When you’re totally and utterly stuck

Psychological growth can occur after periods of feeling stuck. When we’re stuck it’s as though we can’t see a way forward or a way out. We’ve still got the problem and it continues to get to us and be getting in the way of our life. In Gestalt terms, we have some awareness and but are immobilised at the point where we’re seeking options and choices as to what to do. Stuck phases can seem enormously frustrating, if not depressing, but can have great potential for positive results if embraced and treated as a challenge. We need to find a way to take action.

Physically it can feel like we’re rooted to the spot, weighed down, lacking fluidity and ease of movement. There can be a tendency to go round in circles, going over and over the problem or challenge as if that’s all there is. It’s very hard to see the bigger picture. We’re down in some hole.

I once had great help from a friend over being stuck, when he helped me visualise being stuck in one such hole. In working on it, I imagined going all around this hole till I knew it backwards, so to speak. He helped me think of what the sides were like and I realised the sides weren’t as high as I had imagined and that there were sticking out bits and roots that I could cling to so that I might be able to climb out. I then had to learn to believe I could climb out. We didn’t talk of him giving me a rope and pulling me up. This was about me getting out myself.

Taking responsibility and realising we have power over our situation, and then actively doing something about it that changes it are vital components. Yet it helps to reframe the perception of the situation and then to find options to use. Vitally though, we very often need to go back to our awareness and find what else we might become aware of but haven’t yet. Then once we’ve done that, there’s a much more powerful energy at our disposal. Then effort is needed, tapping into the energy, to make the changes that are needed, even dealing with the part of us that is reluctant, and resisting becoming aware and making the change. Often the resistant bit is about a part of us we’re not willing to recognise, embrace and change. The resistance and the clinging on to the old understandings helps keep the stuckness in place. It’s us ourselves that need to do something about this.