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How To Get Unstuck

How To Get Unstuck

Are you in a rut?  Have you ever been in one?  I find myself in a rut probably once a year.  It's a horrible and debilitating feeling, but mostly it's just confusing.  In my case, it usually makes me feel lethargic and unsure of what step to take first.  Perhaps your rut is a plateau in a health or wellness goal, perhaps it's professional instability, maybe it's that you can't finish that one project you started a few years ago.  Whatever it is, if you're in a rut, unless you are prepared to be miserable forever, movement is necessary.

I get it - change sucks.  But sometimes change is all you can do to get unstuck.  As terrifying and confusing as change can be, it's important to help get you out from in between that rock and that hard place.  And even though we may look to external forces to make the necessary changes, it's really the changes that we can control that matter.  Here are some ways to find your way out:

1) Start small.  Maybe all you have to give is a little.  Then that little turns into a lot.  Don't be discouraged by making baby steps.  Sometimes that little change is actually altering your surroundings or making an adjustment in your routine.  When I found myself in a fitness rut last year, I switched my workouts from mornings to evenings.  It was just enough to get things moving forward again.

2) Write.  Sometimes it helps to get all of those feelings of self-doubt down on paper.  My therapist worked with me last year on ways to turn off my brain at night to calm restless sleeping habits.  She encouraged me to write things down before I went to bed.  Everything I was wrestling with or thinking about or dreaming about went down on the paper.  It was as if I dumped my brain down in a paper parking lot until I was ready to revisit those thoughts the next day.  It truly helped me feel like I was doing something about the noise rather than succumbing to the noise.

3) Change your perspective.  Oftentimes what I've thought was a rut really wasn't that at all. There are seasons of life when things just get quiet.  There's no real chaos, no real stress, no real challenges.  Most of us don't do well in that space because we're so comfortable with the messiness of life that when there's no mess, it must mean something's wrong.  Maybe that's just me... But what I've found is that some ruts are just the universe calling on us to be still and listen for instructions.  If we stop looking at it as a negative, perhaps we will get the answers we need in the stillness to push forward.

4) Go outside.  Fresh air works wonders.  Step outside and breathe...

5) Get real.  It's funny how people say "I don't know what to think" when in fact you know exactly what's up.  Speaking your truth to others or even to yourself helps make things less scary.  I was in a horrible relationship for years before I was able to look at myself in the mirror and say, "this is not healthy and I'm better than this."  The truth is, I knew it all along, I was just afraid to get real with myself because acknowledging it meant I then had to do something about it.  Once I got real, I got out.  And I never looked back...

6) Find the pattern.  Ruts are often caused by recurring themes.  These ruts feel familiar and it's probably because they are.  Maybe you feel like you've met another asshole.  Or maybe you feel like you gained those five pounds all over again.  Perhaps you find yourself putting off a personal goal for the third time in as many years.  Whatever it is, there's a pattern to acknowledge.  Once you identify that, then you can see what your part is in creating this situation.  And that's half the battle...

7) Reconnect with your purpose.  Many ruts are brought about because we are trying to make something happen that's just not meant to be.  Last year I found myself in a writing rut.  I had tried and tried to complete a novel I just knew I was supposed to complete by the end of the year.  Turns out, it felt more authentic to focus on shorter pieces on a wider variety of topics rather than a long-form narrative.  And alas, Mind of Meaux was born.  Once I reconnected with what my true purpose was (and wasn't) at the moment, I gave myself permission to live my purpose.  And that made all the difference...

What works for you?  Sound off in the comments below.

Extra Credit:  Why letting it go is OK.  Forgiving yourself is key to moving forward.


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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