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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

Stuck in a Rut? 5 Ways to Get Out and Move Forward

Stuck in a Rut? 5 Ways to Get Out and Move Forward

There’s are few things more frustrating than being stuck in a rut.

The wheels are spinning, but you’re not getting anywhere. Like the whole world is moving around you, and you’re stuck in place. And the harder you try to get out, the more stuck you feel. It’s exhausting, yes.

Unfortunately, we all get stuck in a rut from time to time. A surprise or challenging circumstance pops up in our road of life, and we end up off the road and stuck in a ditch.

Whether you’re feeling unmotivated, down, or trapped in a pattern, we need to dig ourselves out of the mud and back into momentum.

Here are five simple and effective ways to get out of that rut and start moving forward:

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1. Engage Your Body

Whenever we’re spinning our wheels but not moving forward, it means we’re stuck in our head, thinking of actions without being in the vehicle that can take those actions.

Physiologically, exercise increases our brain’s production of dopamine. This neurotransmitter helps us to feel motivated and take action in life.[1] It also helps stimulate alpha brainwaves [2] which are associated with less anxiety and more relaxation. That allows us to think creatively and come up with new solutions.[3]

So, when you feel stuck, stop overthinking and start engaging the body. You may choose to hit the gym, do a few pushups, walk around the neighborhood, or even dance in your living room, for instance. Moving your body can help you get unstuck and start doing something productive again.

2. Talk (Or Write) It Out

We often cycle around the same thoughts over and over again when we can’t take another step forward. But it’s challenging to break this cycle because we can’t see that we’re even in one.

Once we speak the words out loud to a friend, therapist, or coach, or put them down on a piece of paper, we can separate from those thoughts and start to identify the patterns that keep us stuck.

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Often, just hearing ourselves say the words or seeing them in our journal can help us to think about our situation in a new light. The added benefit of speaking to another person (whom we trust) is that we get to hear their feedback or advice as well.

3. Start Easy

Sometimes, taking any action is entirely overwhelming. Most of our daily activities are a composite of a whole bunch of actions that we group together. When we’re exhausted from trying to get out of a rut, we don’t have extra energy to spare.

For example, “getting ready” in the morning may sound simple, but it consists of a long list of actions. After all, you need to get out of bed, take a shower, brush your teeth, and dress up.

Doing all that might feel overwhelming when you’re in a rut, so start with the easiest step possible. Just get out of bed and feel proud of it — that will not pressure you into doing the other things on the list right away.

Similarly, entire books are written with just one word, followed by the next. Exercise happens with a small movement and then the next. Big projects are finished with one tiny action after another.

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Then, celebrate each small step that you accomplish. You don’t need to focus on speeding through everything. Instead, you have to do the most straightforward step that will help you start moving once more.

4. Try Something New

The thing about spinning your wheels without moving forward is that we know its outcome.

Doing the same activities on the loop isn’t going to change that.

When you’re stuck in a rut, therefore, try something new. It doesn’t have to make sense or even seem directly related. It can be as simple as saying hi to a stranger each day, getting a new haircut, or changing up our morning routine.

What we choose to try matters a lot less than the fact that we’re willing to shake things up.

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The worst that can happen is that we don’t move forward. But if we’re willing to try a new strategy and experiment like scientists, it will be easy to figure out what can motivate us to move forward.

More often than not, a significant life change comes from that.

5. Get Lots of Support

Being stuck in a rut causes us to deceive ourselves into thinking we’re doing nothing because we don’t see outward movement. However, in actuality, spinning our wheels is a physically and emotionally exhausting process.

To get out of it, we need to get the support of every kind from others. It can be from friends who we can text or chat with during an emergency or counselors who can assist you when it comes to nourishing movement, essential oils, baths, massage, herbs, medication, etc.

Very few people can get out of a ditch themselves. So, there’s no shame in accepting whatever support is necessary to get out of that rut. In truth, it’s the only way to set yourself free.

Bottom Line

We may find ourselves in a rut at one point or another. Sometimes, it happens for a short period; other times, it takes you for the long haul. Either way, it’s critical to have simple yet useful tools to help us get back on the open road.

More on Getting Unstuck

Featured photo credit: Lindsay Henwood via unsplash.com

Reference

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Mike Iamele

Mike Iamele is a writer, life purpose expert, and brand strategist who helps people map their sensitivities to discover their purpose.

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Last Updated on February 16, 2021

Need a Breakthrough from the Limitations Holding you Back?

Need a Breakthrough from the Limitations Holding you Back?

Do you feel stuck in an area of your life, not knowing what to do next?

There are things you want to accomplish, dreams you’d love to fulfil, yet your current circumstances seem to be preventing you from reaching your goals.

Perhaps it’s your job, your career, major decisions, relationships, or just life getting in the way that’s preventing you from focusing on your true desires.You’re unhappy, maybe even burning out, and you want a change.You need some sort of breakthrough. Is this where you’re at in life right now?

Is there something bigger, something more that you’d like to do, but feel like you can’t at this moment for whatever reason?If you’re feeling this way, then I want to first assure you that you’re not alone. Almost everyone has experienced this feeling at some point in their lives, because humans are made to grow and mature and to develop into ‘better’ versions of themselves. Take the evolution theory for example, it shows how humans evolve through time to adapt, survive, and thrive better on Earth.

Same goes for each of our individual lives. We have different goals, dreams, and aspirations, but they all lead to the same outcome – becoming better than what we were before… whether it’s in terms of happiness, wealth, love, etc. So why is it that some of us have a harder time moving ahead? To answer that, we need to look at the limitations holding us back.

What are Limitations?

On the surface, limitations are things that prevent you from doing something; but, if you dig deeper, you’ll find that limitations are the things that keep you constrained inside a loop.

They keep you stuck facing the same problems, having the same choices, and taking the same actions over and over again. Limitations define your current circumstances, which also means that they define the quality of your life.

But, here’s another insight that we’ve found from people who consistently make breakthroughs: your reality is derived from your perception.

It’s not reality that’s important, but rather, how you see it. So being able to control how you look at things is the key to your breakthrough. 

Some people are able to move forward a lot easier than others because they’re able to control how to look at things better than others. They’re able to shift their mindset to look at even the most negative of situations, and turn them into something positive.

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And the good news, is that because all limitations start from your mind, it means that you can learn how to take control of the way you view your limitations. And, here is where I want to introduce to you the Breakthrough Framework.

The Full Life Framework

This Full Life Framework helps provide an overall paradigm shift for you to turn any limitation you may be having, into an opportunity that is achievable. 

With this framework, you’ll be able to transform yourself to achieve your goals and break free from anything that is holding you back.

You’ll learn how to use the Life Multipliers to help you through your transformation. These skills will help magnify your efforts and allow you to grasp your opportunities quicker and instill the changes permanently so that you won’t fall back into those limitations.

Step 1: Find the Hidden Opportunity

Step one is to find the Hidden Opportunity.When we’re faced with a challenge or setback, as humans it’s normal to focus on the negatives or the things that are missing. But, that’s life! There will always be some sort of constraint, so why not train your mind to think of opportunities instead of limitations?

With every obstacle, there is always a hidden opportunity waiting to be uncovered. So instead of fighting them or giving up, know that there are always two sides to every coin. This means that you can find an opportunity within any obstacle that you’re facing.

So, in order to find your hidden opportunity, try asking these guiding questions:

1. What limitation is affecting your quality of life right now?
E.g. “I’m limited by … [ the obstacle/constraint ]  Because …  [ why it’s a limitation ]”

2. What does it stop you from doing?
E.g. “It stops me from … [ the thing you want to do ]

3. What’s the turning point? A turning point is a key obstacle that, if overcome, would open new opportunities that weren’t available before. So you just need to find that turning point within the limitation you’re facing, to create a new opportunity.
E.g. If only I could … [ the achievement ] then I’d be able to … [ the new possibility ]”

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4. Create an Opportunity Statement.
E.g. I have an opportunity to … [ the new possibility ] by … [ the achievement ]

By writing an opportunity statement, it not only solidifies your intent, but it also provides a spark of motivation for you to finally come out of your limitation.

It can be a real mental drain to be faced with an obstacle; and the longer you stay stuck in it, the more effort and energy is taken away from you. So going through this first step of finding your hidden opportunity helps to re-ignite the flame of positivity that will drive you to take focused actions in steps 2 to 4.

Step 2: Plan Your Progression Stairway

Now that you’ve found a hidden opportunity, the next step is to plan your Progression Stairway.

This simply means that you should have a game plan of how you want to achieve that opportunity! And, it all starts with creating achievable goals.So the first secret to creating achievable goals, is to find your North Star.

Your North Star is what will guide you towards your outcome, and make sure your goals are focused within the bounds of what you actually want. Your North Star is the greater goal that all other smaller goals align themselves to.

The second secret is to set goals aimed at growth. This means that your success should be based on progress, and not just a single outcome.

The third secret, is to take bite-sized steps. In order to remain consistent, it’s helpful to break your ultimate goal into smaller, achievable chunks and work your way up from there – hence the progression stairway.

The clearer each bite sized step, the easier it is for you to keep making progress towards and eventually succeeding at accomplishing your goal.

Once you have your game plan sorted with goals in place, it’s time to start acting on them. And, here is where your actual energy and attention comes in. This is also the part where many of us fail or give up halfway because our energy and attention is limited. So we need to make sure we’re focusing it on the right tasks.

Step 3: Invest by Energy, Prioritize by Time

The third step of the Breakthrough Framework, therefore, is to Invest by Energy, Prioritize by Time. Breakthroughs require focused energy and effort above the level you’re currently using, otherwise it wouldn’t be called a breakthrough. So you can’t afford to waste it on distractions or scattered efforts. This is why focus is your ultimate weapon as it maximizes your effectiveness.

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And, since time is something we can never get back, we have to spend or invest in it carefully. We waste time when we allocate it on the wrong things. This may be due to poor planning or prioritizing. As a result, we don’t spend it effectively which is why focus is key.

So in order to maximize our efforts, we need to invest in our Energy and Time. 

Energy comes first because if you cannot focus, it doesn’t matter how well you manage your time. You’ll still end up wasting it because it’s not being productively spent.

Get rid of distractions, and do things in short bursts of focus as our attention span is short. Offload your brain by using support tools such as apps, journals, recording devices etc., so that your brain doesn’t get overwhelmed with information. Keep repeating this routine to build up your focus muscle.

Next comes time. Once you’ve learned to maximize your energy, it’s important to understand how you spend your time, set priorities and use the power of deadlines. Figure out which actions or tasks are more important, and prioritize those. Once you have your priorities listed, be sure to schedule them in weekly chunks so that they can be executed.

Now that you have established your opportunity, steps and focused actions, the last step of your breakthrough is to ensure this new you is sustainable!

Step 4: Make a Self-sustaining Engine

Most breakthroughs are not one off; therefore, a self-sustaining growth trend is needed. Along the way of reaching your breakthrough, you’ll encounter new challenges and obstacles that require the same mindset and plan of attack.

Breakthroughs require consistent input over time to guarantee stability; otherwise you might make a breakthrough but fall into the trap of sliding backwards again. And, just having willpower is not enough. You need a system to support and feed your momentum.

This is why we need what is called a self-sustaining Engine. And two elements form this engine: Motivation and Habits.

Motivation is formed from continuing growth and progress in your achievements. The more growth you experience, the more motivated you are to continue.

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And habits are routines that help you to generate momentum automatically. You can create a growth loop by having habits that anchor your growth. And, always incorporate a feedback loop so that you’re aware of your progress, and that will make your growth concrete.

Start by identifying keystone habits that can help anchor your growth, and be sure to work them in your daily schedule. Keep track of your daily or weekly progress in order to keep momentum going.

In a month, you should already see changes taking place. In 2 months, 3 months or more, you will be able to see milestones reached and progress made towards your ultimate goal that you had set out from the start – your opportunity statement.

Repeat and Grow

The four steps of the Breakthrough Framework that I’ve outlined can be used whenever you face any obstacle or limitation, no matter what situation you’re in. And mastering the Life Multipliers will allow you to carry out each step of the Breakthrough Framework effectively, as they give you in depth understanding of what should be done to get your desired outcomes.

Breakthrough’s are never one off. You may overcome a setback today, but face a new challenge 3 months later, and that’s normal because it’s how you know you’re progressing in life when you’re doing things that are harder than before to push you to greater heights.

With the Full Life Framework and the Life Multipliers, you’ll be able to break free from your current limitations and start pursuing the goals that truly matter to you, without risking or sacrificing your current responsibilities.

So don’t stay stagnant anymore, it’s time to see your breakthrough! Start your life-changing journey here!

Featured photo credit: Jeremy Bishop via unsplash.com

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