Three reasons we can sometimes get stuck

The first three skills of Inner Leadership are the ability to stay calm in a crisis, to make clear sense of the situation, and to find more opportunities to move forward.

But even when we have these skills we can still sometimes find ourselves feeling stuck.

There are three main reasons for this.

The first is called overthinking or analysis-paralysis. This is where we over-analyse a situation so much that we cannot take a decision. Like Hamlet, we flip back and forth between the possibilities, endlessly asking: “Option A or Option B, that is the question…? And what about Option C or Option D? And what if I fail? And what if I succeed? And what about Option A…?”

The second reason is if we aren’t sure who we want to become, the destiny we want to create for ourselves. After all, if we don’t know where we want to get to, how can we choose the best next step to take us there?

And the third reason we can sometimes get stuck is simply fear: fear of failure, fear of success, and fear of the unknown, of what we might encounter along the way.

So the fourth key skill or competency of Inner Leadership is to overcome these three blockages and move forward:

  1. To accept that in a time of massive change we will never be able to predict or control what happens, so all ways forward are a step into the unknown
  2. To realise that when everything is changing, the biggest danger comes from staying still
  3. To realise that there is no ‘correct’ answer, so the way we can give ourselves the best chance to create what we most want in the world is by choosing the path that brings us and the people around us the most energy and enthusiasm to make it succeed
  4. To know that even if we ‘fail’ to achieve one particular goal we can still gain useful learning and experience and we will always be able to find new ways to move in the direction we want to go

Then we can choose the best way forward for us and begin.

And this is the fourth key step to becoming antifragile.

Have you ever found yourself stuck? Were you overthinking, afraid, or didn’t you know the destiny you wanted to create for yourself? Did you eventually choose the way forward that most inspired you? Would you like to be able to do this better and faster next time?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also have to practice.)

Photo by National Library of Scotland via

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