How many times have you gotten close to the goal and then you trip and fall, or worse, someone else's big foot gets in your way and there you are sitting on the ground feeling like a fool.

You could see the winner's trophy gleaming in your mind and yet there you are again, smiling a fake smile as you congratulate someone else for making it all the way to success.

The natural human tendency is to blame. No, not yourself. To think "it's his fault "or "it's her fault" or "it's their fault."

Eventually after enough times of the same old ending you finally ask yourself "what is it I'm doing that's not working."

Ah, progress.

This is where you really need to do the following:

  • Get outside help: you need someone, an objective coach to listen and point the way from the disappointment of now to the possibilities of what is new.
  • Journal: write down how you feel and look back from situation to situation to see the similarities (a good coach will insist on this).
  • Take a radical sabbatical: sure, six months would be great, however you can get a better perspective by shutting everything down and taking a day away, totally alone so no distractions.
  • Shut up: sit in silence for at least 20 minutes twice a day and ask yourself why this keeps happening will often point you in a new, improved direction.
  • Steer away from rescuers: Thank the "do-gooders" and tell them you will call them when you need them. Hint: they help you stay stuck.
  • Journey to the past: see how your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles have moved that stuck needle in their lives and pay attention to those who were the breakthrough pioneers.
  • Give yourself a pep talk: give yourself a "like" or even better, a hug of appreciation and refocus on what is working rather than on what is not working.

If you feel blocked, stuck in a rut, and you feel your life seems to be impeded, stop and consider: you will recognize the outer "enemy" is what you have not, until now, been able or willing to recognize as coming from within.

A word of caution as you begin to explore that ancient dictum, "Know thyself." Don't focus on a specific goal. Be content to learn for the sake of learning and the rut will disappear quickly and easily.

See yourself at the beginning of a fascinating adventure instead of at the mercy of the whims of others or the minor currency of short term goals. Keep your sights on the big picture of success that lasts a lifetime.