I'm currently teaching a scene study class in Manhattan and a lot of my students speak to me about feeling "stuck." They feel unable to make progress in their acting career and find themselves spending lots of time in unfulfilling jobs that pay the rent but leave them little time to fill their creative wells. The good news for my students is that taking a class is one great way to get unstuck!

When you take a class, you're recommitting to your artistic path and telling your fear-based mind that you're going to do something creative and good for your well-being. Fear is what keeps us feeling stuck, so ANY positive action we take to nurture our creative selves tells fear that it's not in charge anymore.

One of my favorite quotes about the relationship between fear and creativity is from Elizabeth Gilbert. She writes:

"I understand that you are Fear, and that your job is to be afraid. And you do your job really well! I will never ask you to go away or to be silent, because you have a right to speak your own voice, and I know that you will never go away or be silent, anyhow. But I need you to understand that I will always choose Creativity's ideas over yours. You may join us on this journey — and I know that you will — but you do not get to choose the direction in which we will walk, and you will not stop me and Creativity from making plans and decisions together.

Fear is always going to be with us. It is part of what makes us human, but fear should never be in the driver's seat. It can go along with us on our creative journey, but it can't be a decision maker. Too many of us allow fear to make our decisions for us. We choose what is known, what is safe and what will pay the bills. We sacrifice the very things that make us come alive because they make us feel too vulnerable, are too hard, and often don't pay the bills. There's a big cost to this; the cost is our sense of aliveness and creative fulfillment. Below are some ideas that you can implement to get you out of that stuck place and back into a state of creative flow.

1)Take a Class. As I mentioned earlier, taking a class is a good first step to reconnect with the creative expression we love. It creates an opportunity for us to find community with other like-minded artists and offers us the chance to learn something new, sharpen our skills and get inspired. That being said, make sure you aren't taking a class to avoid participating in your art! Classes are great, but not if they serve as an excuse to avoid putting yourself out there.

2) Do Something Every Day for your Craft. Commit to doing one thing for your artistic self everyday. This could be something like practicing a new monologue with a friend, going on an audition, seeing a play or sending out a submission to that agent you've been wanting to meet. We often feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work it takes to keep an artistic career going. It can help us feel more in control by committing to doing one thing per day for our artistic self.

3) Keep a Log. Write down (either in a journal or on the Notes app on your phone) a list of what you've done daily for your career. At the end of the month, you can look at the list with a sense of pride at all you've accomplished. It's also a good way to help take stock of what actions bore fruit and what actions did not. For some people (and I count myself in this group), the action of writing down what you've accomplished each day encourages you to keep honoring your commitment to yourself.

4) Find an Accountability Partner. This is someone with whom you meet with on a weekly basis to encourage each other and to talk about what you've done for your artistic career. This is not the same thing as getting together with a friend and kvetching about how terrible the acting industry is! It's a scheduled weekly meeting where you get together specifically to strategize about what is (and isn't) working in your artistic life. Your partner is someone from whom you get support and give support. Finding a good accountability partner can be one of the most powerful things that you do for your creative life because it gives you a sense that you're not in this alone.

5) Log Off Social Media. I know you're probably saying: what does social media have to do with being stuck? Often what keeps us stuck and inactive is comparing ourselves to others. Self-comparison is one of the primary by-products of social media. It's hard to move ourselves to act if we feel like we'll never measure up to what everyone else is doing. It's helpful to take a social media fast for thirty days in order to reboot and focus on taking positive steps rather than comparing ourselves to others.

We all get stuck from time to time, it's part of the human experience. The key is to recognize that you're stuck and to take that first step towards getting unstuck. The first step is always the hardest. We as humans are naturally lazy and tend towards complacency. However once you get the proverbial "ball rolling" it becomes easier and easier to keep making strides toward your creative goals. I would love to hear from you. What do you do to get unstuck when you find yourself mired in complacency? Feel free to respond in the comments!

Author's Bio: 

I offer one-on-one coaching in a supportive and holistically minded environment that encourages students to become more fearless actors and public speakers. I'm passionate about the craft of acting and am eager to help you realize your full potential. I use holistic strategies to get you feeling empowered and connected to your creativity. For more about me please visit: http://www.sarahkoestner.com