What does it mean exactly to be stuck in a rut? We toss the phrase around loosely, but it if you really think about it, being stuck in a rut, usually is a reference to your tire being stuck in line of dirt.
The tires are still moving forward and the console on the steering wheel looks normal, but despite the best efforts of flooring the gas, the tires will spin and you are going absolutely nowhere.
Being stuck in a rut in life is the same as getting the tires stuck. We are getting things done, we might even be “flooring it “ in some areas of our lives, but we are definitely not moving any closer to where we wanted to go. The goals we set for ourselves seem like a dream in the distance. Yet we keep just punching the gas pedal.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”~Albert Einstein
Are the days gone for you when you assumed you could have it all: 30 Under 30, a burning desire to change the world and a dream to become the next Steve Jobs. Now you find yourself in this uncanny spot in life, where the only thing that matters is just getting through the day.
How do you know if you are stuck in a rut?
Below are 10 common signs of people who are most likely stuck. How many of them apply to you?
1. Dream of winning the lottery. Sure we all dream about it for a few minutes, especially when the Lotto is so high the numbers make the news. But if you have traded in the dreams of building your own company, or winning it big at work, for dreaming of the lottery, you might need to readjust your thinking.
2. Blur. Every day feels like a blur, and you forget which day it is. It’s not uncommon to ask others, what day is it today? This is also that familiar feeling of when driving and you got home and you have no memory of actually getting there. Your daily tasks have been reduced to an automatic sequence in your brain.
3. Low Energy. Too tired and don’t have the energy for goals. There is no enthusiasm or excitement toward accomplishing objects, let alone starting a new one. Your most welcoming thought is to come home and zone out in front of the TV after work. You have lost the ability to even set goals for yourself anymore.
4. Unmotivated. If it’s not on the to-do list and a priority, it just doesn’t get done. We’ll push it off for another day but that day never comes. Another word that comes to mind is procrastination. You know your limiting beliefs are limiting your ability to get anything done.
5. Creative Juices. Did someone leave the empty carton of juice in the fridge? There’s nothing in there. You can’t remember the last time you danced, painted, cooked, or anything that you used to love do, just for the sheer joy of actually doing something fun.
6. Avoid change. It’s hard to try something different when we are not as confident in our abilities as we once were. So it’s easier to do the same old thing than it is to put yourself out there and potentially have to cope with the shame that comes with failure.
7. Minimize and discount goals and dreams. That’s when we “poo-poo” all of our ideas. No matter the effort needed, there is always a reason why you shouldn’t do it. You might find yourself feeling threatened by others pursuit of a goal.
8. Self-Doubt. It’s a lack of confidence in yourself and abilities. Or low self-value. It’s the inability to articulate the qualities and characteristics of your strengths and skills and the knowledge to apply them. You struggle to even remember what your biggest achievements might be.
9. Fear of Failing. Who isn’t afraid of failing? Aren’t we all! The truth is, we are especially fearful of having the potential realization that we are not good enough, that perhaps we are inadequate and can not realize our true potential.
10. False Sense of Security . Insignificant wins disguised as triumphant. You know you are in a rut, when you are proud of yourself for just making it to work on time.
How did you do?
What was your score? The truth is…. you know when you are stuck in a rut. It’s that general feeling of both restlessness and inability to move forward. Sometimes it can be difficult to really point your finger to exactly what it is.
What is the answer?
How do you get those tires back on the road?
3 Practical Ways to Get out of the Rut
1. Recognize that you might need a little push. If the malaise has really set in, it might take a push to really get you back to the point of being able to set goals, or even make a clear decision. Just like your car, sometimes you can’t do it alone. Hire a life coach, or join a program.
2. Write it out. Sometimes just getting your thoughts on paper can be helpful, so you can look at them from a third-party perspective. Is there a thought there that is maybe not true? Or one that you need help with? Maybe need some work on your limiting beliefs? What brings you joy? Do you know? Write it down and do more of that.
3. Get moving. Get some blood flowing, dance, run, play, do anything to break a sweat, you will instantly feel better. It can be hard to get yourself out the door, music has been shown to help you move. Turn on your playlist from your phone and let the beat move you, even if it’s just off the couch. As they say dance like no one is watching.
Still Stuck ?
If you really want strength and empowerment, and need practical advice, I suggest :
3.) Eliminate all your other choices. Sometimes having too many choice sabotages the only choice.
2.) Exercise self-control. Focus on the one choice. Don’t allow for distractions.
1.) Rebuild Your Core – Uncover your strengths and skills. Define your core values and guiding principles. Learn to satisfy your personal and emotional needs constructively. I can teach you this if you need help with my proven Life Coach System.
Still feeling like you need a Crowbar to get out?
If nothing above is helping and you want to Really Understand Who YOU are, What it is You want , and How to get there, you may want to consider my Tri-Commitment Success (TCS) Life Coaching System.
The Tri-Commitment Success Life Coaching system
If you need to undo automatic reactions and limiting beliefs and replace them with knowledge and facts that support the truth about YOU.
If you need to rebuild your core. Uncover your strengths and skills. Learn about your core values. And, identify your needs and how to satisfy them constructively.
And, if you need to Realize Your Full Potential. Leading a life filled with purpose and meaning.
Then, The TCS Life Coaching System is not only gratifying but empowering too!
Together we will get you back on the road.