A Coach’s Way to Get Unstuck

A Coach’s Way to Get Unstuck

When you’re in a funk—for example, getting your marketing moving—it can seem impossible to get out of that funk. The key lies in acknowledging and validating your feelings rather than effort alone.

I’ve found that while some Financial Advisors (FA)s have great “marketing energy,” others don’t. What I call “marketing energy” is apparent when you’re in the flow. You are actually performing the tasks of marketing, making plans, creating materials, getting out there and having fun connecting with others and sharing your business.

I have a couple of clients right now who are just tearing things up, coming up with great innovative ideas, taking consistent positive action, and envisioning exciting possibilities for themselves and their clients.

Marketing stagnation results when nothing you are doing or seeing excites you and you hold back. You can’t come up with creative ideas, complaining that things are difficult. You feel more like hiding than getting out there. Any of us can get stuck and bogged down in this way, unsure what to do next and hesitant to take bold action to make vital connections. It is perfectly natural…but it will kill you and your business.

Any of us can get

stuck and bogged down

in this way, unsure what to do

next and hesitant to take

bold action to make vital connections.

Why do these differences occur?

People in the first group below are thinking differently than those in the second group. They could even be in very similar outward situations with identical services, skills, and opportunities. But how are they thinking differently? It becomes clear when you see their patterns of thought. Let’s take a look.

•   Group One

◦                     Optimistic about possibilities and outcomes

◦                     Always seeking opportunities

◦                     Fearless in spirit and action

◦                     Confident that they can achieve their goals

•   Group Two

◦                     Pessimistic about the chances of success

◦                     Seeing pitfalls, not opportunities, at every turn

◦                     Fearful about taking risks

◦                     Insecure about their skills and achieving their goals

You get the idea. You know people in both groups. But do you also realize how utterly useless this information is? Knowing isn’t doing. You just can’t tell people in category number two to be more like people in category number one! If it were that easy, then every training person in an organization would be a rock star.

This principle also applies to the beliefs of people in each category.

Folks in category one believe they can make things work. People in category two know they can’t.

Now, that doesn’t help much either, does it?


People in category one say:

“What’s so hard? Just change beliefs!”    

The poor folk in group two reply:

“Don’t you think that if we could easily change our beliefs, we would?!”

In order for people in category two to shift, they need a different approach; a new way of looking at things is the only solution for them. The new way needs to be gentle, respectful, and nonjudgmental. Bear in mind that these terms apply whether you are trying to make that shift yourself or helping someone else make it.

What I’ve learned as a coach, both for myself and from my clients, is that while we may be stuck in some kind of negative, resistant, and fearful thinking, we really don’t want to be there. We all want to get past it and have our creativity and resourcefulness crank up and operate to its fullest extent. In other words, we try and resist the “stuck-ness.”

What a lot of people fail to realize is that this itself is often a bigger problem than the negative attitude they are grappling with.

Yes, not wanting to be stuck can be more of a problem than the stuck-ness itself.

You might ask, “why”? The answer is simpler than you might think; it is because we are fighting against reality. When you’re fearful, resistant, negative, stuck…that is exactly how you are in the moment, right? You are what you are. Face it, what is, just is what it is.

Resisting that only makes things worse and usually more painful.

The shift can be quite subtle. Consider the difference between saying to yourself:

“I’m stuck and nothing is working. And I hate that and want things to change.”

Compared to…

“I’m stuck and nothing is working. And that’s the way it is right now.”

The first response is pretty common. It is what we all say from time to time. Resistance seems like the right thing to do, right?

The second response is counterintuitive. But it’s a lot more effective. Because in reality, you know that things are going to change anyway. Downs turn into ups and ups turn into downs. (Watch a baseball game.) There is no permanent state of unstuck-ness and positive, expansive energy. You can’t stay in Level Seven forever.

Downs turn into ups

and ups turn into downs.

These days, when I’m feeling stuck and resistant, I just stop and look at what is happening. I look at my thoughts and feelings about the stuck-ness. I have learned to accept it as the feeling of the moment. I don’t resist the resistance. Being aware has no resistance. It just is. And within this newfound awareness, I can accept anything: moods, attitudes, fears, and stuck-ness.

And without struggle or effort, I notice over time that the stuck-ness simply starts to dissipate and I can move on. I’m left with awareness, without resistance, and with space for new possibilities. And isn’t that what we all want in marketing, i.e., new possibilities?

Give this counterintuitive strategy a try. The next time you are caught up in feeling terribly stuck, be aware and notice the stuck-ness is simply what is right now. No judgment, no resistance. Allow yourself to recognize the truth that it never stays forever. And then notice if you feel more peaceful and relaxed. And without trying to “make something happen,” notice what does happen. It may surprise you.

If this makes sense, drop me a note and let me know how it works, and if you the other hand you have questions, send them to me as well.


Frank Hopkins is a life coach in Baton Rouge who is certified as a Professional Coach (CPC) by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Frank has helped numerous people to go through emotional change in a way that is positively transformative.