From an aerodynamic perspective, the bee has no business flying. With wings too small for its pudgy body its design and capacity should doom it to a life as a land-dwelling insect. But the bee doesn’t care what you think. It gives zero hoots about the laws of aviation, flies anyway, and pollinates the world.
Now imagine if the bee conceded defeat to its circumstances and loitered around on the ground. If it let itself get bullied by negative press and self-doubt or felt shame for daring to believe it could keep up with a butterfly.
What do you think you’re “not capable” of accomplishing?
We’ve had our fill of being told what we can and can’t do, how we should feel, and the limits put on our capabilities. This week’s episode is a get unstuck roundup laced with a sense of urgency. Like the All-Star Game of tools for getting you out of a rut, I’ll debunk your excuses for staying stuck and replace them with solutions that set you free.
It’s time to mentally move through the fear-storm for intense (re)connection with the best version of you. Disadvantages, real or invented, be darned.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Trapped in a room without oxygen
- Soothing yourself with wine & Netflix
- Why self-serving means serving yourself first
- Discovery through description
- The next step after gratitude
Listen to the Full Episode
Featured on the Show:
Celebrating strength in numbers: Expats on Purpose recently hit 2K members! That’s a remarkable milestone, and I’m SO proud of our global community. Many have said it’s been a lifeline of quality support and connection as we navigate this unprecedented crisis together. I have a big surprise coming soon… JOIN US, bring a friend, and let’s grow our virtual clubhouse.
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae’s Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
The Get Unstuck Resource list:
- Episode 33: 3 Clues to getting unstuck – Listen here
- Episode 78: Where did my power go? – Listen here
- Episode 79: Real-life example of how to get unstuck – Listen here
- Episode 80: A message from your old self – Listen here
- Episode 81: How to get your confident self back – Listen here
- Episode 130: When you’re stuck but don’t know it – Listen or read the transcript here
- Episode 131: Feeling stuck? “It’s not you, it’s me” – Listen or read the transcript here
- Episode 132: You have a responsibility to get unstuck – Listen or read the transcript here
- Episode 133: Stuck is dangerous – Listen or read the transcript here
We’re delighted by our nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!
Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 07:30 am in New York, 1:30 pm in Johannesburg and 6:30 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition. If there’s a word that most people on the planet are feeling right now, it’s “stuck.” We’re stuck in countries we don’t live in, we’re stuck in our homes working, we’re stuck in a holding pattern, wondering what’s going to happen. This recording is happening in sort of the COVID fatigue time, July 2020, when many of us have been caught off guard thinking “I thought this would be over by now,” that, and you’re living your normal life.
And in our normal lives at this time, I speak to people all the time who are feeling stuck regardless of what’s going on globally and if there’s any group of people that I think struggles with “stuck,” it’s those who are globally mobile. For us, normal is movement. So feeling stuck feels not like being human. We’re learners, we’re growers, we’re changers, we’re cultural adapters, etc. So this idea of “stuck” is like being trapped in a room without oxygen.
This episode is a continuation of the series on expat quicksand. Every year, I talk about the areas that I see expats get stuck. It has to do with connection, this idea of feeling stuck where they are and then looking for more purpose and meaning and direction. Today is what I’m calling a Get Unstuck Roundup. I am so committed to getting you unstuck that I hand-picked nine resources for you. This is not the time to just listen to something quick for 20 [minutes] and then move on. If you are serious about getting unstuck if you want to be in a different place in four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks, or one year.
My invitation to you is to take this unstuck masterclass because doing just a little bit hasn’t been enough for you. And that’s why I’ve hand-picked 9 resources for you because I really feel a sense of urgency. In this context of “stuck globally,” it is even more important that we reflect inwardly and get clear on how we are going to show up in our own lives so that we can more positively impact how we’re showing up in the lives of others and in our communities, because everybody benefits.
The way things are going right now, we need more people to do more of their own work, so everybody benefits. Do you know what I’m saying? Okay, so this podcast today is going to give you a taste of three of those nine resources and be an invitation for you then to take control of your own learning to empower yourself and get serious about getting unstuck. All right. So what I’ll do is I’ll introduce 3 episodes.
You’ll get a taste of them and then at the end, you’ll find out where you can go for more. So let’s get started with episode 132 of Expat Happy Hour. The title is: You have a responsibility to get unstuck. I’ve alluded a little to that already on why, but listen, you do not need permission to be unhappy. I know that sounds strange, but I often hear people who have a long list of logical reasons why they should be fulfilled, and they’re not. So I do invite you to recognize what is good in your life and feel gratitude. But at the same time, we need to acknowledge where we are feeling stuck and where we are dissatisfied. So I’m not going against gratitude here, not at all. What I’m saying is, don’t miss the next step.
Okay, so this episode invites you to stop pressuring yourself, to instantly shake free from weeks or months or even years of feeling like you’re stuck in glue. You didn’t get there overnight, but it is your responsibility to start slowly climbing out of that rut and you’re not alone. So listen in on this episode because you’ll hear how it’s not just about you.
EP132: You have a responsibility to get unstuck
I get it, but after years and years of trying to do it all on my own and watching my clients trying to do it all on their own, I’ve noticed a pattern. The truth is that when we hold on to these beliefs, you know about “This is self-indulgent, I don’t have a right, I should just be grateful.” And we hold onto those, you’re actually ignoring your responsibility to do what it takes to be deeply satisfied with your life, and then get on to do the things that you want to do to serve your family, your partnership, your community, this sense of social justice, whatever it is. So it’s your responsibility to get unstuck.
And I tell you what, I did not know that for a long time, I didn’t know it until I was unstuck. I didn’t realize how me staying stuck in whatever pattern, I might have been stuck in all areas of my life, but there was an area of stuckness that I needed to work on. I didn’t realize until I was unstuck how much that was impacting everything else, robbing myself and my loved ones of the best of me.
So this is all about you, stop robbing yourself and others of the best of you. And this is what I want you to walk away with. What are you doing to get unstuck? Are you taking responsibility to do so? One of my clients, she was stuck, and after some work together we discovered that she was going to ignite her professional skills to do Feng Shui practice for individuals and organizations. And she went on to create calm in the lives and homes of individuals and organizations around the world.
When she finally said yes herself to do something that’s deeply satisfying, she said yes to serving others. Didn’t mean she wasn’t scared, didn’t mean she didn’t have obstacles. But by saying yes to herself, she was able to give the best of herself to others. Another client realized that what he really wanted was to stop chasing jobs and degrees and be present with his family. He had to sort of escape from the man cage as Dr. Martha Beck calls it, and say what he really wanted to be deeply satisfied, was to garden and cook with his kids. And by saying yes to being deeply satisfied, he took on a hands-on approach with his family, saved himself $35,000 from getting yet another master’s degree, and was a super present father and partner.
Another of my clients is a highly skilled surgeon because she’s committed to being deeply satisfied to really fully share her talents and strengths. She shows up more fully as a professional, as a mother and still has the energy to help community projects that impact underserved women around the world. I hope that you’re getting this, that it’s not about you like when you are focusing on being deeply satisfied, this is not self-serving. It is serving yourself first so that you can serve others.
So, there you go. My invitation to you is to ask yourself, “what would be deeply satisfying?” How can you serve you so that you have the energy to serve others? Go ahead if this has piqued your interest, check out the rest of the episode, episode 132: You have a responsibility to get unstuck. And you can learn more about the discrepancy between how others perceive you, how you can shed the shame of what you think you should feel, how to eliminate the guilt and stigma of asking for help, and five easy steps to begin breaking free today.
All right, many of us are trying to get unstuck and you can focus, of course, on what you can do. But what often gets ignored is what you want to do. Here is what happens when you make that shift from can to want. Listen in on episode 33: 3 clues to getting unstuck.
EP33: 3 Clues to getting unstuck
Okay, so we’ve talked about lovely, lovely stay-at-home mom to superhero, our story of Bethany, and how she was able to get her basic needs met and then move on to discovering her purpose. We just looked at this example from Anna of going from driver to thriver, where she was able to look at one small organizational shift in her life to make space for what she really wanted, and now we’re going to look at Xena – when she went from can to want.
Now like a lot of women I work with, Xena came to me saying she wants her own thing and this woman was seriously whip-smart. Super funny, a total pleasure to be around, kind, just brilliant. She’s also really accomplished in her education and her profession, but she gave it all up a few years ago to support her partner’s job.
Okay, so, you know the drill, you trade some high-flying job for a cultural adventure, and then along the way you realize that you land into a situation where all that you are doing at the moment is part-time administrative work. I see this a lot with accompanying spouses, and she did this in the beginning full-heartedly into the cultural adventure and took the part-time administrative work because she wanted to contribute to her family financially and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But the problem was she wasn’t satisfied. So she was saying this to me in our first session, my stomach just cringes as I listen because I heard her describe her fear that she’d stay stuck in this role and that her brain and creativity would just melt away. And we all know where that would lead in her relationship and her happiness if she actually let that happen. So we start our work together on finding her thing, right? And in one of our early sessions, she confronted me with a pretty powerful list of why she can’t have it.
Number one, I don’t know what I want.
Two, it’ll be difficult.
Three, it’ll take a long time.
Four, it’s too big.
Do you see the irony here? “I don’t know what I want and it will be difficult.” If you don’t know what you want then how can you be so certain it’s going to be difficult or too big or take a long time? And this is, of course, the fault of our beautiful friend what I like to call Amy G Dolla the amygdala. Protecting you from something that doesn’t exist. It’s like protecting us from tigers that aren’t in the cave.
Okay, so you might be feeling pretty hotsy-totsy that you caught that, that it’s not possible to say “I don’t know what I want and that’s going to be difficult” because you don’t know yet what that “it” is but the truth is we do it all the time, we’re just not conscious of it. Okay, so we broke through those ideas. And then the next on our list was I don’t have the energy and I’m too busy.
Of course, she doesn’t have the energy. She’s a hundred percent dedicated to the soul-sucking job when she gets home from work, she goes into recovery mode, which means wine and Netflix and I know some of you who are listening have been there. All right, so that is the moment that you say, “I don’t have the energy and I’m too busy.” It’s not true because as soon as you start changing things you’re going to get the energy and you’ll make time for it. So, what did we do?
We looked at “how you’re going to feel when you get your own thing?” And she said, “I’m going to feel accomplished, I’m going to be pretty proud of myself and more confident, happier.” So we made a plan and how can she start feeling those things right now and that for her involve getting up in the morning and working out or working on her art. So she always felt better when she did those things and what do you know.
By doing more of what makes her feel great, she’s sure to pick up some momentum, got more energy, and she was happier. So we built this momentum and she had this session one day where we looked at “what would an ideal day be” and she said, “I’d spend it working on fitness and teaching others to do it.” Boom. We found her thing. We cleared out the crap, excuse me, so she could get back to what gave her joy and she nailed it. So why am I sharing this story with you, with Ms. Xena who went from the cans to the wants?
Is that if you want to find your purpose, you have to have the courage to stop doing what you can do or maybe even what others think you should do and start doing what you want.
So there you go, one proven strategy to get unstuck from a real-life client, is simply by starting to do more of what you want. So what would you love to do more of, if you had time and energy, what pops up? Because that is a bread crumb on the trail of discovering your next step. So you’ve heard from me about my clients, but I want you to now hear from a client.
In episode 79: Real-life example of how to get unstuck, you’ll just listen in on a coaching conversation I had with Ipsita. She’s amazing, you’ll hear it in the episode, but she courageously said goodbye to her old life and landed in a new country, and when she arrived she was plagued by the question: “now what?”
Maybe you’ve been there, where you gave up your profession or what you were doing in your community, and you’re asking yourself what’s next? Listen in and how I walk her through her beginning, of feeling unstuck, to actually finding clarity on what she really wants. This excerpt will help you have a look at how your priorities are going to be central.
EP79: Real-life example of how to get unstuck
So let’s play a little bit. You know what I hear? I hear you want to write a book. I hear you don’t want to apply for jobs and get rejected. I hear that’s something you really want. So let’s just play for a moment. What would your day look like? How would it look differently if you made writing a book a priority?
Ipsita: A normal day looks very mundane. But you know, as you rightly said, if I made writing a priority, I think I would be more at peace with myself because at the end of the day. Sometimes I just sit up in bed and like “what did I do with my day today?” I just did nothing. And then you get caught up in mundane things and it’s about prioritizing your life.
Like you just said if I make writing a priority, at least I go to bed and sleep peacefully knowing that I did something today. Something useful, something productive, that I’ve always wanted to do. But I think that prioritizing is exactly what I have to do, and, you’re absolutely right. I mean that’s that’s what I’m lacking, probably.
Sundae: So let’s go deeper. Yeah, let’s go deeper then. How can you prioritize writing in your every day, in your normal day? What can you start doing differently?
Ipsita: What can I start doing differently? Yes, a lot of things actually that I sometimes just go with the flow. Sometimes as I said, I have absolutely no routine. Sometimes I wake up and do what I want to do, I’ll go for a walk. But there is no “this is the time for a walk, this is the time to make your meals, this is time to watch TV.” I completely lack that. So probably, somewhere in that, my priorities are taking a backseat and I need to step up my game and do that.
Like I said, when there is no deadline on you, and when there’s the no one pushing you, and there’s no urgency, that is where my determination probably needs to come through that I know I have to do this, you know, so, it’s hard.
Sundae: So I love this, that you said “your priorities have taken a backseat.” So tomorrow, let’s just play, what would it look like Ipsita if your priorities were in the driver seat, tomorrow morning? How would your day start tomorrow morning, if your priorities of writing a book and you were in the driver’s seat?
Ipsita: It’ll be fantastic. I think just wake up and say “let’s do it today.” We are here to be like “oh, this is what I’ve always wanted to do.” So I know once it starts, there’s no stopping. So the starting bit is difficult. There’s and there’s a lot of self-doubts also like should “am I capable of doing this and what next, and I don’t know if I can put my writing out there for the world to read and if I’m confident of that.”
And because you know somehow when you work your entire life, it gives you a kind of curtain because you’re always in the background, because you’re doing things as a company, not as a person, you know, collectively. Suddenly to put yourself out, often, you do something like this. You need that self-confidence or that belief that “yes, it’s okay to write and put it out to the world to read.” So that is another area where I definitely lack self-confidence. I do.
Sundae: That’s also what I’m hearing, Ipsita. That’s another priority. There are two things happening and it’s exactly in alignment with what I see with my clients. One is naming what you want, and what you’ve said is “I want to write a book.” So that’s wonderful.
You’re pushing away what you should and could do and you’re saying what you want. So number one, name what you want. You’ve said, “I want to write a book.” Number two is the process of making it a priority and the second thing is, how would you start your day differently? Would you work on your book for an hour? Would you work on it for two hours? What’s the first step?
So I’m what I’m doing now, Ipsita, is I’m trying to give you very concrete tips on how you can work through this process. I know this is a long journey and we just have 20 minutes together. But this is the beginning. You’ve already done number one “what I want!” So let’s celebrate that. That’s awesome. You said out loud “I want to write a book.” Okay, and I’m proud of you for saying that out loud and it didn’t take very long to do that. So that’s a huge step to celebrate.
The second thing is, I would invite you after we get off the call today, to actually create a schedule for tomorrow morning and the rest of the week. How do I have to spend my time differently, so that writing a book is a priority? And maybe you only have two extra hours available and you only spend two hours a day, or maybe it’s 45 minutes or maybe it’s four hours. I don’t care, as long as you look at your day, and you say “how can I make this more of a priority?”
So your homework assignment Ipsita, your homework assignment is to create a plan for the next few days, what it would look like if writing a book were your priority and I want you to email that to me afterwards. Okay. Now the third thing I’m really really happy to hear you say, the third thing you’ve said, “I believe that self-confidence and self-doubt is also holding me back” and I just wanted to say “oh my gosh, that is so normal.”
Anytime I’ve put things out or my clients have put themselves out in the world, you feel really vulnerable. I feel a little bit like a cat who turns on her back and exposes her belly, and she really wants to be pet but she’s scared she could get hurt. I don’t know if you’re if you can identify with that, but what I wanted to say about that, the easy stuff is the scheduling.
The priority, the hard stuff that you and I could work on together, if we work together long-term is this idea of self-doubt and self-confidence and I want you to know everybody who has a brain, has these moments. It’s just human. So there’s something about you and we haven’t been on the phone for very long but, there’s something about you that I feel you’re a fighter. There’s something if once you get in the game you fight hard, you fight hard for your kids, you fight hard for your family. If I don’t know, tell me where I’m wrong.
Ipsita: You’re absolutely right. Once I’m there, I have my clothes out and I do it all the way. You know, there’s no stopping me. Yeah, but just getting there, I need some pushing. That’s what’s lacking.
Sundae: Very good.
Ipsita: Now that you told me that I should make a plan and a schedule for the day. So what I can give myself is at least two hours of writing. And now when I look at it, it’s not difficult for me because I don’t have kids. I have a very small family, like two small dogs and a husband who don’t require much attention at the time. So it should have been very easy for me to plunge headlong.
Sundae: There’s a quote from Shannon L Alder and she says “Fear is the glue that keeps you stuck.” Fear is the glue that keeps you stuck! And my hunch is that there’s a fear that you’re not going to be good enough, your book won’t be good, people won’t read it, it won’t sell any copies. I have a hunch that, that is the fear that’s keeping you stuck, and you know what? That’s not true. That’s okay to acknowledge that fear, that’s normal – it’s a way to protect you from doing something that would hurt you.
Let’s look in our last five minutes here. Let’s look at that thought of “I’m not capable of writing a book.” That’s what I heard you say, “I’m not capable of writing a book.” Is that true?
Ipsita: No, not really.
Sundae: How do you feel in your body when you believe that thought, “I’m not capable of writing a book.” How does that feel in your body?
Ipsita: Limp, very limp.
Sundae: Very good. And what kind of action do you take? How do you behave when you believe that thought “oh, I’m not capable of writing a book” You feel limp, and then what do you do? How do you behave when you believe that thought?
Ipsita: I feel very limited when I think of that. I feel extremely limited. I also believe it affects me. It’s that guilt, it’s that guilt which is suddenly as if my entire experience. My education, and everything and the belief that people had in me has suddenly fallen apart and then it leads to the larger question of what am I doing with my life?
Sundae: Right. So it sounds like that thought is paralyzing. That when you believe the thought “I’m not capable of writing a book.” You feel limp, you start to feel guilty, you question “what was the point of all my education?” And then you move to other bigger questions of “what am I doing with my life?”
That’s hard. So who what if I was a neurosurgeon and I could go in and zap that thought out of your brain. What if I went in and removed the thought “I’m not capable of writing a book” and you weren’t capable of even thinking about it, who would you be without that thought?
Ipsita: Uh, I really want to be this confident person who’s fearless and sometimes it’s the thought or it’s the pressure of being good or being the best that holds you back, because it probably has to do with something in my past where I was very good in academics and I was to excel and all that. So that thought probably remained with me, that I have to excel in whatever I do, you know the pressure of being the best.
So without that thought that I’m not capable of writing a book, I would probably be extremely confident, fearless, outgoing, and just doing it without thinking about what’s next! It’s more of being a doer than a thinker or a planner so I would be a doer.
Sundae: Great and this is what’s amazing about that. This is just a thought, “I am not capable of writing a book.” And you said it’s not true. And without the thought you are confident, fearless, outgoing, a doer. So, this is where you’re stuck. You’re stuck in the thought “I’m not capable of writing a book.” And tell me what’s the opposite of the thought “I’m not capable of writing a book?” What’s the opposite?
Ipsita: I’m going to write a God damn, best-seller, ever.
So do you see what happened there? The step 1 that Ipsita took to getting unstuck, was to name what she wanted. Step two, was to just entertain for a moment, “how could I spend my time differently to make what matters to me a priority?” And third, she courageously faced her self-doubt and fears head-on. I’m so excited to report that Ipsita, after our coaching session, shared with me a screenshot of a published piece of writing!
It only took a few minutes for her to get unstuck. All right, that’s just a taste. As I said, this episode is a roundup. Consider it a masterclass of getting unstuck. Those were three tastes of episodes, but there are actually nine that I’m selecting for you today. If you are serious about getting unstuck, I invite you to go to Expat Happy Hour, go to season 3 and look at episodes 132 to 133. Then scroll down to season 2, check out episode 78 through 81 and then dip back into season one, episode 33.
You do not have to stay stuck, because in this episode it’s chock-full of resources to inspire you, but you’re not alone. All right, let’s make a deal. I want you to commit to listening to at least one of these resources and then I’m going to hold my end of the deal. I want you to email me or direct message me on social media and tell me what you took away from that episode and we are going to celebrate together and based on what you share with me, I’ll help you understand your next step.
This could just be the next nudge in the direction that you need to create momentum. All right, if you want me and others by your side in this journey of getting unstuck, join us in the free Facebook community Expats on Purpose. It is myself and 2000 other amazing individuals who live cross-cultural lives, who are committed to living more on purpose. We get it!
So join us in Expats on Purpose If you aren’t already there and stay tuned, I’ll be announcing a special challenge coming up. You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Schneider-Bean. Thank you for listening.
I’ll leave you with the words of co-founder of Infosys and Indian billionaire, N. R. Narayana Murthy. “Growth is painful, change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong.”
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