How to get unstuck on any problem

I often share an idea that if you are feeling stuck, or down, or distracted and can’t seem to get into motion and make progress, try to move something (anything) small forward.

The feeling of moving forward creates positive momentum that you can then build on. Being already in motion creates opportunity.

This is related to the topic in my Executive Mentoring Group this month which is More Energy. Less Stress.

One of the questions that came up in a member discussion was, “Patty, can you give an example of a time you were stuck and were able to make a small change to help you get unstuck?”

I do this all the time.

Getting Un-stuck

I really can’t over-represent just how small the small thing can be to switch my mode from stuck to moving — and how much better moving is!

Sometimes it’s organizing a drawer in my desk or kitchen.

Sometimes it’s a workout, or even just a walk.

Sometimes it’s something simple on my task list that has been lingering for awhile like getting a login sorted out, or submitting a required government form, and I’m happy to have gotten that out of the way.

Sometimes it’s a small piece of writing.

Even though these things don’t directly get me unstuck on the specific thing that is getting me stuck, these small things get me MOVING.

Solutions come while Moving

Most solutions in life come from moving.

If you stand still and try to analyze the best way forward you don’t have as much information and you have no momentum to build on.

But if you just start moving you will learn stuff…

Once in motion you will learn that you have chosen either good path, or a bad path — but you can only get that insight only if you are already moving. You can only get the information by trying things out.

Thinking and analyzing won’t get you there–you get smarter only by moving.

For me this shows up frequently in my writing.

I have to be willing to write something badly first. But then I’m moving.

You can’t set out to write something brilliant on the first go. It is an impossible task.

But if I write something…anything… I am moving.

If I write enough, I can find something in the pile of bad stuff I have written that is worth tuning, developing and presenting. But it doesn’t happen if I am not willing to write it badly first.

Staring at a blank screen and expecting to produce something great the first time just doesn’t happen. And a blank screen gives me nothing to start from, or to tune, or enhance. So I just start moving and trust that something good will develop even if the first thing is really bad.

As Picasso says, “Inspiration exists but it has to find you already at work.”

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my Facebook page Patty Azzarello Practical Business Advice for Humans.

About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at, follow her on twitter or facebook

You can find Patty at, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her books RISE and MOVE.

Is your boss is tormenting you with detail?
Azzarello Group Client Stories