Lynn and Doug Nodland

Doug and Lynn Nodland

We wondered, do you ever feel stuck? Everyone does at some time. Lately we have felt stuck about spring cleaning. Is that something that bothers you, too? Or maybe it is some other area where you feel you just can’t get going on it. It’s easy to stay in a rut because it seems more comfortable than moving forward — but often it gets old and you eventually have to find a way out and take action.

We got to thinking about what research says are the biggest reasons people get stuck and how to get motivated to take action and get out of the rut. We’ll be looking at how these reasons keep us stuck and how to get going and we invite you to see if any of these seem familiar to you.

1. Not knowing where to start is something that can keep people so stuck that they never even take action at all. If it is something that you really want to do, you can always find ways to get the information you need to move forward. There are books, classes, mentors and the Internet. Dawson Trotman said, “The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started.” Our mothers always had the saying that “Starting is half done.” So start, and learn on the way.

2. Self-doubt is a big reason people get stuck. Often people feel overwhelmed and that they can’t accomplish what they want to do. That leads to them questioning why they should even start. The next logical conclusion, if they feel they will fail, is to not waste any time trying — so they don’t even start.

Of course, what to do in this situation is to break the task into small steps and just start. Suzy Kassem said, “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” So don’t let doubt keep you from reaching for your dreams.

3. The next reason people get stuck is that they procrastinate. This often comes as a result of wanting to do things perfectly. Tasks seem to grow if they are on our “to do” list and we keep putting them off.

Many times a task is not nearly as difficult as we think, if we just tackle it. Abraham Lincoln said, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” It will still be there so may as well just tackle it and feel relief that you did it.

4. Distraction can cause people to get stuck. This is probably our greatest impediment to keeping us stuck and not finishing a project, whatever it is. As you might already know, we have a love of learning, so we can get involved in reading or studying on the Internet.

It’s easy for us to get pulled away from our original goal if some interesting learning program pops up. What we need to do is to withhold the enjoyable learning until we have reached our goal. That’s a way of creating an incentive and rewarding ourselves for completing the original goal. It has been said to “be about actions and not distractions.”

5. People have fear of failure and fear of success. Fear of failure is understandable because no one wants to fail. Fear of success is harder to comprehend but here is why people fear success.

Often with success, there comes more responsibility, a deeper sense of the importance of what has been achieved and also the fear of not being able to maintain the level of success as the demands rise. That’s where it’s easy to circle back to the feelings of doubt.

What it takes to be successful and maintain, is learning to recognize and accept your strengths and not be afraid to ask for help or information when it’s needed. Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

How about you? What’s kept you stuck?

Here are more ideas: Take a look at the reasons that most people find for being stuck. Are any of them familiar to you? Decide that you will break through the reasons that hold you back so you get unstuck and reach your goals. Now we realize it’s time for us to get off the Internet, quit taking another class and do some spring cleaning.

We hope these ideas have been helpful and that you will let us know ways you have used to get unstuck and out of a rut.

Chanhassen residents, Doug and Lynn Nodland are success coaches and owners of The Balance Center. Doug and Lynn can be contacted at More information and videos at

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.


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