• Joy Carelli

Coming Unstuck

Updated: Apr 9

When we feel stuck, we are usually avoiding something important. Standing still, indecisive, because the path ahead isn’t clear. Allowing fears and doubts to take charge instead of summoning the courage to follow our truest path.

When I feel stuck, I know it’s because I’m avoiding something important.

I am standing still, indecisive, because the path ahead isn’t clear. So, I allow my fears and doubts to take charge. I'm currently writing a book, and part of me believes I can’t move forward with it until I can see the full picture. I think: Where is this going to end up anyway? You’ve already got five half written manuscripts on your computer. Why will this one be any different? How can you be sure you’re going in the ‘right’ direction?

What my soul knows is this.

I will always be able to see the next one step, no matter how small. It is okay if the path beyond is foggy. It’s normal. For now, my job is to listen to the quiet voice of possibility calling me to write. I don’t know where it will end up. But that’s okay because the result doesn’t matter. Showing up every day and acting on the call of my soul is what matters. Being consistent and persistent.

All I need to do is take the one step I am clear on and put my full self into it.

Which is writing my book, allowing words to flow. Following what sparks my curiousity.

I know if I allow fearful thoughts and uncertainty to stop me in my tracks, I’ll end up feeling like a hollowed-out tree. As if I am spinning my wheels in the mud. Like water, I need to keep flowing, otherwise I will stagnate. My fears will never disappear completely, especially if I keep pushing them away. My job is to take courageous action in the face of my fears and as I do, see that they are unfounded. As I take each step on this journey, I learn what I need so I can take the next step.

It reminds me of the time I leapt and bought that one-way plane ticket to Thailand.

For decades I’d dreamed of travelling the world, but my mind had always met this dream with fear: It’s too late, you’re too old, you can’t do it alone, how can you do it, where would you start, what will people think, you have a great career you shouldn’t leave. It seemed my fears were never going to quieten.

Ignoring my souls call left me feeling stuck, as if I was a puppet to my fears.

There came a point where I knew I had to move forward, so I plucked up the courage to buy the ticket. As I processed the payment, my heart felt like it was going to burst through my chest. My entire body was pulsing to its rhythm. What was I doing? Was I crazy? I couldn’t do this.

But once I made the commitment, everything began to unfold with relative ease.

One Monday morning I sat down with my boss and bravely shared my idea. With a sparkle in her eye, she kindly agreed to hold my job for a year. I sold my car, my house. I bought a backpack and filled it with fourteen kilos of essentials. Then came the day to depart. I’ll never forget the feeling of walking through those airport gates. Turning back to wave goodbye to my loved ones, to all I knew, then breaking their gaze I turned forward, with no idea what lay ahead or when I’d return. It was utterly frightening, but at the same time exhilarating. The journey unfolded one moment at a time. When I returned I’d explored 24 countries, 131 cities and spoke 13 languages. I came back with a deeper connection to my heart, my soul, my truth.

It taught me that great things happen by taking a whole lot of tiny little steps in the direction of our dreams, not by figuring out all the steps first and trying to take one giant leap.

It isn’t possible to see the full picture before you start. And if we could, where would the fun be? The sense of adventure? Of wonder? We would miss too much if we held our plan too tightly.

The process is the path, not the outcome.

As I take courageous action in the direction of my curiousity, despite my doubts, my fears ease and my heart expands. It becomes clear that it is action that quietens out unfounded fears. Like the world adventure I went on, I can already feel how writing my book brings me alive, brings me closer to my heart and soul and allows me to live my most authentic life. For me, that is the path I wish to walk.

Deep Dive:

* Are there any areas of your life where you feel stuck?

* Can you get quiet and identify what is behind this feeling?

* What is it you are being called towards that you are pushing away?


* You will always be able to see the next one step, no matter how small.

* Your job is to take courageous action despite your fears. Action quietens unfounded fears.

* Great things happen by taking consistent small steps, not one giant leap.