Book Nook: How to Get Unstuck: Breaking Free from Barriers to Your Productivity by Matt Perman and Matthew Aaron Perman

As a career and life transition coach, I am always looking for helpful books that relate to transitions. I thought How to Get Unstuck was a good title, and quickly added it to my library. It is a keeper!

Perman has been in ministry for many years and served as director of strategy at John Piper’s Desiring God Ministry. I began watching for his writing as he also wrote another keeper book, What’s Best Next which “…is a God-centered, gospel-oriented approach that addresses the proper motivation to drive your productivity: serving others to the glory of God.” If you search for ways to step up your productivity and stay within ethical and balance boundaries, this is a deep and valuable resource.y648

In How to Get Unstuck, Matt and his son Matthew take a deep dive into how to shift perspective and consider what God is doing during life’s challenge and change. Early in the book, the authors remind us that, “God is at the center of our productivity and gives us the power and direction to do the right things in the right way and for the right reasons.” But for someone in a major life transition, that is often the last thing they can see.

Transitions can feel like driving into dense fog. All the things that used to guide our direction, giving us a sense of knowing where we are and where we are heading, are obscured and might as well be invisible. On interstate highways, people often end up in major pileups as they run into vehicles that have stopped due to lack of visibility and direction. YIKES… It can happen when our clients get stuck.

According to the Permans, a major reason we get stuck is “…busyness and—and its roots in the urgency addiction.” Ouch!

3 Reasons We Get Stuck in Our Productivity:

  1. We don’t know what God wants us to do.
  2. We know what God wants us to do, but we don’t know how to make it happen.
  3. Obstacles in our way are preventing us from doing it.

To get unstuck the authors suggest that clarity is needed. The fog of transition that got us stuck keeps us from seeing our goal. So as coaches, may I suggest we have to drill down and help people get a renewed vision of what, where and when they sense God has been directing their steps. Helping the coachee remember their God-given direction allows them to begin to take steps forward despite the fog.

One key to this is helping clients with a vision for their life. Knowing what is most important and where to go allows them to make decisions and choices that will move them forward toward their goal.

Here are a few quotes I found helpful and that might tease you into reading this book:

“Being unstuck is about fundamental change, not just short term or superficial change. Fundamental change comes from addressing the issues of what you believe and what you love:  that is, worldview—the roots out of which the fruit of our lives grows.”

“Being stuck is both a feeling and result of not being in the zone. It is to be doing your work in a way that is not energizing and fulfilling; you feel less in control and more frazzled.”

“Remember the unstuck cycle:  the ultimate purpose of getting unstuck is to serve others – especially by helping them get unstuck. This is the most fulfilling way to live, and it is what God calls us to.”

There is a lot packed into Perman’s books and you’ll need to read and make notes to get the maximum impact in your life as a coach and to help your clients shift perspective and get unstuck. Godspeed…

Kelly McClelland, CCMC, CTTCC, CJSS

About the Author:

Kelly E. McClelland is the Immediate Past President of the Christian Coaches Network International.  In November 2010, Kelly launched Transition Time Coach, LLC  based in Orlando, Florida. There he focuses on helping missionaries, ministers and ministry staffers navigate life and career transitions. His passion is helping believers discover who God created them to be so they can live out their unique calling and purpose with the help of the Holy Spirit. Kelly is a Certified Career Management Coach, Certified Tough Transition Coach, and Certified Job Search Strategist.

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