Life

3 practical ways to get unstuck

un-stuck

We all get stuck at some point in life. This blog post is about how you and I can get unstuck. Happy reading!

Have you ever played stuck in the mud? It was one of the childhood games that I quite enjoyed despite there actually being no mud to play in. This game was such that one designated person could get you stuck (the sticker) but anyone who is unstuck could get you unstuck by crawling on the ground underneath you. Amidst shrieks of excitement and dejected groans, a lesson can be learnt.

YOU MIGHT NEED SOME HELP

I have found myself in seemingly impossible situations and unwilling to ask for help. My pride taking the forefront and running me deeper into the mire. In much the same way, there have been times when I felt in over my head and reached out for help and got up under my challenge. The lesson has taken a while to stick (I’m still learning it) but I am getting better at asking for help when I need it.

“A problem shared is a problem halved.” ~ Proverb

Help actually does help!

Putting aside the emotional relief from sharing your burden, sound advice might be shared that could help you move out of the situation that has you stuck. About a year or so ago, I was involved in writing an anthology Odokonyero with Writivism. I can comfortably say that the workshops were a watershed moment for me. My posts are honest and transparent so if you’ve read my previous post you know that I was struggling with a lot as a teenager and young adult. The situations I found myself in had me bound and drowning in quick sand. Any move I made to get out sank me instead.

Life story coming up…

We had a session towards the end of the week-long workshop where my mentor Nick Makoha helped unstick me from the mud I found myself in. His perceptive but firm prompts had me spilling my guts and experiencing the first true epiphany about how to move on from past hurts. Granted that it was in front of a group of fellow writers, I felt accepted by people who had no business accepting me. I was able to move on as a person and as a writer and I didn’t even ask for his help! A free therapy session and a great story were mine without even asking.

The point is…

 I allowed to be helped. Sometimes you may find yourself in over your head with no hope of escape. Reach out to a trusted friend, mentor or someone you can confide in and share your struggle with them. Ask for advice. Ask for help. More often than not, they will be willing to walk the journey with you and get you unstuck.

SOMETHING’S GOTTA CHANGE

On the other extreme, some people have mastered the art of asking for help but always seem to be stuck so they become expert ask-for-helpers (I know that isn’t an English word- my creative genius is at work). I have seen this more with financial difficulties – even in my own life. It has been said of this millennial generation that quick fixes are what we seek. Like it or not, this statement has a ring of truth to it.

When we look at an investment plan that seems to bring great return with ease and speed, we latch onto it. A more mundane time tested and proven investment is undesirable to most of my peers. Let me bring it closer to home. I have seen many relationships end because neither of the concerned parties appreciated the art of allowing time to run its course.

Back to the ask-for-helpers…

With a trip I had to take drawing closer, I realized the easiest and fastest way to get some money would be to get a loan from a cousin of mine. At the age of 19, I was $500 in debt (an equivalent of 1.8m Uganda shillings). I was certain I would pay it back from the business I was involved in. Alas, the day would arrive when I realized it was more work than I was willing to put in. Before this fateful day, I remained optimistic. After realizing that money came quicker when I asked for it and promised to return it, I made this my modus operandi.

This is what happened…

I crippled my brain by asking for ‘help’ (really begging for money and taking loans) for things that would not enable me to get the money back. The debt continued to pile up until I was over 3m shillings in debt with no stable income and a habit that had become hard to break. How I got out of debt is a story for another day but the bottom line is this; I realized that something had to change if was ever to be free of the claws of debt and a terrible borrowing habit.

Look at the situation you are in…

Imagine it is right in front of you and stare at it intently until your eyesight begins to cross and your eyes to water. What do you have to change about yourself to get unstuck? Ironically, you may need someone’s help for accountability and guidance but it is you who has to put in the work to get yourself out of the situation.

In the game I mentioned earlier – Stuck in the Mud -, the person would free you but you had to move from that place and run away from the designated ‘sticker’ before he / she tapped you and got you stuck again. Much like the game, the effort it takes to get out of the sticky situation will be a lot more than that which got you into it.

PARADIGM SHIFT

If you have been following my earlier posts, I write a lot about mindset and attitude. The truth is you can never get out of that sticky situation with the same stinky mindset that got you into it. You have to change your mind for a new habit to stick.

We spoke about changing our habits in the previous section. Habit change goes hand in hand with mindset change. They are a package deal! You can’t have one without the other.

Recently…

I was made aware of a complaining problem that I was getting comfortable with. I am working at it day by day. Along the way, I realized that one of the ways of changing my sticky complaining habit was to throw out my stinky ungrateful mindset and adopt a pretty smelling gratitude one in its stead.

In all honesty…

Complaining about everything under the sun made me seem like I was intelligent because I got to use the vocabulary and diction that God has so graciously seen fit to entrust to me. It gave me attention that I claim to hate but secretly love. I helped me rationalize my inability to stick to a diet plan and lose weight like my accountability partner had. It was just a sorry excuse for me not to do what I was supposed to do.

Once I realized that it was becoming a problem…

 I attacked it with every weapon in my arsenal (I had only one at the time; gratitude). It cost nothing to start being grateful. Bitterness cropped up where complaining was dying out. Sometimes, I felt like I was going through withdrawal. Many a time, I would slip up and complain again. But my mind was and is set against complaining so I will continue to work at it until I conquer it.

This is a fight I have to go through with the help my loving Father in heaven.

Finally…

It is important for you to know when you’re supposed to ask for help and when it is meant to be a duet; just you and God.

People can be good and bad. When you are approaching someone for help to get you unstuck, be wily and wise. Do not allow to be pulled into an even deeper mess. I have found that I am unable to discern without God’s help. I do not know what you believe in and I don’t want to ruffle any feathers but God’s help in discernment is all I know. He is willing to help you if you would just ask.

You have to be brutally honest with yourself throughout the whole process if you want to get unstuck!

 If you find yourself 15kgs overweight (like me), don’t lie to yourself that I was born to be fat or whatever hogwash you scrounge up to make yourself feel better. The truth is my eating habits got me here and if I am interested in getting unstuck from this heavy situation (haha pun totally intended), I must take the kid gloves off and face myself.

Financial ‘stuckness’ will not go away when you try to reason with it. Be honest with yourself and set your priorities straight. Pay back the debt as fast as possible. Create a budget. Live within your means. Make more money. Don’t just sit back hoping and praying that a miracle will happen.

The truth about financial breakthroughs…

 Your breakthrough may be a job that requires you to work more than you expected but can help you pay off the debt. It may be a change at an international consultancy that takes you away from your family but empowers you to pay off your car loan or mortgage. The answer to your prayer may be in form of a financial training that happens at the time when your favorite show is on TV. It is important to pray for miracles but it is also imperative that we keep put eyes peeled because they happen in the most unexpected ways.

I am working on something new!

 A stewardship program where people; young and old learn how to manage their money and live the lives God intended for them. It is still in the works but I will keep you updated.

Thank you for being with me today and reading my blog. Please share this if it blessed you and don’t forget to subscribe!

Love y’all,

XO

Sheelz

P.S: Why is it XO and not OX? (It is a random thought but it is going to bug me! Please help a sister out.

14 Comments

  1. Wow Shelah!
    Strong writing, practical and absolutely powerful.
    Proud to know that this is not fiction but genuinely original.
    I can not wait to see a compilation of your blogs into a book.
    GOD BLESS YOU

  2. Wow. I read this non stop.
    I always get distracted reading notes and literature.
    Great work Shelah.

    I have learnt a lot especially about habit and mindset change. Indeed getting out of mud happens when we change the habits that got us into it.
    Reminds me of my profession. If one method doesn’t work, change it.

    1. Thank you Dan! Indeed! If you don’t change your mind, you will find yourself right back where you started when you tried to get of it.

  3. Hey Shelah, its a great piece of info to Success
    1. Setting targets to kick out negative behavior and working on – Paradigm change is my favorite here (because its a battle)
    2. Seeking Help from the right people (well packaged message) – it helped with the addiction I once had

    Now am waiting for more tips. Am getting better, thanks to your blog

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