I know the feeling. In fact, I’ve been in the thick of it for the past little while now, too. Perhaps it’s the time of year. As one year comes to a close and another begins, it’s easy to feel the pinch of time passing by. Whether it’s looking back at the year that’s just passed and feeling like there’s so much that you could have done but didn’t, or feeling overwhelmed at the challenge of stepping it up and doing one better in the year ahead, it can weigh on us.
This kind of thinking also has a way of immediately taking us out of the present moment and cutting us off from the source of our power. Our power lies in our ability to take action in the present moment and in order to do that, we must be…yup, you guessed it: PRESENT.
I know that word gets used a lot and we’ve become somewhat desensitized to it, so let’s go a little deeper. What does it really mean to be present? Well, in the very simplest of terms, it means being focused on the HERE and NOW, which means not being in some thought about the past or the future. Focusing on the breath always helps, as does FEELING the body from within. Paying extra close attention to the sights, sounds and smells in our immediate surroundings works, too. Go ahead and give one of those a try for a minute or two and when you’ve truly arrived to the HERE and NOW, say “Present!”
Ok so we’re present. Awesome. NOW what? Well, from this place of presence, clarity emerges and there’s space to create. And the way to create is to take action. And the more action we take from this place of presence, the more clarity emerges as we learn what’s working for us and what isn’t, what feels good and what doesn’t.
So the solution to being stuck is very simple. Step one, get out of your head and into the present moment. With full acceptance of where you are and a little love for good measure (just turn your attention to your beating heart and that will do the trick), you are then ready to make a move.
Now, here’s the REALLY IMPORTANT part. Step two, ask yourself what one small action you can take that will make you feel good, and a little less stuck. Don’t overthink it or else you may end up in a mind-movie about yesterday or tomorrow. Just listen for the first and clearest answer that comes and go with that. Once you have it, get busy doing that one thing while continuing to remain present and giving it your full attention. And bingo! You’re on your way!
Wash. Rinse. Repeat and before you know it, the feeling of being stuck will be a distant memory (which you won’t be focusing on because you’ll be too busy being present and taking the next action!) Right?!
Here’s the thing, we all have a grand vision for ourselves and for our life. We have this burning passion inside of us that’s dying to be expressed. The common challenge we face is the practical aspect of actually bringing that vision to life.
When we stand at the foot of a mountain and look at the peak, it’s easy to get ahead of ourselves and focus on being at the top or to think back to other mountains we climbed and struggles we endured along the way. But as you well know, the only way to get there is to take one, small step at a time.
If reaching the mountaintop is what our soul is calling us to do, anything other than a step in that direction, including standing at the foot of the mountain daydreaming about the journey or the arrival at our destination will ultimately feel like time wasted and will keep us feeling…STUCK.
If this has been going on for a while, our critical minds will turn on us and begin to tell us all kinds of stories about why we’re never gonna get there and how our dreams are just that.
The solution is to take our power back. The way to do that is by building up our confidence, which comes from having trust in ourselves. Trust is a reflection of our belief in something, which comes from the experience of reality-testing that belief and seeing how it holds up. So the way to build up trust and confidence in ourselves is by saying we’re going to do something and then doing it. Period.
Every time we set our sights on the next action, the next small step, and we follow through, we learn to trust in what we say to ourselves and we get the experience of being who we believe ourselves to be. With every promise kept, we gain a little more confidence in ourselves and our abilities. Soon, we find ourselves moving forward with momentum and a little extra pep in our step as the mountaintop that once seemed so far away is now well within reach.
So if you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, come back to the present and reclaim your power. Ask yourself: “What’s one small action I can take that will make me feel good and help me move forward?”
You know what to do next!
Chris Assaad is a singer/songwriter and inspirational artist from Toronto who left a promising career in law several years ago to pursue his dream of a career in music. Since then, Chris has been actively using his voice to enCOURAGE others to follow their dreams, express their creativity and live life to the fullest.