Here’s what to do, when you don’t know what to do!

The first rule for getting unstuck is, “Don’t tell yourself not to panic!” It is a waste of time because you’re going to panic anyway. Besides, sometimes a little panic can be a very useful thing.

When that is behind you, go to Step 1.

Step 1. Breathe. This step has many benefits. First, it keeps oxygen going to your brain, and you are going to need it in a minute. Second, it gives you a bit of time to collect yourself—and some information—before you do anything else. After a couple of breaths (or three or five or ten), go to Step 2.

Step 2. Name three things you know for sure and three things you wonder. What you know for sure gives you some grounding. You are never in a place where you don’t know anything, even if the list doesn’t include what to do next. Your wonderings give you a place to stand—a diving board into the future. When you have a list of knowns and unknowns, go to Step 3.

Step 3. Decide whether you need to expand or contract. Expansion increases options and multiplies freedoms.  You will want to choose this when you feel pinched and want more wiggle room to test things out. Contraction, on the other hand reduces options, increases security, and focuses your energy and attention. Make this choice when you’re feeling overwhelmed and confused. If you can’t decide which is right, go back to what you know and wonder. Do they draw you in (contracting) or do they stretch you out (expanding)?  At this point you are ready for Step 4, where you’ll make some more choices.

Step 4. Explore the most powerful tensions, get to know the territory, tune your perspectives. These sliders can help.  Will you . . . 

Add any other pairs that emerge for you out of your knowns and unknowns from Step 2. When you’ve found your place on the sliders, you’re ready for Step 5.

Step 5. Do something. Anything. Then, go to Step 6.

Step 6. See what happens and start again with Step 1.

This process may take you a second or a week, but we can assure you that you will get unstuck. And, you will stay unstuck as long as you put one foot in front of the other and keep taking Steps . . . 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1 ,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3 . . . .

Join us for the next online Live Virtual Workshop, Thursday, March 5, when we explore other simplicities on the other side of complexity.

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