Does any of these sound familiar?
The population I want to work with is…. [still pending]
Grad school… Do I really need to go to grad school?
Student loans? Out of pocket? A miracle?
Social work or counseling? What about family therapy? Psychology?
Masters or Ph.D.? … or should I just drop out????!!
Online or in-person school?
Just got rejected from ANOTHER program. FML!
I am in a program that is not accredited what do I do now?
Gap year…? Summer classes?
Where to do my internship? Help!
Should I find a job in the field?
Why can’t I just find a job in the field already???
Do I want to be stuck in [Add your State here] until I finish my career?
My theoretical approach is… [still pending]
Private practice? or Facility?
Do I even want to be a therapist?
I could certainly add to that list… I have been stuck at most (if not all) stages of my career, and if I tried to avoid being stuck I would only get MORE stuck (e.g. if you avoid thinking about grad school applications and then you miss the application deadline…).
“What should you do when you feel stuck!?”
First step: ACCEPT IT!
Yes! You are stuck… and it’s unfortunate. You don’t want anyone to know…but they kind of notice it anyway… you obviously know (deep inside), but at the same time you don’t “tell yourself”. Let’s face it! THE ENTIRE WORLD KNOWS! And there is nothing wrong with it really (just the fact that you do not want to accept it).
Stuck-phases are pivotal. Because they actually mark a line between success and failure. Being stuck means that you need to LEARN or EXPERIENCE something for your self-growth.
You might not know what population you want to work with because you need to first figure out: what you like, what your tolerance level is, what your skills are, in what area you perform best. You don’t know what school you want to go to because maybe you have not done enough research or you are afraid to face something. And guess what? Your overall success in your career will be measured by how fast you get unstuck, and how many times you accomplish getting unstuck.
Think about your career as a rocky road (Yup, you can also have some ice cream on the way); not a waterslide. You CANNOT take negative events personally. Rocks are meant to be in your road, and you must be OK with that. Simply, acknowledge whether you are dealing with a pebble or a stone wall, and remember that this is a secure path; others have taken it as well. Once you accept and allow yourself to FEEL the feeling of stuckness, you can let go of the resistance that is holding you back. Know that you are still hanging in there because there is more in you to offer. So let’s take this growth opportunity by the hand. Vamos!
5 STEPS TO GETTING UNSTUCK:
#1 Accept you are facing some obstacles in your career.
#2 I want you to close your eyes, and repeat in your head “I AM STUCK” a few times.
#3 Proceed to ask yourself the following questions:
- What comes to mind when you say you are “Stuck”?
- Any feelings attached to it? Scared? Frustrated? Helpless?
- What parts of your body get triggered when you allow these feelings to be?
- Where are you (figuratively)?
- For how long have you been stuck here?
- What is the situation you should pay the most attention to?
- What could (ideally) solve this situation in a heartbeat?
- Is there someone you can reach out to?
- Who can be painfully honest with you about this?.
#4 After this short self-assessment, you are going to make a commitment to yourself of letting go of the power struggle, denial, and resistance. The more you practice Acceptance, Self-questioning, and Letting go: The easier/faster you would get to a level of self-control & proactivity. Note: Be vulnerable with yourself; trust me, it will benefit you in the end
#5 Once you are liberated from the “stuck feeling,” it’s time to take ACTION. Grab some coffee, and let’s get started:
- Reach out to someone you trust and feel comfortable with. Let it out, tell them about your situation and concerns. Get some feedback.
- Reach out to someone you feel comfortable with AND that you know can help you solve the situation. Someone that is already in the field, a classmate, professor.
- Reach out to someone you DO NOT KNOW. No excuses to feel uncomfortable doing this when we have the internet and so many social network options (IG, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, email, blogs)
- Get a planner, and give yourself a due date. YOU ARE GETTING UNSTUCK IN ___ DAYS.
- Make a plan of action, people to call, emails to send, things to read, pros/cons list, and find your answer.
Now, enjoy your freedom!