Feeling like you’re stuck in a rut can be all-consuming and literally feel impossible to get out of. It’s like you honestly know something needs to change, but you just can’t seem to get yourself out of certain unproductive cycles of behaviour. First of all, it’s frustrating, yes, but please be easy on yourself. We are forever-changing, cyclical beings made to experience various highs and lows throughout our lives. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can even feel bad for feeling down (if that makes sense!) but it’s so important to be loving, forgiving and accepting of yourself. Also, remember that self-sabotaging behaviour such as continuously being unproductive and procrastinating quite often boil down to something deeper, such as fear. Read more about how fear works here.
The first step is actually acknowledging that you’re in a not-so-great feeling place. From there, you can take steps to turn it all around. Here are a few things that work for me when I really need to snap out of it.
As hard as it may seem, and as tempting as it may be to hibernate in your own little bubble for extended periods of time, it’s probably not helping. Alone time has its (many) benefits, however, interacting with other people when you’re being consumed by a plethora of your own thoughts can really help you to wake up. Although our struggles are relative, speaking to others and finding out what’s going on in their lives can put things into perspective. Interacting with other people can also get you thinking outside of the box. Quite often we can sit on our own, going over ways to solve our problems but to no avail. Different people bring different perspectives, different ideas and different solutions.
Indulge in creativity
If you’re stuck in a rut, there’s a strong possibility you’re ‘in your head’ way too much. When we desperately want to get out of a situation, we can spend all of our brain power thinking of ways to get out, causing resistance to the situation. Let go for a moment. Take your mind away from it all by getting creative. Is there a project you’ve been ‘waiting for the right time’ to start? Start it. A class you’ve been meaning to try? Take the class. You may just find that answers come to you out of (seemingly) nowhere when you shift your focus slightly and release the resistance. Read more about how getting creative helps us more than we think, here.
Get clear on where you’re going
When we have no sense of direction, it can be very easy to slip into a rut. Do you actually have a clear vision and goals? Where do you want to be in 1 year, 6 months, even 3 months time? How would you like your life to look? What kind of person would you like to be? Getting clear creates vision, which creates excitement, which prompts movement and action to help achieve those goals. It’s completely fine and normal for these goals and visions to change as you evolve, but it’s extremely helpful to have at least some sort of focus when you feel a bit lost and unmotivated.
Remember who you truly are
Yes, I probably bang on about this but it’s probably the most important point here. There have been times that I have felt hopeless, frustrated and disappointed with myself and the place I have been in at various points in my life. No matter how bad things seemingly got, at my core, I knew exactly who I was; a divine and supremely powerful being. I just needed to release the limiting beliefs I had developed about myself.
This is an ongoing process for most of us, but a beautiful process at that. The very fact that we’re human means we’re designed to benefit from never-ending opportunities to grow. Having self-belief and a true understanding of who we are doesn’t guarantee a life without any hiccups, it just gives us the ability to pick ourselves back up much more quickly than if we were blind to our divinity.
Although feeling stuck in a rut can feel demotivating and inconvenient, remember that everything is about perception. The fact that you’re ‘stuck in a rut’ could simply be a huge sign that you need to change course in life and upon actually taking the hint, you could expose yourself to a whole new world of opportunity that you couldn’t see before. Instead of looking at it as a negative thing, get quiet and look inwards to really decipher what it means for you.