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Get Unstuck: How to Move Forward in Life
18
Jun
2013

make decisions and do what you love

3 Simple Steps to Doing What You Are Meant to Do

Do you ever feel like what you are doing is nothing more than spinning your wheels in the mud? You’re putting forth a lot of effort, but you don’t seem to be moving forward.  In short, you’re stuck. Stuck like Chuck.  Maybe you’re stuck in a boring job that makes you tons of money but doesn’t give you any joy.  Maybe you’re stuck because you can’t make a decision about starting a new business, changing the focus of your current business, or doing something altogether different with your life than you have ever done before.

If you have no idea how to STOP doing what you hate and START doing what you were meant to do; if that describes you, then chances are you are entering the “Editing” phase of life?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO EDIT?

What in the world am I talking about?  The “Editing” phase of life?  I’m talking about getting unstuck, about making decisions that will help you move forward and ninja kick stuckness in the face.  (I figured since I said, “Stuck like Chuck” I should add in a little something about ninja kicks. Because if Chuck Norris ever got stuck, that’s what he’d do! )

So why do I call it the “Editing” phase?  I read an incredible book, Start, by my good friend, Jon Acuff, and his chapter on decision making, on moving forward, on getting unstuck is something he calls “editing.”  And honestly, it’s the perfect word.

ed-it  /ˈedit/, verb-  to correct, condense, or otherwise modify

That’s what Webster has to say about editing.  But I would add this

ed-it  /ˈedit/, verb-  to course correct, taking stuff out of your life to get to the stuff you were meant to do.  (I may or may not have borrowed that from Jon.  He won’t mind.)

So I’m going to share with you my 3 Step Framework for getting unstuck and learning to make decisions that move you forward in your life, instead of sinking you deeper and deeper into the weeds.

 

Alli’s 3 Step Framework to Get Unstuck

 

1.    Make Your Stop-Doing List. Stop doing list, make good decisions,

Sometimes we know what we want to do, but we don’t know what to stop doing to get there.  (Tweet This!)

Our lives have gotten all cluttered up with things that we think we  “should” do; so much so that we can’t figure out what the things are that we were meant to do.

Read that last sentence again. Slowly.  It’s important. (I’m not kidding.  Read it again.  Slowly.)

Are you doing what you “should” do or what you were “meant” to do?  And how do you go about subtracting from the clutter in your life to get to the things you were meant to do?

Let your life be about what you are meant to do, not full of what you should do. (Tweet it!)

Deciding what to subtract from your life is one of the key components to editing.  Distractions are everywhere, waiting to lead us down the wrong path.

 

The best way to edit is to make a list of the things in your life that you want/need to stop doing.

  • What is sucking the life right out of you?
  • What is keeping you from reaching your goals?

But be careful with this list.  You have to be holistic and think about everything going on in your life.  You want to solve the right problem and stop doing the things that are keeping you from moving forward with your business and life goals.  As my grandma used to say, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!”

 

(Side story, I have a friend  who had decided he was miserably married and was planning to divorce his wife.  But then he made his “stop doing” list and realized he hated his job.  He was miserable doing what he was doing and it was just carrying over into his married life.  He discovered he was a people person and he was stuck doing a job that involved ZERO personal interaction with others.  Once he realized that and made that change, everything in his life became exponentially better.  He solved the right problem and is very happily married to this day.)

 

2.    Define What You Are Meant to Do

A guy named Rick Warren wrote a book called, The Purpose Driven Life.  The main point of the book is that every person on this earth was created to do something significant.   He says in the book, “you’ll know what you were created to do when you are doing it.”

His point is that when you are doing what you love, you know it.  When you are doing what you are passionate about, you know it.  When you are doing what you were made to do, you know it.

You’ll know what you were created to do because it brings you to life instead of sucking the life out of you. (Tweet This!)

But because I like to be all scientific and geeky, I also totally love this book by Marcus Buckingham.  In it, Buckingham uses a scientifically designed test to determine one’s strengths.  He says that we each have strengths, a combination of our natural talents, our skills, and our life experiences.  He proposes that if we focus on maximizing our strengths, and using them to do what we were created to do, we are an unstoppable force (sort of like Chuck Norris. I’m on a (roundhouse) kick today).

 

Invest Time in Yourself & Do this exercise-

So how do you define what you were created to do?  Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

(No seriously, go get a pen and paper and do this. No skimming. Invest your time and energy in yourself for a few minutes.)

a.     If money were no object, what would you like to do as your vocation?

b.     What is something that energizes you when you do it? (cranks your tractor, revs your engine, gets you going?)

c.      What are some jobs you’ve had in the past that you loved and what did you love about them?

d.     What do other people say you are good at? (We tend to de-emphasize things we are good at because they come easy to us.)

 

Do any of these things stir a passion in you and make you think, “You know what?   I CAN do that.  It’s what I was meant to do.”

 

3.    Now Do It!

Do something. Take a first step.  A calculated first step, not a giant leap into the deep end.

And then take another one,

…and another one,

…and another one.

And as you continue to edit things, you’ll find you won’t be stuck anymore.

 

IT’S GOING TO TAKE WORK

If you take the time to really go through these three steps, not half-heartedly, but with real life-change in mind, you’ll not only be unstuck, you’ll find a new level of happiness.

Too often we assume we ‘know things already’, and don’t really put forth the effort to actually implement the concepts and then wonder why nothing ever changes.

Don’t let that be you. 

 

What should you stop doing? WHAT’S ON YOUR LIST?

What is something you need to stop doing in order to get to the something awesome you were meant to do?

Share it here and take the first step of roundhouse kicking your life forward. (Ouch, that sounds a little painful)

 

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  • lucrecer

    I need to stop trying to write the next great American novel, self-help book or blog post and use my words. Hence, my taking on almost daily videos. Friends keep telling me my voice is one of my gifts and I am finally listening, instead of apologizing for the gifts I have been blessed with.

    • http://alliworthington.com/ Alli Worthington

      Yes, Lu. Keep on focusing on your gift. It’s a great one! :)

    • caroljones

      Lu, It is absolutely your gift. A gift of words doesn’t necessarily mean writing them. Can’t wait to see how your words will change the world!

  • Dainty_Mom

    Alli, this is EXACTLY what I’ve been doing in my life. I’ve been weeding out the non-essentials: jobs I don’t need to do; things I don’t have to deal with (i.e. drama!). Cutting off ties with “negatrons” (people who just breathe negativity) has also dramatically shifted my perspective. I’m trying to grow a tribe of women who believe in being the “editors-in-chief of their lives and businesses” so I TOTALLY got your points here! (I’m a magazine editor by profession, but I’ve found that the same principles in editing a magazine can TOTALLY be applied to the way we approach work and life. So thanks for confirming that my “gut instinct” was valid, and that my principles are spot-on.

    • http://alliworthington.com/ Alli Worthington

      I think “Negatrons” should be the word of 2013. “Cut ties with the negatrons!” I love it.

  • jwolstenholm

    Ali, this is so good. Thank you. I’ve had many opportunities to do different things.They just present themselves to me {which I’ve been thankful for} but it has also been a road block to what I truly want to do. I’m learning to be true to who I am in what I want to do. . .not
    comparing to what others are doing and wishing I was doing what they are
    doing because it looks good when truly, it’s not who I am. Appreciate these exercises to help me determine how to get unstuck. Perfect timing for me!

    • http://alliworthington.com/ Alli Worthington

      Love this! It’s a great reminder for us all. As Jim Collins says, “Good is the enemy of great.” There’s a lot of good things, but we should focus on what is actually great. :)

  • Devin Akin

    Alli,

    This is my favorite blog of the year. This is an amazing piece of truth that spoke directly to my heart. Can’t thank you enough for taking the time to write it. I owe you one amigo.

    Devinator

    • http://alliworthington.com/ Alli Worthington

      So happy you liked it, Devin!

  • http://www.shewearsmanyhats.com/ missamy

    Can you host a conference or workshop on this topic? Purty please? Golly bum … to take the time to set aside to get away and think through all of this would be fabulous.

    • http://alliworthington.com/ Alli Worthington

      I’m speaking at Jon Acuff’s START conference on it in September. :) You should come? Lots of awesome people. :)

  • http://blog.coachcurran.com John Curran

    This is a great post with some amazing insights into how to get unstuck. Your questions are a great way to help people discover the answers for themselves, and move forward. Finding your life’s purpose is so critical to your success!

  • Christina Saylor

    I have had a very difficult life and lived with severe depression most of it. I am 38 and raised a daughter on my own. She is now 18. She has severe ADHD and was quite the challenge. My whole life has been one tragedy after the other and hanging on sometimes feels impossible. So the concept of weeding out the unnecessary is a wonderful notion. I can now give myself the gift of reinventing myself. I have lost almost everyone important in my life but I have begun to look at it as a blessing in disguise. Some of those lifelong relationships were toxic and did not make me very happy.. Although I am alone, I can now start to build my life over and let go of the old ways. Maybe, even be happy…

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