Last week my wife, Kathy, and I were in Colorado enjoying the beauty of the changing Aspen and cottonwood trees. We were blessed to catch fall at its peak. It was beautiful! We both love to get out and explore. What that means, for us, is finding roads that are in Thoreau’s words “less traveled”. We just can’t help ourselves, we have to see what’s around the next corner or over the next hill. Unfortunately, we were in Kathy’s minivan on this trip. It’s a nice comfortable vehicle, but it isn’t made for all the Jeep trails that we were on in Colorado. And as you might guess we got the minivan stuck in the mud on a 4 wheel drive Jeep trail.
Our story of getting stuck was quite exciting. Nearly sliding over the edge of a cliff, not sure if we were going to get unstuck or off the mountain that evening…it was great! Once we did get unstuck Kathy looked at me and said “that was a great adventure!” (Although in the midst of it all she was pretty freaked out.) And while it was a great adventure, the truth is, there is nothing fun about being stuck. Especially in life. Yet, a lot of people give into the idea that they are just stuck, that this is all there is to life, they are going nowhere, just hoping someone will come along to get them unstuck. That may or may not happen. In the meantime, there are some things you can do, be it in your career, your relationships, your business or your spiritual journey to get unstuck.
1. Attitude Check
When you feel stuck, the first thing to go is the attitude. Once your attitude gives way to “there’s no way out of this” thinking you are in trouble. It’s okay to admit you’re stuck, but check your attitude. Are you caving into being stuck or are you looking for opportunities to get unstuck. In our situation I knew that I would have to somehow turn Kathy’s minivan around, I had no idea how, but I knew I had to get in it and drive. I let it slide as close to the edge as possible to find a little traction and that leads me to the second thing:
2. Take Risk
Most times when someone is stuck they just shut down and give up. They give into the fear that things could get worse. And they can, but they can also get better. Usually the way to better, or getting unstuck is risky. When you are stuck in life, the most important thing you can do is to still be willing to take a risk to get to where you wanted to go. You may get a little close to the edge, you may go over the edge sometimes in life, but over the edge is better than being stuck in a rut the rest of your life. At least over the edge you will be unstuck and besides what’s the worst that can happen?
3. The Worst Thing
The worst thing that could possible happen is to live life stuck in the rut. You may have heard this before; a rut is simply a grave without ends. Stuck in a rut isn’t living. Stuck in a rut is just a slow painful death. Life is on the other side of risky. To win you may have to suffer some losses. But stuck is a sure loss.
You may be stuck, and afraid to move on. Take the risk – go for it. Once you get beyond being stuck, in anything in life, one way or the other, you will feel like my wife Kathy, “that was a great adventure.” You may not want to take that ride a second time but you will have learned and you will be ready to live!
“Then I said, Listen. Listen carefully: Don’t stay stuck in your ways!” (Jeremiah 13:15, THE MESSAGE)
Do a prayerful checkup today. What is one area of your life where you feel stuck? Are you ready to get unstuck? Make a decision of an action you can take today to begin getting unstuck. Look down the road and see the potential!