3 Step Formula to Get Unstuck
Life is filled with the challenges that have the power to derail us – a divorce, loss of a job, weight gain, health issues, or generalized unhappiness about something.
We can easily become stuck in the quicksand of events that affect us at a core level or by the simple elements of our daily trials and tribulations. Often, we become overwhelmed and unable to progress; we feel so stuck, we do nothing.
A simple strategy to dislodge this “stuckness” if to follow the easy 3-step formula of WAM!
WAM represents progressive stages of dealing with adversity. Each of the steps of WAM is an important component of being able to become unstuck and “get over” the challenges life presents.
Each of the stages has to be given its due and allowed to take center stage for a period of time. This period of time is fluid with no set standard. However the key element is that there needs to be the nudge towards the next stage.
Step One: Whine
When we are presented with challenges, whether they are minor annoyances or major events, it is critical to allow time to “sit with” what may be difficult emotions.
Time must be devoted to connecting with the internal barometer of life – our emotions. Too often we get side tracked by trying to immediately find a solution to the challenges that we overlook the importance of first connecting with the internal turmoil.
Think about the last time you let yourself ignore an issue; a boss was mean to you at work, or you ended a relationship that didn’t seem to be going in a positive direction. At first, you claim to be ok with things. However, you might find yourself acting out in other ways, such as snapping at your loved ones, or over-eating.
It is a critical step to honor our emotions. So, go ahead, complain, rant, fume, yell, cry; connect with any negativity that is there. Allow the time to acknowledge these feelings so that once they are expressed they can dissipate and go down the drain with a big flush.
Step Two: Accept
You have heard the cliché “It is what it is.” As trite as that has become, there is a strong reality in it. One of the hardest truths of life is that we have very little control. This fact is the basis of much anxiety. As much as we wish for things to be different there is much in life that we cannot change. Recognizing what we have the power to change and what we don’t is one of the keys to serenity. The paradox of acceptance is that by its nature we gain control because we don’t allow the situation to dictate our reactions. Acceptance allows us the power to get beyond the situation and enter the third stage of WAM.
Step 3: Move On
Popular culture is tending with the lyrics to the movie “Frozen.” In the song “Let It Go” the heroine, Elsa, is able to move forward in her life and free herself from stress and fears. This can become a mantra for us in step three.
By having allowed the WAM process to work by first “whining” and then “accepting” we are now ready to “let it go” and move on. Moving on entails the process of looking forward and bracing ourselves to meet life on its own terms.
By moving on we are prepared to meet the next challenge and declare victory over “stuckness” and immobility. The decision to move on unburdens us of the strings holding us back and provides the future orientation we need to take charge of our lives.
Sometimes it feels that things in life aren’t quite that simple and the three step formula to get unstuck may sound easier said than done.
But sometimes things are just that simple – and you’re making them a bigger deal than they need to be. The WAM formula actually applies to both major life disruptions and to our daily inconveniences.
The difference is the function of time. The process may move slower through the stages when we are facing a major life challenge (divorce, loss of a loved one, or job change) but try taking yourself through the steps for minor daily issues as well, such as a customer service issue, or rude co-worker.
No matter what our obstacles may be our call to action is to Whine, Accept, Move On. Tell me how this has worked for you in the comments below.
Dr. Ines K. Roe has been helping women in transition rediscover themselves for over 20 years. If you’ve been feeling unfulfilled, are frustrated with your sense of accomplishment in midlife, or simply need guidance on your path to holistic well being, join her ecourses.
I love this. The whine is super-important, although I have to admit that I get tired of the whine when I see it too often on social media. At some point the audience tires of it and is waiting for you to A and M. We can only do this in our own time, of course, but the public whine can go on way too long. At that point I think the audience begins to see it as unhealthy. Because it is. Whining privately to friends who have more endurance is probably wiser, at least after the first public whines. 😉
This is great. Whine is a huge part of the process for me and I’m glad to be validated here!
All good schemes. My top strategy is to always take a walk. Somehow being outside always helps me get out of my brain and start on the path to possibility.
I hate whining, but I will if it frees me. I remember Katharine Hepburn always saying that she had extraordinary parents who provided her and her sibs with one very important quality: Freedom from fear. That allows you to be your authentic self and live a joyful life. If I could do that, and I am trying, I’d be flying like the wind!
This was a very powerful and wonderful post.
I’m not a big whiner, but it does feel good to vent all those frustrations and then move on.
I think I’ve been doing it wrong all along! I do WAMA. The last A being to act to change whatever I didn’t like enough to be bothered by it.
Great reminders Ines. Often my stoppers are physical though – not enough sleep, discomfort that I am using all my powers to think around, general dis-ease (not sickness but just lack of comfort with where I am) – and require a different set of tactics :)!!
I love your perspective and your gentle approach to helping others change theirs!
LOL, I hate whining too! But I think I did my ‘WAM’ just now on FB !!
Great article, good to share, easy to remember, and oh so healthy!
There is no time for being stuck and/or negativity in life. I love my husband’s favorite saying “Get Over It” and have loved moving on in my life quickly! Fun post and I enjoyed your thoughts on this method.
Great advice. I have a friend who whines to another I was feeling sad because you left me out or feeling yucky cause I think you judge me. I don’t think this is the type of whine you are referring to. Would love to send her this blog but it will just get her stuck.
Fantastic post!! Enjoyed reading your 3 step formula for getting unstuck 🙂 Stop whining and keep moving ahead! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Shared as well
Great tips and advice on allowing our emotions to flow so that we can connect to our higher selves and begin the healing process. We need to validate our feelings and then embrace what lies ahead as a new positive journey in our lives.
I wouldn’t call myself a whiner, but I do air my frustrations and then I’m done with it and move on to the next thing
Great article about self-worth and moving forward. I know it can be difficult, but it’s worth it to forgive yourself.
Great post! At first I read “whine” as being “wine,” which may work as well! 😉 It is rare that I whine but when I do, it helps! All your steps are helpful!
These three steps offer everything any of us needs to experience, accept and then release things that keep us stuck. It is very important to feel what we are feeling then step back and objectively accept it to move forward. Enjoyed this post Ines and there is value here for us all if we take the time to apply it.
I like your WAM system. It seems like a great way to get through difficult times whatever they may be. Another thing I do to get through difficulties is ‘count my blessings’. I’m not sure where that fits in WAM? Maybe in the accepting stage? It works for me.
[…] of anger is neither good or bad – it just is. And it’s a crucial part of being able to move on, even if we feel stuck. What we do with the anger is what becomes important. There is a difference between anger the […]
[…] much as we hope to make a change, unless we make the effort to create different outcomes, our circumstances will be the same. An […]