We know our decision to end UnStuckable came as a surprise to many of you last Friday. First, we just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for listening, for supporting us on our journey, for your encouragement, for your feedback and for sharing your stories with us. It’s been a privilege serving you. Truly.
We’ve learned so much about what gets people stuck in life and how they can get unstuck. Your current situation isn’t permanent. You have much more control over your life than you think. If you want change in your life, it’s possible. Just practice the habits we learned over the last year (check out our final challenge below).
Some Important Announcements . . .
We have decided to leave the UnStuckable podcast on iTunes through the end of 2015. The UnStuckable website will be available indefinitely.
If you are interested in downloading all of our 159 episodes, you can do so here
Let’s Keep In Touch
When we both started exploring UnStuckable in the fall of 2013 we had no idea where it would take us. Honestly, it started off as a research project and remained one. Unfortunately we were unable to make the transition to a business. Along the way we discovered we had very different work needs that both deserve to be celebrated, but we were unable to align them for this project.
For those of you who would like to keep in touch with us, we’d love to hear from you! We will both be keeping our UnStuckable email addresses through June 1st. You can remain connected with us in the following ways:
We have a final challenge for you . . .
Stop doing what you think you are suppose to be doing and start exploring what you’ve always wanted to do by learning about yourself. That’s what being unstuckable is all about! Stop thinking about it and start doing it!
Give yourself permission to work on this challenge for at least one year by practicing the 10 UnStuckable habits below.
We believe more and more of us are having a harder and harder time ignoring those feelings deep inside of us wondering if this is all life has to offer.
We believe each one of us is seeking to understand our own unique mix of happiness, stability and purpose.
We believe the vast majority of us are unhappy in our work because we are trying to live up to the standards of others, instead of living up to our own.
We believe employment stability in the 20th century was provided by large organizations, but in the 21st century that stability is going to come from within ourselves.
We believe many of us feel stuck because we aren’t aware of possibilities, options or opportunities because we have not done the work on our own to reframe our mindset to see new perspectives.
We believe to achieve your optimal level of personal productivity requires honoring your unique work needs.
We believe personal freedom comes from understanding and accepting your true self.
We believe the process to start transforming your life around your needs, purpose and abilities begins by learning about the most important subject in life that has never been taught to you: how to learn about yourself.
We believe to learn more about yourself, you need to cultivate a habit of self-awareness.
We believe the best method of practicing self-awareness is by taking action, so you can monitor the reactions, feelings and thoughts of your true self.
We believe the practice of self-awareness you will strengthen your ability to assess what is holding you back from becoming your true self and how to align your thoughts, habits and resources toward your purpose in life.
We believe practicing the following self-awareness habits will reveal your unique possibilities in life.
10 Core Self-Awareness Habits
Self-awareness is the ability to monitor your thoughts, desires, fears, feelings and motivations in real time as you experience various circumstance in life. Some define it as your “character” or how you act when you take action.
It is the keystone habit to understand the rest of your emotional habits that make you who you are as a unique individual. It provides an alternative and more honest perspective of your true self than the version trapped in your head or how you’ve been taught to view yourself.
The path toward success in life begins by learning about yourself through the practice of self-awareness.
Over the past year we have interviewed 150+ people about the habits and actions they took to get unstuck and transform their lives. Stephen has been experimenting with countless personal development exercises over the last 15 years and has read over 100 books on this subject.
There are countless methods for developing and cultivating your ability for self-awareness, but the following habits recurred more often in our research, interviews and experiments than any other.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt we believe the key to getting unstuck is by practicing the following habits. They have the highest probability of cultivating your self-awareness to discover your purpose, to align everything in your life toward your purpose and to take action toward your purpose.
1. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the ability to think, feel and act with intention based on the needs of your true self and in alignment with your purpose.
The goal of mindfulness is to become comfortable with your true self. It is the process of learning to be truly happy with yourself. It challenges why you feel, think and act the way you do. It ends the struggle between doing what you’ve been told to do by someone else and doing what you’ve always wanted to do.
There are two key aspects to practicing mindfulness: quieting the mind and acting with intention.
Quieting the mind can be achieved in countless different ways including prayer, meditation, taking a few deep breaths, writing in a journal, going for a walk or reciting a mantra. It is best practiced on a daily basis for at least five minutes to cleanse your mind of negative thoughts and distractions.
Acting with intention is practiced in the moment as often as you can throughout your day. Before you respond to a particular situation, take a moment to scan your feelings and internal thoughts to make a better informed decision about how you will act in alignment with the needs and desires of your true self.
Practicing the habit of mindfulness will do more to build your self-awareness than anything else you can do. It will give you greater confidence to think for yourself, so you can rely less and less on the opinion of others. It will help provide you with a baseline for aligning your habits toward any big goal you want to accomplish in life.
2. Hangout With Like-Minded People
Dramatically increase your odds for accomplishing any big change you want to make in your life by hanging out with people doing what you want to do.
Turns out your mom was right. You are the company you keep. There is probably no bigger factor determining your ability to achieve your goal than by surrounding yourself with people who want the same change as you. This habit can build momentum faster toward your goal than almost any other action you can take.
Your loved ones will always care about you. They just might not always understand what makes you truly happy. It’s important to seek out people who can provide you with positive support, constructive feedback and the belief that the change you want to make is possible.
3. Purge and Simplify Your Life
If you want to make a big change in your life, you need to make space for it by getting rid of anything that might unknowingly be holding you back.
When most of us think of making a big change in our lives we think of adding something into it. Turns out the elimination of possessions, obligations, relationships and digital waste is a more effective action to take first because it will help you understand what it is truly important to you.
All your stuff has the potential for draining your attention, energy, money and time away from your purpose. Especially the things you hold onto out of guilt, laziness or because you’ve convinced yourself you “might need it someday.” Here’s the truth, the vast majority of your stuff no longer serves a valid purpose in your life. It’s holding you back, so let it go.
Making a big change in your life requires taking an inventory of all your resources and prioritizing them in terms of their ability to make you feel joy, as well as how they can help you achieve your goal.
Any resource that does not make you feel positive in the pursuit of your purpose needs to be removed from your life immediately to optimize your personal productivity and happiness.
4. Gain Value By Learning
Increasing your personal value is fueled by learning new concepts, skills, methods and knowledge needed to help you achieve your goal.
Learning doesn’t stop with formal education. Today’s economy is so dynamic and fluid, the acquisition of new skills is paramount. Many of us also feel stuck because our formal education didn’t provide us with the mindset, knowledge and skills to discover new opportunities in the 21st century. We don’t even know how to properly assess our own needs, abilities and motivations!
Beyond the practical value of building a learning habit, it also can help you learn about yourself in deeper and more meaningful ways. Most of us don’t even know how we like to learn or what even motivates us to learn on our own. Not only do you need to figure out your learning style, you need to learn how to set ongoing learning goals to become a self-learner.
Any big transition you want to make in life requires a series of learning goals. Start by assessing the skills and knowledge you already possess. Then identify those you’ll need to fill in the missing gaps to help you make the change you want in your life.
When you are constantly learning, you are constantly engaging with your purpose, connecting with like-minded people and increasing your personal worth.
5. Track Your Finances
Personal financial independence can be achieved by understanding the cost of your desired lifestyle and how you are going to fund your ideal lifestyle.
Money often unnecessarily holds people back from achieving a big goal in their life because they lack perspective on their personal finances. How you spend your money says more about you than how you make it. Your spending and saving habits are a reflection of your fears, emotions and desires.
Everyone knows how much money they made in the last year, but almost no one knows how much money they spent last year. As their income increases, so does their spending. When you live in alignment with your purpose, your spending remains consistent, regardless of any increase in your income.
Tracking your spending helps you begin to understand how much money you really need to get by each month. Your wealth can be defined by the number of months you can survive without working. It’s a better measure of your true financial security than the illusion of security a steady paycheck provides that can be cut off at a moment’s notice.
At the very least tracking your spending is a simple and effective mastery habit that will help you maintain continual awareness over your finances.
Most people vastly overestimate the amount of money they need to live their desired lifestyle. Understanding the cost of your core needs helps you monitor the alignment of your available cash with the financial needs to achieve your goal.
6. Stack Your Motivation
Make the best use of your limited personal energy and willpower by understanding your motivations and how they can be combined to increase the impact of your actions.
As the economy continues to transform, more and more of us will become self-employed. Those of you who will still be employed will most likely be changing your jobs every two to three years. These new career paths will require a greater sense of understanding your self-motivation and how to manage your personal energy than ever before.
As you become more aware of your natural motivations, you’ll want to seek ways to combine them to optimize your personal productivity. Stacking habits and behaviors will increase your energy and willpower throughout your day.
Habit stacking is the process of introducing new habits into your life by building new habits on top of existing ones.
Stacking your motivation is the process of identifying your natural motivations and looking for opportunities to combine those motivations to increase the impact of each one of your actions using less energy.
If you are unaware of what motivates you, start monitoring your energy levels throughout the day. Look for activities that energize you the most, as well as those that drain your energy.
Observe when, where, with whom and what you were doing that made you feel this way. Start looking for patterns and trends, so you can begin the process of managing your energy more effectively by stacking your motivations.
One of the coolest benefits of stacking your motivations and habits is taking more and more action toward your purpose without even having to think about it!
7. Communicate Your Values + Needs
Telling people what you need to produce your best work is not an act of selfishness. It is a right.
Too many of us are unhappy with our work, even if we might be well compensated, because it is out of alignment with our values and our needs. Most have been taught to approach our careers by seeking jobs we need to fit into, rather than finding jobs that fit our needs.
More importantly, at times each one of us may have felt compelled to work in a situation that was in conflict with our values.
Your values are your personal moral code for how you want to live your life. They are your highest principles for guiding your actions.
Your needs are your core work circumstances that enhance your strengths and provide you will a feeling of satisfaction. You can think of them as your “must haves” to be successful.
The first step to communicate your needs and values is by clearly identifying them through the practice of the self-awareness. Consider keeping a journal to monitor how you feel about different situations, actions or events as they occur in your daily life.
As you have a clearer understanding of your values and needs, you will gain more confidence in your ability to explain them to potential clients, business partners, employers and colleagues. You will give them the opportunity to find ways to enhance your strengths and motivations helping you become more productive on their behalf.
Your entire perspective on work will change. You will seek jobs, partners, business ideas, colleagues and companies that are in alignment with your values and needs. You will increase your negotiating power and will never feel you have to settle for something less again.
8. Embrace Discomfort + Fear
Taking imperfect actions are always better than taking no action at all.
Personal growth comes from stepping outside of your comfort zone and leveling up on your normal risk tolerance. You are either moving forward or falling behind. Change is a constant, especially in the 21st century economy. That change can either be on your terms or not.
Many of us get stuck because the fear of change is greater than escaping the comfort of what we know, even if it’s making us miserable!
As a species we are hardwired to avoid almost anything that may cause us discomfort. At one point in our evolution this made loads of sense, but we’ve successfully eliminated the majority of threats from the wild.
If you want change in your life, doing the same thing won’t produce a different result. If you try something new and it doesn’t work out, at least you’ve taken a step closer to better understanding what will truly make you happy.
9. Move to Gain Perspective
Change your mental perspective by moving your body or by changing your physical surroundings.
The key to getting unstuck is to seek out new perspectives and discover new options you never knew existed. One of the fastest and easiest ways to gain new insights into yourself is through the movement of your body by walking, traveling or even being aware of sitting less.
The act of taking a walk is a great stacking habit to spark your mindfulness practice. It enables you to clear your head by pumping more blood to your brain and to literally gain new perspectives by changing your environment.
Travel is one of the most cathartic experiences people use to transform their lives. It
removes you from your normal routine, habits, influences and environment to open yourself up to new stimulation for sparking new ideas and perspectives. It’s a great stacking motivation to embrace discomfort too!
10. Tell Your Story
Tell people what you really want to do and how the thread of all your past experiences are tied together to motivate you to make a big change in your life.
When you want to make a big change in your life make your identity your goal. Most of us describe “what we do” in terms of our current job. We define that position by the title we hold or the industry we work in. If you are currently unsatisfied in your work, why waste your time telling someone something you aren’t excited about?
You are missing out on a huge opportunity! Leave people with a clear understanding of how they can help you with the change you want to make in your life. Stop hiding!
Describe yourself in terms of what you want to do, even if your plan isn’t clearly defined. Tell them where you are headed and how your strengths, skills and past experiences are going to get you there. Make your story concise and memorable.
Many times when we want to make a big change in our lives we are tempted to throw out our past experiences. Big mistake. All of your experiences have made you who you are today and they can be used as the foundation for the big change you want to make in your life.
The simple act of constantly reframing your mindset in terms of the change you want to make will align your thoughts with your purpose, creating momentum for each action you take without having to overthink how you are transforming your life.
Be the author of your own story. Don’t let someone else tell it.
So what’s your story?
Let’s Get Unstuck!
Stephen and Chris