Last week my husband and I embarked on an expedition we have been planning for two years. We set the goal to climb The Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park. Even though I’m a great hiker, this hike requires rock climbing and repelling, which I have zero experience in.
We booked our trip with a mountaineering company who not only provided us with guides and gear, but two full days of climbing school to make sure we were prepared for the adventure.
Climbing school was so much fun. We hiked to a waterfall each morning and they threw us right into climbing what looked like massive cliffs. After one particular pitch, I found myself about five feet off level ground standing on an inch wide ledge of rock and I couldn’t find anywhere to move. There seemed to be no where to step and no where to hold. I was stuck. With shakey legs getting tired from balancing I called up to my guide and said, “Can I go back down? I just need to rest for a minute and try again.”
He promptly told me there was no going backwards. He said, “If you can’t climb up then I’ll have to pull you up.”
Well that thought was horrifying. Miraculously I somehow took a risk and tried something that got me moving again and eventually made it to the top.
Afterwards, as our group was discussing our climb, I recalled my moment on the ledge when I was stuck.
A fellow guide stopped me abruptly and said, “Don’t say stuck. You were stalled. Have a growth mindset.”
As someone who teaches the power of words in creation I was so grateful to have a new more empowering word to use.
I wasn’t stuck.
I was stalled.
How many times in my life have I said those words? I’m stuck? I’ve said it countless times in hard trials, relationships, or even projects.
It felt amazing to have a new word to say instead. The phrase “I’m stalled” changes everything. It acknowledges that progress feels slow right now, while also maintains a sense of energy and momentum. Better yet, it leaves space for the possibility that progress is just around the corner. There’s hope.
As harsh as it felt to hear my guide tell me I couldn’t go backwards, I immediately opened my mind to only thinking about how to go forward. I wasn’t stuck, I was stalled. Progress was eminent. I was going to figure this out.
If you find yourself feeling stuck right now, I happily present my upgraded word to help you as well. Try it out. See how it makes you feel. Does it give you a little more hope for your position? Does it help open your mind to ways to move forward? I call it stalling. It’s so much better than being stuck.
You are a creator, now go create something great.