping out of the comfort zone, doing something that you or, gasp, others might think is a total deviation from your path that the fear of failing often rears it’s ugly head.
This leads us to one of our f-a-v-o-r-i-t-e strategies at SoulShine…the good ole Flip the Script! Unfamiliar with Flip the Script? This is when you take something that is negative and rewrite the script to be positive and possible. We want to help you see failing the way it should be, as a normal stepping stone in the process of learning. Here’s a new F.A.I.L. process for your Best Life Toolbox:
1. F: Feel the Fear (but do it anyway)
It’s okay to be nervous when you start something new. It’s not okay to avoid trying just because you might fail. Want to know something interesting? Your body experiences fear and excitement the exact same way - increased heart rate, sweating, butterflies in the stomach. Get this…you control the narrative if you will be afraid or excited. As you get ready to try something new and out of that comfort zone and fear starts to creep in, give yourself a mindset reset. Recognize the feelings but choose to be excited or nervous rather than afraid.
2. A: Accept It
Chances are, you won’t do this new thing right the first time. That’s okay. It’s an accepted part of the process of learning and getting better. Choose to see failure as just part of the journey and a great teacher.
3. I: Investigation Time
After you stumble in your first or second or hundredth attempt, take time to investigate. What do I mean? There is a reason that you weren’t successful, especially with a repeat failure for the same goal. You might need to try a different strategy. Be curious about the lesson that the failure is trying to teach you.
4. L: Lean In
After you investigate the failure and, perhaps, course correct, take a minute to lean into the failure with a little gratitude. Why? Gratitude helps put a positive spin on any situation. When you can find gratitude, or as I like to say a blessing in the stressing, you also build your resiliency muscle. This will help you start to see failure in a positive light in the future as well!
Here’s the bottom line, DreamChaser. You have big dreams…that’s why you are here, right? We get it! We also get that failing, especially when it means so much to you, is scary. It’s easier to stay small and shrink…taking action on those dreams takes courage. But, it’s worth it…you are worth it…your dreams and goals are worth it. Flipping the Script on failure, returning it to it’s rightful place as a positive life teacher, is an awesome first step on your Best Life Journey!
By Jackie White
Giving back is something almost all of us desire to do. Our intentions to give a hand to those in need are honorable and truly heart-warming. There is only one problem and that is that many of us don’t make it a priority to regularly give back. It’s understandable, we are all busy and it’s easy to fall off the radar of our lives, but let’s work to get ourselves back into our communities helping those in need. It’s important to help others and what is incredibly cool about volunteering is that by helping another, the love boomerangs right back to you filling you with joy. Case and point: remember how the Grinch’s heart grew 3 sizes when he started to feel the love again? Yours can too! (Ok, I know the Grinch isn’t real, but the effect of helping others is!)
Now, maybe you didn’t know, but April is National Volunteer Month, it’s a great time to push community service back up to the top of your to-do list. If you are someone who already volunteers your time, thank you, and know that your efforts do not go unnoticed!
National Volunteer Month celebrates the impact volunteers have on the lives of so many. It also encourages each of us to stand up and lend a hand in the name of those in need and act as a role model for generations to come. It’s staggering to think of just how many volunteers there are keeping America (and the world) going! Here are a few examples:
Schools: The many volunteers in the classroom helping students, in the lunchroom opening those cartons of milk, watching the kids on the playground, or those providing free tutoring after school fill needed roles in schools.
Kid’s Activities: There are countless coaches giving hours of their time each week. Working with children to help them be a part of a team. There are scout leaders managing activities, campouts, and/or fundraising events like cookie sales. Each of these and more enhance children’s childhoods.
Religious Organizations: It takes many volunteers to run a church service from the servers to the choir, to the person handing out bulletins and organizing church functions.
Non-Profits: So many non-profits are run with a dedicated volunteer staff. These people are at the heart of helping those in need. They provide connections to help those in need, food, shelter, and even provide Christmas and Birthday gifts.
Red Cross: Holy mackerel this is a big one. Running a blood drive, donating items, and helping in a crisis situation.
Hospitals: Volunteers rock sick babies in the ICU so their parents can take a break, they provide support or meals to families with a sick family member, they stop by the children’s hospital rooms and paint nails, or provide something fun for them to do. Therapy dog teams make the rounds to put a smile on patients’ faces.
Animals: Speaking of therapy animal teams, there are thousands of people committed to caring for shelter animals. They work with them and give them love in a place where they are alone. Some risk their own safety rescuing these needy animals.
Helping others in some capacity is generous and compassionate, but beyond that, it can fill up your heart. It boomerangs right back to you with a shot of goodness for your soul. It makes you feel good about yourself because you are doing for others things that they may not be able to do for themselves. You directly or indirectly are spreading love and goodness to all by helping and by demonstrating to others that everyone has something they can give. You see, giving back is what life is all about. Sharing your gifts, talents, creativity, muscle, thoughtfulness or time is what we are supposed to do with those things.
Think of it this way, your gifts are someone else’s favor. For example, if you are a talented singer and you never sing, then why were you given that talent? Singing for some senior citizens at a nursing home would brighten their day and warm your heart. What if your talent was that you love to plan events? Could you share that talent with a scouting group and set up amazingly cool field trips for them? Maybe your talents lie in writing, could you help a non-profit with their copywriting for their group? There is so much you can give, but the dang truth is, if you breathe, you can find a way to help others!
Take the Boomerang Give-Back Challenge!
Take a moment to figure out how you can help another this month. Maybe the list above can give you some ideas, or you might already know how or who you can help. One other resource is to check out VolunteerMatch.org for a huge database of specific groups who need help.
Here is the challenge: We want to challenge each of you to just do something, big or small, it doesn’t matter. How can you help out another? We want to hear about it! Take pics! Post them on @SoulshineDreamAcademy on Facebook and tag it with #Boomerang. Let us know what you did and how it made you feel!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Did you know that having fun has amazing health benefits? It’s the truth, DreamChaser! That expression “work hard, play hard” has a lot of truth behind it. Well, with one key exception, that is! Unlike the phrase suggests, fun of any form, from leisurely to something intense like a marathon, gives the same benefits as long as it has the same foundation…something that you find enjoyable!
Don’t believe me? Then, check out these 5 Amazing Benefits to Having Fun (in full disclosure, there are more than these…the list goes on and on. These were just my personal favorites!):
1. Stress Buster
Having fun and taking time to play are awesome for reducing stress. Um…yes, please! Fun reduces cortisol levels in the body, which is the big player in your stress response. Next time you feel stress coming on, take a time out to play. Or, even better, is there a way you can Flip the Script and find fun in the stress mess?
2. Serotonin Surge
The opposite of cortisol in the body is serotonin, and having fun has been shown to increase levels of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a big player in your day to day life affecting sleep patterns, memory, body, and mood, among other things. A serotonin surge is extremely beneficial to your overall health, so get your fun on!
3. Flex that Resiliency Muscle
Stress in life is inevitable. Taking time to have fun, play, and have leisure time can help when stress shows itself. Fun, stress-free activities are huge deposits in your Self-Care savings account. When stress levels rise, you are able to dip into this savings account and tap into reserves of calm, rather than escalate to the red zone.
4. Energy Booster
Negative emotions like feeling stressed or depressed are energy zappers. Having fun and enjoying leisure time can do the opposite - boosting your energy, making you feel more mentally alert and capable.
5. Make the Connection
According to psychologists, a sense of social connection is a fundamental human need. Spending time with others doing something fun is an awesome way to tap into connection, which is possibly the most significant health benefit of having fun.
Seriously, how can something so enjoyable be so good for you?!? And, that’s where we ruin fun…kidding, not kidding, DreamChaser. Like self-care, fun often gets pushed to the backburner, put in the category of after everything else is done or if we have time. And, this is where we need a mindset reset. Everything in life may not be fun but you need to make time for fun every day. Guilt free, purely enjoyable, laugh until you cry kind of F-U-N.
To help you on your fun quest, we have a few tips. I know, I know…why do I need tips to have fun? Let’s be real, fun can be a missed opportunity, especially if you haven’t been making it a priority. Here are a few ideas to bring the fun back into your life:
Whatever it is, whatever you do, it’s time to up that FUN factor. Your health, and your Best Life, depend on it!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.