How to Get Unstuck – Question Your Thoughts (Part 3/4 July series)
Whenever we get stuck, we are only ever stuck by our thoughts.
It’s so interesting to think about what it means to be stuck when we say I am stuck or I feel SO stuck!
The definition of stuck is to be unable to move, lodged into a position, or unable to progress. It is the former definition that we most often mean when we say I am stuck. Rarely, is anyone ever stuck in a literal sense of the word.
And this is all good news!
Rather than labeling ourselves stuck, what if we decide ‘I am figuring out how to progress and it’s not obvious to me just yet.’? Just give it a shot – try saying it aloud and see how it feels.
Easy to switch? Hard? Believable? Okay, let’s see what else we can do.
Stuck in our thoughts
I feel stuck. Well, what exactly feels stuck?
If you take a moment and write it out, you may be surprised at what comes up to the surface. Is the thing that is keeping you stuck even true? Is it really true?
Or do you find that there’s no current truth in what is making you feel stuck, (like it’s not happening right now) but that the thoughts about it are super convincing?
If you are not sure if your thoughts are true or not, write them out. Then read them aloud and ask yourself the question: Is this true right now? Is this true in the very near future? The word true means fact or factual, accurate, verifiable or exact.
We get stuck in our thoughts. Most of the time, they are not even true at the moment. And yet they paralyze us and make us believe that we are in fact, stuck. We. Are. Never. Stuck. We only think we are stuck because we spin in our thoughts.
What’s a Thought?
My first response to this question is usually: Crap. My thoughts left unmanaged can tend to be more crappy than I’d prefer.
What this means for me is making up stories, filling in blanks, making things mean something that I don’t even know is true, and general stinking-thinking…. This is before I have the chance to intervene, which is a constant, vigilant pursuit of noticing, questioning, and making a new choice.
To explain it simply as it applies to this discussion: A thought is a mental construct created in the brain once an experience passes through the mental filters that exist based on our past experiences. Once the brain designates the experience as basically good, bad, or indifferent, we now know how to think about and respond to it.
The hopefully obvious problem here is, anything that is based on our individual life experience filters is skewed from the truth. This is both the beauty and the detriment of being individual humans!
Bringing it back around
Thoughts create feelings. Notice your feelings and go behind them to find the causing thoughts. You will see that if you are feeling crappy, your thoughts are crappy. When you are feeling good, your thoughts are also good. What kind of thoughts would it take to produce the feeling of being stuck?
If you want to change the way you feel, change your thoughts.
So, we feel stuck because our thoughts say we’re stuck. When we take the next step and question the thoughts and feelings, we begin to punch holes in the validity or importance of the thoughts. Then we can make a new decision to begin moving in some new direction and out of stuck.
Challenging thoughts and feelings
I am going to share with you two of my favorite thought-and-corresponding-feeling buster questions: 1. What am I making this mean? (thought question) 2. So what if I feel _____? (feeling question)
These two questions are my daily go-to methods of regaining clarity and snapping out of stinking thinking. I’ll explore the power behind each of them.
What am I making this mean?
Initially, it took a conscious effort to use this question until it snapped it how truly valuable it is to me moment to moment at times. If you haven’t read my blog on this you can check it out here: brandymoonfaven.com/the-ultimate-question-to-free-up-space-in-your-mind/
When we do not have all the information we need to understand something fully, our brain uses past experiences to help us fill in the blanks of what happened and what that means. Is it immediately obvious to you why this is problematic?
So, we fill in the blanks, create the story and even the other person’s intention, and next thing you know, we are ditching friends and breaking up with partners. It is never good.
What am I making this mean?… offers us the opportunity to stop and have a look at how much of the whole picture is coming from our thoughts about it. Since we never really know facts or intentions without actual confirmation, what good is it to make it up? And yet, we do it incessantly.
To realize how much of this chaos is created in our minds offers us the choice to let it go and suspend judgment or reaction until we have all the facts. Most importantly, we save ourselves lots of suffering at the hands of our own minds. The main point is, we get to choose.
Your thoughts + your brain = you choose.
So what if I feel like [fill in the blank]?
This one is truly simple. The previous question requires a bit of brainwork. This one is just flat out questioning the validity of holding onto your feeling too tightly: Okay, I feel sad. So what if I feel sad? OR I feel fearful. So what if I feel fearful?
A funny thing I thought of the other day when I was sharing this question with someone is, okay let’s say it’s fear. I feel fear. ~So what?
It’s not like because I feel fear that a boogeyman materializes and makes it impossible for me to do the thing I am fearful of, right?! I’m not at risk of being eaten because I feel the fear. It really changes nothing about the thing or the process itself. It only changes me.
Fear only stands to stop us from doing a thing.
The presence of fear doesn’t change anything about the ‘ability’ or the ‘how’ something can be done. It really just stops our flow. The only thing fear stands to change, is our mind – about moving forward!
Our feelings don’t change anything of a situation. We do the thing and feel the feels all the way through to allow them space to be as they are and pass as they might. Question every thought, feel every thing, and do your life anyways.
Until next week, Brandy xx
I work with women who feel alone, confused, and misunderstood after a significant change or loss in their life. I help them get clear on what matters most and gain the confidence to move forward with a plan so their life feels normal again.
I love, love, love to help people come into a relationship with their inner guidance for making life decisions. If you would like to talk with me about working together to help move you forward, you may reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!