When You’re Stuck, Guidance is the Key

Ep: 172

How many times in your life have you felt stuck, trapped, or unsure of what to do?

That tiring cycle has a name: analysis paralysis. And the reason it feels so tiring is because it causes us to run circles around questions, trying to find answers that we just don’t have.

Feeling stuck costs us time, energy, and unnecessary levels of stress. 

Today on The Bridge to Fulfillment, Blake explains why we so often get stuck in these cycles and why it sucks so much energy from our lives. She shares why it happens and provides the necessary tools to help you get unstuck from the loop.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to recognize your patterns when it comes to decision-making and why you feel “stuck” in the first place. You’ll hear the 6 most common reasons why it’s so difficult to make choices and the easiest way to exit the cycle for good. You’ll also learn why expert guidance is the key to helping you understand how to be a better, more successful decision-maker.

Success doesn’t have to be hard or painful. And you don’t have to go it alone. 

If you’re exhausted from the repetitive decision-making cycle, know that you can get results with more ease.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Recognizing which decisions tend to make you feel stuck (1:46)
  • The 6 most common reasons we feel trapped in our decision-making (2:36)
  • The true keys to success (5:42)
  • A quick and simple way to end the analysis paralysis loop (8:19)
  • What it takes to become a better decision-maker (10:42)


Favorite Quotes:

  1. The people I know who are the most successful are the ones that admit how little they know, and how much more knowledge there is than they’ll probably ever gain in their lifetime.
  2. Knowing everything is not the key to success. True success is about learning, having determination and grit to continue forward, and being able to articulate the right question to the right person.
  3. When you can’t make a decision, it’s either procrastination because you are lacking a piece of knowledge, or it’s indulging in the inaccurate belief that the more time you spend on it, the better results you’ll get.
  4. Hard work and struggle are not necessary to create results.

Additional Resources: 

Rather than hoping the grass will be greener, identify what the RIGHT next step is. 

We can help you do just that.

Get clarity on where you are on your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optional paths to get there, and the right next step to take.

Start your complimentary, Personalized Career Fulfillment Plan by going to www.thebridgetofulfillment.com/plan

Want free resources to set your job search up for success? You can get them by going to: https://thebridgetofulfillment.com/mistakes


Blake Schofield 0:05 Hi, I’m Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of The Bridge to Fulfillment, mom to three, USA Today top 10 professional coach, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to expand women’s perspectives and empower them to achieve greater impact at home and work without sacrifice. This is The Bridge to Fulfillment.

Blake Schofield 0:38 How many times in your life have you felt stuck, trapped or unsure of what to do? Hundreds? Thousands? Well, if you’ve ever felt this way, you’re going to love today’s podcast. I’m gonna challenge you today, I want you to really think about how often in your life you have gotten stuck. And maybe a good way to think about it would be to stop and ask yourself: How many times have I verbally said to myself or others, “I’m stuck”? Or “I’m really struggling”? I see and hear this consistently across the board week after week after week, from friends, family members, clients. But often, we don’t stop to understand that what we tell ourselves is what we create. So if we keep telling yourself we’re stuck, or struggling, we will create more of that stuckness what we focus on expands. But today, instead of kind of talking from that angle, what I’d love to do is share with you maybe some greater insight to why and how you get stuck so that you can change that pattern in your life. So let’s think about the times that you’ve gotten stuck in your life. Are they generally on the small decisions? Or the big ones? The known things are when you’re facing circumstances that are unknown? Are they the simple problems? Or the problems with complexity? Are they around a certain topic? Or do they happen across the board? You know, often we get trapped, not because we need more time, more research, or to wait for inspiration to help us find the solution. But those are really easy things that we tell ourselves all the time. We also get trapped not because other people can’t help us. But because we believe if we can’t see the solution, then how in the world could someone else. And so I want to share with you today, the six most common reasons we get stuck, trapped, or feel like we can’t create the movement or get the answers that we need in our lives.

Blake Schofield 2:48 Number one, we believe that we have to solve the problem ourselves. And listen, I’m all for being self sufficient, that there’s a point in time of which self sufficiency actually is the thing that is holding you back. And we’ll talk a little bit in a minute about how to identify when it’s time to ask for help. So you can see that what you’re doing isn’t productive. Number two, we worry about being a burden. And I find that this is especially common in women who really are generally helpers we love to help and caregiver for everyone else. But we struggle to ask for it ourselves. Even though we have evidence that proves people would want to help us in the same way we enjoy helping others. Number three, we don’t know who to ask. or, more commonly, we actually ask the wrong people. Who am I thinking of right now, I want to say hello parents and friends. People who are too close to our circumstances, they can’t be impartial. Or honestly, they don’t have the expertise. They haven’t done what we’re trying to do and been successful at it. And I know it can feel so easy to go to the people that we love and trust that we’re close with, with some of our biggest challenges. But unfortunately, many of the times that actually leads to self doubt, anxiety and feeling even more stuck.

Blake Schofield 4:13 Number four, we have limiting beliefs and fears that actually are clouding us from seeing and building a plan to what we really want. It’s sort of like going in this constant loop of a dead end over and over and over again, every angle we look at doesn’t seem viable. And usually when that’s happening, it’s because of a limited perspective or a belief or fear that we have that is stopping us from actually seeing another path forward. Number five, we have limited perspective on what’s possible. You know, this is an interesting one. I was having a conversation the other day, actually was my nephew about how he was being a teenager and thinking he knew everything. And he kind of laughed about that with me how he didn’t listen to anything because he thought he was so smart and it remember I did me of those days, being 16 thinking, I know more than my parents, I know what’s going on. And to be honest, I think I went through a lot of that in my 20s as well, really feeling like I had all of the answers. And it wasn’t truly until I started opening up to asking for help seeking guidance, seeking alternative perspectives, that I began to realize, honestly, how little I actually know how narrow my perspective actually is, based on the fact that I’ve only experienced what I’ve experienced in my life. And so every one of us is walking around this earth with huge humongous blind spots. But I think we’ve been taught to walk around acting like we know everything. But I’ll tell you, the people I know truly who are the most successful are the ones that admit how little they know, and how much more knowledge there is, then they’ll probably ever gain in their lifetime. And instead, they recognize that knowing everything is not the key to success. But being able to learn having determination and grit to continue forward. And to be able to articulate the right question to the right person is truly the key to success. All right. And finally, number six reason why we get trapped. We lack the tools and frameworks to actually process through and determine the right decision.

Blake Schofield 6:19 This is such a great one to talk about. Because I think most of us don’t even know these things exist. You know, I’ve been very blessed to have a mentor in my life for the last number of years, who spends a lot of time talking about methodologies and frameworks for decision making. How to recognize your own biases, what process or questions you can ask to ensure that you’re making good decisions. And what it really has done is open up the perspective for me to understand that most of us were never taught, nor do we really have the skills to understand how to process our emotions and what we’re experiencing, understand what part of that is true, what it’s telling us and what part is a lie or fear. But then also how to logically think through what really matters what the right next steps are, etc. And without those tools, it can become very easy to get stuck in analysis, paralysis, make decisions out of fear that are actually getting us further away from the very life and the very things that we want. In all cases, as as much in life, how we think about things is the most important key to our success and happiness in life. You know, I spent a humongous portion of my life getting stuck in analysis paralysis, really believing that if I did due diligence, I figured out all of the puzzle pieces, I looked at every avenue that might happen, I could then make the right decision and ensure that I pick the right thing. I was so fearful of making a mistake or failing. And I believed that a longer period of time thinking through things that I do every single angle would make me safe.

Blake Schofield 7:55 Honestly, though, I had no idea how much time mental energy and life I was losing out on because I was going through that process, stuck in my head, constantly repeating the loops, only seeking the perspective of myself, people that were close to me or doing my own research. And this is what I see consistently over and over again for so many other people. And so if this is resonating with you, what I’d love to do is share with you a quick approach you can use to identify whether the circumstances or problem you are facing is something you should solve on your own, or whether it’s something better served by seeking guidance. So I suggest seeking guidance if you’ve used your resources and attempted to solve the problem on your own for 48 to 72 hours, but you don’t have confidence in the right next steps. And that may feel short to you, it certainly would have to me several years ago. But here’s why that timeframe that I’m giving you. Any longer that you spend after that window is just wasted time. It’s either procrastination because you are uncomfortable with something lacking a piece of knowledge not sure what to do. Or it’s just indulging in this inaccurate belief that the more time you spend on this, the better results you’ll get. And so if you’ve attempted with the resources, knowledge, etc, that you have on your own for 48 to 72 hours, and you don’t feel clear on the right answer or the right next steps to take that as a sign to go seek expert help. Number two, if you’re facing a very important decision with significant impact. Often we want to spend a lot of time really reviewing all of our options, making sure that we haven’t missed anything. But the problem is, again, we have a limited perspective. So anytime you’re making an important decision in your life that has significant impact is a great time to seek guidance, really get a perspective of what are the blind spots and things you might be missing. And then number three, if you’ve already journaled and really kind of processed and thought through it In attempt to identify what the real issue is, what possible solutions might exist, and what information you’re missing that you need to gather. And you still right don’t have clarity on exactly the right next step to take or confidence in that right path. That is a sign and a symptom to go seek guidance.

Blake Schofield 10:19 Now, why did I put this here in this way? Well, because I think some of the biggest challenges we personally faced as individuals is trying to do life on our own, believing that we have to be self sufficient, believing that we have to have all the answers, believing that it has to be a long and challenging process for more important decisions. And what I have learned these last few years is I’ve become a much better decision maker. Because I understand who I am, I understand my strengths and my limitations. I understand that I have blind spots, just like everyone does. And I know now to seek out before I go make some significant decisions, or when I’m unclear on what to do, to go seek out that expert guidance. And that always gives me the information I need to be able to quickly move forward in ways I never would have been able to before. Most of us are spending way too long trying to solve problems that could easily be resolved by asking for help from someone who’s already been there and done that. It can often feel that when we’re stuck, no one can help us. But that is just because we’re continuing to put ourselves through the same exact mental loop. The more we tell ourselves, we are stuck, the more stuck we become. It’s just like being in quicksand. And I don’t know about you, I thankfully, I’ve never been in quicksand. But I understand the concept, you fall in quicksand. And the more you move your arms and legs, the deeper and deeper and deeper you get stuck. And often I find when we’re stuck, it’s because we’ve learned these patterns that create more stuckness. And so in order to shift that in order to make more confident, more effective, and faster decisions that actually get you to the life that you want. In order to be more present in your life, there’s an opportunity to learn a new approach new skills, because by understanding the power of getting outside perspective and releasing the need to solve everything on our own, we become free to gain insights, opportunities and possibilities that we would have never gotten to on our own, despite years of trying. Part of this process comes from realizing that hard work and struggle are not necessary to create results. I’m going to repeat that again. Hard work and struggle are not necessary to create results. In fact, you can create results with ease. It doesn’t have to be hard or painful.

Blake Schofield 12:44 Remember the quote, most people prefer the certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty by Virginia Satir. If you are used to the struggle, in other words, misery, and believe that it’s safer to keep doing that, you’ll just continue that pattern in your life. And then you’ll complain, and you’ll be frustrated. And you’ll wonder why nothing changes. However, if you realize that what you’re doing isn’t getting you where you want to go. It can become very easy then to look for the alternative. Who is that person that I need to seek out to help me get momentum on the right path ahead. Thanks so much for joining me today. I hope that this has been enlightening, and has given you some tools to think differently about the challenges, opportunities, and next steps that you need to take as you navigate life ahead. Until next time, have a great week.

Blake Schofield 13:45 Thanks for joining me today. Rather than hope the grass will be greener, identify what the right next step is. We can help you do just that. Get clarity on where you are in your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optimal paths to get there, and the right next step to take. Start your complimentary personalized career fulfillment plan at www.thebridgetofulfillment.com/plan . Again, you can get your personalized career fulfillment plan at www.thebridgetofulfillment.com/plan . Thanks again for joining and have a great week ahead!