Step 1 of the Proactive 12 Steps: The split
There is a big split between who I want to be, and what I do. I am stuck in what I do.
Step 1, above, is part of the Beta version of the 4th edition of the Proactive 12 Steps. A video commentary on each step has been released each week, starting October 2 for Step 1. Now, over the next couple of months, more changes will be made to incorporate feedback from Beta users.
If you'd like to be notified when the finalized version is posted, please subscribe to the newsletter.
Beta version means that user comments will be taken into consideration to finalize the wording of the steps and the commentary. Your comments on each specific step and on the approach as a whole are welcome. Please share your comments.
That's the beginning of the journey. That's when you realize that you're stuck, not just the way you've been thinking about it before, because obviously, you've been thinking, "I'm stuck. I'm stuck. Why am I still stuck? How do I get unstuck?" But there's something that shifts. And that something is about having a taste for what it's like to be unstuck, so that it makes it possible to direct your attention there.
The concept of directing your attention is: For instance, think about when you're aiming. You want to throw a ball. To throw a ball, you look in the direction where you're going to throw. You throw it and then it's going to go there. It's much harder to throw a ball this way if you're looking that way while throwing. Possible, but much more difficult. So, having a sense, a felt sense of what it's like to be unstuck is going to help you organize. And, as you have more of that sense, then you have more of a sense of possibility, and therefore, more motivation for doing what it takes.
What is it like to get the sense of not being stuck? If I ask you, what's your felt sense of yourself right now, you probably would look at me, “Huh?”, wondering, saying: "Well, it's normal," or "I don't know," or "What do you mean by felt sense," or something like that. So I'll be very, very, very concrete and I'll give you some examples. The examples I'm going to give you are not ... do not cover necessarily all the cases and all the ways of being stuck and feeling unstuck, but it's going to stimulate your curiosity to see what it might be like.
One way in which you can be stuck is just trying very hard (video shows body language of trying very hard): "I have to make some changes". You notice how my muscles are tight, my tunnel vision here (video shows body language of tunnel vision). The body language is accentuated. Of course, it's exaggerated, but it represents that frame of mind of, "I have to do it." In contrast with that unstuck is, "Ah." (video shows body language of release, getting unstuck). Some of that tension relaxes. There's an expanding, and there's movement. You're not still, but there's more of a possibility of being calm and in movement, as opposed to rigid.
Another way of being stuck is (video shows body language of being frozen in fear). That's kind of a sense of fear, like you're waiting for the other shoe to drop. The situation is scary. You're not necessarily aware of how scared you are moment by moment, but essentially, you're living life with a sense of doom, a sense of threat. This (video shows body language of being frozen in fear) and, "Ah" (video shows body language of release, getting unstuck). Of course, unstuck , here again, is more relaxing. Instead of this (video shows body language of being frozen in fear), there’s the possibility of movement that's more fluid. Again, unstuck is more fluid as opposed to that almost rigor mortis of fear.
Now, another way of being stuck is something where, actually, you don't have the experience of tension. It’s more like collapse (video shows body language of collapse). This collapse is: You haven't been tight, you haven't been like this (video shows body language of being frozen in fear) but you're actually overwhelmed. There's such an overload of stuff coming at you that, actually, even though you're not closed, you're no longer present either, because you're so overwhelmed.
From here, (video shows body language of release) “unstuck” is actually the possibility of again coming back to more fluidity in life, in body language as well as mentally and emotionally.
I'm demonstrating visually these things because I want to stimulate your curiosity to say, "Hmm, in what way am I feeling stuck?" Do not just think about the specific content of the stuckness. For instance, stuck in your job, stuck in the relationship, stuck with destructive habits. No matter whether you’re stuck in ways big or small, do not just think about the content, about the issue itself. But think about the state of being stuck, and think how it can possibly get in movement.
If it feels a little confusing, it's okay, because we're going to be covering that again and again and again. Remember, this is only the first step. This is the beginning of the journey from being stuck to getting unstuck.
See all steps: Proactive 12 Steps Online Workbook