• Priya Venkatesan

How to get unstuck?


As a kid I was fascinated by stories two kinds of stories

  1. Stories where kings/rulers disguise themselves to really understand what is happening in their state.

  2. Stories where somebody can transmigrate their soul into another body and come back.

Childhood fantasies! oh ya! I used to read books with wide eyes on how this experience would be. A lot of questions used to pop up in my head.


What does the king find outside that he can't find from his palace?

Why does a king who has it all, spoil his sleep to do this?

Why would someone want to leave their body on they own volition? What if they can’t come back?

Why do these two endeavours?


I didn’t have many of answers then. Now I may have a hint :-)


When someone can’t make a decision or does not know what to do - they feel “stuck”.

This feeling comes from having the same sensory input and same processing in the mind leading to the same results.


Hence to become "unstuck" two things have to change - sensory input & processing.


One way to change the sensory input is to change the context - place, people time, date etc.

Well change in sensory input is easy - that’s why most people go on vacation :-)



One way to change processing is to shift positions. What does this mean?



Once an artist who paints lovely natural settings showed me how she marked the place where she was standing with a circle. Every time she takes a break - she takes care to stand within the same circle and places her head the same way for her eyes to see the same thing :-) As a corollary, it would mean that if you shift the circle, you shift what you see and hence can make a different painting.






How does one do this when stuck? Below is a wonderful tool called perceptual positions from NLP that you could use:

  1. Let’s say your name is X. Sit in a comfortable position & write what’s your perspective / solution.

  2. Now shift your physical position (change the chair/seater). Imagine you are Person Y (anyone different from you / if you have an issue with someone, it can be that person). Person Y is looking at situation that Person X is in and reports his/her perspective. Write it down.

  3. Now shift your physical position to a new place again. If a wise person (Person Z) was to view your situation - what would they have to say? Write it down.


So you have 3 perspectives. Form your reality with all of them and see what did you miss? What is a great addition? With this reframe how does your thought process change?


Now going back to the story that we started with - kings used to go in disguise to get the second/third person perspective. People use to transmigrate to get the same experience too. In either cases, sensory input changes as their physical location changes. Moreover processing changes because they have shifted positions!


Next time you feel stuck - you don’t have to roam around in disguise / transmigrate - just shift positions!!


#executivecoaching #leadershipcoaching #shiftpositions




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