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So You’re Stuck…Now What? Ways to Get Out of a Rut

Returning from long holiday weekends and vacation get-a-ways can often remind us of the places in our lives we feel stuck: in a job, a community or a relationship. Are you feeling like this little turtle?

A few month’s ago, a dear friend and I were walking along a lake shore when we stumbled upon a turtle. It lay on its back in the sand, with a limp neck and outreached arms. It was still and dry. I wanted to restore some dignity to this animal even in death, so I reached for a stick to flip the turtle over. Right-side up, the turtle found new energy and a quickly made its way back into the water. We looked at each other in amazement, the turtle being alive was beyond the possibilities we had even considered. This experience reminds me to stay open to the possibilities of change, even when feeling stuck. You never know who or what is going to come along and flip your right-side up. If you need help remaining open and creating these possibilities, check out these resources I have compiled.

Kathleen Schafer’s blog post STUCK? CREATIVITY IS A LEADER’S FRIEND is a great primer on how creativity frees us. She highlights the importance of giving yourself the proper space, surrounding yourself with inspiration and accepting the ability to get lost.

I also really enjoy this two-page hand-out from unstuck.com. Heck I even printed it out (and in color) and hung it in my. Where can you see this hung up?

Lastly, in the article GET UNSTUCK success.com offers a bunch of tricks of which one of my favorites is SCAMPER. SCAMPER is an acronym that prompts you to question and think in alternatives. Next time you are stuck wondering how to improve an idea, or make something work or even decide if something is actually workable, ask:

S – What can you Substitute?

C – What can you Combine or Change?

A – How can this idea Adapt to the circumstances at hand?

M – How can this idea be Modified? What parts should you Minimize or Magnify?

P – How can you Put this idea to other uses?

E – What can you Eliminate?

R – What if you Reverse the idea?

Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

Sabrina Delay is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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David B. Grinberg

Another awesome post, Sabrina! I admire your prolific writing style and clever use of embedded visuals.