Welcome to another post at Saturday Sequins!
In the previous post, I discussed being stuck -- the state where you're exhausted, overwhelmed, and you can't bring yourself to tackle any of the items on your to-do list. I also suggested that being stuck isn't just something you can overcome; it's also an opportunity to become a better artist and businessperson.
And finally, I mentioned one step you can take towards getting unstuck: admitting you're stuck in the first place.
Today I'd like to explore some potential solutions to the problem. Since I'm stuck right this very moment, and this isn't a subject I've explored in a lot of depth before, I'll warn you that my advice is experimental -- I'll be trying it out right along with you.
So are you ready to do some work?
1.) Admit you're stuck. Check.
2.) See how you're feeling. Go someplace comfortable where there aren't a lot of distractions. Close your eyes. Breathe. Explore all the layers of your emotional baklava. Explain them to yourself, like you're talking to a friend. Don't focus on your reaction to these emotions -- I know there's a temptation to judge yourself. Just take inventory. Do this as long as you need to. Get through all those layers until you hit the bottom of the pan.
3.) Accept. I'm serious about not judging yourself for your feelings. That never gets us anywhere. What I'd like you to do, if you can, is just accept that this is where you are right now, this is what you're feeling. You might find that accepting, instead of denying or being defensive, is actually kind of freeing.
And if you can't accept it? Accept that you can't accept it right now. That's good, too.
4.) Find the causes. Now I'd like you to do some more exploring. What's going on in your life right now? What's causing those emotions you've just accepted? Maybe it's personal problems intruding into your creative life -- it happens. Maybe you're not taking care of yourself physically or emotionally -- that happens, too. Maybe you're not enthusiastic about a project but continuing because you think you "should," or maybe there's another project you really want to tackle that's been pushed aside -- those things also happen.
5.) Sort. I divide problems into two categories. First, there are things we have control over. Then, there are things we don't. Deciding which is which can be tough, and you may change your mind later on, but what I'd like you to do is make two piles in your head.
The first is the Can't Control pile. The second is the Can Control pile. The Can't pile might be things like a health crisis, family drama, or other people's expectations. The Can pile might be focusing on the wrong projects, or manageable health things like fatigue and poor nutrition.
6.) Rest. When you're stuck, you're vulnerable. Everything takes extra effort, so if you're emotionally and physically drained after doing this work, that's OK! More than OK -- it's reasonable. So take some time, whether it's fifteen minutes or several hours, to recover. Stretch. Get some water. Then close your eyes and focus on breathing again.
7.) Reward. When you're done resting, I want you to reward yourself! Because you're now in a different place than you were when you first admitted to being stuck. Even if you've only moved an inch, a millimeter, away from where you were before, this is progress, and you're awesome for making it!
So read a favorite book. Get together with friends. Cook your favorite meal. Whatever you do, know that you've earned it!
Stay tuned for the next part, where we'll do some brainstorming.
Have a sequintastic day, and thank you so, so much for your comments on the first part of this series! Your input was very helpful and greatly appreciated.