Tips for Getting Unstuck

The Red Boat at Lake Union, by Mary Gow
The Red Boat at Lake Union, by Mary Gow
For the past four days I’m posting every day on my blog because I’m participating in Wendy Kao’s Seven Day “Your Turn Challenge.”

Over 850 people are participating. I can’t say I’ve seen any of my posts on the site – except for Day 2’s entry. But I’m going ahead and submitting my posts there and here on my blog each day. You can see the results of this challenge at

There’s a suggested topic for each day:

Day 1: Why are you doing the Your Turn Challenge?
Day 2: Tell us about something that’s important to you.
Day 3: Tell us about something that you think should be improved.
Day 4: Teach us something that you do well.
Day 5: What advice would you give for getting unstuck?
Day 6: Tell us about a time when you surprised yourself.
Day 7: What are you taking with you from this Challenge?

Today is Day 5: What advice would you give for getting unstuck?

The best advice I give for becoming unstuck is to use the methods that have worked for me:

1. Identify your deepest fears.

2. Remember your WHY.

3. Surround yourself with doers.

4. Work with a mentor or accountability partner.

5. Create a new ritual.

6. Rocking chair exercise.

7. Take baby steps.

8. Fail first.

One of my favorite methods is the rocking chair exercise. I first saw it in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Imagine yourself 85 years old in a rocking chair looking back at your life now. What would it feel like you did or did not do the action considered?

Another favorite is a combination of No. 7 and No. 8.

To get a painting going when I’m stuck I squirt a few colors on my palette. I tell myself I’m going to make a terrible painting in the next five minutes so the expectations are very low. And that gives me the freedom to take a baby step and get a new layer on the canvas.

To me “procrastination” and “being stuck” are synonymous.

I once asked the artist known as SARK what she would tell someone about overcoming procrastination? And her response surprised me. She said maybe there’s a good reason for waiting and to procrastinate some more until you’re ready for the next step.

Which brings me to one last piece of advice to someone stuck:

9. Trust the process.