Three reasons we can sometimes get stuck

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

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

There are three main reasons for this:

— The first is analysis-paralysis or overthinking. 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 and the consequences, endlessly asking: “Option A or Option B, that is the question…? And what about Option C and Option D? But which answer is right? And what if I fail? And what if I succeed? And… ?”

— The second reason we might find ourselves stuck 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 what we want to achieve by the end of our life, how can we choose the best next step forward towards achieving that?

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

So the fourth key skill or competency of Inner Leadership is to learn how to identify, understand, and remove these three blockages:

  1. To accept that in a time of massive change we will never be able to predict or control what is going to happen, so all ways forward are a step into the unknown
  2. To realise that there is no ‘right’ answer, so choosing the path that brings us the most energy and inspiration is the way we can give ourselves the best chance to create what we most want in the world
  3. When all around is changing, the biggest danger is to stay still and remain in the past or do nothing

Developing this ability is the fourth step to becoming antifragile.

Have you ever found yourself stuck? Was it because you were overthinking, afraid, or didn’t know what destiny you wanted to create for yourself? Did you eventually choose the way forward that most inspired you? With hindsight, do you wish that you had? Is it worth preparing now to give yourself more options 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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