Author: Jules St-Louis
Are you feeling stuck to a point where you can’t seem to figure a way out of your funk? Maybe you’ve been wanting to start working towards your dream, but you are paralyzed by fear. Perhaps someone broke-up with you, and it hurts so much you just can’t seem to let go. Or maybe you’ve been feeling so depressed for so long, you have no clue how “feeling good” feels anymore.
Ah man, I can so relate to all of these. Back in December 2016, from an external perspective, it seemed like I had everything to succeed. But my inner perception was very different. Even tho I achieved many successes in my life: national boxing athlete, professional stunt woman, incredible friendships, a mom who adored me, I felt incredibly depressed. So much so that during that month, I planned and attempted to take my own life. I am so grateful that my inner wisdom was strong enough to save me on that day, and I can say with great joy that today, I am a grounded, connected, joyful woman who feels empowered by her dreams and found meaning in her life. I’ve used the nightmare I was living and turned it into an opportunity to grow. Now, I will share these tools with you.
Time doesn’t make things better. We do. ~Katherine Woodward Thomas
IT STARTS HERE
It all starts with making a decision. By making a commitment to yourself that you will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get unstuck. A choice to change your perspective, your mindset, to find solutions that work for you and to ask for help if needed. When I recovered from my severe depression, I made a decision. I decided that there had to be more to life than daily suffering and went on a mission to find the answer. Who knew this would lead me to you reading this blog! So wherever you are at right now, whatever it is you are going through, make a decision to get unstuck. Write it down on paper, a mirror in your bathroom or on a billboard off the highway. I don’t care how you write it, but it as to be visible to you every day.
Do this now!
FEAR, MY OLD FRIEND
Often, being stuck emotionally is the side effect of an overdose on fear. I’m going to tell you the biggest secret of all times. Ready? Fear will never go away. NEVER! Your brain wasn’t designed to make you happy, it was designed to keep you safe. Let’s change that around and take control. Instead of making fear, our old friend, why don’t we make it our best friend and use it to our advantage? This might sound crazy, I know, but fear can actually make you sharper and more aware. It’s a great indicator of an area of your life that needs growth. In my career as a boxer and professional stunt woman, I faced fear every single day! When I understood my fear better, it made me such a more excellent fighter and performer. It made more focus, faster on my feet, sharper with my punches. Fear made me win! Start by:
Identify your fear
What are you afraid of exactly? Name it out loud. Here are some examples:
At the end of the day, all fears can be categorized under the same category: the fear of not being able to handle whatever life will through at you.
Once you’ve identified your fear, challenge it by asking yourself these questions:
Write down 10 to 20 worst-case scenarios that could happen if you took action on what scares you the most. (Ex: If I write this book, no one will read it.)
For each worst-case scenario, name 10 to 20 preventive solutions you could choose from in the event your fears come true. (Ex: Before I write my book, I could research what people want to read about.)
Write down the possible benefits of an attempt or partial success if you took action.
Write down what it will cost you in the next 6 months to 3 years if you don’t take action.
If you challenge your thoughts, emotions and fears along planning for potential bumps on the road, it will make you more confident in getting unstuck and taking action.
We suffer more often in imagination that in reality- Seneca
LET IT GO ALREADY
Oh…probably, one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to accomplish. Letting go of the past. Acceptance of “what is” even if your heart aches knowing “what is.” Maybe you’re stuck emotionally because you are separating. Or you just lost a family member or close friend to an illness that took both of you by surprise.
Whatever the situation that propelled you into a space of refusing to let go, please know this: it’s completely ok to hold on for a little while. Life can be as unexplainable in its lovely surprises as it can be in its most terrible ones. I am a firm believer that we must allow ourselves to process our emotions. So feel the sadness, miss the one we love, curse them, cry them. The matters of the heart are still a complete mystery to the mind but at some point, when you have decided that you’re ready to start contemplating the idea of letting go, then please do this:
What are you going to do about it?
You are much stronger than you think. Remember when I said your mind is designed to keep you alive? It will. Trust within yourself that you have not only the capacity to let go and move on but to move on towards a more joyful future. You can create that by shifting your mindset towards a solution based perceptive. Write down the answer to these questions:
What do I want my life to feel like and look like?
What action (even the smallest one’s counts) can I take today that will start the creation of this life?
For each action, write down a strategy you will use to achieve this action.
Then write down a deadline by when you want this to be accomplished by
“I want my life to feel joyful again after this breakup. I want a healthy, balanced, reciprocal romantic partner with whom I connect, feel understood and loved.”
“I will start by healing my own heart before I start dating again.”
“I will hire a professional or follow that program that will start my healing process, where I will forgive myself and reconnect with my core.”
“I will start my healing on (write down the date).”
Make this action plan visible. Put it in a place where you can see it every day. Start every morning by looking at it. This will keep your focus on the actions you need to take to get you unstuck.
STOP BLAMING THE WORLD
I suspect you might not like what you’re about to read. Take responsibility for your life and for feeling stuck. Yup, I said it! If you feel stuck, it’s on you. For over a decade, I have played the victim of my life. My daddy abandoned me for the bottle and the pretty girls. My mother was too busy trying to survive as a single mother to be fully present for me as a child. Therefore I felt abandoned and unloved my entire life. I was so angry with my parents. At one point, I became mad at life itself. Enraged by the fact that I was alive.
Being a victim can be a soothing strategy because it gives us a false sense of power and control, but it isn’t a successful long-term strategy. Anger and resentment start to build-up, and you grow used to them. Regardless of what happened to you, of the unfair realities of life, you must realize that you are responsible for the way your life unfolds next. It all comes down to a simple question that I took from a man I genuinely admire: Dr. Jordan Peterson, who said: “Either you are trying to make life better or you’re trying to make life worst.” Which one is it for you? I was determined to make my life better because I had unconsciously tried the other strategy for years. Turns out, it’s not a fun one! This question made me realized that I was giving up my power and intelligence away by playing the victim. That it was time for me to take responsibility for my life and personal growth. Maybe my parents didn’t know any better at the time, but I do. We live in an era of information, you have NO excuse. If you don’t have the knowledge, be on a mission to find it. Your life and the endless potential of your future depends on it.
STOP ASKING YOUR MOM FOR HELP!!!
Mothers are forever loving and so precious, no doubt. They know us better than anyone else. However, it does not mean you need to ask your mom (or any other unqualified person) for life advice. Stop it! Would you ask weight loss advice to your neighbour that is 100lbs overweight?! Of course not! I’m sure he’s a nice guy and that your mom means well, but they aren’t professionals in the matter of getting unstuck emotionally. So ask help from the people that know what they’re talking about. There is nothing wrong with that! Over 3 trillion years ago, microorganisms learned to work together in other to survive. Why can’t we do the same? It is foolish to believe that you can figure everything out on your own. You are way too complex of a being to understand yourself fully and push your own limits. Sometimes, we need a coach or mentor. If it weren’t for my boxing coach, I would have never ranked 2nd in Canada in female boxing. Yes, I did it myself, he sure didn’t fight on my behalf. But he taught me the science of boxing, the technique, he made me stronger mentally when I felt like giving up, he pushed my limits beyond what I could conceive possible at the time. He helped unleash my power. When I was too deep in my rut, I hired a life coach. I truly needed help. So I called. It was the best decision I ever made in my entire existence. His coaching lead me from a drunk depressed chick with no meaning in her life to an empowered woman that knows who she is, what she stands for, and what she wants. I even started mw own business!
Let me tell you, feeling empowered, finding meaning and feeling connected to yourself are some of the best feelings to experience. I believe in the goodness and inner strength of the human potential. And so, I believe in you. These are some of the tools I used to get myself unstuck. Try them, use them, reinvent them. Know that they are powerful tools, all you need is the willingness to try.
May you dare to love yourself enough to find ways to get move forward and grow.
May you dare to become more.