Updated: Jan 23
We ALL know about fear/procrastination/perfectionism paralysis because we’ve ALL been there. I promise babe, you are not alone! Feeling stuck is nothing new - it's a part of business.
As encouraging as that is to hear, I'll bet you already knew that and are now wondering HOW to take tangible steps to overcome and conquer. As a fellow business owner, I know all too well how debilitating this feels (oh yes, I've been there too babe).
We, as business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers etc., are responsible for our own workflow and delivering for our clients so feeling 'stuck' can be especially problematic when you're working for and by yourself. We just need to be that little bit more resourceful to get ourselves unstuck.
Let's Investigate - What's Got You Stuck?
There could be any number of reasons why you're feeling like this but here are some common ones:
Difficult challenges to solve
Self-sabotage e.g. self-doubt, procrastination, poor time management, poor organisation
External road blocks e.g. lack of communication, restricting process/procedures, lack of resource
Fear of getting it wrong
Feeling unheard or undervalued
Lack of enjoyment for the job
Wallowing in your 'stuckness'
Despairing and feeling hopeless
Questioning your own ability
Acknowledge it. Own it. Get ready to conquer it
Take this as an opportunity to understand what is really going on - are you unclear of the task? Have you gone off-track from what you set out to achieve? Do you feel intimidated? Breaking it down like this pinpoints the cause and gives you a better idea of how to tackle it and move forward.
Why Feeling Stuck Is Actually A POSITIVE Sign
I'm going to spin it on its head for a sec - instead of seeing this as a negative, look at it with a different perspective. Recognise and associate 'feeling stuck' as a pivotal moment in your professional growth and development. You've taken yourself outside of your comfort zone and come up against a challenge. The challenge itself isn't necessarily the problem, more often than not it's your mindset and HOW you approach the challenge that usually needs the work.
AND don't forget - it won't last forever and, more excitingly, you could be on the verge of a breakthrough! Take comfort in knowing this is all part of the process.
Now, let's get you 'unstuck'.
5 Steps To Getting Unstuck
Here’s a few things I find helpful when I’m feeling stuck in my business in general or when I feel like I've lost my way a little.
Give yourself a damn break!
I'm not talking about 15-minutes of 'screen-free' time. I'm talking about a whole weekend, a long weekend, a week - whatever works for you babe. Switch off and give your brain some space.
Ok, realistically, I know that if you're halfway through a project, you can't just go swanning off to the Balearics for a week (although... wouldn't that be nice 😉) BUT studies have proved that you're more productive when you're relaxed.
And there's some real good reasons why it's important to give your noggin a rest
Give your brain cells time to relax, regroup & re-energise
Improve concentration, productivity and cognitive function
Allow your hormones to return to a normal, balanced state
Avoid burnout and overwhelm
Boost your mood, gain perspective and re-connect with yourself
I went to Spain this summer (if you didn't know, this is where I grew up). It was supposed to be my wedding but you know... coronavirus. Although we decided it best to postpone the nuptials until things are looking more certain, I didn't want to pass up the opportunity for a change of scenery, catching up with friends & family who I've not been able to see in the flesh since the pandemic broke out and just revisiting the place that has held so many special memories to me over the years. So I jumped right on that plane and went!
I didn't even realise how much my soul NEEDED it. Like every other small business owner, mother and member of society, the last couple of years have been tricky. Whilst away, I still needed to work a little, to keep things ticking over but I laid out some strict boundaries for myself for when I would be ON and when I would be wholly and completely OFF. When I got back to the UK, I had a spring in my step - new ideas had come to me and I was more excited than ever to get those wheels in motion.
So, what I'm basically saying babe, is that if you regularly give yourself time to do less, paradoxically you'll free yourself to be able to do more. Funny how that works, aye?
Re-visit your business purpose and business values
If I asked you, "why are you in business?" - how would you explain that to me?
I'm going right back to the very basics here, so, no, we're not talking about the financial gain of owning a business. What passion made you need to get out of bed, do your thang and feel good about it? This is your business purpose.
My business purpose
For me, it is, quite simply, to help female-owned businesses or women with a business idea to feel clarity, control and confidence in their business/idea and to give them the tools, strategy and framework to do so. The most rewarding part of my job is when a business owner has that 'a-ha!' moment and you just know she's had a breakthrough! Then I get the privilege of watching that confidence and courage blossom. 😍
Your business purpose
This purpose should always be at the very core of every business decision you make, bar none. When you are driven by purpose, you are unique, you are relatable. Your clients will be more loyal, your followers more engaged, your projects more fulfilling. So if you're feeling stuck because something doesn't feel 'right' or you're not enjoying it, then it probably doesn't fit with your purpose.
It's easily done, we put huge amounts of pressure on ourselves to make our businesses profitable so it can be hard to turn away work. But ultimately, you'll end doing up yourself and your clients an injustice by trying to force a synergy that isn't there.
Take time to re-align with your business purpose and investigate whether this is the root cause of what's causing your lack of enthusiasm. Remember, your clients need the solution that YOU offer so if you're having trouble 'convincing' them of your worth - they ain't your ideal client babe.
This is probably my fave. Because, when something throws you at work, you might start to hear that neggy, self-doubting, self-deprecating, soul-destroying voice piping up from the back of your consciousness telling you all kinds of things about your ability that are simply not true.
And how do you know they're not true? Because you have PROOF.
Create a folder and pop in all of your positive business stuff. Winning testimonials, a proposal that 'made history', a blog that kicked ass, an email where someone believed in you and came to you, screenshots of social media comments, a recording of a FB Live or Zoom workshop where you turned hella up ... anything that makes you go "hells yeah, I KNOW my shit!"
Go through it and be your own inspiration. And remember, stuck = challenge = growth.
Set 3 key goals
When you're feeling a bit overwhelmed, like you're veering off-track or just straight-up distracted - it helps to reestablish what you're trying to accomplish. Think back to your goals - what do you want to achieve this day, this week, this month?
Then break those goals down into manageable, bite-size chunks. For the immediate future, aim to give yourself:
1 x financial goal
1 x business goal
1 x personal goal
I chose those 3 goals because they work in-alignment together. I need finance to keep my business alive, I need a business goal to work towards and I need a personal goal because, well, this is my life.
Having those 3 key goals to focus on will give you a renewed sense of purpose and direction.
Reach out for support
This dovetails nicely into my constant, relentless advocacy for collaboration and community.
Join like-minded groups on Facebook and/or LinkedIn (there's plenty of them) and put your challenge out to that community. You'll probably be surprised at how many amazing people rally to offer support. You might find some answers that solve your conundrum. But you will definitely feel reassured that the problem isn't as bad as you thought. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Business collaboration and network referral
And you know what? Sometimes the answer is that you simply can't do it alone. There is absolutely NO shame in that. Whether you worked the numbers and found you don't have the time the task demands or the project that your client (or prospective client) is proposing doesn't sit within your business' values or maybe even within your skillset - referral or collaboration are great options.
Your client will be grateful for your honesty & integrity and impressed by how well-connected you are AND you'll gain huge brownie points from the person whom you choose to refer the work to/collaborate with - and, when opportunity presents itself, they're likely to return the favour.
Here's a couple of blogs to read if you're considering a collaboration:
And most importantly...
Just take a minute to know, like, really know that you are doing just fine - you are wildly capable, feeling stuck is totally natural and there's always a solution.
My FREE services - how can I help?
Free 20-minute call
Thanks for sticking around to read this far! If you still feel stuck and like maaaaybe you need a little expert guidance, I offer 20-minute discovery calls, totally free of charge. Tell me what you need help with and let's see if we can make it happen.
The Business Group - on Facebook
Because I really do believe in the power of community, I created a safe, judgement-free place for female business owners, freelancers, side-hustlers and movers and shakers to connect, share information, support each other and ask those real-talk kinda questions 🙌✨