There is no worse word for a woman than STUCK.
We can handle pain.
We can handle loss.
We can handle chaos.
There is a beginning, middle and end to those experiences.
But stuck feels like slow asphyxiation.
Like solitary confinement.
Trapped with no oxygen, no windows, and no understanding of how to get out.
Which is the worst part of all.
Because in some way, somehow, we know we put ourselves in this stuck spot.
There are so many ways to be stuck.
It might be a job you kinda hate with a future you don’t want to live into.
It might be a marriage that you knew, from the moment you walked down the aisle, was a compromise.
Maybe you are a drained and exhausted full-time Mom, or a drained and exhausted working Mom, with years of child rearing stretching ahead of you.
Or…you are on that dating treadmill, where you just cannot bear to endure one more date with another guy who does not know you.
I have to admit I am on a first-name basis with ‘stuck’.
I lived so many years in a marriage I had outgrown.
So so so many years in a job that was low paying and nowhere near the neighborhood of my true calling.
And dating? Big sigh. There and back, sisters. There and back.
Once you have spent a day,
or a decade in that formaldehyde,
you would do anything–and I mean anything–to avoid going back.
This blog today is dedicated to all the people in the world who like me will do anything to jump off the ledge of STUCK…and leap into the turbulent wonderful risky ever-changing waters of life.
Today I am going to celebrate my liberation from” stuck” and offer you the keys to open the door to your very own prison of STUCK so you too can walk out and be free.
Walt Disney’s first company went bankrupt.
Instead of giving up, he headed to Hollywood with twenty dollars and a suitcase to start a new business. He believed in himself and his ideas. It turned out to be a really good risk.
Michael Jordan was cut from his sophomore varsity basketball team for being too short. He stuck with the game and ended up one of the best basketball players in the world.
Winston Churchill did poorly in school for which he was punished. He also had a stuttering speech impediment. Churchill went on to become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and a Nobel Prize winner.
These individuals, and others like them, teach us that in order to have an amazing life you have to believe in yourself and take extraordinary risks even when everything and everyone around you sends the message that you can’t do it.
In one of my children’s favorite movies, “CHICKEN RUN”, there is a valuable life lesson. The chickens are desperately trying to escape the FENCES. But as their fearless and determined leader, Ginger reminds them, ” The fences are only in our minds.”
Just like those chickens, we allow ourselves to believe the lie that we are stuck. That there is no possible escape from the situation that is currently holding us captive.
But it is just that… A BIG LIE!
Each day is brand new.
Free of mistakes.
The only thing that keeps you STUCK is YOU!
A few days ago I posted a blog about taking risks.
Taking a risk is your key to freedom.
I wish I could offer you a standard formula that would guarantee immediate happiness, but unfortunately there is no such formula.
The very word RISK is a scary word, full of drama and uncertainty.
I am not claiming that taking a risk will be easy.
In fact, you may well spend years taking one risk after another, like I have, before you finally reach your destination.
But in the end, the lessons I have learned, and the people I have met along the way have made me into the dynamic and colorful person that I am today.
When you take risks, you can start big or small, according to your threshold of comfort.
Some people take giant leaps and others feel more at ease with baby steps as they build their risk-taking muscle.
It doesn’t matter which category you fall into, as long as you are taking risks.
Sometimes you just have to jump into things instead of dwelling or meditating on them for days on end, because hesitation may result in a missed once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Just use logic and make sure you aren’t putting your life or someone else’s life in danger.
If you find that you want to take more risks but something is holding you back, or maybe just the thought of taking risks has you shuddering, get to the root of the issue.
Maybe you are holding onto a fear or belief in your mind that is limiting and negative.
Perhaps you don’t even know what is stopping you from taking the risk, you just know that every time you want to step out and try something new, you find yourself frozen and rooted in place.
This is the perfect opportunity to examine your beliefs about risks, failure, and making mistakes.
This is a perfect time to allow yourself some room for imperfection as you are learning to take risks.
One thing I can promise you, when you first step out of your prison, you will have to give yourself time to acclimate to your new life, and know that you will make mistakes. You have been held captive for so long that your new freedom will come with a price.
You may get hurt…but you will survive.
You may make choices that ensnare you in a different kind of prison…but you can get out.
You may feel scared and hopeless…but you will find courage.
The more often you take risks the stronger your risk-taking muscle will become, and the less you will fear change.
Also notice and become aware of your beliefs and thoughts about yourself and your abilities.
A person might take a risk and make a mistake, but it isn’t a failure until he or she decides that it is a failure and starts beating themselves up about it.
Are you worried about what other people might think of you?
How do you measure success?
Do you fear change?
Are you dealing with lack of self-confidence and self-worth?
Negative and limiting beliefs in any or all of these areas need to be uprooted, re-engineered, and replaced with positive beliefs in order to start moving forward.
It’s important to believe in yourself and to take risks.
If you ever want to get UN-STUCK, you will have to take that first step.
When you start taking risks, jumping on opportunities and accepting challenges, amazing things begin to happen:
an amazing life unfolds AND at the center of that amazing life you will find an amazing person.
That amazing person is you.
I often look back and reflect on the person I was seven years ago. I don’t even know that woman anymore. When I look back, it is as if I am watching a movie about someone else.
I remember the fears.
I can recall the feeling of suffocating in my own life.
I can almost feel the desperation and loneliness…
But thankfully, I broke free from that prison.
I had the courage to walk away from my loveless marriage, and now enjoy the love of an incredible man.
I had the confidence to attempt to support four children on my own, and discovered my talents in the process.
I re-aligned my life with the Lord, and discovered real and lasting peace.
I am free in every way that a person can be free.
There are no longer any fences in my mind that hold me prisoner.
I have taken the risk, and suffered the pain of change and emerged a free woman.
Stuck is not a word I use to describe my life any longer.
What is holding you down in your life?
Is it a marriage that you have outgrown, and need to leave but think you can’t?
Is it a job that is killing your spirit?
or is it just your low self-esteem?
Any one of these fences can be conquered if you are determined.
Like the chickens in the movie you have the ability to build an air-plane and fly right out of your prison and onto the island paradise where you are free to live your life as you choose.
I hope you will have the courage to accept the key to freedom that I have offered you today…