Getting Unstuck — Book Review

By Scot Herrick | Book Reviews

May 24

All of us at one time or another have felt stuck — an impasse in our work, our relationships, or in how we are living our life. The good news is that this is a signal that it is time for a change.

Timothy Butler has composed Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths. It is a book about recognizing when you are stuck and a methodology for understanding why you are stuck so you can move forward.

Impasse, he contends, is important:

Being at impasse is a developmental necessity. It can lead to a new way of understanding and a new type of information. We have arrived at an important frontier.

There are three areas the book addresses:

  • Impasse. How to recognize it and embrace it.
  • Vision. How to learn about our deepest interests
  • Getting Unstuck. Using the tools to “move from Impasse to Action.”

Throughout the book, exercises are provided to use to help define the impasse, understand your deepest interest, and to then use to make a map of what is important to you so as to allow you to see what to change.

I found the book a useful read. While I don’t consider myself “widely read,” I haven’t seen much out there relating to impasse — the equivalent of a middle aged crisis of confidence — and how to understand and move out of it.

Each of the areas talks through each of the subjects and provides what Timothy calls a “Deep Dive” exercise for us to work to enable a better understanding of the particular subject being presented. These tools then morph into a visual map with the results. The map becomes a visual way in which we can understand what is important to us and how to move forward.

Reading Tip: I would read the entire book through before doing the exercises (against the recommendation of the author). It was not clear from the writing how each of the exercises would be used in the end, so reading the entire book and then going back through the exercises would provide greater clarity for doing the exercises.

Recommendation: Four out of Five Cubes (hey — I just made that up! I have to have something to compare reviews by and Thumbs Up or Down was already taken by these movie critic guys…). An above average self-help book that provides useful information in getting us past stuck.