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Getting stuck is the norm for 2021. The pandemic is still here. We’re surrounded by turmoil and chaos and risk. Oh my! From climate change to a rogue virus, personal and professional challenges abound. All of this is primed to make us risk averse, or even sedentary, at the thought of tackling a new initiative, innovation, or creative endeavor. Your self-preservation instincts may tell you waiting is the prudent course of action — or inaction — under current conditions.  

But waiting for things to calm down won’t help you get unstuck. Winning at this thing called life demands bravery and bold action, even when confronted with consistent calamity. With so little control over our present circumstances, it’s easy to forget one simple truth: We hardly ever have as much control as we would like — in any circumstances. To unstick yourself, and take constructive action, try these tips:

  • Take care of yourself. Manage your health, including — maybe even especially — your mental health.
  • Set reasonable goals. For your business, for yourself, for your dog. Just give yourself something to work toward.
  • Revel in your growing pains. Growth is hard work. Stretching yourself to achieve anything new or different means accepting — and overcoming — discomfort.
  • Stop reading. Okay, don’t stop reading, but do stop endlessly reading about distressing things over which you have no control. Accept the things you cannot change, and when they stress you out — ignore them.
  • Try something new. Look for interesting opportunities. Don’t be afraid to apply your knowledge and skills to something new. And if you are afraid, do it anyway.
  • Help someone else. There’s nothing like helping others for inspiring an attitude adjustment.
  • Do things differently. Ask for help. Identify what’s not working, pinpoint your usual response, and try the opposite approach. To make things better, shake things up.
  • Embrace failure. Failure is a learning opportunity. Hold on to lessons learned, drop the rest, and move on to the next adventure.

Add all of this together, mix with gratitude, and add a dash of optimism for a better, calmer future. Sooner than you think, you’ll find yourself gradually less struck — and stuck — by the external events wreaking havoc on the world. Struggle isn’t new, but your response to it can be.

Winning at life isn’t a product of luck — or even circumstance. Winning is about changing your perspective, creating your own opportunities, practicing gratitude for what you have, and refusing to get, or stay, stuck.  

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