Feel Stuck? Rise Up With These 7 Tips
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:14 ESV
I find myself hitting an entrepreneur wall about once a year. It may be a lack of Instagram likes that plants the seeds of doubt. I start thinking that what I am doing just isn’t resonating and I might as well just quit. I know, extreme, but over the past few years I can see the Lord stretching my endurance and persistence muscles.
This is the very reason why I wrote Rest and Rise last year—He was showing me that when it ("it" being the current source of frustration) doesn’t seem to be working, not to quit, but to rest in Him. He will pave the new path ahead, and I will rise up and follow Him upward and onward.
When we feel like we aren’t moving, we aren’t growing, we get restless, and for good reason! We are called to continually rise up to our upward calling in Christ. We may not keep growing in stature, but we are always growing in spirit.
Maybe you feel stuck because you’ve hit a fitness plateau, feel growing pains with your career, have hit a writers' block, or life has simply lost is luster. Either way, what you’ve been doing just isn’t working anymore. I hope these seven tips can help you break through and keep moving upwards and onwards.
Pray. The best way to rise up is to start on our knees in prayer. Returning to our first love grounds us and reoriented our purpose. It leads us to ask the big questions:
Why am I doing what I am doing?
Will this goal continue to conform me to the image of Christ?
Who am I serving?
Is this method fruitful?
Move. Overthinking, indecision, and discouragement can be paralyzing. The best thing to do here is to simply make a move. Any move! Try going on a walk to get the body moving and thoughts flowing again. Slip on your shoes with or without the Nike swish and just do it.
Invite someone in. God gave Adam a helper in Eve for good reason. We can't do the God-given work on our own--we need each other! Brainstorm ideas with someone, a friend who shares your same interests and can give you a few ideas or just someone who can actively listen and encourage you to talk through all the tangled thoughts. If the resources are available, enlist the help of a pro. Hire a personal trainer or sign up for a webinar course. Partner with others whose God-given gifts and cultivated skills can make up for where you're lacking. This is how we move together as the body of Christ! And when your cup overflows, you can do the same for another.
Move differently. Going on a walk is predictable, rhythmic, and gets the juices going, but what we need next is to do something way out of the ordinary. Talking with a friend might have given you a few new ideas to try on your own or something you can collaborate on together. Take those ideas and shake them up! Break out of the status quo. As I heard a businessman once say, "lose your mind" which I take to mean, "drop all expectations, the Lord is doing a new thing!" Take action by turning a headstand to gain new perspective, take a new class, whatever you can do to change up the stimulus.
Get feedback. Good businesses are always taking risks, garnering consumer responses, and changing course based on the market demands. We can apply this to our career goals or health and fitness goals. For our physical bodies, get biofeedback on your new activity by testing your heart rate or stretching limits before and after the new to see how your body responds. Then check your mood. Do you feel energized? Defeated? Strong? Knowing how you feel afterwards can inform your next step. If you need a course correction with your career, try a new idea out for a while and poll your people to determine engagement. See what sticks with them to get yourself unstuck.
Sleep on it. When my computer stops working, I give it a good restart and often the problem will vanish. If all else fails, sometimes all we need is a good night's sleep to process and recalibrate After all, our growing eternal spirit dwells in an earthly body with simple needs, like rest, food, drink, and exercise.
Give thanks. When all we can do is think about our sticky situation, we tend to stay there. Gratitude for God's good gifts can be the key that unlocks the door (or the eyes to see that the door is already open)! Give thanks for three things right now, and feel your heart rise up.
And as we press on past our undesirable circumstances, we keep our eyes on the prize. It's ultimately not to lose the 10 pounds or to get more followers. The prize is Jesus! He is with us and ahead of us all at the same time, interceding for us now and urging us on ahead.
And for the next time you feel this way, it's okay. Unfortunately, this feeling of immobility doesn’t get banished forever. It will keep coming back. Feeling stuck not a sign that you’re a failure, but a nudge that something needs to change. Once we can recognize this instead of viewing it as a personal judgement, we are free to brush off the resistance like ashes and rise up out of it. Rise up, phoenix, and shake off the ashes.
Have you hit a plateau? What are your tried and true methods for getting past it?