Last week on NPR’s radio program, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me there was a story about a man who accidentally Crazy Glued his bum to a countertop (or some other similar surface). The man claimed to have used his smartphone to Google a solution to his problem and luckily for him the search yielded a practical and effective answer. Pickle juice. Yes, according to the news source the man used picked juice as a solvent for the glue to un-stick his derriere!
Not only is this story hilarious but it makes a good point about getting unstuck.
Too many of us get stuck in a place of comfort in the familiarity of a situation that may not be working for us and thus fail to realize our vital potential or our dreams. This is due to fear of the unknown. But the only way to grow is to stimulate our minds and bodies through challenge.
If we fail to challenge ourselves (step out of our comfort zones) we become complacent and usually dissatisfied. This leads to acting out or depression or even worse a life lived unfulfilled.
If we do eat our fears and turn them into energy that overcomes the discomfort of trying something new, then we can transform ourselves into something different - expand into fuller, better versions of ourselves - which leads to greater satisfaction.
So why aren’t we all wildly happy, living our dreams and fullest, best lives as the ultimate versions of ourselves? Because of the false beliefs we created in ourselves through observation of family, friends and other influencers in our lives. You know the ones. Those nagging little voices that tell you, you can’t do or be or say something because you will be judged, shunned or unloved. The ones that say, “It is better to stay in this dysfunctional relationship than to be alone,” or “It is better to stay in this job that no longer suits me than to take a risk and do what I really love because of the security of regular benefits and income.” Or the one that says, “It is impossible for me to take the time or money to do what it would take to climb Mount Everest, Scuba in the Great Barrier Reef, get cast in a Broadway show, fill in the ____________.”
The ONLY way to get from where you are to where you want to be is to DO SOMETHING that helps you to get there. ACTION must be taken in order to grow. Familiarity is easy but it is also inertia. Our minds and bodies are stimulated to grow only they are challenged. Challenge means to do something difficult, unfamiliar, new.
CHANGE ONLY HAPPENS WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY THAN WHAT YOU ARE ALREADY DOING.
The guy with his bum stuck on the counter had to do this. He was dissatisfied with his situation. He could have adapted his life to stay there and be miserable but he chose to move towards something different - free from the countertop. He did some research and found a way to make a change towards that different way of being. Although it was a risk, he accessed a jar of pickle (fortunately and apparently within arms reach) and applied the juice as necessary. Can you imagine the thoughts going through his head about how crazy it might sound to someone else? I mean it sounds absurd that pickle juice would dissolve Crazy Glue, right? What if it didn’t work? He would suffer the humiliation of having tried this seemingly insane method in addition to the original predicament. But what’s awesome is that it did work! He tried something kooky and it got him unstuck. He was then able to move to a different better way of existing away from his countertop.
I help people get unstuck for a living. Not from kitchen counters but from pain in their bodies, fear that keeps them from enjoying things they love and from issues that keep them in career purgatory. When they are not doing the work I have to remind them of the pain that they are in so they are motivated to get where they want to go. To take them from their prison to their paradise. That is difficult for me but is sometimes necessary part of the process because that is what a coach is for -to be the person who tells you things other people won’t so you can go where you want to go, live how you want to live and be your fullest, best self.
Where are you stuck in your life? Where do you want to be? What is your pickle juice?