How to get unstuck when you're in a rut.

My friend's face was red and splotchy. Crumpled tissues lay in her lap.

I gently asked her, "So what do you need to do to forgive yourself?"

She looked up at me with sadness.

"I can't."

I recently completed a transformational coaching certification program with Blue Mesa Group. This program was a great combination of on-site sessions, individual reading, practice coaching, mentoring, and feedback. 

One of the tools from my class was a series of questions to help work through emotions (fear, anger, sadness, and guilt). I wanted to get a little more practice on these to internalize the questions for myself, so I asked a friend to help me go through them.

We jumped right in on a topic that was important for her and her family that she felt guilty about. The discussion was deep and meaningful. 

And at the end, I wasn't able to help her move past it.

Reflecting, I realized what I had missed. In our coaching practice, one of the first steps is to understand the current situation and then have the client describe where they would like to be in the future. My role as a coach is to help make this gap between current reality and the desired future crystal clear.

In my exercise with my friend, I hadn't fully established where she wanted to go. I didn't have her picture of the future to reference back to, in order to help her have the momentum to get out of the rut.

Are you stuck in a rut? Are you noticing that you want to move on but can't?

Take some time to think about where you want to be. Visualize yourself standing there, already savoring your achievement. As I was recently reminded, if you can't see yourself in a new place, you won't be able to get there. 

In case you're wondering, I followed up with my friend a couple of days later. She told me that talking with me about her situation had opened up some new thinking for her. Now that she is able to see the rut she is in, she can decide to move forward.

Diana is the chief operations officer and project manager for Trebuchet Group.

Diana is the chief operations officer and project manager for Trebuchet Group.

P.S. If you are interested in developing coaching skills and obtaining ICF certification, Blue Mesa Group is holding another class staring in November.

Photo courtesy of Grace Cooley