This is the Introduction to the Unstuck
One weekday afternoon sometime in 2003, I sat in my home office, as stuck as I’d ever been. All productive work had ground to a halt several days before, and I was feeling down, frustrated, overwhelmed, stuck. I could barely get through the routine tasks of the day, such as checking email. And instead of working, I avoided almost everything.
A number of important tasks and projects that had seen no progress for over a week languished on my to-do list. And every time I looked at the list, I felt more hopeless than the moment before.
Then I remembered something.
During the past year I had been working with a process designed to get my past limiting and stressful beliefs. I had used it a number of times with some success, but this time was different: I was genuinely and intractably stuck. Still, I decided to try it anyway.
I pulled out the worksheet to go through the steps of this written process. The process included several questions that I answered by writing them down.
It took me some time to find the answer to the fourth question that was the foundation of the process. But finally it clicked and I moved forward. In about half an hour I had answered the remaining questions.
Once I was done, I sat there wordless for several minutes. In that short span, something had shifted. The doom and gloom that had hung over me for the past few weeks lifted like the fog on a sunny day.
I looked out at the world through different eyes, with different thoughts, with different feelings.
And then I turned my attention to my to-do list. My hopeless feelings were replaced by hopeful ones. Items that had seemed impossible to accomplish seemed ridiculously easy. And by the end of the day, I had completed everything I had been putting off for so long.
If I’d only gotten that one result from doing this process I’d, have been more than satisfied. But that was only the beginning.
For the next several months, I experienced an explosion of productivity and creativity unlike anything I’d experienced before. My business took off as I created new programs and services and my income increased and then doubled over two years. I initiated several large projects and succeeded at all of them with very little struggle. Everything flowed.
These results got my attention, to put it mildly. And whenever I felt down or stuck and started to avoid things, I’d simply apply the process again with similar results.
Over the past several years I’ve also done a lot of tinkering with the process. I wanted to make it easier and even more effective. I tested it on my clients with similar results. I wrote about it in my newsletter and blog. I led workshops and created programs that integrated this process.
Ultimately I called it the Unstuck Process.
And that brings me to today. It seemed the most logical next step would be to write a little book about this process and explain, in simple step-by-step language, how it works and how you can integrate it into your life.
The process that I started with was “The Work” of Byron Katie that I learned in 2002. As I said, it consisted of a few simple but powerful questions that can result in a dramatic and often life-changing shift in perspective. Her groundbreaking book, Loving What Is, is the definitive guide to her work.
Despite all the tinkering I did with Katie’s process, the essence is the same; it’s about inquiry, about exploring the thoughts and beliefs that drive our feelings and behavior.
The main difference is that I applied The Work to the domain of productivity and success; Katie’s primary focus has always been on relationships and the stressful beliefs that undermine them.
As a business and marketing consultant and coach, I found that a large number of my clients struggled with implementing what they had learned from me.
What good does it do to have a new marketing message and marketing plan, if you don’t implement it? For years I was puzzled that people with equal intelligence and potential could get such different results. One client would apply some knowledge and realize great success. Another would learn the same things and get nowhere.
When I discovered Byron Katie’s Work, it unlocked the key.
The only significant difference between two people is not their education or background or life circumstances, but their beliefs, or more accurately the degree of attachment to their beliefs. And beliefs, feelings and actions are strongly correlated, as I’ll explore in this book.
For instance, if you believe you are not “the marketing type,” you will tend to lack confidence about your marketing efforts and you’ll also tend to avoid doing certain marketing activities. As a result, you won’t get the marketing results you want.
Of course, this applies to every field of human endeavor, both professional and personal. Your beliefs shape your results, not sometimes, but every time.
I titled this book The Unstuck Process because being stuck is exactly how you feel when you hold onto a limiting or constrictive belief. I often amaze my clients by how easily I can identify their state of mind and their beliefs by where they’re stuck in their marketing!
Once someone learns how to dissolve limiting beliefs, avoidance disappears as well. What remains are unlimited possibilities for accomplishment, well-being and fulfillment.
Despite the power of this process, this is not a panacea or cure-all for human ills. It is definitely not a new belief system. It is simply a powerful practice that anyone can use.
The format of this book is very simple: it’s based on each of the twelve questions in the Unstuck Process. The better you understand each of these questions, the easier it will be to answer them and the better results you’ll get.
Here are the 12 questions:
1. Where are you stuck, or what are you avoiding?
2. What is your primary feeling when you experience this?
3. How do you behave when you experience this?
4. What is the belief underneath the avoidance?
5. You’re convinced the belief is true, but is it?
6. Is this belief working for you?
7. What are the costs of attaching to that belief?
8. a) What is the payoff of attaching to that belief?
b) Is the payoff real and is it worth it?
9. Who would you be and how would things be, if it were impossible to attach to this belief?
10. What possibilities might open up to you, if you no longer identified with that belief?
11. It is OK just to be who you are without having this belief anymore?
12. What will you do next?
As we explore these questions, and learn the process, I invite you to join me in a world without stuckness.
You can start to move beyond your stuckness today.
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Everything you will get:
The pdf e-book, a kindle e-book, an audio book
sample unstuck session, articles on getting unstuck