Bring in the Best of You to Get Unstuck

A few weeks ago, an attorney enthusiastically approached me after a “Mindfulness and Neuroscience for Building Resilience to Stress” CLE I conducted. He said he’d been stuck on a legal issue in a particular case for days, but while practicing the mindfulness exercises I lead during the CLE, the answer came to him. Getting unstuck is a tangible benefit that often comes from practicing mindfulness. If you are stuck, you’ve likely tried every solution you can think of and feel frustrated. Remembering your best qualities—and being mindful of how you’ve used them in the past—can help ease frustration. Once the frustration subsides, your brain has a greater ability to shift out of its reactive state and into its responsive state where it can tap into its creative problem-solving potential.

Here’s how:

  1. Take a few long and slow breaths to clear your mind.
  2. Write down five of your best qualities.
  3. For each one, list a few ways you’ve used this quality in the past to get you out of a stuck place.
  4. Think of how this same skill set may apply to your current situation; write down any ideas that come to you.
  5. If nothing comes to you in the moment, give it a little while—do something else, like take a walk, sleep on it, or pay attention to your breath for five minutes. Come back to your list later and see if you have a fresh perspective.
Laura Mahr is a NC lawyer and the founder of Conscious Legal Minds LLC. She coaches individual lawyers, consults with law firms, and conducts CLEs on using mindfulness and neuroscience to build resilience to stress, address secondary trauma, foster work-life balance, make optimal career choices, and prevent professional burnout. Contact Laura at; find out more about her practice at

If you are interested in contributing your own story to the Sidebar, click here. The Sidebar is supported by the stories of our readers, and we appreciate your contributions.