Hitting A Wall

Hitting A Wall

Man, what a crazy year this has been. 50 posts deep already, and things have been amazing! This site has had an awesome reception, people really seem to enjoy the blog, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you all for taking this journey with me! Alright, i’ll stop being all sentimental, after all you came here for the article, I’d also like to make an announcement real quick. From here on out, I’m going to posting on this blog once a week, the really HUGE articles that you’ve begun to expect! Every Friday at 8pm sharp!

What happens when you just feel stuck? It’s not like something feel particularly wrong with your life, but you don’t seem to be moving forward… Something feels as though you spinning in circles, that maybe you’ve made a wrong turn somewhere or that you just can’t seem to get around a particular issue in the skillset or issue that your facing in your life. Maybe it almost doesn’t feel like your stuck, but something is in your way and it might almost feel like you’re hitting a wall that refuses to allow you to grow or move past something? Well fear not, as I can easily say without a doubt that it isn’t just you, you’re not along in hitting those walls. In fact, you’re supposed to hit those walls in your life!

They help you realize that you’re stagnating in your position and that it’s time to decide whether you’re going to remain stuck, or move forward. Basically you have decide at that moment what is more important to you, who you are, where you want to go, and what path you’re going to take to get there! So in a weird way, hitting a wall can be a good thing because it usually means you’ve done one of two things. You’ve kind of covered the things you’ve been working on and nailed them down pretty tight, and you’ve kind of lost the expression to move forward, mostly because you aren’t exactly sure WHERE to take it from here. But that’s okay, everybody goes through those periods where they just feel inspired or expressive, so of course it isn’t surprising that we go through those periods where we feel the exact opposite.

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I HIT A WALL!!

So what do we call that feeling, after all it’s not like you’re stuck entirely, it just feels as though you aren’t able to proceed forward, you’re not sure HOW to proceed forward.

But what exactly does it feel like when you hit a wall? Well the symptoms are pretty easy to detect, suddenly you’ll feel begin to feel bored while completing the activity or skill that you’ve been taking so much pleasure from up til this point. Not that it isn’t enjoyable, more like you’re just going through all the motions, but not exactly tinkering with new things the way you used, mostly because you just have no idea where to begin with it. Then you’ll probably feel a sudden drop off with your motivation to work on it, because you just don’t want to wear yourself out doing the same thing you do over and over and over without an actual goal in mind. So then, the third thing you’ll probably pick up on is that you’ll come to realize you heaven’t worked on said project for a few days, maybe even a week, because you just can’t see any forward progress on it.

Once again, this is normal, especially when it comes to building skills and when it comes to artistic projects, they WILL absolutely be times when you just don’t feel motivated to work on it. As i said before, that’s fine. Taking a bit of time to work through some other things and the next steps that you decide to take are very important at this point of time, so don’t be afraid to take a tiny bit of time to figure it out (more on that in the next section). So ultimately a wall is something that happens when you’ve gotten to a certain point, are noticing the things that you’d like to have happen but can’t quite make it to the next step. Whether it somnething where you’d like to improve on your life but don’t know how, or something where you’ve begun to learn  some skillset and you don’t know how to proceed, just know that you aren’t alone, that everyone goes through the same experience as you when you hit said wall.

So instead of getting upset and frustrated about it, just roll with it for the time being! Realize that while it’s frustrating as hell (Oh no a bad word) to be stuck in your situation, it happens for a reason, you’ve gone as far as you’re going to on this route and it’s time to decide how to proceed next! The best way in my opinion to describe hitting a wall is kind of like taking on a boss in dark souls, it’s going to struggle with it and it might take some time to figure out what the next move is, but once you hit it and break through, it’ll make you sigh with relief and drive you to get better and better at the things you are accomplishing! But we’ve talked plenty on what hitting the fall feels like, which is a relate-able enough experience, a better question probably is, what do I do about it? How do I proceed around above or through this wall? What do I do?

How do You Move Around It?

Regardless of what you do next, you absolutely need to take a step back first and foremost to think about one thing before you figure out how to proceed with the wall. Think on your intentions and where you are in life. Is this really something you want? This thing you’re now taking on is going to take a lot of work, so if you want to get good at it, or proceed with the next steps, it’s going to take some supreme dedication! If you want to get around that wall you need to have this in mind before proceeding forward, because nothing less then dedication to getting around that wall is going to work! If it is indeed something you’re interested in, then you’ve got a leg up already.

Realize first and foremost that getting stuck behind a wall is obviously pretty common, and that what you’re going to need to do first is to take some times and think about where you are. With the wall that i just hit not too long ago, I bought a notebook that fits in my pocket, and started writing everything down. I wrote down everything I was feeling, the things I wanted to work on (my weaknesses in the skillset), the things that seemed to work really well for me, and the things that I did that didn’t seem to work out very well in my opinion. So that’s the first step, take a bit of time, and write down everything that you’ve learned and all your thoughts on the skillset that you’ve encountered up to this point. Gather all of your knowledge around you, that’s step one all the time!

Step two, ytou need to go out and make sure that that’s the case. Conduct a bunch of tests, see what works for you, make sure you aren’t fooling yourself. Basically step two consists of you taking that knowledge and applying it for a bit, which can be frustrating since you’re trying to proceed forward, but believe me it helps. Getting a bearing on where exactly you are in the learning curve allows you to have the full knowledge and choice of how to proceed next. So if you think about it, the first few steps are all about recognizing of where you are, fine tuning the things you’ve already learned. After all one of the most frustrating things about hitting the wall in not knowing where to go from here, so, figure out out where you are exactly first!

Once you have the knowledge down, you’re next step is to do a huge amount of research! That’s right, time to hop on the computer of yours and look up different ideals and theory’s behind your skillset. And don’t be afraid to look into a lot of the obscure ideals and things you’ve always wanted to try. Personally up until recently I’d been swinging heavily towards one approach to social skills and dating, it just kind of helped when it counted, but I noticed a sharp drop off in it’s effectiveness. I’d gotten to a point where I didn’t need to be so gimmicky, but instead of realizing that and working into being more smooth and relaxed, I put up a mask of needing gimmicks. So instead I started to smooth everything out when it comes to talking to people. In your case maybe you’ve gotten bored with the style of painting you use, or maybe writing articles has become boring for you and you’d like to take a crack at a novel or comic book. Whatever topics and things you think you might like to try out and experiment with, now is the time to do the research. After all, when you think about it, you get to experiment with a WHOLE BUNCH OF NEW STUFF. Talk about exciting, start a couple of tests to see the things you’ve discovered and see if they live up to what you hope.

NOTE: You should still be writing all of this stuff down! I cannot stress this enough however. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT YOU CONTINUE TO WRITE DOWN YOUR FINDINGS! Write down the things you’re going to try, how they work out, things the work better then others. Write down everything that doesn’t work, make sure you have it documented that you’ve been trying all these new things and what works and doesn’t work for you. You’ll steadily find yourself drifting towards new ways to continue your work, things that make you excited and enthusiastic to challenge them.

The best part about this is that you’ll likely be finding new ways, quicker ways to take care of the things that made you bored in the first place or that confused you. You’ll realize that you’ve begun to get rid of the elements of the skill that don’t yield much return as well. And most importantly you’ll discover new elements to your skillset that you didn’t really bring into play before. Things that you never even conceived. It almost as if you’re progress to the next level of your pursuits because then you find out that you’ve got so much more play then you originally anticipated. Bringing new elements into your work is always a good idea simply for the fact that it keeps things fresh, you need to consistently be learning about new things anyways, that’s the way life is. It keeps you from becoming stale where you are as it is. Learning and research  and application is the name of the game when you hit a wall.

The Final Word

The big thing about hitting that wall is the fact that it can be quite discouraging. That’s where all the research and testing comes into play. Go at it from a growth mindset of “I want to see ways to take my workings to the next level”.  One thing to note is that when you hit a wall, it’s okay to pursue other means and other skills! While you want to pursue something related to the one you aren’t making forward progress on, working on other things can only do good things for your brain. It makes your brain think on a different level, and when you look back on it a few weeks later, you’ll find that some of the things you learned while painting may roll over into writing, or communicating with people, or teaching. There’s always a way to tie in different things that you’ve learned, that much I can assure you. So remember, follow those things that you’re passionate about.

A good way to look at getting around the wall and focusing on other things for a time while gaining skills elsewhere is kind of like a video game (Holy crap I feel like most of this article has been video game references). You ever encounter a boss that you just can’t get past? So you go back and grind for a while, in different parts of the game? Or you completely take a step back from it for like two weeks because you’re just so freaking pissed off at that boss? Then all of a sudden you pick the game back up and blow through it in like one or two tries (Looking at you Riku from Kingdom Hearts!)? Riku FightBasically that’s the same kind of mentality you ‘re going to have for this. You keep hitting that wall, so what you need to do is learn some new tips, tricks and strategies in order to get through it! You want to go up against that wall and use a bomb or something to blow through it, and that’s certainly not a skill you have at this exact second. So as I recommended above, grind it out, try new things, research new methods of tackling the things that you know already. Changing your approach and implements new ideals into your repertoire isn’t just something that will help the skillset you’re working on, it’s something that will help you improve everything in your life. Learning is one of the keys to success!

So as stated before research and application tie in heavily to this sort of thing. I can absolutely assure you that you are going going to encounter that wall at some point. It’s impossible not to, that’s just a fact of life! There are going to be periods where you just don’t know how to proceed even though you’ve had all this amazing progress so far. So one other factor is determination and willpower. You need to stay on the track to improvement, even if that entails backing off for a while so you can get your head space, environment, or skills right in a different way. I’ve always been upfront in saying that life is a continual work in practice. You’re never done growing until the day you die, so you should never think that I’ve learned everything I need to , because that’s just not true. You’ll never know everything that you need to know, because there’s just no way of knowing exactly what you need to know (Wow that’s a bit confusing).

A solid way to rationalize this, I’ve found, it with Josh Pellicier’s model of social standing! In his book, the Tao of Badass, he states the people are either 6’s, 7’s, 8’s, or 9’s or 10’s. Without getting too far in depth with these, he reasons that you always want to be a nine. Because a nine has room for growth, a ten does not. A ten has gone as far as they are going to go, and therefore do not have the ability to grow any further. Whereas a nine is continually going further because they haven’t completed growing yet! Why would you want to be done growing and just become stale, when you have so much room FOR GROWTH! So while you sit there, spinning your wheel on how to get enthused and reinvested in your development, try these tips! Research, and a break, and tackling the problem from a different angle will generally manage to help you break through that wall. After all, you’ve gotten this far already, there’s no reason to think that you’ve gone as far you’re going to!

Avidazen,

Stevenson Grey