The Three-Letter Word That Will Change Your Life

getting unstuck

Ever feel stuck?

Even in a small way, like about dinner.

I often get stuck thinking, “I hate having to decide what to cook for dinner every night.”

And kids get stuck too, on things like, “Oh, not peas again. I hate peas.”

Or, “Do we HAVE to go grocery shopping? Grocery shopping sucks!”

There’s a lot about life that can be tedious and boring and cause us and our kids to get stuck.

Once we get something into our heads, it’s like it gets etched there.

Particularly if it’s behaviour related.

We fall into a rut and before we know it we feel like we’re stuck in our own personal Ground Hog day.

Sentenced to live the same routine over and over and over until we get it right.

In Ground Hog Day Bill Murray lives the same day over and over. And it gets pretty boring so he starts playing around with it.

He tries different behaviour to see if he gets a different result.

He’s so bored with living the same day over and over that he wants to break the cycle.

And that’s the key.


Recognising You're Stuck

You see, we experience the same sort of situations over and over again, but on different days.

We argue over what food our kids should be eating, or when they should do their homework, or who’s turn it is to do the dishes.

The script changes a little each time, so it’s not exactly the same. But we are having the same arguments over and over.

We’re stuck.

But we’re also living busy lives. We have so many different things to think about that we don’t play around with the scripts in our arguments.

Even if we know we’re stuck, we don’t know what to do about it.

Finding A Solution

Sometimes we go searching for part of the problem. Maybe we’ll research “How to get kids to eat vegetables” or “How to get kids to do homework”.

But the solutions don’t fix the bigger problem. We’re still stuck.

And worse, the longer the problems persist, the more likely they are to become ingrained.

And then it’s even harder to change them because both parties have become entrenched in their behaviour.

At this point, it’s good to give up. To walk away from the issue and let everyone calm down.

Just stop trying to get vegetables consumed, or homework finished for a few days.

It doesn’t fix the problem, but it lets the heat go out of it. It gives everyone involved a bit of a break.

And then you can find a solution.

Getting Unstuck

Getting unstuck can be surprisingly easy. In fact, it can be as simple as one three-letter word.unstuck can be surprisingly easy. I

This word can change your mindset. It can take you from stuck to unstuck in a moment.

It will help you find solutions faster than a speeding bullet, and enable you to leap tall problems in a single bound. ;-)

So what’s the word? The word is: How.

When we go from thinking, “I can’t …” to “How can I …?” we move into curiosity.

We stop seeing the problem – whatever it is – as insurmountable and start to see it as a puzzle that can be solved.

It becomes like a jigsaw puzzle. Something that can be done if you work through it and try different options.

Using The Word

Here are a few ways you can use it.

Changing Your Children's Lives

You know the best thing about this? You can use it to change your children’s lives too.

The next time they say they can’t do something, you can ask, “If someone could do this, how would they do it?”

Or if they say they hate going somewhere you can ask, “How can we make it more enjoyable for you?”

Not only does this help in the short term, it teaches them a life skill.

It teaches them they have the power to control their lives. To change the way they see the world.

It’s incredibly empowering. For both of you.

It's like your very own super power. You really will be able to leap problems in a single bound.

And that will change your life, and the lives of your children.

Don't forget ...

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Cate is on a mission to help parents stop yelling and create families that listen to each other. She does this while imperfectly parenting two boisterous girls of her own, and learning from her mistakes. She has contributed to Tiny Buddha, Think Simple Now, A Fine Parent and many other awesome sites.