At Get Rich Slowly today, April Dykman wrote about doing nothing.

She was talking about being stuck. And barriers.

People throwing up barriers of their own fear and projecting it on you.

It’s so easy to come up with reasons to NOT do something.

I’m a master at this.

I have a million reasons why I can’t do anything.

  • I can’t exercise until I find the headphones for my ipod. Then I have to have the right clothes, the right socks, new shoes.
  • I can’t start a real business until I get out from under my debts and have a huge amount in savings.
  • I can’t be a real teacher until I finish this schooling.
  • I can’t be a writer because I don’t have original ideas or an interesting life to talk about. I can’t start a blog because I’m not an expert in anything.
  • I can’t help out with my kid’s school because I don’t have time, and I’m too introverted.

See, millions of them.

When I’m depressed, these thoughts take hold, and I can’t get past them. For years, I was stuck, unable to do anything, even simple things like the laundry, much less the complicated stuff.

When I was in that space, people telling me to “Just Do It” didn’t help. In fact, it was infuriating. I simply couldn’t.

My friend N has commented several times lately that she’s amazed at how much I’m doing lately. I know this is because she remembers when I just couldn’t do anything.

But I don’t feel like I’m doing anything special. In fact, I’m not even doing all the things other people do (witness how messy my house is).

I’m not sure how I started turning things around, but I’m really glad I did.

I know that part of what helped me was taking steps to start tutoring in January, 2007. I just put up an ad on craigslist.

It was scary to meet my first couple of students, and I was unprepared for some things. But people gave me money. And asked my advice. And looked at me as an expert.

It was a kind of ‘high’. That gave me enough energy to start making other changes.

And I don’t even remember what upset me enough where I actually made that first craigslist ad.

April’s un-stuck moment came after she did an informational interview with someone. I’m not sure that’s something that I could do. When I’m stuck, contacting other people is very hard.

What kind of things get you unstuck?