As you work on identifying your purpose… your WHY… how getting unstuck will look and feel, it often helps to dream a little. Allowing yourself some levity can greatly increase your ability to think positively and allow the process of unsticking to get a real foothold in your life. So let’s have a little fun before we move on.
Now let’s do an activity!
Bumperstickers for the Soul is a wonderful activity for daydreaming and acknowledging your wildest fantasies. It may seem frivolous at first but I highly recommend it for gathering some incredible insight into your internal motivations. Click the image to the left to open a detailed activity page. On that page you’ll find instructions, a downloadable PDF, and some journal prompts for identifying those valuable insights.
And then… You’ll Identify the Obstacles
When you get to this part, you’ll realize why we did some lighter, happier, more positive (but no less important!) work in the first few steps. That’s because, at this point, you must look your challenges right between the eyes. You have to acknowledge them in order to do anything about them.
This part of getting unstuck might be a bit more serious-feeling but that doesn’t mean it’s about bitching and moaning or looking for problems. Identifying your obstacles is more about offloading everything and looking at it with a critical eye. Sort of like when your purse is getting heavy and junky… so you bite the bullet one day and dump it all out. (sorry to any guy participants for that metaphor! but I think you probably can relate to it anyway. My husband’s wallet starts filling up the same way as my purse – I call it “the hamburger” when it needs to be dumped. But I digress!)
Identifying the obstacles that have you stuck doesn’t necessarily need to be a painful process. But it does require that you are open-minded and honest with yourself.
A good friend recently summed this part up for me in words I couldn’t have put together any better – Identifying your obstacles is where you answer the question:
What have I got to lose to be who I am?
There are a couple of ways to look at this question. It’s not rhetorical, by the way. In the big picture sort of way, the thing that you lose by NOT being who you are is… YOU. Imperative to keep in mind at this point. On a more hands-on and literal level, there are many things that you may need to get rid of, phase out or change your relationship with in order to get where you want to go. You’ve identified what unstuck looks and feels like and now you step back to get clarity on what’s standing in your way.
It’s nearly impossible for me to tell you what those things are; even if I knew you well, they may not be obvious. It’s your own soul searching that will lead you there. A recent article by Martha Beck asked readers to answer these questions: In a perfect world, would I do this thing [or have a relationship with] at all? If so, what would I change to make it more enjoyable?
Sidenote: keep your focus on the possibilities and your reason(s) WHY (that would be the stuff surrounding what unstuck looks and feels like), when you ask these questions. It makes all the difference.