Sometimes in life, we get stuck. All of a sudden we can get swamped by a feeling of apathy and boredom towards life, questioning what the point of it all is or why we’re not progressing as we expected ourselves to. I know I’ve been there and caught myself looking around with no clue as to how I’ve gotten here, my head barely above the ground in a trench of a rut. When did I stop caring about what I want and start selling myself short? What am I actually doing?
Time passes by so annoyingly quickly, quietly gathering speed and shaping our minutes into routines. Without realising what’s happened, the rut has been formed and we tumble head over heels into it, having essentially pushed ourselves in.
It might be a job that’s going nowhere or a relationship that’s become stagnant, something that somewhere along the line became exactly what you don’t want, yet it’s become a part of your everyday life. And you’ve gotten attached to it yet irritated by it, frustrated that it’s not as it should be, and aware that it’s kind of your doing. There’s a reason for it being a part of our lives, but there’s also a point where if it’s no longer serving us, maybe a change is needed.
But how do we take that step out of the rut?
1. Realise that you are in a rut. Feel the feeling of discomfort and dissatisfaction and don’t trick yourself into thinking it’s ok or ‘it’ll do’. Feeling stuck is an itch you have to scratch, it’s a signal you need to listen to.
2. Don’t settle, and don’t ever sell yourself short. Know your worth and adjust your choices accordingly. Think about whether this is good enough for you, can you be ok with just ‘getting by’ or is there more for you out there? You deserve more, whether you believe it or not, think about what you think others deserve and personalise it.
3. Find alternatives, think things through. How can you make this better? There is always a solution, even if it’s not immediate.
4. Realise that change can ignite fear and be ready for that. Don’t let that fear outweigh your desire for change or you’ll stay stuck. Stand up to it, own your decision because you know it’s right for you.
5. Think of the benefits of leaving the rut versus the heaviness of staying put. Sometimes it’s more comfortable to stay in it, because it’s familiar and it’s an uncomfortable comfort zone, where it’s safe albeit unsatisfactory. But there is so much more life outside that comfort zone, I promise.
6. Know that it’s ok for relationships, dreams and opinions to change. Growing up, apart or not at all, are all parts of life’s journey. Embrace the new ideas or values you take on. Trust your gut and don’t berate yourself if where you are isn’t where you wanted to be. Just take the action now and improve what you have.
7. Think about what you’d tell a friend to do. What would help them? It’s not crazy to be your own friend and actually take the advice!
8. Let the emotions happen if they need to. Quitting a job, breaking up, moving house, distancing from friends can all be sad occasions, and that’s normal. Be sad, be angry, be whatever you need to be and then let it go and get excited about what’s next.
9. Put value on your time, is this really good enough for you? How many more months and years do you want to spend in this situation? You can stay static in life, but time will keep on going with or without you. Don’t just be passive in your life, take charge, take control.
10. Take your time to make the right decision for you. Don’t rush into something else out of fear or the weight of the realisations. The right moves will take thought and time to become clear but they will come.
The great thing about every tomorrow is that they always give a second chance. There are always possibilities and for every new minute you can start fresh. Being in a rut for me saps me of motivation and the zesty energy that I do have for life although it hides away sometimes. And when your resources are down, it might feel like leaving the rut is that bit too much effort. But for each little step, thought and dream you create to move forward, you’ll recharge.
Find out what’s stopping you and show it that when you put your mind to it, you can’t be stopped.