Jason Owens, Founder of Renewable Confidence
If you run a business, you are going to get stuck; it happens to everyone. Usually, there are four culprits that contribute to our sense of paralysis. It is possible to get unstuck. You can have a productive life again, and the sun can start shining in your direction. There really is hope.
Sometimes you find yourself standing at a crossroads and have no idea which path to choose. Should you go right, left, or straight? Or turn around completely?
Other times, it isn’t all the choices that keep us stuck. Our track record shows us that our past choices haven’t worked out too well, so why bother making any choice at all? How do you know that this choice will work out any better than previous ones?
In this episode, I break down four contributing factors and provide techniques that you can use to defeat each one.
Know Anyone Who is Stuck?
We’re betting you have a friend or two who could really benefit from all this great advice in the post and podcast. You could really be a hero to them.
Drop a link to this episode in your favorite social channel and tag your stuck friends and coworkers. I guarantee they’ll thank you for it. Don’t forget the hashtag #RenewableConfidence.
Click to Get the Full Transcript
Welcome to the Renewable Confidence Podcast,
A Show that helps you build confidence in yourself and in your business…every day.
This episode is titled What To Do if You Are Stuck
I am putting a subtitle on this of Breaking the Four Pillars of Paralysis
This is Part 1 of a 2-part series!
My name is Jason Owens and I am SO happy that you have joined me here today.
There are many times on this show where I talk about things that I have learned from working with my clients. This lesson, however, starts with some of my own challenges.
I have talked elsewhere in season 1 about some of the challenges that I faced and how I tackled them.
In fact, episode 46 is a good one to grab when you have the chance.
Now that some time has gone by, I have the benefit of being able to reflect on these challenges from a distance.
Many times, I just felt stuck. To put a better word to it, I would say paralyzed.
I just could not take another step.
Anything that I even considered seemed like the wrong thing to do.
At the time I could not have explained why, but now I can.
I realized for me that my paralysis usually had one or more of these elements to it
All contribute to a sense of paralysis.
When you go back to think about what causes you to get stuck, you may find a few additional items.
I am just sharing my story here in hopes that it will help you.
Now, let’s get on to tackling Fear.
As I mentioned in Episode 19 (How to Defeat Fear Again and Again), the best way to tackle fear is to walk straight into it.
This is SO counterintuitive. Our first impression is that we should run away from fear. That it can’t be beaten.
But it really can and turning to face it is the key.
*If you need to have a difficult conversation. Then have it.
*If you need to cut spending, then cut it.
*If you need to do fire an employee, then set them free.
What I have found is that marching straight towards fear gives me great freedom and provides me with the upper hand in winning the battle.
Let’s transition to the most insidious of the 4 — hopelessness.
If you ever feel yourself thinking “why bother?” or “what’s the use”, then chances are that you are in the grips of hopelessness.
Now, the solution here is very similar to fear but it takes a different twist. With fear, you march straight toward the very issue that scares you.
With hopelessness, you take action. On anything. Anywhere.
This could be business-related, but does not have to be.
Close your computer. Get off the couch. Go outside and just stand there.
There is something so stark about just being outside. Simply doing this starts to give my brain the interrupt that it needs to begin shaking off the chains.
Once I start to come out of the fog, I pick just one doable task.
It could be working on this podcast, cutting the grass, doing some small fix it job around the house, cleaning the pile of dishes in the sink.
I get my mind on something else…or on nothing at all.
Getting up and getting active helps fire different neurons in my brain.
As a task-oriented person, being able to check something off my list gives me a feeling of accomplishment.
Yes, I DO have some sense of agency in my life.
I CAN get things done.
Sure, a load of dishes is a small thing, compared to landing a new client, but it is a start.
It gives me a foothold. And sometimes, this is all I need to get back on track.
Projects that used to be “what’s the point?” start to appear in a different light.
Prospects that seemed “useless to pursue” become “Why in the world haven’t I followed up with so-and-so?”
My world shifts from not seeing any opportunities to seeing them everywhere.
When I realize that anxiety is playing a part in my paralysis, the only thing that really works for me is movement.
Changing the scenery in some massive way.
Physical movement is good but changing my environment also works, too.
I need to find a hiking trail or get out of town.
Hiking for a few hours gives me a chance to reboot my brain and provides much needed endorphins not to mention a host of other neurotransmitters.
There is also something about changing my environment. I live in a small mountain town that is pretty self-contained. As beautiful as it is, I find it a bit reassuring to make the hour-long trip down the hill and get back into civilization.
Sure, traffic is a lot worse, but I find some degree of comfort in the drive and getting out to walk in a different town. Checking out the shops, grabbing a bite to eat.
I find that this break in the usual routine really helps me.
The last of the Four Pillars to tackle here is Overwhelm
You know if this affects you if you find yourself thinking
I just can’t handle this, meaning everything.
I don’t want to face some individual task such as
*registering for a show
*doing your taxes
*cleaning your house
This is way different than fear. It is not that you are afraid of it.
The thought of doing it — what ever it is — makes you feel like you are getting tossed about in the waves.
Something as simple as picking up your phone can feel like a herculean task.
Of the four pillars that I have mentioned up to now, I think this is the one that I struggle with the most.
The best strategy that I have found is to break it down into really, really small chunks.
For example, with my business as I change from a one-person shop to a company that creates jobs, there are many aspects where I just feel really outgunned.
Like my hopes here are just a bit beyond my reach.
But I take a step forward. I create a blog post. Not an entire million dollar company. Just one blog post.
Then next day I start working on a job description for a position that I want to fill. I don’t post the job and start interviewing. I simply START the job description.
The next day I look it over again and then finish it.
The day after that I might add a video to it to give it a little more context.
Step by step.
The same goes with developing the sales processes for my business. I simply can’t do it all at once.
I know it is incredibly important to have as much up and rolling as quickly as I can, but I just have to allow myself the time to make small strides.
I simply don’t have the ability to do everything that needs to be done in 24 hours.
This is a process. It is going to take time.
The same can be said for working yourself out of any hole that you find yourself in.
Step by step.
Day by day.
You will get there.
Ok, so this is the first in a 2-part series. Now that we have identified the four pillars of paralysis and have learned a bit about how to defeat them, we are going to turn the conversation to avoiding the problem in the first place.
This is probably the single most important mental skill that I have developed over the past year, and I can’t wait to share it with you,
So, make certain to tune in for part 2.
Check out the show notes for this episode (65) at RenewableConfidence.com
The Renewable Confidence Podcast is found on
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Take care everyone!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”