Advertising

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
Advertising

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:

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Mike Iamele

Mike Iamele is a Purpose + Brand Strategist who figures out what makes you naturally successful. Then helps you do it on purpose.

20 Best Books on Personal Development How To Adapt Flexible Thinking Strategies To Solve Problems How To Find a Mentor And Make The Relationship Work 5 Ways to Turn Around a Bad Day at Work 5 Things to Do If You Don’t Want to Get Back to Work

Trending in Life Potential

1 What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion 2 16 Simple Rules to Live by for a Successful And Fulfilling Life 3 How to Live a Full Life With No Regrets 4 How to Stop Feeling Guilty And Start Making Things Happen 5 How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion

What Is Passion and What It Means To Have Passion
Advertising

I like to use the word passion interchangeably with words like determination, conviction, and love. Passion is a strong desire that can get you to do amazing things.

Passion is an emotion to be acted upon. Without action, passion yields no worthwhile results. Passion is the fuel in the fire of action. When you have passion for something, you love it even when you hate it.

So what is passion? How do you recognize your passion, and how do you put it to good use?

Advertising

What Is Passion?

A desire fueled by passion will bring about the greatest results in life.

I like to skateboard, but I don’t have the determination to push myself through broken bones and hospital visits. That’s why I’m not as good as I could be. I don’t have a passion for it.

Passion can push you through difficult times because you don’t care what it takes to become better. We all have the ability to create whatever kind of life we want. The secret to living the dream is hidden in our passions and what we do because of them.

Advertising

How to Know What You’re Passionate About?

Finding what you are passionate about is a journey in itself. Don’t be frustrated if you don’t feel like you know yet. Keep trying new things. It will come even if you have to build it. If you find your passion, or find yourself hot on its trail, don’t give it up.

What if you know what you have a passion for but you don’t do anything about it? This is the main problem with passion. You can have all the passion in the world for something but if you never do anything about it, that passion is useless.

Maybe you work a good job that pays all the bills but it doesn’t allow you to truly follow your passion. You’re afraid of what will happen if you change things up. Yes, change is scary, but it’s not until we leave our comfort zone that we find what we’ve been missing out on.

Advertising

You’re the author of your life. Don’t settle for the bare minimum just because it’s working out right now.

You will never know what you’re truly capable of unless you push yourself.

But even when you pursue your passion, you will find yourself tripped up by failures and other obstacles. You can’t let that get to you. It happens to everyone on the path of following their passion. Abe Lincoln had a strong passion for building a great country. You think he let a few failures stop him from that? Don’t let obstacles get you down.

Advertising

What About Passion for People?

The idea of passion also applies to people. Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking you love someone and not doing anything about it. Ask yourself, is giving up my pride worth it to maintain a relationship? What about being unselfish and sacrificing your time or comfort? If you can’t do that, it’s probably not real love, or you need to start making changes.

Often, I think we need to remind ourselves who we love and act accordingly. It’s easy to let family relationships weaken because of pride. Of course, you say you love your family, but when your brother is in the school play, and you hate plays, do you go?

The same applies to intimate relationships. Do you only love them when it’s easy? Real love takes sacrifice and work. You push through the difficult times because you love them and you understand that every passion pursued will have bumps in the road. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand what it means to have passion for someone. This is why divorce rates are so high and families are often torn apart by hurt feelings and unnecessary drama.

Advertising

Following any passion takes vulnerability and work. But I promise in the end, the outcome of such efforts will be the most fulfilling to your life.

More About Living Your Passion

Featured photo credit: Randalyn Hill via unsplash.com

Read Next