Podcast – Episode 0261 – Practical Steps To Getting Unstuck In Life And Projects

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about five practical things to consider when trying to get unstuck in life and projects and how they relate to personality type.

In this podcast you’ll find:



In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about five practical things to consider when trying to get unstuck in life and projects and how they relate to personality type.

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Showing 15 comments
  • Michael Puett

    Dear Antonia,

    If the review in 2014 used the word ‘ramble’ then it was me.

    And Im still listening 🙂


    • Antonia Dodge

      Ha! That was you! Glad you stuck around, though we’re now even MORE rambling. 😛


    • Tine Putzeys

      There’s no such thing as too much content. I love the longer podcasts 🙂

  • Alex

    This was very interesting and practical!

    At one point Joel, I think mentioned polarities and it got me thinking about how they related to this. I’m probably mapping models onto models unecessarily here… but I’ll go ahead do it anyhow… 🙂

    I see SKILL as potentially being lumped into RESOURCE, because it’s a resource that you bring to the project yourself, while other resources might be more external. This could map to the Se/Ni polarity: “how do I handle a problem? Analyze perspectives/take action”

    PERMISSION maps to the Si/Ne polarity: “should i rock the boat? Accept it vs change it.”

    MOTIVATION maps to the Te/Fi polarity: “what should we be doing? Behavior + impact”

    Finally, CLARITY maps to the Ti/Fe polarity: “what should we be thinking? Rational truth/social truth.” Joel mentioned that seeking clarity in a project might be the first instinct for users of this polarity. I do this for sure as an INTP. His comment was what got me thinking about this in the first place.

    Also as an example from my experience (INTP), my other polarity would be the acceptance/change polarity. If we map this to Permission: I often have to permit myself to take a risk and try something new, or permit myself to accept what is.

    Motivation, on the other hand, is a struggle for me because the “what should we be doing” polarity is not in my stack. The traditional methods of motivation seem to me to be “authenticity” and “effectiveness” based: “tap into your passion” and “check off to do lists”.

    Since each personality uses one of each of the judging and perceiving polarities (I hope I’m getting my terminology correct here), you could group them into pairs:

    RESOURCE / PERMISSION: “Can I do it?”
    MOTIVATION / CLARITY: “Should I do it?”

    I, as an INTP, look to Permission to ask “can I do it” and Clarity to ask “should I do it.”

    My INTJ friend looks to Resource to ask “can I do it” and Motivation to ask “should I do it”.

    I don’t know if it would be useful to diagnose a project from the point of view of your “preferences”. Does it mean that you can use your preference to access its opposite?

    (For example, an INTP finding motivation through clarity, rather than trying to access motivation raw, like an authenticity or effectiveness user would… an INTJ giving themselves permission by acknowledging their skills and resources, while an ENTP gains skill and resources bc of their natural drive to give themselves permission to explore ).

    Anyways, this is probably totally over the top, and potentially makes 0 sense haha, but it was fun 😀

    • Helen Thomas

      Hi Alex, I found your ideas very interesting and enjoyed contemplating them. The RESOURCE/PERMISSION polarity seems right to me. As an INFJ I can ask myself do I have the personal resource (skill) to do this thing? If the answer is yes, giving myself permission seems the positive response, rather than staying stuck in unnecessary doubt.

      In respect to the MOTIVATION/CLARITY polarity, I really struggle with understanding why I lack MOTIVATION for what feels like a great project. Discovering CLARITY could well be key. So far I have assumed I need to remove some sort of block and then I’ll be good to go. However, clarity may well bring the conclusion that this is an ego project (not necessarily in a bad way but just that my personality sees the project as a good idea). As I said in my comment below, I think action moti (motion) vation, needs to come from our true, authentic passion – from our heart and soul. If we are in alignment in that our heart is part of the want to do something (the want being a desire which may come from a deep instinctual soul level) this will then compel us forward into action.

      I had a very strong ‘Yes!’ to attend a Coaching Program. I’d been looking for the right program for a while but when I found ‘the one’ there was absolute, non questioning clarity – a ‘Hell Yes!’ response. I didn’t need to weigh the Pro’s and Con’s.

      It feels to me we may get to a certain point when we may need to let go of a vision if we discover it isn’t coming from our heart and soul – our heart isn’t in it, as we often phrase it.

      This is where I’m at and have been for a while. My project idea ticks many boxes and seems to make so much sense. However, I don’t feel a ‘Hell Yes!’. It’s been more of a ‘should do this’ feeling.

      So ultimately I think you are really onto something with the polarities. As much as I tell myself I should get into action, in fact I want to get into action! It does feel that CLARITY is key for unearthing true motivation. Motivation from the personality is going to be much harder – well for me anyways 🙂

      Here’s a link to a quick summary of a book called Essentialism. This is where I heard about the – If it’s not a ‘Hell Yes’, it’s a ‘No’.

      Thanks for the insights!

      • Helen Thomas

        Oops! Forgot the link! (Short animated video)


      • Alex

        That’s interesting what you say about “removing a block” versus finding clarity for motivation.

        I think I might be in the “remove block” mindset too, mistakenly. When I’m “trying really hard” to be motivated, I go for things like “how can I structure this effectively so that I’m in action?” Or I start bemoaning the fact that I don’t seem to have this instinctual drive based on a singular passion like other people describe. So I try to put myself in that mindset, like if I try hard enough, I’ll be carried away by passion.


        None of those things work, though I try repeatedly. The only thing that has worked is when I’ve made sense of the reasons that I want to do things. Like “does it make sense that I want to do this? Yes it does– it aligns with the reasons I enjoyed this other thing.” Then I get excited about the fact that there are interesting connections between seemingly different things, and say hell yes to that connecting thread in my life. Idk I guess it’s a very Accuracy-driving way to get to that hell yes haha.

        Thanks for the link.

  • Amy

    This was a very timely podcast for me. I realized I have blamed others for not being my best self. I am journaling this week on how I can start giving myself permission.

  • Zoe

    I’m a new listener and have been LOVING your podcast – in just a couple of weeks I have had some huge shifts in how I see myself, and am taking action to change my approach to personal development because of it. I’m already seeing the benefits so thank you!!

    I loved this episode and wanted to know if you’ve ever heard/thought of doing an episode on Gretchen Rubin’s four tendencies model. At the end of the episode, when you were diagnosing why this person couldn’t do the last couple of hours in her project, it made me wonder if she was an “obliger”, which responds strongly to outer expectations.

    • Mel

      Such an interesting insight, correlating this to 4 tendencies. I was not familiar with that model so I have to get busy digging!

  • Kristen

    This was a fantastic, very helpful model! I’d like to hear more about Strategies for Motivation given our types. I’d like to hear on all levels of motivation: Mind, emotions etc. . . The “Borrowing of Energy” was very interesting too. I’m an INFJ and really saw myself in your explanation of Clarity and the feeling. I’d like to know strategies around those parts that could stop me in a project. Thank you as always!

  • Helen Thomas

    I sat down with pen and pad and worked through the 5 aspects you spoke about in relation to two projects I’m drawn to and haven’t been able to choose. I found that the first part I needed to consider was SKILL in relation to both projects. Then I moved on to MOTIVATION teasing out was my desire coming from my Authentic Self or my Ego. One project felt more Authentic and is also the project that would put me into ‘flow’ easily. I closed my eyes, stilled my mind and asked my heart questions to help discern the truth of where my soul wants to go.

    From this came CLARITY. I listed the benefits of taking action on my authentic desire based project. I then checked if I had the RESOURCES I would need. I had all the practical resources but past problems with staying committed to a plan made me realise I need to focus on myself as being a reliable source to follow through. So, I listed the ways I tend to sabotage myself and came up with actions to prevent sabotage and to address it if it happens.

    I finally asked if I had PERMISSION to go ahead. My heart said ‘Yes’ but I then reviewed all the ways I could think of that my ego would prevent me from succeeding despite having Permission, Resources, Clarity, Motivation and Skill! I realised there were hidden forces within my subconscious that will potentially want to sabotage me. I then came up with an action plan to keep me on track.

    I decided to focus on the project in 3 month chunks, otherwise my mind will go into overdrive!

    So, that is my feedback. Thank you so much for the Podcast. Hugely helpful. I don’t think you missed anything out. Just to mention, I think passion to ‘do’ ideally come from the heart and motivation/drive from the body will hopefully follow on naturally. My feeling is that the word motivate comes from the word motion and therefore may be rooted in the body. Just a thought!

    • Antonia Dodge

      “I think passion to ‘do’ ideally come from the heart and motivation/drive from the body will hopefully follow on naturally. My feeling is that the word motivate comes from the word motion and therefore may be rooted in the body.”

      Great thought – thank you for sharing!


      • Helen Thomas

        Thanks Antonia! On reflection I think Drive is different to Motivation. Drive seems to be more about an innate want. When I wanted to be a mum, it was a deep drive (instinctual drive?) it was just there. When I spent the last 5 years emotionally healing and digging deep into the enneagram, it was just there. I woke up each morning with a drive to do those things. As a mum I had an innate drive to be a stay-at-home mum. It was just there. I didn’t have to make a decision about what I should or shouldn’t do.

        So maybe Drive is more of an instinctual aspect.

        I wonder if those of us who have little drive to do things we feel passionate about, as children had our instinctual behaviour quashed by our parents and so repress these instincts, having to instead maintain those relationships in order to survive.

        Hmm interesting. .
        I will keep.mulling this over 🙂

  • Linda Reynolds

    Wow. Very timely.

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