Are You STUCK ?
“I don’t know what to do.”
“I’m in a rut.”
“I feel stuck.”
Is this who I am?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone and this is a very common problem.
Are you’re feeling stuck right now?
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You Can Do More When You’re Unafraid
The power of positive intentions and a generative mindset
We never really know what the day holds for us. Sometimes it’s smooth sailing. Other times we get surprised and run into challenging situations, complex issues, and ornery people. Sometimes we’re the ornery ones.
The way we handle any challenge significantly impacts our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. When we resolve an issue skillfully, we’re able to move on with our lives. The alternative, however, might leave us feeling stressed and stuck wasting our time and energy.
The residue of those unresolved challenges stays in our minds and bodies.
There are two keys to feeling at peace with an outcome: a generative mindset and positive intentions.
Our state of being, our orientation to ourselves and the world, is our mindset.
It influences how we think, what we say and do, and how we feel.
I like to think of them as fearful and generative.
A “fearful” mindset wants to punish, seek revenge, show someone up, be right, defend its position, or tell someone off. When we are fearful, we engage the reptilian brain and activate our stress responses.
We go into survival mode, believing we are at risk.
We are tentative, overly cautious, vindictive, afraid, narrow-minded, and selfish. Fear inhibits us from being our best.
We either fight (aggressive) or do nothing (passive).
Flooded with adrenaline and emotion, we become less rational, and simple issues become complicated. We say and do things we regret. When we’re hijacked by our emotions, our rational mind is no longer in charge.
A “generative” mindset, however, is open, curious, humble, calm, rational, caring, and focused.
It wants to create dialogue, offers an opinion, gives honest feedback, makes a suggestion, or negotiate solutions.
It’s easier to handle difficult situations by being generative — our generative minds engage our hearts and tap into the best version of ourselves. Our best selves are creative, considerate, and deeply humanistic.
We can face more difficult situations when we are confident in our own being.
A generative mindset also allows us to have positive intentions, whereas a fearful mindset produces negative intentions. Intentions influence our behavior.
Our intentions are what we aim to do — our purpose.
They are invisible to others but clear to us.
They influence our actions and our words.
A generative state of mind produces intentions that are helpful, kind, and respectful.
When we’re negative, agitated, angry, defensive, or distracted, our intentions are more self-protective, critical, judgmental, self-serving, and fearful.
Consider these two ways to express an intention with a colleague:
- “You are a well-respected team member. I have a few ideas that might help you contribute even more. Would you like to hear them?”
- “How many more times are you going to repeat yourself in team meetings?”
The first conversation will likely go smoothly. The second will not.
Sometimes we wake up in the morning ready to conquer whatever issues might arise.
On days like these, we might come across the exact piece of inspiration or advice we needed, right when we needed it.
We’re off to conquer demons with newfound motivation and skill. Success!
Other days, it’s not so easy. Some issues are complicated, emotionally charged, or confusing. Before you give up or launch right into them, ask yourself:
- Is the psychic effort of doing something worth it?
- What don’t I know about this situation?
- What are my assumptions? What story have I created? What is my contribution to this situation?
- How can I handle this without creating more chaos so that I can feel proud of my behavior?
- What outcome do I want?
- Ask why?
A moment or two of reflection will help you decide if you want to deal with the situation or not — and create a more generative mindset.
We know when we’re dodging an issue needing resolution.
It haunts us.
We think about it when we go to sleep at night and in the morning when we awaken.
That fear makes us smaller.
We shrink — our shoulders hunch. Our voice becomes tight and muffled. We postpone and avoid tough conversations because we aren’t in the right frame of mind.
However, being generative makes us taller.
We’re confident without being arrogant.
Our voice is strong and clear.
We can face more difficult situations when we are confident in our own being.
When we approach situations with a generative mindset and positive intentions we’re more likely to:
- Ask what it might be like for the person we are speaking to.
- Make a request or a suggestion that is well-received.
- Ask about the other side of the story.
- Suspend judgment of others.
- Lead by example.
- Own our contribution and communicate clearly to others.
- Agree to disagree and remain friends.
- Respect different points of view.
- Love ourselves for who we are, not who we want to be.
- Realize everyone is working through their wounds.
- Take a stand and say no—respectfully.
- Be firm and loving.
- Live in the flow of nonresistance.
- Apologize sincerely.
- Ask what we can do that might make a difference.
- Say what we believe and accept the outcomes.
There doesn’t seem to be any end to life’s dilemmas, issues, and challenges. They can be large and overwhelming or tiny and annoying. Dealing with them is easier when we embrace a generative mindset.
Seeking Advice from Yourself
When in a quandary, the best advice often comes from inside rather than outside.
Since we probably know ourselves better than anyone else does, then we may very well be the best person to ask for advice when we are in a quandary. One interesting exercise is to try asking for
advice from your past and future selves. There is the younger self that you used to be and the older, more mature self that you will become. You can gain a different perspective when you view present
situations through your younger self's eyes or your mature self's more experienced point of view. Perhaps, your younger self would view a current dilemma in a more innocent, less cynical way.
Likewise, your older, hopefully, wiser, self may offer advice from a more compassionate, experienced perspective.
Think back to how you viewed the world when you were younger. What were your thoughts on happiness, love, and injustice? Think about how you would have reacted to a dilemma you are currently facing. The perspective may shed a different light on relationships, money matters, or life decisions. Likewise, think about the person you will become. A more mature version of you might mull a problem or conflict over carefully before taking action right away... or perhaps not. Maybe your older self would be more willing to take risks, care less about what other people think, and want to enjoy life more.
You can even set up an advisory panel of your past, present, and future selves. You might even want to try to have a written dialogue with your selves to record the thoughts, feelings, and advice that your younger and older selves might have for your present self regarding a current situation. Your different selves can give you some invaluable answers. After all, no one can know you better than yourselves. You are your wisest guide.
10 Things To Remember When You’re feeling stuck in life. Follow this link to KATHERINE HURST
15 Ideas That Help You To Get Unstuck
When you’re overwhelmed, confused, or lack drive; return to these fundamental ideas
I recently got stuck.
My attention was scattered, my energy was low, and I didn’t do good work.
At those times, I think of something I learned from one of my friends and mentors: When you’re overwhelmed, confused, or lack drive; return to the basics of life. Ask yourself: What makes a good life? What you’ll find is that you already know the answer. The problem is that you ignore it because the truth is uncomfortable.
So after I got stuck last time, I thought of the hard things about life I was ignoring. Once I returned to these lessons, everything improved again. Here’s the list I made for myself. Remember, these lessons are uncomfortable, but deep down, we all know how important they are.
- Humans are selfish— Look, no one likes to admit this. But we all think about ourselves. That’s not bad. It’s how we become stronger. And when we’re strong, we can help others.
- We suck at a lot of things — Don’t try to chase every single opportunity that comes on your path. The truth is that we’re not as good as we assume. That’s better news than you think. That means you have a reason to only focus on the things you’re truly good at. Isn’t that liberating?
- Most people won’t get you — And that’s okay. You don’t have to be liked by everyone. Be comfortable with who you are. You don’t need acceptance by anyone but yourself.
- You only get stronger by doing hard things — If your life is simple, you will become weak. Always do things that require serious effort. The effort alone will make you better. No matter what the outcome is. Even if you fail, you win because it makes you stronger.
- Making a living requires making difficult choices — We all have to put money on the table. And we need to make difficult choices about how we spend our time. Will you read a book or go to a bar? Will you spend an extra hour at work or will you go to the movies? The choice is yours.
- Think about your future self — You’ll probably be here in 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years from now. Just keep that in mind. How will you live now?
- It’s easy to get stuck — Life is hard and we all run into obstacles. Setbacks are unavoidable. Hence, you better get used to getting punched in the face.
- It’s hard to get unstuck — When you get punched in the face, most people stay down. Giving up is easy: “I don’t want to go through that again so I’m going to stop trying.” On the other hand, getting up is difficult and no one will do it for you. You have to do it.
- We don’t appreciate what we have — We only look at what we don’t have. But instead, we should take more time to look at what we do have. Often, that’s already good enough. Want more? Go after it. But don’t forget what you already have.
- Maintaining relationships takes work — Never take people for granted. They might walk away from your life.
- Positive people give you a lot of energy — Make an effort to get close to people who are cheerful and positive. When you interact with certain people, you get a lot of energy. Seek them out.
- It’s okay to be alone — Look, you don’t have to be around people 24/7. You also don’t have to be friends with idiots. Or marry someone you’re not compatible with. Be comfortable with yourself and don’t be so restless.
- Learning is the answer to everything — Knowledge and curiosity will get you excited again. Return to it as much as you can.
- Impatience is toxic — If you’re always running, you miss what’s in front of you. Don’t live your life in the future. Have some patience. With the right effort and energy, you will fulfill all your desires.
- Personal freedom is worth the price — Being free to do what you want and to spend your time with people who you like is the highest form of success in life. You don’t need a lot in your life to achieve that goal. But freedom has a price. You need to give up everything that makes you unfree.
There’s more. In fact, there’s an infinite amount of wisdom that you and I both don’t know about. We just have to keep living and keep learning. That’s the path to a happy, free, and useful life.
- How to Begin Again After an Unexpected Ending
- 3 Ways to Break Through When You’re Burning Out and Ready for a Change
- 1 Tiny Yet Hard Step You Need to Take for Yourself
- 2 Quick Stories that Will Change the Way You Show Up in Your Relationships
- 7 Difficult Things You Should Start Doing for the People Around You
How to Get Out of a Funk
Renowned psychologist and relationship expert Harriet Lerner weighs in on chronic melancholy
You have a decent job, a long-term partner, and a few good friends. And yet, you feel bored, sad, and like you’re stuck in a hamster wheel. It’s not quite depression, but more of a persistent feeling of melancholy. How can you make it go away? I hear this all the time.
The experience of being in a “funk” can feel like you’re paralyzed in gloominess. I’ve often seen clients who report being bored or distant or in a funk for no apparent reason and as we talk, a specific issue surfaces. One woman, for example — let’s call her Claire — recently came to me saying similar things. Through our conversation, I learned that Claire had just reached the age when her own father had taken his life, and this anniversary date stirred up a wealth of thoughts and feelings that ran like a river of pain under the felt experience of “boredom and bleh” that she first presented with. If you are feeling totally bored and sad, there is probably something under that feeling that you may want to focus on, even if it’s as ordinary as re-thinking your work goals or taking a closer look at your relationship with your partner.
That said, this is often what adulthood is (if you’re lucky enough not to worry about your next meal, having clean water, or the next aerial bombardment): a sense of stability purchased for the price of a sense of “aliveness.” And yes, it will change. It will change because, well, things happen: a diagnosis, an accident, a loss, or, say, a great opportunity — something will come your way and scramble your sense of the status quo. But we shouldn’t wait until the universe pierces our routine, especially since it may do so in unfortunate ways. And we shouldn’t passively float along until we do something destructive, like fling ourselves into the arms of someone new, or decide to have a baby as a solution to melancholy (common ways of searching out “aliveness”).
This is often what adulthood is… a sense of stability purchased for the price of a sense of “aliveness.”
Here is the good news: Small changes make a big difference. I have a client who recently started taking a dance class, something she had thought about doing for years. It’s exercise, and it slightly changed her relationship with her body. It also opened up other activities — she and her wife have started going to see dance performances together, for instance. It hasn’t changed her life from one of routine to one of bliss, but it is a new thing in her day that has made her world bigger. As another example,
I have a friend who is a computer scientist who recently started tutoring kids at a local middle school, just once a week. It’s a good thing to do for the kids’ sake, but it’s also been great for him: It’s a new experience, with new kinds of conversation, and it’s a new topic to introduce when he’s talking to his friends. He feels useful in a way that he doesn’t feel at his job, and being useful is a great antidote to boredom and despair. The point of both of these anecdotes is that there are small things you can introduce into your routine that shake things up without blowing them up like an affair or an addiction would.
But here’s the thing. You can’t wait until you feel some spontaneous desire for dance or tutoring or sailing or cooking classes or sword swallowing. I’m not saying all these things are the same, but I am saying that what you do is less important than that you do something. Force yourself to try something unfamiliar, give it three months, and see what gets opened up by the new activity. And if no matter what you do you still feel totally bored and sad, then you are depressed, or at least there is something deeper going on. There is no shame in that, obviously, but if that’s the case you’ll need to move from talking about things being “generally fine” to figuring out why they are not.
Dealing with Disappointment
The gift of disappointment is to bring us into reality so we don't get stuck in the realm of how things might have been.
Whenever we do something in life with an expectation of how we'd like it to turn out, we risk experiencing disappointment. When things don't go the way we had envisioned, we may feel a range of
emotions from slightly let down to depressed or even angry. We might direct our feelings inward toward ourselves, or outward toward other people or the universe in general. Whether we feel
disappointed by ourselves, a friend, or life in general, disappointment is always a tough feeling to experience. Still, it is a natural part of life, and there are many ways of dealing with it when
we find ourselves in its presence.
As with any feeling, disappointment has come to us for a reason, and we don't need to fear acknowledging it or feeling it. The more we are able to accept how we are feeling and process it, the sooner we will move into new emotional territory. As we sit down to allow ourselves to feel our disappointment, we might want to write about the experience of being disappointed--the situation that preceded it, what we were hoping would happen, and what did happen. The gift of disappointment is its ability to bring us into alignment with reality so that we don't get stuck for too long in the realm of how things might have been.
As we consider other disappointments in our life and how we have moved past them, we may even see that in some cases what happened was actually better in the long run than what we had wanted to happen. Disappointment often leaves us feeling deflated with its message that things don't always turn out the way we want. The beauty of disappointment, though, is that it provides us a bridge to its other side where the acceptance of reality, wisdom, and the energy to begin again can be found.
11 Ideas That Will Rewire Your Brain
The term rewiring your brain has become a psychological revolution in recent times. We now know that you can literally rewire your brain by choosing the thoughts that you allow in and standing guard at the door of your mind.
Thoughts stem from the ideas that you pick up in your day to day life. All it takes is one idea to interrupt the pattern of your mind and to take a different course in your life.
I hope I can be the catalyst for you to upgrade your two-million-year-old brain software and consume a few simple ideas that will begin the rewiring process in your brain.
Below are 11 ideas that will rewire your brain:
1. You’re only a millimeter away from success
While attending a seminar, I heard a fascinating idea; according to a well-known cosmetic surgeon, the difference between you being butt ugly and a supermodel is a millimeter in a few spots of your face. That’s it!
Tiger Woods also explains that the difference between getting the ball close to the hole on the first shot, and hitting the ball in the water, is a millimeter either side of your swing.
There are times when you might think you are a million miles away from your desired goal. Remember next time that this is false, and you are only a millimeter away from success.
2. Increase your rejection rate
Asking out your dream romantic partner is nerve-racking.
What if you ruin the friendship, what if they tell everyone what you did, what if you get rejected and can’t handle it? The answer to all these questions is to increase your rejection rate.
If you want to hook up with a beautiful person both inside and out, there is going to be a long line of potential partners in front of you. That’s perfectly okay because no one worth caring about has ever laughed at someone for having a go.
Getting used to being rejected helps you to build mental muscle that will eventually get you a yes from someone that you may never have thought was in the same league as you. Poke your chest out, pop a smile on your face, and go get em, amigo!
3. Embrace the negative
There are probably over a billion things that could go wrong for you every day and produce a negative experience for you. If you don’t learn to embrace the negative, then you are going to be choosing to be unhappy a heck of a lot, and that is 100% your fault buddy.
Reframe your brain to understand that negative experiences stop you from going down a path that is not truly in line with your goals and dreams.
Negative experiences are destiny’s way of moving away the boulders that lie in front of you and helping focus your mind.
Because of evolution, our brains are supposed to notice more of the negative than anything else so that it can protect us from ancient predators who died millions of years ago. The negativity in your life doesn’t really exist because you are the one that is labeling these experiences in such away.
Use a different language when you label a thought, and you will experience something totally new.
Think to yourself, “Isn’t it great that it’s raining today. Now I get to stay inside and read a book or call my friends.”
4. Don’t follow others
It’s so easy to lack passion and follow other people instead. Stop becoming a follower and start becoming a leader.
Program your brain with the idea that you are highly valuable to others and you can absorb knowledge and take action better than anyone.
Coach others without even being asked to and always look for a way to help out. Learn to think on your own and draw your own opinions out of a situation. Rather than being fed by someone else’s opinion, take control, and make your own decisions.
5. Drop the scarcity mindset
We all think we need more of everything to get what we want and be happy. The truth is that we need less of everything, so we can give more, and be much better focused on our vision.
Stop your brain from wanting dopamine hits by not giving into wanting more all the time.
There are many more people that have a whole lot less than you, so start practicing living below your means. There are enough resources on this planet for all of us, and you have significant value to give, so you will be able to harness plenty for yourself.
Whenever you feel like you are in a scarcity mindset, rewire your brain by practicing a form of giving. Find one thing to give and do so straight away. After doing this, you will no longer have a scarcity mindset.
6. If you’ve always wanted to do it, then do it
Our brain gives us 101 reasons why we can’t do things that we’ve always wanted to do. For me, I always wanted to go to the USA and never did because I thought there was always something else that had to be done first.
When I forgot about the stupid excuses and just booked the trip so there was no turning back, my brain found ways to deal with the potential time clashes and forced me to find away.
Make a commitment to take action on the experiences that you’ve been longing for and stop waiting for the right time. The right time doesn’t exist and it never will. There is never a good time to follow your dreams. Now is the best time to do anything and the decision lies with you.
What’s killing your success are the thoughts that you never let come to fruition and the goals that you keep ignoring.
7. Failure is only the beginning
All success begins with failure. You don’t read that in your college books now do ya! When something doesn’t work out, our brains are wired to find another way.
The trick is to string together as many failures as you can in the same area of your life, and if practiced enough, you’ll eventually translate them all into one giant success.
This is something we are never taught, and we all poo our pants at the thought of something not working out the way we had hoped. Treat your life like a science experiment, and start trying new things to see what formulas for success work for you and which ones don’t work at all.
8. Action is all that matters
You can read as many blogs like this as you want and you can surround yourself with rah rah rah positivity.
None of this will help your success.
What will help your success the most is taking action on the knowledge you learn from all the different references in your life.
When I say action, though, I mean immediate action, not delayed action. Delayed action is often too late, and it gives us an excuse for when we fail. Fear is what get’s in the way of taking immediate action which is why you have to learn to tango with these scary moments.
I get asked all the time whether entrepreneurs should ask for non-disclosure agreements when talking about their business ideas. I tell them the cold hard truth; an idea means nothing what so ever. The value in an idea is only revealed when action is taken.
I’m sure we all had the idea for Uber in the back of our minds somewhere. Only two intelligent folks decided to put in the effort and take action on a tough business.
Are you going to take action or let someone else experience your success instead while you sit back and continue gaining useless knowledge?
9. You can be the catalyst for change
Amazing things in the world are not created by special people who have superhuman powers. The way to rewire your brain is to understand that people just like you do extraordinary things every single day.
You’re one of those people, and all it takes is for you to put something out in the world that has the energy to provide value to your fellow humans. We’re all just as special as each other, and your ideas are just as good as the next person’s.
Have faith in yourself and become the catalyst for something.
10. Love is easier to find than you think
We all have days where we don’t feel loved. The truth is love is everywhere around us, and we don’t even need to search for it. The easiest place to find it is in a park full of puppy dogs. Puppy dogs will love you even if they have only met you for thirty seconds.
Hold the door open for someone and watch the love and appreciation be reflected back to you through their eyes. Do a nice gesture for a friend and see how they can love you unconditionally.
Love is not hard to find it’s just that you have to give it first before you can receive it yourself.
11. Tomorrow could be your last day
All those dream holidays you keep putting off could become permanent. Our brains are wired to think that we are going to live forever, but we are not!
We need to wire our brains to understand that nothing is guaranteed and that we have to be happy with right now.
It’s too easy to keep procrastinating and never take action. Once you can truly become okay with the fact that you’re not here forever, you’ll find a new sense of urgency start to emerge in your life. You will no longer waste time with people you don’t like.
You will follow your passion every day and stop taking marching orders from everyone else. Take control of your life once and for all and stop living like you are going to live for two hundred and fifty years — you’re not going to!