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Get Unstuck in Your English Career and Life with Stephen Warley from UnStuckable

Gabby: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 183: “Get Unstuck in Your English Career and Life with Stephen Warley from UnStuckable.” [Instrumental]

Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation with your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel’, from Boston, USA.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: In today’s episode, Stephen Warley will show you how taking a walk when you’re feeling stuck will change everything with your career and life.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Guys, raise your hand if you are listening to this on a mobile device.

Gabby: Ooh, me.

Lindsay: Oh, you are too? Me too.

Gabby: I, I always listen to podcasts on my smartphone.

Lindsay: Absolutely. That’s why we want to build a smartphone app.

Gabby: Ooh, that would be so cool. We could offer even more than the audio episode. We could offer transcripts, we could offer other learning materials, and fun, supplementary materials…

Lindsay: What a good idea.

Gabby: …with the app.

Lindsay: But it’s not free to make an app.

Gabby: It’s not?

Lindsay: And it’s not cheap, either.

Gabby: Oh, man. How are we gonna (going to) do that?

Lindsay: I don’t know.

Gabby: Oh, my gosh! I know. We can, we can make this part of our Kickstarter campaign.

Lindsay: Awesome idea.

Gabby: So when you guys donate to our Kickstarter campaign at AllEarsEnglish.com/Kickstarter, you’ll not only get a prize according to the level of your funding, but you’ll also be helping us to create an app that will make your All Ears English experience even more awesome.

Lindsay: Yeah, we wanna (want to) see you guys over there at AllEarsEnglish.com/Kickstarter.

Gabby: Get over there before October 1, 2014. That’s the deadline.

[Instrumental]

Gabby: Hey, Lindsay.

Lindsay: Hey, Gabby.

Gabby: How are you?

Lindsay: Excellent.

Gabby: Great. Well, I am so excited because we have a great guest joining us today. Stephen Warley, from, (uh), UnStuckable. He’s the co-founder of the UnStuckable podcast where they interview people, how they got unstuck in their careers.

Lindsay: Very cool.

Gabby: So I think this is a great topic. We’ve all been stuck… Lindsay: (Uh-hm).

Gabby: …at some point, (you know), where you just feel like you’ve hit a wall and you’re not sure to how to keep going or what to do and you just feel so stuck.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: Right.

Lindsay: Absolutely.

Gabby: There’s no other word to it, to describe it. So, hey Stephen, how are you?

Stephen: I am awesome and thank you so much for having me on the show because I just want to let you, all of your listeners know, I love languages.

Gabby: Ooh.

Stephen: I am not as proficient as I would like to be, but I, (uh), I really enjoy languages and I’m so thrilled to be on this show, and to share some advice on how to get unstuck and (kind of), (you know), do what you really want to be doing in your work and life.

Lindsay: Wonderful.

Gabby: Yes. We’re so happy you’re here.

Lindsay: That’s what we wanna (want to) hear.

Gabby: Yeah, so our listeners are looking for ways to get unstuck, (um), maybe for learning English, for that purpose of improving their language skills, but perhaps, also, in your professional life, in your career, (um), wherever you may be working or whatever your career may be, (um), and maybe in your personal life too. So I think what we’re gonna (going to) talk about today really applies on a lot of levels, (you know), English, but beyond that…

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: …as well.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: So, I think it’ll be real interesting and we’d love to ask you, Stephen, because you’ve done a lot of interviews, a lot of research on this topic of getting unstuck and improving your, your flow, I guess we could call it.

Stephen: Yeah.

Gabby: (Um), could you share maybe three of your, your top ways that we could try to get unstuck if we’re feeling a little bit stuck.

Stephen: Absolutely. So at the present time, we’ve (interview-) – we published almost 100 podcasts in the last four months.

Gabby: Ooh.

Stephen: [indiscernible 04:03] probably.

Gabby: Wow.

Lindsay: Congratulations.

Stephen: Thank you… of 125 people, so we’ve learned a lot of fascinating habits about the people that we call UnStuckable that have really redesigned their life, their career around their goal, around something that they want to do. They’re entrepreneurs, they’re people who are still employed. (Uh),they are folks that want to have a big life adventure. We interviewed a woman who went on a bike ride from Alaska to Argentina.

Lindsay: Oh, my gosh.

Stephen: [crosstalk]

Gabby: I want to talk to them.

Stephen: [indiscernible 4:30] …two boys over a three year period.

Gabby: Oh, my gosh.

Lindsay: That sounds amazing.

Stephen: So really, really, (you know), all these things, (like), you, (you know), (you know), all these things you, you think you could never do, (um)…

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: And, and I’m sure your listeners right now, there’s something like you want to do and for some reason you think you can never do it.

Gabby: Oh, my gosh.

Stephen: So what we want to…

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: …be inspiring people to say is you can. Some of the habits we’ve learned, one of the most important ones, especially if you have a glimmer of an idea of a goal that you think you want to do or accomplish one day, (uh), (you know), whether it’s, (you know), improving your English or some other professional goal that you have, it’s what we call hanging around like-minded people…

Lindsay: (Mm).

Stephen: …hanging around other people who want to do the same thing that you wanna (want to) do , or are doing what you wanna (want to) do and you can learn from them. (You know), this is like the old adage, (you know),your mom says, would always tell you, “You are the company that you keep.” Right.

Gabby: Yes.

Lindsay: Absolutely.

Stephen: It turns out she was right.

Lindsay: She’s always right. Mom’s…

Both: …always right.

Stephen: So the second that you start really intentionally seeking out people either online or offline…

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: …or doing what you wanna (want to) do, you will naturally start being more motivated to, to make these changes. (Uh), you’re also going to get a support, you’re going to get accountability. And a lot of times people in your immediate social circle, your family, don’t necessarily get the big change that you want to make in your life. So that’s why you gotta (got to)…

Gabby: Exactly.

Stephen: …go seek out people who do.

Lindsay: That’s right.

Gabby: I agree. I think, (um)…

Lindsay: (Uh-hm).

Gabby: …most people would probably have a supportive, loving family, but they may not understand your journey, (uh), in your career or even, (you know), in your, in your language learning, (you know).

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: Maybe they just don’t get it. “Why do you need to go speak another language?”

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: “Focus on your work.”

Lindsay: And often our families just want us to be (kind of) safe.

Gabby: Yes.

Lindsay: And so (you know), it’s (har-) – safety is not necessarily what we’re after if we’re out, we’re trying to achieve our dreams and reach these big life goals. It’s not necessarily the first thing on our minds. So it’s not the best group to necessarily look to for advice. Yeah.

Stephen: And also their definition of safety… Both: Yeah.

Stephen: …is different than our definition of safety.

Lindsay: Sure.

Gabby: Right.

Lindsay: Sure. Or they…

Stephen: And then that’s the thing we have to get – not… you… ‘cause (because) a lot – we do kind [indiscernible 06:31] – a lot of people get disappointed or frustrated when their parents – ‘cause (because) you want your parents to understand where you’re coming from.

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: Even when you are an adult and you’re progressing through life, and it’s frustrating when they don’t. So you just kind of give them a break.

Gabby: Right.

Stephen: Because they grew up in a completely different world than the world that we now find ourselves in.

Gabby: That’s right.

Stephen: So you just (kind of) have to find it at their level. That’s all – they’re not trying to diss your dream, or, (you know), rain on your parade. They really do want to, (uh), be supportive. That’s where they’re coming from.

Gabby: That’s right.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: So building your community of like-minded people, hanging out whether, whether it’s online or offline. I like that you said that because sometimes depending on where you’re living, it could be difficult to find like-minded people, (you know), on your block, in your neighborhood, or in your, in your town. So you could look online, (right), (like) start searching for websites or maybe groups, (um), forums, (you know), whatever it may be, you could probably find some like-minded people who will support you, even if it’s just in the virtual world for now.

Lindsay: (Uh-hm).

Stephen: Yeah, (I mean), I, I don’t know about all of you, but it’s just like even, even in a – we both, (uh), live in an amazing city, Boston.

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: Lots of people live here, but it’s not like I can just go knocking around and find other podcasters.

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: Yeah, not really.

Stephen: So I had to go online to find that…

Lindsay: (Uh-huh).

Stephen: …community. And then, lo and behold, because I went online, I now find you and now we can hang out.

Gabby: I know. Isn’t that amazing?

Lindsay: So weird, yeah.

Gabby: Stephen and I met out in Portland, Oregon at the World Domination Summit and now here we are. We live in the same city, but we never knew about each other until that event…

Lindsay: That’s amazing.

Gabby: …which I found out about online.

Stephen: Right, (you know), it’s crazy. So, but – ‘cause (because) I know we’re – you have (uh), short on time, but I just…

Gabby: Sure.

Stephen: …(um), another one of the key habits, that’s what we call them at this point in time, is awareness.

Gabby: Oh.

Stephen: And there’s lots of different ways to look at awareness. I think when people hear that word, they think meditation, Yoga, prayer, which are all great practices, very timeless practices, but what we’re trying to help people realize is that you are already living your life, you’ve – you’re already subconsciously making a lot of decisions about the direction of your life. But when you wanna (want to)…

Gabby: Right.

Stephen: …make a big change or a big goal, you have to use your time, energy, and money in a different way. So you have to start bringing awareness to that.

So some very simple awareness exercises – so for somebody who has no idea what they want to do, but they know what they want to make somechanges in their life, a simple awareness exercise is just recognizing when you make, when you complain throughout the day.

Gabby: (Mm).

Lindsay: (Mm).

Stephen: (Like) people journal something on your phone. (Uh), and, and just write down why you complained and even if, and then try to take a guess on why do you think you made that complaint.

Gabby: (Uh-huh).

Stephen: And then record this over a week or two weeks or maybe even a month just to look for some trends to find out what’s making you unhappy…

Lindsay: (Uh-huh).

Stephen: …what is stressing you out. That is a great way to do it or just something simple like going for a walk. (You know), when you feel a lot of anxiety, you’re feeling frustrated with something at work, or something in your personal life, (like), get away from that situation. Go for a walk. That’s always – it’s a great way to connect your mind with your body, to calm down, and to actually hear your own voice, right.

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: Because in our very crazy world today, there’s so many different things competing for our attention and our mind…

Gabby: Right.

Stephen: …that sometimes the simplicity of a walk allows us to hear ourselves think again.

Lindsay: Oh.

Gabby: That’s great. Yeah, and I think when you feel frustrated with something, you’re complaining, you feel unhappy. When you feel stuck, well the first step for getting unstuck, it sounds like you’re saying, is just be aware ofthat and then you can, you might be able to figure out well, what do you need to do to make a shift or a change.

Stephen: Absolutely. And it’s funny because really – you’re right. I’m so glad you [indiscernible 10:11]. Really, we always say the first step to getting unstuck is recognizing that you feel stuck.

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: Right.

Stephen: So you have to know what, what that is, that means and really what that means is there’s a tension, that you’re living your life, you’re working, you’re doing something, but you wanna (want to) be doing something else.

Both: (Mm).

Stephen: So it’s about how do I realign the resources of my life toward this new goal and a lot of times you, people will forearm, (you know), limiting beliefs about why they can’t make that change.

Gabby: Right.

Stephen: “Because I have a mortgage, I’m married, I have kids, I’ve lived here for the last 20 years, I have all these commitments. “

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: And we’re certainly not advocates of (um), not honoring your commitments, not honor your obligations. Absolutely, you should be doing that, but it’s about prioritizing them…

Gabby: (Uh).

Stephen: …so you can know which ones you need to start letting go of and which, where, or where you need to be putting your energy towards what you really want to do.

Gabby: Well, I was thinking about learning language and, (um), (kind of), applying this to, to language learners. I think there’s a belief that English is really difficult and…

Lindsay: (Hm).

Gabby: …and it’s, it’s impossible to be really fluent if, if you didn’t learn English from an early age. But I think that belief is not necessarily true and so just having the awareness that you don’t have to live inside that belief system or that, yeah, that belief, that there is another way. You can think, ‘English is easy.’

Lindsay: Right.

Gabby: ‘Hey, I’m enjoying learning English.’

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: ‘I can do this.’ So, it’s like what you were saying, (um), when you’re at work or you’re in a situation where you’re complaining all the time, things aren’t going well, do you believe that that is normal, or do you believe that maybe there’s another way?

Lindsay: (Mm-hm).

Gabby: So, yeah.

Stephen: I think you just bring up a great point, too, because I remember when I had the option to live in Seville, Spain a few years ago, ‘cause (because) I really want – I studied Spanish in, throughout high school and college, but, (you know), never really learned it effectively. (You know), the best way to learn a language is to be around other people who want to speak it.

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: And I remember, to your point, the limiting belief of I always felt like I had to speak perfectly for people to understand me…

Lindsay: Oh, yeah.

Stephen: And I finally just gave up and let go and said, you know what, they understand me, (you know).

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: I don’t have my verbs perfectly conjugated and I probably have all these grammatical errors, but they still understand what I’m…

Lindsay: Awesome.

Stephen: …saying.

Lindsay: Awesome.

Stephen: And that actually brought an excitement to learning Spanish in a way that I’d never felt before.

Gabby: (Hm).

Stephen: And I actually started to improve just because I got more excited and I felt more comfortable about it. And then people, at different times, would politely correct me, but they did it because they knew I was really interested in learning language. It wasn’t just from a judgmental place.

Both: Right.

Stephen: And I think I always just took it as that.

Lindsay: Oh.

Gabby: Oh, that’s so cool.

Lindsay: So it’s really just a small shift in the way you’re approaching things and the way you think about it.

Gabby: Wow, that’s great.

Stephen: Well, you have to take that time to think about it, that, (you know), bring that awareness, so that’s why it’s such an important habit.

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: (Mm).

Gabby: And I think you have one more tip about (kind of) a, (uh), having a productive day like getting unstuck and doing things early.

Stephen: Yeah, I think a lot of us – we’re always thinking about, (you know), as you become more aware, you start realizing, “Well, if I want to achieve this big goal, where’s the time gonna (going to) come from?”

Gabby: (Uh-hm).

Lindsay: (Uh-hm).

Stephen: And one of the things that we’ve heard time and again in our interviews and things that I’ve even experienced in my life is really, you have to really get a hold of your morning.

Both: (Mm).

Stephen: That is where you can become so productive. If you’re mornings are out of control, the rest of your day is gonna (going to) be out of control.

Gabby: (Hm).

Stephen: (You know), simple things like getting up early, or getting up an hour earlier than you normally would, or an hour earlier before the rest of your family in your house is gonna (going to) get up and start…

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: …(you know), vying for your time, (um), if you have a family, if you have a spouse, a dog, or whatever.

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: And really focusing on what’s really important. What’s the thing that you really wanna (want to) get done that day in your personal life, in your professional life. (You know), what’s, what are the first things that people do when they go off to work every day? They go to the office and they start working on their email.

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: That is probably one of the worst things you can do.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Stephen: ‘Cause (because) you really want to focus on what you wanna (want to) get done.

Gabby: Yes.

Stephen: When you look at, when you’re [indiscernible 14:10], when you’re answering email, as Mike [indiscernible name 14:13] of the productivity says, you’re allowing other people to dictate how your time’s going to be used.

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: Right, right.

Stephen: So why would you do that?

Lindsay: Yep.

Gabby: Absolutely.

Lindsay: Other people’s agenda and your email inbox isn’t it.

Gabby: Yeah, it’s…

Stephen: Yeah, or just even simple things. I’ve gotten in the habit of drinking an 8 oz. (ounce) – well, I’m not sure what that is in metrics for your listeners around the world ‘cause (because)…

Gabby: A cup.

Stephen: [crosstalk].

Gabby: How about a, a glass of…

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: …something.

Stephen: But a decent amount of water I drink, the first thing I do every morning just to (like) wash my system.

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: You guys, we don’t think about the biology of our body that it’s gonna (going to) to make us feel better and I take time to [indiscernible 14:46] that awareness. I take time to meditate, just to… Both: (Mm).

Stephen: …because, even though I’ve been sleeping, a lot has been in my mind. My mind has been working all night long. So I want to give it a break, and I want it to, (like), let go of whatever it was thinking on, chewing on while I was asleep, so I can have a clean slate to start my day.

Lindsay: (Uh-huh).

Gabby: Wow, that’s great. I think what you’re talking about is having some kind of habit to get going on your, your day the way you want it to be, ‘cause (because) if you don’t plan your time, someone else will.

Lindsay: Right.

Stephen: Totally. And you gotta (got to) start right where, (you know), right in the morning as [indiscernible 15:18] use the analogy of when you look at the airline industry. (You know), you, if you don’t have – if you have a day where there’s (there are) lots of delays planned, it’s not because of bad weather, it’s because of technical delays or personnel didn’t show up and all those delays stack up, more work compound throughout the rest of the day. So a half hour delay turns into an hour, to two hours, to four hours to where they cancel the flight altogether.

Gabby: Yeah.

Stephen: And that’s what happens to your day. If you don’t get some solid control over the first two to three hours every day of how you want things to go[indiscernible 15:50] the rest of your day, the rest of your day will be very easily thrown off.

Gabby: (Mm-hm).

Lindsay: Cool. That is…

Gabby: That’s right.

Lindsay: …such a good tip. I think that’s so important.

Gabby: Oh, that’s awesome. Well, I’m gonna (going to) recap for our listeners here. (Um), because these are great, great practical tips for getting unstuck. So if you are feeling a little stuck, (um), hang out with like-minded people. (Uh), if you (kind of) have an idea of what you might want to get into, find people who are doing the same thing, and spend time with them. (Um), be aware of when you’re complaining, recognize and maybe even write down when you’re, you’re complaining about the situation and that might give you some good reflection material to figure out where to go from there to get unstuck. (Um), and then work on your mornings. (You know), reclaim your morning time and take care of your priorities during the morning, and (uh)…

Stephen: And plan your morning the night before [crosstalk].

Gabby: Oh, yes.

Lindsay: (Mm).

Gabby: Totally. Totally. I think, (you know) – these are some extra steps, (like), okay, the night before, plan, plan the next day. It’s, it’s an extra step. It might take you five extra minutes, but you’re gonna (going to) get so much more done…

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: …and your next day is gonna (going to) be that much better.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: it’s gonna (going to) be awesome.

Lindsay: You can hit the ground running as we say.

Gabby: Yeah, totally.

Lindsay: I like it.

Gabby: So, so Stephen, tell our listeners, if they want to find out more about you and UnStuckable, where can they go?

Stephen: Well, we, you can listen to me on the UnStuckable podcast on iTunes and Stitcher. They can download that. So you can listen to it on your phone or your computer, and we also have what we call ShareNotes, a pretty indepth blog post that go along with each and every episode. You can find those at UnStuckable.co and we are also on Twitter and Facebook. Just look…

Gabby: Awesome.

Stephen: …for UnStuckable.

Gabby: Awesome.

Lindsay: Very nice.

Gabby: Awesome. So, Un-Stuck-able. Great. Awesome. (Um), great. Well Stephen, thank you so much for joining us. These were great tips that I am gonna (going to) make sure I implement.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: …for sure. (Um), so thank you for joining us. It’s been such a pleasure to have you on the All Ears English podcast.

Lindsay: Thanks a lot for coming Stephen.

Stephen: Thank you so much for having me, I really appreciate it.

Lindsay: Thanks.

Gabby: Up and out.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: If you wanna (want to) put your ears into English more often, be sure to subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on your computer or on your smartphone. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time.

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