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Stuck in the Mud

Stuck in the MudHave you ever found yourself stuck? Perhaps the roaring start that once powered your progress slowly crept to a snail’s pace and finally ground to a halt. Or maybe you’ve never gotten that project off the ground at all. Whatever the case, stuck moments are typically nonproductive, aggravating, and sometimes even a bit embarrassing.

My high school band once marched during a major downpour on a tattered field of mud. I was fine as long as we kept moving, but after stopping in place to play a few notes, I found my shoes to be firmly fixed within the mud and muck. When I resumed marching, my shoes stayed behind stubbornly fixed within their newfound plaster. I uncomfortably finished the rest of the show in my socks and then sheepishly retrieved my shoes.

When you find yourself or someone in your organization has reached a “stuck moment’, what do you do? Here are a few keys that I’ve found to help me get unstuck:

    1. A desire to move. Motivation is key. If someone in your organization is having a “stuck moment”, it is important to know and tap into that which motivates him. Rekindle the desire to make progress.


    1. A dose of dissatisfaction. Long for a change in scenery. It’s easy to remain stuck in the mud, but I might also add that it soon becomes boring. Who wants to be stuck in one place when a world of possibilities awaits?!


    1. Doing what previously worked. Tap into the well of prior success and pull out the approach that had you moving before. If it worked once, it just might do it again.


    1. A little help. Don’t be afraid of reaching out to others for help. Ask a friend for insight. Request support from someone else who has shared a similar stuck moment.


  1. Once unstuck, keep moving. Momentum is your friend. Don’t give those shoes a chance to get stuck in the mud. Even a snail’s pace is better than a dead stop. Remember, the story of the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise won the race simply because he kept going!