Get Unstuck 5 Habits Keeping you stuck

5 Habits Holding You Back See How To Break Free

There are a number of things you’re unintentionally doing that are keeping you STUCK. And this feeling can lead you to feel frustrated, disheartened, despondent, or even numb if it persists. It also means you’re not progressing toward your goals and stagnating, So if you’re feeling this now, or if you’ve ever felt it in the past, in this episode. I want to share with you five habits that could be contributing to you feeling stuck, and simple yet essential principles to get ‘unstuck’, for good. The First reason why you might be stuck:

You Are An Infomonia Called By Insomnia

You’re an ‘Infomaniac’. Are you obsessed with learning and acquiring knowledge? And maybe have a fear of being ‘out of the loop’? Do you feel like you’re ‘always on? You might be someone who’s constantly Googling “How does this work?” And “what is that made of?” Or you might have an excessive need to regularly check emails, social media, and online news…

It’s been called ‘insomnia’ – which isn’t a clinical diagnosis but has been linked to a ‘fear of missing out. I just came across the term recently but can definitely see how it’s playing out given this information-overloaded world we’re all living in and the compulsive need some people have to consume information… 

Holding You Back See How To Break Free
Holding You Back See How To Break Free

But here’s the thing this insatiable thirst for knowledge or to have your finger on the pulse at all times can seriously reduce your ability to focus on tasks, reduce your mental sharpness and even impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep. And all of these things take you away from moving towards your goals and aspirations, so you end up feeling busy all the time, and yet not progressing – thereby keeping you stuck in information overload hope these 5 ways get unstuck

The Knowing Doing Trap

You’re stuck in the Knowing-doing trap. You’re passionate about self-development. You’re committed to your growth. And you already know a lot of stuff about what you ‘could’ develop, to advance to achieve your goals and better your life… You know it intellectually…but you don’t do it.

Holding You Back See How To Break Free
Holding You Back See How To Break Free

You don’t implement. You don’t apply your knowledge. This is called the ‘knowing-doing gap’ coined by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton in their Harvard Business Review article all the way back in 1999 – clearly, it was still a problem for them. And it’s SO easy to get stuck in it. In this information-overloaded world, where a lot of us are also experiencing infomania, there’s almost a seductive quality associated with learning, absorbing, and consuming information. Each time you do, you get that beautiful, rewarding dopamine hit. But then you get stuck in “self-development paralysis.” Overload. So, its’ easier to keep consuming than it is to take action.

Achievements Addict

You’re constantly looking for the next goal.… As soon as you achieve something before you even have time to celebrate or acknowledge what you’ve done, you immediately think, “ok, what next?”  and set yourself the next goal. You feel guilty when you stop working – you experience productivity guilt the moment you stop creating, achieving producing, or working hard, and often have intrusive thoughts about how you’re not good enough because you haven’t done enough… Your sense of identity has become intertwined with what you do. You believe you ARE your achievements.

Holding You Back See How To Break Free
Holding You Back See How To Break Free

Not only that, you always feel short of time… that there’s too much to do and not enough hours in the day. You feel like you’re falling behind and this leads to self-judgment and self-criticism, and then pushing yourself even harder to compensate.

Endless Multitasking

You keep switching tasks at work or in life to avoid the pain of ‘boredom’… you’ve become impatient and want things here and now – even if it’s the dopamine hit of the Switch. Switching keeps things fun and exciting. But constantly switching can create a dopamine-addiction feedback loop – basically, you’re rewarding the brain for losing focus and for constantly searching for external stimulation…

Get Unstuck 5 Habits Keeping you stuck
Father working in home office with young daughter on shoulders

phone, email, and new spreadsheet… which doesn’t help and actually conditions you to do it more… 5 Your phone has become a limb.

Attachment To Your Phone

One of the most obvious reasons why people feel stuck is that they simply can’t focus, which means they can’t make progress on whatever it is they’re trying to do. They become stuck. And there’s one very obvious reason for that, aside from what we’ve already explored. If you’re addicted to your phone and it’s become almost like an extra limb you can’t live without, I’m guessing you have your phone right beside you on your desk when you’re trying to work, to focus, and to get stuff done.

Get Unstuck 5 Habits Keeping you stuck
Collage of modern adults using smartphones in the city with wifi signals

Here’s why that’s not the best idea Trying to focus while your phone is on your desk leads to a ‘brain drain’. Having your phone on your desk, even if it’s face down and on silent, negatively affects your ability to focus. A 2017 study found that The Mere Presence of your own smartphone reduces your available cognitive capacity.

Even if you are able to resist the temptation to check your phone, having to resist the urge eats up brain power and requires attentional resources – “don’t check my phone… don’t check my phone…”, and this means you have fewer available ‘brain’ resources to apply to the task at hand and to actually focus. So, it keeps you stuck. So, to help you get unstuck, here’s what you’re going to do.

Stop Resists

If you’re suffering from infomania, stop. Take a step back. Breathe. The next time you have the urge to pick up your phone to Google something, open a new tab to read that pressing news article or consume more information… resist. Resist for 5 minutes.

This way you’re consciously reclaiming control and you can incrementally start to improve your capacity for longer focus periods, training your brain, and you’ll start to detach from your need to constantly have all the answers here and now.

Just One Thing

If you’re stuck in the knowing-doing gap and you can’t seem to take action or implement – go back to the last podcast you listened to, YouTube video you watched, or book you read – and identify one thing you’re going to put into practice. Just one thing. And then take action. Don’t jump onto the next thing until you’ve invested time in implementation. You’ll be better at it.

Mindful Lesure Time

If you’re an Achievement Addict, carve out and schedule ‘mindful leisure time – it’s Essential. Surround yourself with people who value you for who you are, not what you’ve done, and remind yourself that you are so much MORE than what you’ve achieved. This might require you to unfollow connections on Linkedin who continually post about their new promotion or their industry award consciously stop comparing yourself and you’ll find that when you slow down there’s actually a lot to appreciate.

5 More Mintue Get Unstuck

If you’re an endless multitasker, you’ll know that constantly ‘doing things’ and swapping between tasks is more stressful than rewarding. So you need to recondition yourself to become comfortable with being alone with yourself and your thoughts.

When you’re feeling a little agitated because you’re ‘bored’ with whatever you’re currently doing, or you’re ‘bored’ of doing nothing see if you can resist the urge to open a new tab or reach for your phone.

Stick with what you’re doing for just 5 minutes more- even if means being alone with your thoughts for an extra 5 minutes. This way you can incrementally start to improve your capacity for longer-focus periods, training your brain, and you might find that over time that urge starts to become much weaker.

Put The Phone Away

If you’re addicted to your phone and struggling to focus – and your phone’s on your desk – put it away. Put it out of sight – in a drawer, in your bag wherever you won’t see it or be tempted to check it. This makes sure you’re able to retain the highest possible cognitive and attentional capacity (and helps you avoid ‘the brain ). Simple, but the reminder we all need.

The fact is, as humans, we thrive when we feel that we’re making progress. Making progress on our goals has been shown in research to lead to more positive emotions and greater life satisfaction (and I’m sure we can all vouch for this from our own personal experience). It feels great. And we also know that when we aren’t progressing, we feel stuck.

And sometimes the reason why we engage in any of the 5 things I just shared with you is that we don’t really know the underlying reason ‘why’ we’re doing what we’re Doing. We’re just going through the motions, just like everyone else. But when we’re not clear on ‘why’ what we’re doing is important, and how it links to our underlying values and purpose for living, it’s all too easy to feel stuck, stagnant, and unfulfilled.

So I hope this Article was an eye-opener for some habits that you need to change. Remember, it’s all about small incremental progress. Find one that really resonated, and take action. If you enjoyed this episode, please give it a like, . . And I’d love to hear from you in the comments- which of the 5 habits do you do most often?

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