EPISODE 14: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Stuck
November 22, 2020


Do you ever find yourself lacking inspiration or struggling to get started on a new project? In this episode I’m sharing 3 questions to ask yourself when you’re stuck!

Three Questions to Ask When You’re Feeling Stuck: (4:18)
1. Is this even what I really want? (4:18)
2. Could the outcome look different from what I originally imagined? (5:15)
3. Can I change the route on how I want to get there? (5:51)

One Liner: Hold your purpose tightly, hold your plans loosely, and you’ll find your way. (6:51)

Review the Transcript:

What’s up everyone, on this episode of Business on the Bright Side, we’re going to get into what happens when you’re stuck. So if you’re a creative, if you’re a doer, if you thrive off of just knowing what to say, you’ll know that sometimes the cupboard’s empty. Sometimes you open up your computer and you’re like, “What the heck am I doing? Where do I begin? Why isn’t inspiration just flowing out of me?” And sometimes there’s a few reasons why that is. Sometimes we’re just having an off day, but I want to give you guys three questions that you can ask yourself when you’re feeling stuck. So let’s get to it.

What’s up everybody, it is Jess Ekstrom, and welcome to Business on the Bright Side, the podcast where you can learn how to make a living and make a difference at the same time. Life is short and so is my attention span. So let’s get started.

I had a plan for my next book. I knew what I wanted it to be about, I knew some of the stories I wanted to tell, I knew when I wanted to write the proposal and send it out by, I knew when I wanted an agent to send it to publishers, I knew when I wanted the publishing date to be that lined up with my speaking schedule, I knew what my marketing strategy was going to be, I even knew what I wanted the cover to look like, except for one tiny issue. I truly didn’t know any of that. I thought that I did. I was almost sure of it. The calendar was marked with all of the milestones I needed to hit to execute on this plan. I started having sessions with my coach to get me in the right headspace for this next book. I was even putting plans in place with my team so I could hibernate and go into writing mode to get this second book done.

But then I would go to the keyboard and I didn’t feel that magic that I felt when I was writing Chasing the Bright Side. I was hitting dead end after dead end and I would close my laptop feeling frustrated and think to myself, “Did my writing just run out of gas? Is this the end of the road for my writing career? Was Chasing the Bright Side the only book that I had in me?” Some people might call this writer’s block, but in my mind, I was classifying it as this like impending doom, this career ending moment where the creativity switch just wouldn’t flip on anymore.

I talked to my husband about it and I said to him, I was just like, “I don’t understand why this book isn’t just magically flowing out of me like I had originally planned and pictured being in coffee shops in a corner and having a latte and this book just like coming out of me onto the pages.” And my husband who the closest thing that he’s gotten to writing a book is basically writing out the instructions for his fantasy football league bracket, he calmly said, “You don’t have to stick with your plan. If you aren’t feeling it, just change the plan.”

Changing plans felt like failure to me when it actually wasn’t. To me it felt like I was just hitting gas and running into the wall when really all I had to do was just reroute myself. I decided to reevaluate what I wanted the next couple of years to look like and extended my book deadline. And the funny thing is that this new plan makes way more sense than the old plan, but I was so stuck on this one track that I wasn’t even seeing all the alternative routes that were available and honestly, more enjoyable and more effective than the one I was currently riding on.

So I’ve come up with three questions to ask yourself whenever you’re feeling stuck, whether it’s writer’s block or a lack of creativity, or just putting off a project. So that first question I want you to ask yourself is, is this even what I really want? Because sometimes when we look at our goals that we’re chasing, we realize that we’re actually chasing someone else’s goal. And sometimes that’s because we saw it on social media, sometimes that’s because we realized that she’s doing this and this is what success looks like for that. But honestly, the only goals that we should be chasing are our own. So the first question to ask yourself is, is this even what I really want? Because it’s no fun to chase someone else’s goals. And sometimes our bodies and our minds will tell us that and we’ll start procrastinating or our inspiration is stuck, and it’s really just because we’re not honestly feeling this project.

The second question I want you to ask yourself when you’re feeling stuck is could the outcome look different than what I had originally imagined? So I think it’s great to have visions. I mean, you are talking to the optimist girl right here. And so it is great to have plans and things that you want, but sometimes when we grip outcomes so tight, we don’t realize that there are so many different places that we could land that could be equally as good or sometimes even better. So maybe you’re chasing something right now and you have this vision for what you want it to be when actually, if you just loosen your grip a little bit, it could be something even better.

The third thing I want you to ask yourself is if this is something I want, could I change the route on how to get there? So I know that I want to write a second book. I know that that is in me. I know that I want to do it. But maybe the route that I was taking to get there could change. The timeline could change, the manner in which I write the book could change. So if this is something that you still want, maybe you can change your plans on how to get there. Because at the end of the day, our plans are just guesses. So don’t act like they’re supposed to be right all the time. Think about the weathermen. They guess the weather all the time and they can be wrong and they still don’t get fired.

Also a side note, when I was in the dance recital when I was a kid, I was up on stage and the weatherman was in the audience. And my mom was so star struck that instead of filming me in my dance recital, she filmed the weatherman. So thanks mom. Anyways, I will leave you guys with this, hold your purpose tightly, hold your plans loosely, and you’ll find your way.

Thanks for listening to Business on the Bright Side. I’m your host, Jess Ekstrom. For all the show notes, head to businessonthebrightside.com, and be sure to tell me what you thought of this episode on Instagram. And if you’re picking up what I’m putting down, subscribe and write a review wherever you consume podcasts. See you next time, and keep chasing the bright side.


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