In irons

mast of a sailboat

A sailboat that is in irons is pointed into the wind and has no forward momentum.  Getting out of this predicament typically involves letting the boat drift backward with the rudder turned to one side or another.  Eventually, the boat will turn so that the sail can catch the wind again.

When you’ve stagnated or hit a plateau, sometimes it’s necessary to turn yourself over to the wind to see which way it will take you.