Have you ever felt stuck? My friend, Leslie, sure has—and, girl, we’re talking quite literally!
It was years ago when the vocal ensemble Leslie was a member of performed at a church. Her group had just finished singing and was supposed to sit in the front row after leaving the platform. Well, Leslie needed to go to the bathroom. So she decided to slip out as inconspicuously as possible.
Now, it wasn’t her home church, and she didn’t know the building. So Leslie walked down the side aisle and noticed there were two doors in the back. She wasn’t sure which door was the exit, so she picked one, walked through it, and closed it behind herself.
But she’d guessed wrong! It wasn’t the exit—it was a janitorial closet! So much for being inconspicuous, right!?!
Leslie stood in the closet, not knowing what to do next. She started thinking, “How long should I stand here? If I walk out, I’m going to be humiliated. If I stay in, I’m going to be humiliated.” You see, she knew that everyone in the sanctuary who attended that church regularly knew she’d just walked into the janitorial closet.
Finally, Leslie just opened the door, looked around really quickly, found the right door, and walked out.
What a perfect picture of how you and I feel when we’re stuck, right?
While you may not be standing in a janitorial closet, you might be in a situation where fear is holding you back. You may think you won’t make it through, or you won’t do it right, so you just don’t do the thing. You’re stuck in fear and old patterns.
If that’s where you are right now, you’re going to love this episode of the 4:13 Podcast. Author and life coach Jennifer Allwood is here to help you get unstuck. You’ll learn how to break free from old patterns that hold you back and risk living the life God created you to live.
Jennifer is a passionate cheerleader of women who adds biblical truth to the modern-day “dream big” mantra. Her no-nonsense approach to doing things you are scared to do and saying yes to God is helping women everywhere build the life and business of their dreams. She’s a life coach, author, wife to Jason, and mom to four kids—oh, and their Golden Doodles, Stella and Lola.
So, consider this a pink slip for fear. It’s about to be fired from your life because fear is not the boss of you.
4 Practical Steps to Help You Get Unstuck
- Identify why you’re stuck in the first place. When it comes to Jennifer’s fear of the water, she says she’d just always been scared of it. Nobody in her family was a good swimmer. Neither her mom and her dad even knew how to swim. For her, it was a matter of being surrounded by people who looked and behaved and did things in a certain way. It was all she knew, and it was keeping her stuck. It wasn’t until she watched the 70-year-old woman in the snorkel at the triathlon that she was inspired to step out of her comfort zone and learn how to swim.
You might be stuck because, like Jennifer, it was handed to you. Maybe you were raised by parents who were stuck too. Or, it could be that you’re watching other people win, and that’s making you feel stuck. It’s also possible that you’re stuck because you’re aiming for the wrong thing. You may be aiming to feel confident about something you’ve never done before, such as adoption or starting a business—and, if that’s the case, your goal of feeling confident may be wrong.
Also, Jennifer says that it might be overwhelm and not fear that’s keeping you stuck. You may feel completely overwhelmed and, because of that, unable to make a decision. Sometimes when we’re trying to determine what’s next, we go ten miles down the road instead of just the next right step in front of us.
- Determine if you’re really ready for change. The 70-year-old woman in the triathlon helped Jennifer decide she was ready for change. As she watched this brave woman, she remembers thinking, “I’m really bad with water, but maybe I should fix that because I have three kids, and they deserve to know how to swim.” She found herself inspired to learn how to swim at age 39 and to start doing triathlons too. For her, learning how to swim and how that would positively impact her children became more important than feeling safe in the familiar reality of being afraid of the water.
Once you’ve identified why you’ve gotten stuck, Jennifer says you have to figure out whether you’re really ready for a change. When we’re stuck, and we know we’re stuck, we’ll often stay there because it’s familiar and familiar feels good even when it’s bad. This might be where you are right now. If so, you have to decide whether what you want is more important to you than the safety of staying stuck.
- Realize that fear is not the boss of you. Jennifer talks about how it’s not always a fear of failure that keeps us stuck. It can also be a fear of success. When she started coaching women, she was surprised to discover that half of the women were terrified of succeeding. She didn’t fully understand this fear until her own business took off. Now, she gets it. There are times she questions whether she can sustain it, or struggles with the imposter syndrome rearing its ugly head. But she doesn’t let fear be her boss—instead, she asks the Lord to lead her.
Whether you’re afraid of failure or success or stuck because you feel overwhelmed, getting unstuck means not letting your feelings be the boss of you. Once you determine you’re really ready for change, you have to decide not to let fear keep you stuck. If you’re not sure how to keep fear from being the boss of you, check out Episode 1 and Episode 104 for more biblically-based ideas.
- Recognize that you have a responsibility to get unstuck. When she’s stuck, Jennifer says it negatively affects her husband and her kids. She believes they deserve a wife and mother who is unstuck. It’s her job to teach her kids courage—and she can’t do that if she’s letting fear hold her back.
You also have a responsibility to the people who have a front-seat view of your life to get unstuck. Even if you’re not married or don’t have kids, when you’re stuck, it affects those around you too, whether they’re family members or friends. But, when you choose to get unstuck, you demonstrate courage for them—and it’s contagious. As they see you changing, they’re inspired to get unstuck too.
Friend, you don’t have to live stuck—in defeat, in despair, or without Jesus. As Jennifer said, you can leave Stuckville because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
Books and Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
More from Jennifer Allwood
- Visit Jennifer’s website
- Fear Is Not the Boss of You: How to Get Out of Your Head and Live the Life You Were Made For
- The Jennifer Allwood Show Podcast
- Follow Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram