And have no “how-to” plan

Being stuck is like moving in quicksand. Everything is impossible. Your energy is zapped, your will is waning, your confidence is gone and you have lost control. It’s a state of helplessness and you are center stage. There’s no way out. You may even be anxious, lonely, or depressed, fighting for the will to do anything essential. You’re in a rut and have no clue how to get unstuck.

Americans spend more than $11 billion on self-help methods annually. You don’t need another book, manual, or 12-step program. If you could have helped yourself you wouldn’t be here. The walls are closing in. It’s dark. Really dark. Buried alive, can’t breathe, running out of air and nowhere to turn kind of dark. How do you get out?

Acknowledge that something needs to change-get unstuck

You can acknowledge that something needs to change, if you know-how. I don’t think it’s possible at this stage. You are in a hole and can’t breathe. You’re unlikely to find the strength or know-how to acknowledge anything, except that your foot can’t move because you’re in quicksand.

Gain clarity-get unstuck

Hello? Is anyone out there? It’s dirty in here. You’re in a rut, a metaphorical swimming pool-sized mud puddle. Nothing will wipe away the dirt know matter how hard you try to blink it off. Your life lens is smeared with sludge. Nothing is clear.

Re-evaluate what’s important-get unstuck

Sure! That’s easy peasy. Glad someone else has got “it” figured out because you’re in a rut feeling like the Niagara Falls is dumping water with such force that letting go of life is the only option. There’s no time for re-evaluation.

Create an action plan-get unstuck

Whoa! Is anyone even reading this? It’s not likely you can create a plan to get out when everything is hopeless. How do you act on anything? The short answer is you don’t.

All of the above methods are based on self-help. What if you’re helpless and hopeless? You have no confidence in yourself, your skills, your thoughts are negative, and you’ve stopped trying.

You are not going to get yourself out of this. It’s time to look up, get support, and call for help. You can’t do this alone. It’s time to phone a friend.

Can’t lift the phone? Lift the TV remote. There has to be an Oprah or Ellen re-run on somewhere.

No cable? Okay, surely you have Netflix, Roku, Amazon TV, or something similar.

How about watching an inspirational documentary? Here’s a list of 20.

Ask for help-get unstuck

After a documentary or two hopefully you’ll have enough strength and ability to phone a friend or family member and ask for help. When someone arrives at your doorstep you have to let them in. The physical step may be the most difficult and it is necessary. Allow them to pull back the blinds and let the sunshine in. They’ll do the laundry, clean the kitchen, and take out the trash while you shower. Just breathe fresh air and enjoy the space they have created.

Receive help-get unstuck

It’s not “how”, it’s “who” gets you unstuck. Click to Tweet.

When the rut is so deep it’s not about “how” you get out, it’s “who” helps you out. Find something to be grateful for. Maybe for the first time in your life, it’s time to pray. The most desperate situations teach us to who to lean on. Maybe it’s God, Spirit, faith, religion. Maybe it’s not.

Anything has to be better than where you were. Now that the sun is shining it is time to follow someone out of that rut. Pick who you follow and start moving one step at a time. With the right “who” you can revisit all the above things you couldn’t do before and dig your way out. In time you will be able to acknowledge that something needs to change, gain clarity, re-evaluate, and create an action plan to get unstuck. The “who” is everything. The right “who” makes the impossible possible. Who will get you out? Follow them.