We’ve all been there. Frozen, but sweating. Heart racing. In our mind’s eye, we see the vision of our goal realized. We can almost taste it, yet we can’t move. We’re stuck.
Fear shows up when we’re tempted to push the edge of our comfort zone. Fear is natural. It lets us know something is about to change. Risk will be involved.
Paralyzed by fear, we often hold back. In the moment of decision to risk it or play it safe, we shrink. The possibility of something better dies as we settle for a more cautious approach.
Lesson in Getting Unstuck
I learned a valuable lesson about facing fear this morning from an unlikely source, a squirrel. As soon as I opened the back door, the dogs took out running. A tree limb swayed violently as a squirrel scaled higher and higher up the trunk.
Both dogs paced and barked incessantly below. The squirrel remained still clinging tightly as if waiting it out. He appeared stuck.
I suppose he finally realized the two rowdy terriers weren’t giving up. After five long minutes, the squirrel went out on a limb and jumped to another tree. He continued leaping from tree to tree despite his every move being followed.
The animal sat for a moment in a tree on the other side of the yard from where he started. The next and final move would require crossing the grass and exiting through the fence. It was the only possible escape.
I watched as the little guy carefully climbed down the trunk. Holding firmly three feet from the bottom, he looked around in the direction of each dog, then made his move. He raced across the grass to the fence and jumped through with ease leaving the two dogs stunned.
He made it!
What to Do to Get Unstuck
Now, I don’t really know what went through that squirrel’s mind, but here’s what he taught me about getting unstuck.
1. Assess the situation. Consider what it will take to reach the end goal.
2. Decide to go out on a limb. Take action. Move.
3. Be persistent. Keep moving. Stretching requires leaping, maybe multiple times.
4. Push the hardest on the final step. It may take all you’ve got. Don’t stop now. Go for it.
The decision to pursue a worthwhile goal requires us to push the boundaries of our comfort zone. The more we test those limits, the more often fear will surface. Remember, fear is just a sign we are growing. Once we learn how to manage this monster, we won’t be stuck anymore.
What fear do you need to face to get unstuck?