How to move forward when you’re stuck in the mud

This winter I had an event in my studio (shout out to Momtography LIVE: Phone Photo Basics!), which went great—moms coming together for curiosity, connection, and learning.

Ahas were happening. Energy was flowing. Until it was time to leave. One of the participants got stuck in the mud trying to pull out of my yard.

Really stuck.

Like leave the car overnight and try again stuck.

Have you ever felt stuck like that? Like you just can’t get traction on your goals? I see it time and again.

Women have a dream, but they let it sit waiting for a “better” time. Or they put together a plan and take a step or two! But then they stop. And once they do, it’s even harder to get unstuck.

Maybe the worst is when you are just spinning your wheels.

Doing things that seem kind of related to your dream, but not actually moving you forward. Doing the same things over and over, hoping that you’ll get somewhere.

Like that car in the mud, you just kept digging yourself in deeper as you try to move.

So what do you when you get stuck on your dream?

5 Things to Do When You Get Stuck

FIrst, know that we all get stuck sometimes.

We aren’t sure where to start.

We’re afraid to take the next step (This one is tricky. Sometimes it shows up like something else, like I’m too busy or It’s not the right time or I don’t know what to do or I need to clean this cabinet right now …).

We lose sight of our dream and start following something else.

We get bored and give up.

We’re in a creative rut.

Here’s how I get unstuck:

Get curious.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What would be fun to do right now? This can help you get out of “should” and feel around to what you want to do or your own unique way of approaching your dream.
  • What would happen if I [fill in a possible next step]? So, what would happen if I just bought my domain name? What would happen if I invited 20 people to a trial art class.
  • What is my resistance to [fill in something you are getting stuck on]? Then journal on that question. What is my resistance to writing every morning first thing? I don’t want to get up early. I don’t trust that I’ll have enough time before one of the kids get up. What if I don’t know what to write about? Should I be meditating at that time instead? I could get a lot done while nobody is up; is my writing really worth it?
  • Think about a block you have and ask: How could I …? For example, how could I make more time? What could I do to make the money for that class? Who can I talk to to learn about selling my artwork online?

Try something new.

Sometimes everything feels stale, and we need to try a fresh approach. If you usually write at your desk at home, try going out to a café. If you try to work on your dream after the kids go to bed, try making time first thing in the day or right before they get home from school.

Try doing something creative but out of your comfort zone. If you usually take photographs, try sculpting clay. If you usually shoot candids of your kids, try capturing a nature walk.

The key to this one is to not get sidetracked. Doing something new isn’t necessarily about changing your dream, but about refreshing your creative spark.

Take a class or work with a coach.

Taking a class or working with a coach can get you out of a rut fast. You learn new things, again new perspectives, and try new things.

A good class or good coach pushes you out of your comfort zone. A class can give you new techniques, new ideas, and new resources.

You can learn from other students, the instructor or your coach. You can ask questions and get answers, which can help you move forward.

Connect with other dreamers.

Being with other people who are working toward big dreams can be inspiring. Find the right group and you have a safe space to talk about your goals, your successes, and even your challenges.

You cheer each other on, support each other through tough times, and celebrate successes together. You still have to do the work, but some accountability and encouragement when you feel stuck goes a long way.

Make space for it.

Dreams need space to grow. Sometimes that means blocking out time in our calendar to do the work.

Sometimes it means unplugging to give mental space to hear what our intuition tells us we need. And sometimes it means taking an hour, a day, a weekend—or more—to recharge and focus.

One of the best ways I know to do all these things is a creative retreat.

When you sign up for a retreat, you are saying: My dream is a priority. I am a priority.

That’s not always easy. You can talk yourself out of it: My kids have a game that weekend. We might want to do a family thing. I can’t spend that kind of money on me. It sounds amazing; I wish I could do something like that, but … I’m not serious enough about my writing (or photography or art or …) Maybe when the kids get bigger.

But it is possible.

And when you do it, it’s amazing.

I know because I’ve done it, and because I’ve seen so many women who told their husbands they needed a weekend away.

I’ve seen moms who coordinated childcare and car pools to kid events so they could be there. I’ve seen moms who asked their family for help with the money.

And then  I’ve seen them relax. I’ve seen them smile. I’ve seen them create.

I’ve spent time with them and shared laughter and stories and creative flashes. And I’ve seen them go home refreshed and energized and unstuck.

The first step to getting unstuck is to open to possibility.

Stop closing doors.

Get curious.

Feeling stuck? Let’s get you unstuck.

This summer I’m going to gather with an intimate group of women who are ready to get out of their stuck sense of self and move out of stagnant dreams. I’m so excited for us to dream and share and create.

Does that stir something in you? A little thrill of possibility, a little sense of traction out of the mud?

Then join me for the Recapture Self Retreat this summer.

Make time and explore your wishes, your dreams and your why. Get past stuck and start living your dreams with intention.

Come for community & connection.

Don’t stay stuck.

Learn more about the Recapture Self Retreat.