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ep.31: How To Get Unstuck

Many adults grapple with a sense of stuckness, especially those experiencing ADHD or similar symptoms, but it's not your fault—it's your brain's misguided attempt to protect you.

In this episode, we will uncover the roots of this common struggle and offer you a comprehensive toolkit, complete with a special workbook, to chart your course to freedom.

Get the Adult ADHD Symptom Questionnaire here

Click here to learn more about enrolling in The ADHD Academy!

What you'll learn:

  • Questions to ask yourself to understand what's holding you back

  • Identifying "indulgent emotions" that keep you from moving forward

  • The concept of emotional habits and how they can keep you stuck

  • A toolkit and workbook to help guide you towards personal freedom

"Who would you be if you didn't believe the thinking that was holding you back? It is your thoughts that are holding you back."

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Click here to read the transcript:

Welcome to Learn to Thrive with ADHD. This is the podcast for adults with ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms. I'm your host, Coach Mande John. I'm here to make your life with ADHD easier. Let's get started.

All right. Welcome back! Today, we are talking about how to get unstuck. So, the agenda, we're going to talk about what keeps you stuck. You're going to be surprised at some of the things that keep you stuck. Why it's not your fault. There are some things that your brain is doing to protect you and for your own good.

It just doesn't feel so good. What you can do about it, you do have power in this situation. There are things that you can do to get unstuck. How you can get the workbook. I'm going to have you ask yourself some very serious questions and take a very serious download of what's really going on in your life that's keeping you stuck.

And I'm going to give you a workbook so that you can do all of that right there. So. When I'm asking you the questions in the video, don't worry, you can always get the workbook. Just see the show notes or the description for YouTube. And then I'm going to tell you how I can help you.

So, stay to the end. So, who is this for? This is for you if you are feeling stuck in your personal life, your professional life, your day to day, or just knowing what you want. I know I work with a lot of people that have just felt stuck for so long. They don't even know what they want anymore. So, we are going to answer those questions.

So, feeling stuck, it's normal to feel stuck in areas of our life from time to time, but we need growth as humans, and if we don't have it, we feel stuck. So, this is a signal, just like a pain signal is a signal that something's wrong in our body. Feeling stuck is a signal that something's wrong in our life and more often in our minds.

You need to take action in order to make the pain stop. So, what does this look like? It might look like life is like Groundhog Day, where it just feels like the same thing is happening day after day. It might look like trying for the same goals, but not reaching them. You might have tasks or projects that you can't move forward on.

You might be having the same negative emotions that overwhelm you. You might not be able to start good habits or stop the bad ones. You also need to take into consideration anxiety and depression. Now, as a person that has experienced both of those, a good portion of my life, when I was younger, I read this book called Feeling Good, which I don't believe is in print anymore.

It's by Dr. Burns, and the new one is called Feeling Great, but I read Feeling Good cover to cover in my 20s, and I never got that go to bed depressed ever again. So that was solved. And not that I didn't have low levels of depression, we all experienced that. But anxiety was something that until coaching, I did not know how to control at all.

So, you might need to get help with your anxiety and your depression, but the work that you can do here is going to help you tremendously. So, let's talk about indulgent emotions. These are emotions that we find ourselves in often that keep us stuck in life. There's a difference between experiencing these emotions and indulging in them.

So, what are they? Overwhelm is an indulgent emotion that is, I, I want to say my favorite, it's not my favorite. It is where my brain likes to go is into overwhelm. Confusion, sometimes confusion and overwhelm go together for me, but confusion is another one. Worry, victimhood, blame, self-pity, self-doubt, comfort is even an indulgent emotion.

So, why do we do this? And you might be telling me right now, look, I don't want to be stuck in all these emotions. And when I'm calling it an indulgent emotion, what I'm saying is, you actually have good reason for being in that emotion most of the time. And the reason I had good reason to be overwhelmed, and I still tend to get there, is I'm protecting myself.

My brain is protecting me from taking on more. My brain is signaling to me, it's already too much. And that protects me from taking on anything else. When we indulge in self-doubt, we don't have to take the plunge in that thing that we're afraid that we can't do. When we indulge in comfort, for example, we don't have to go and be uncomfortable.

Does that make sense? And when we indulge in worry, we are protecting ourselves from what might happen. So of course, we don't want to stay in these emotions, but one of the biggest reasons we do is that we fear something far worse will happen if we don't. So, let's talk about emotional habits. We can actually get in the habit of having an emotion like sadness or anxiety or, you know, any of those indulgent emotions that I mentioned earlier.

And what happens is we just have practiced having that emotion so many times that now it just becomes a habit. And why do we have habits? It's something that we've done over and over. Until it becomes what? Habitual, and it becomes habitual because there's a reward at the end. So, I will tell you a personal experience where I noticed that I was doing this.

So, my husband would walk in from work, and he'd say, how was your day? And I would always get really kind of down and sad, and I would be like, it's, it was okay. And I could have been up and happy moments before, but I noticed every time he would come in, I would do this. And it got to the point where this would happen like year after year, and he would just come in assuming that I was having a bad day.

And what I think I was seeking there, the reward that I was looking for was comfort, right? I was looking for his comfort. I was looking for maybe some emotional support, and I would kind of just fall into the habit of feeling bad or feeling sad or feeling overwhelmed in order to get that reward. So just be careful about falling into emotional habits.

That is something that can happen as well. So how can you make a change? One of the easiest ways I can tell you to make a change and what I did with this particular experience that I was telling you about is I noticed it was happening. I would notice, okay, I'm feeling good and then he walks in the door and automatically I'm feeling low.

And so, I just noticed that and I kind of got curious about it and what's going on. And then you can name what's happening, like what, what emotion are you feeling? In this instance, usually we use this with thoughts, notice, name, norm, normalize next best thought. But I'm kind of teaching you a different way to use it here by noticing your emotions.

So, notice the emotion, name the emotion. Why is it normal that I would do that? Why is it normal that you would feel that way, right? Why is it normal that I did that when my husband walked in the door? I just wanted some comfort. He's a very comforting person. It's only normal that as a stay-at-home mom with three kiddos, and a homeschool mom, and all the other things I was doing at the time, I would want some comfort.

And that was just, really just not the best way of seeking it. And next best thought, and in this case, what I would say is next best emotion. And so, what I do now is I will still do this. When he walked in the door today, I felt kind of like lower in emotion and I caught it. I noticed it and I was like, nope.

And just told myself, I'm just not going to go there. And like, how else do I want to feel? And it's like, well, I want to feel the way I felt a moment ago, which is just fine. And so just what's the next best emotion in this case? So, this is called the four N's, and like I said, it's usually used with thoughts, but I'm showing you how to use it with emotions here.

So, awareness. I want you to take an honest assessment of your life where you're feeling stuck. I want you to tell yourself the truth. Do not abuse yourself but be very honest. Okay, so, those questions. These are questions I want you to take very seriously. I want you to answer them honestly. I want you to give them some deep thought.

Okay. So right now, we're going to run through them and then at the end, you're going to grab the workbook so that you can do this work. Okay. What could I start doing that? I know would help me move forward. Who do I admire that? I can emulate in some way. Now, I've always am following thought leaders, and I can't tell you who said it exactly, but I remember 1 person saying you have to have a mentor.

And they said, it doesn't even have to be somebody that knows you, it doesn't even have to be somebody that, you know, you can read biographies and those people can be your mentors. I have lots of mentors that have never met me. And so, what I want you to do is find somebody that you can emulate in some way that you admire.

What could I give up that I know would significantly improve my life? And here we have, if you're watching this on YouTube, we have a picture of a man with a cigarette and alcohol, but it could be anything. It could be scrolling on your phone. It could be sleeping in. It could be staying up late. It could be relationships that you need to let go of.

What could I give up that I know would significantly improve my life? What am I allowing to steal my time and or attention? And if you're watching this on YouTube again, there is, it's kind of a Netflix influenced picture here, but what is it that's taking your attention or your time that that could be used elsewhere for something more useful that would allow you to get unstuck?

What am I afraid will happen if I take the steps towards the life, I know I want? If I could do anything without any obstacles, what would that be? And this is a question of money is no object. Capabilities are no object. Anything without any obstacles, what would that be? What is one small thing I can do to make today better than yesterday?

This is one of my favorite questions to ask myself if I'm feeling overwhelmed or if I'm feeling a little bit stuck in some way. What is one small thing I can do to make today better than yesterday? And this is something you can do at the end of the day. You can do this anytime. Who would I be if I didn't believe the thinking that was holding me back?

I'm going to say that one again. Who would I be if I didn't believe the thinking that was holding me back? It is your thoughts that are holding you back. In what ways am I capable of far more than I give myself credit? You have lots of capabilities that you are probably not giving yourself credit for. I want you to think about this one.

In what ways am I capable of far more than I give myself credit? Who can I ask for help? We tend to not ask for help, especially women. I can't speak for men, but I know especially women, a lot of times there's loneliness going on. You know, sometimes we're raising families or working full time jobs and trying to raise a family and we don't ask for help.

Or when people offer help, we don't take it. So, who can we ask for help? All right, so I'm going to tell you how to get the workbook that has the assessment that you're going to do on yourself and then all the questions in there so that you can work through them on your own time. You're going to go to my website,

And then at the top, it's going to say free resources. You click on that. And you will find the how to get unstuck workbook there. You'll also find a lot of other things. Feel free to take whatever, whatever works for you there. Okay. How can I help? So, you can work with me privately with one-on-one coaching.

You can join the ADHD Academy where we have group coaching courses, resources, and a community. There's also an accountability group. When you work with me, one-on-one, you get both the private coaching and the membership together. So, if that's something you're interested in, I would love to work with you and I want to say thank you.

Thank you so much for watching this. And I will see you guys next week.

Thank you for your time and especially your attention today. If you haven't looked into the ADHD Academy, you'll want to do that. This is my membership with bingeable courses, weekly live coaching, new courses every month, a community of like-minded people, and more. Be sure to head over to to get the details. See you next week.



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