Have you ever felt stuck? Who hasn’t! I see it with everyone I coach. That’s usually what brought them to me in the first place. They’re sailing through life when suddenly, inexplicably, they get stopped in their tracks, as if they collided with an invisible barrier. They’re never quite sure exactly what happened, or if it would ever end.

These stuck points vary in intensity and duration. Sometimes they only last a few days. Other times you’re down for the count, convinced your life has come to a screeching halt, your career is finished, all chance at happiness gone forever. No matter how long they last, these can be very dark, dreaded periods.

Like everyone else, I used to hate being stuck. Not anymore. I can’t say stuck points are fun. But at least now I realize they have a purpose.

I want to share with you an epiphany I had that changed my whole relationship to the stuck point. 

I was in the gym, working out with a trainer, about to do a chest press with no added weight. I lay flat on my back, grabbed the bar, pushed it high above my body, lowered it to just above my chest, then lifted it back up, repeating the exercise twelve times. No problem. It was easy. Then my trainer added five pound weights to each end of the bar. I felt the difference immediately. By the second repetition, my arms were quivering. The third time I lowered the bar to my chest, it wouldn’t budge. I strained. I struggled. I was clearly stuck. My ego felt deflated. My trainer saw it differently.

“That’s how you build muscles,” he explained, “by getting past the stuck point.”

Sure enough, in the next couple of weeks, I eventually could do twelve consecutive reps without flinching. But my trainer didn’t let me rest in my glory. Instead, he added more weight. And sure enough, I was instantly at a new stuck point.

That’s the moment I had my epiphany. The weights became an obvious metaphor for life.

Getting past my previous Stuck Points is precisely how I have grown physically, mentally and emotionally stronger. @BarbaraStanny (Click to Tweet!)

It is how I have built my confidence muscles, experienced higher levels of achievement, and discovered new possibilities I would never have predicted.

The problem is, no one ever talks about their stuck points, nor is much written about them. At one particularly difficult stuck point in my life I wondered how other women got through them. So I asked sixty-one women how they got through their stuck points and I learned so much from them.

I’d love to hear from you too. What have you done that has helped you get through those dreaded stuck points?

Barbara Stanny, the leading authority on women and money,  is a bestselling author, popular wealth coach and frequent media guest. Sign up to get Barbara’s free tips to transform your relationship with money, so you can start earning more and build the long-term wealth you desire. You will also get instant access to her popular quiz “Are you an Underearner?” and what to do about it.

*For more information on stuck points please check out my book: Breaking Through: Getting Past the Stuck Points in Your Life.

Image courtesy of Steve Monty.