Episode 112: Get Unstuck By Helping Others Like Nanci Besser

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Nanci Besser 32 Favors

Nanci Besser

Nanci Besser got herself unstuck by granting 32 favors to anyone who was in need of help. When she couldn’t find work, she realized she had a very valuable asset she could share: her time.  She chronicled her experience in her blog, 32 favors. Paying it forward helped her discover new work opportunities and now she’s writing a book about her experience.

Nanci started 32 Favors back in 2009 when she was living in LA and was having trouble finding more work. After having a very vivid dream one night, Nanci was inspired to start helping others in some capacity. Her parents were both involved in philanthropic efforts while she was growing up, so helping others was not a foreign concept to her. She decided that instead of continuing to look for a job or asking someone for help, she would instead offer up her time to help others instead.

After coming up with the idea to do 32 favors, she spread the word to family and friends. She then put the offer up on Craigslist, and that’s when things started to pick up. The idea of helping others during a tough economic time really seemed to resonate with people, and she was getting messages from people all over the world. She was able to complete all 32 favors.

Nanci will soon be starting the 3rd iteration of her project and is currently working as an emotional intelligence consultant and a Pilates instructor.

Key UnStuckable Takeaway

When you are stuck, give yourself a release by focusing outwardly instead of on yourself! 

When someone gets stuck, they tend to focus in on themselves and try to figure out how to make their life better. While it is important to know what you want in life, it’s also important to get out of your head sometimes.

Nanci was able to become unstuck by focusing her energies on helping other people. This got her to stop feeling like she was “stuck” and gave her a sense of purpose. If you are feeling stuck, consider taking some time to help other people. It can be as simple as helping out a family member or friend, or joining a volunteer group.

Quick Action to Get Unstuck

Forgive yourself for feeling stuck!

Don’t feel shame for feeling stuck. Many people feel stuck at some point in their lives. In fact, many people who are stuck may not even realize that they are stuck.

The first step to getting unstuck is recognizing you are stuck.  The next time you are feeling down about being stuck, remember that you have already made progress, even if you don’t feel like you’ve made progress.

UnStuckable Quotes From Nanci

“I had a willingness to use my time.”

“Nothing had changed on the surface, but something had changed within me.”

“I didn’t make it contingent on a ‘pay it forward’ concept.”

“People resonated with this concept, it was the idea that they could have an effect without having to physically make the effort.”

“What it really did, it opened my world up.”

“I started to feel less desperate, I started to feel more connected, I started to feel more like I had a purpose.”

“There’s not a scarcity when you’re collaborating.”

“If you can breathe in different patterns, you can actually experience different emotions.”

“Just doing 32 favors didn’t stop me from feeling stuck.”

“That’s what’s important about being unstuck, it’s about finding something you’re willing to be consistent at.”

“You don’t have to hurt more to feel better.”

“Usually the wisdom you’re looking for is inside yourself.”

More Habits & Actions

  • Be more mindful. Nanci says being in the moment is one of the most effective practices to help you learn how to get unstuck.
  • Start learning how to be more mindful by trying different breathing exercises. Simply mastering different breathing techniques and focusing on your breath can alter your mood and clear your head.
  • Don’t be ashamed of being stuck. Many people think that feeling stuck is a bad thing. It isn’t. Simply recognizing that you are stuck and you are well on your way to becoming unstuck.
  • Be open to becoming unstuck. Nanci says that simply being aware of your feelings isn’t enough, you also have to have a willingness to change. Be open to new ideas and opportunities that come your way.
  • Write down your dreams. Nanci’s idea for 32 Favors came from one powerful dream. When she woke up in the morning, she was able to recall her dream and it has influenced her to this day. Your dreams can tell you a lot, and by writing them down you can ingrain them into your memory.



Nanci on Twitter

Nanci on LinkedIn

32 Favors on Facebook

Questions & Feedback

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Thank you for for your support and let’s get unstuck!