We have all had the experience of getting stuck in a rut somewhere. Our car sinks into a ditch full of mud or (perhaps more recently) backs into a bank of snow. We know right away we are trapped.
The first instinct is to floor the pedal and thus accelerate the wheels, but the faster we spin them, the worse it gets, the deeper we sink. The harder we try to move forward, the more we seem to be going backward!