‘Never ever feel stuck. There is always an alternative!’
I wrote the above Quote #47 on July 6, 2017, as part of my journey to create 366 Quotes, now published as a book, ‘366 Insights for Life‘.
Tough time at home
A couple of months ago, I received a call from a young professional for Life Coaching. She was having a tough time at home. She was going steady with her boyfriend and wanted to marry him. However, this was not acceptable at home because the boy was from a different background. Meanwhile, her family was insisting that she marries someone the family had identified and ‘settle down’ quickly. Consequently, they were operating with a sense of great urgency.
She was sobbing while she spoke to me. She seemed desperate. I thought she saw herself hurtling down a road that was leading her to a particular destination. As a result, at that time, she seemed like a hunted animal, cornered.
I listened to her fully without interrupting while gently probing her to help uncover all the dimensions of the issue. I call this process, ’emptying the cup’.
Getting to the closest ‘intersection’
I wanted to lead her away from that ONE road and nudge her towards a metaphorical intersection of roads – more choices being available to her. There is always an alternative!
I identified each dimension and asked her for the different ways in which that dimension could pan out. This was my way of nudging her from that ONE path to an intersection or a roundabout from where several paths spread out. She took a long time to respond. Obviously, I was not surprised.
Anyone on a ONE default path will not be able to think of other paths in a hurry. However, I prevailed upon her, gently nudging her. Slowly several possibilities emerged. At the end of my conversation, she had 5 solid possibilities. The climate in the call had eased and I could sense a certain lightness in the conversation. She thanked me.
Later, she called to inform me that she had bought time from the family. She had decided to study further to improve her life prospects (Possibility #3). The family had reluctantly agreed. I could sense the relief in her voice. She thanked me profusely.
In this case, negotiating for more time for a major life decision was not something she had thought of when she had come on the call with me. This possibility was one of the alternate paths that had opened up at the ‘intersection’ proving the point that there is always an alternative.
If we are feeling stuck, chances are that we are operating on that ONE road going in a predictable direction. As a result, the destination could seem scary.
My 2 principles to get unstuck
In my life too, I have felt stuck on various occasions. But I have always had 2 principles to go by, something I use to coach people even today.
- You are not the only person in this world facing this challenge.
- Every challenge has a solution.
The above 2 principles direct us towards an ‘intersection’ of options. I used to explore the different options, writing them down on paper – writing helps get some order in a muddled head.
We do get stuck in life. It could be in personal life or in work life. However, going by the above 2 principles, if we could position ourselves near an ‘intersection’, we will have a choice in the matter. There is always an alternative!
So how does speaking with a Life Coach help?
For this question, I have my Quote #123 which says:
‘The options that occur to us are limited by our imagination. They are not all the options.’
Are you feeling stuck? Reach out to me at [email protected] Let me help you move towards the closest ‘intersection’.