Take a step back

When you get stuck, your instinct tells you to find a way out.

And so you delve deeper into what you were doing and got you stuck in the first place, you wrestle with what you don’t get, tirelessly digging a path in the hope that the answer is at the end of it. You spend time, energy and focus looking at the problem, and the more you do it, the less it seems feasible. Not once I have managed to get untangled this way.

Instead, you could take a break. You could go for a walk, call a friend, have a cup of coffee. And then, when you go back, you could look at the problem’s contours, trying to refine them, make them more comfortable for you, even finish something around the problem you said you would have finished later. You are making it more presentable and ready to be tackled.

At this point, one of two things happen.

Perhaps you get your answer. It might come unexpected, as your mind was not really looking for it.

Or you realize that the problem was not really THE problem. That you had fears, expectations, doubts, concerns. All preventing you to look at things for what they really were. A mere block. And then you can continue with your work.

Until you get stuck again.

Repeat.

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