Have you ever felt stuck? Who hasn’t! I see it with everyone I coach. That’s usually what brought them to me in the first place. They’re sailing through life when suddenly, inexplicably, they get stopped in their tracks, as if they collided with an invisible barrier. They’re never quite sure exactly what happened, or if it would ever end.

These stuck points vary in intensity and duration. Sometimes they only last a few days. Other times you’re down for the count, convinced your life has come to a screeching halt, your career is finished, all chance at happiness gone forever. No matter how long they last, these can be very dark, dreaded periods.

Like everyone else, I used to hate being stuck. Not any more. I can’t say stuck points are fun. But at least now I realize they have a purpose.

I want to share with you an epiphany I had that changed my whole relationship to the stuck point.

I was in the gym, working out with a trainer, about to do a chest press with no added weight. I lay flat on my back, grabbed the bar, pushed it high above my body, lowered it to just above my chest, then lifted it back up, repeating the exercise 12 times. No problem. It was easy. Then my trainer added 5 pound weights to each end of the bar. I felt the difference immediately. By the 2nd repetition, my arms were quivering. The third time I lowered the bar to my chest, it wouldn’t budge. I strained. I struggled. I was clearly stuck. My ego felt deflated. My trainer saw it differently.

“That’s how you build muscles,” he explained, “by getting past the stuck point.”

Sure enough, in the next couple of weeks, I eventually could do 12 consecutive reps without flinching. But my trainer didn’t let me rest in my glory. Instead, he added more weight. And sure enough, I was instantly at a new stuck point.

That’s the moment I had my epiphany. The weights became an obvious metaphor for life. Getting past my previous Stuck Points was precisely how I have grown physically, mentally and emotionally stronger. It is how I have built my confidence muscles, experienced higher levels of achievement, and discovered new possibilities I would never have predicted.

The problem is, no one ever talks about their stuck points, nor is much written about them. So last year I asked 61 women how they got through their stuck points, and put their responses into a book: Breaking Through: Getting Past the Stuck Points in Your Life. I learned so much from them.

I’d love to hear from you too. What have you done that has helped you get through those dreaded stuck points?