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5 Ways to Stop Enduring and Start Thriving

5 Ways to Stop Enduring and Start Thriving

We wear our struggles like a badge of honor. We’re a culture of warriors. Included in any good success story are the struggles we’ve had to overcome. We may be sleep-deprived, completely stressed, and perpetually busy, but we’re always able to get it all done.

But, if you can accomplish so much when you’re just enduring, imagine what could happen if you started thriving. Imagine what could happen if you stopped putting yourself through struggles and started feeding yourself a little water and sunshine.

If you want to reach your full potential, it’s time to stop enduring and start thriving. Curious how? Try these five ways.

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1. Cut the obligations.

These days, there are so many things we have to do that we hardly have time for ourselves. But, in actuality, there’s not much we really have to do—just a series of choices. We choose to go to work or we might get fired. We choose to do the dishes or our place will look like a pigpen. And we can choose to drop the stuff that feels like obligations. If we’re just doing it because we’re supposed to and not because we love it, it might be time to drop the dead weight and make choices more in line with the life we want. Because anything in our life we don’t love is stopping us from completely loving our life.

2. Do what comes naturally.

These days, people are so focused on fixing their weaknesses that they forget about their strengths. In our constant quest to round ourselves out, we start to lose our edge. But why make things difficult when you’ve already got a leg up? You can save a lot of time and headache by focusing on what naturally comes easiest to you. Drop the embedded belief that anything worth doing has to be a struggle, and learn how to play to your own strengths. No one is naturally good at everything, but people who thrive constantly put themselves in situations where they’re set up to succeed.

3. Learn how to let people down.

There are just over 7 billion people in this world. Chances are you’re going to disappoint one or two from time to time. Instead of living your life based on what others will think, you’ve got to remember that you’re only responsible for making one of those people happy. We’re inundated with rules, from laws and business policies to dress codes and cultural norms. It’s hard enough keeping it all straight without people’s expectations. So give yourself a free pass to be imperfect and get really good at letting people down. The less afraid you are of saying no to others, the better you’ll be at saying yes to yourself.

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4. Ask for help when you need it.

Slow down there, Superman, or Wonder Woman. You may be perfectly capable of doing, or learning how to do, just about anything. But is that really the best use of your time? Does it light you up? Does it make you thrive? Instead of doing everything under the sun, why not stick to what you’re really good at and ask for help on the rest. Chances are there’s someone out there who would love to help with what you’re needing, and it frees you up more time to spend on what you really love. The strong person is the one who can admit that he or she needs a little bit of help.

5. Keep your eye on the prize.

Enduring is all about struggling. It’s about going from one obstacle to the next. But thriving—that’s about growth. Sure, there are a few aches and growing pains on the way to flourishing, but that’s all par for the course. Instead of getting stuck in the rut of current obstacles, keep your focus on where you’re moving. Remember why you’re doing this in the first place and how you’re progressing toward your goal. We don’t measure magnitude; we measure direction. And, if you’re working towards your goals, you’re growing in the right direction. I think some people call that thriving.

We’re insistent on struggling our way to success without ever tapping into our own arsenal. We’ve got strengths, passions, and skills that we’re ignoring. And, if we keep ignoring them, we’ll keep the game weighted against us.

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So let’s turn this board around. Let’s create a playing field on our own terms. Let’s decide, once and for all, to stop struggling and start thriving.

Because thriving is really about laying a groundwork that inevitably leads to success.

And it’s about time your potential starts to bloom.

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Featured photo credit: Thai Jasmine via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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