It’s interesting to learn when talking with others that the majority of people have at some time or another cried out, Help, why am I stuck in a rut? So, you are not alone, and it is nothing that you should be overly concerned about. They got over it, and so can you.
Feeling like we are stuck in a rut can apply to our lives in general or can be specific to a particular area or areas of our lives. Whatever the case, we feel like we are stuck if we are getting no closer to reaching our goals over time. It’s because we think we should have things better than they currently are….. and this can apply to our health, wealth, happiness, intelligence, relationships, etc.
If we haven’t found a satisfying job, a suitable partner, and are still living with our parents at thirty-two years old, we may feel like the best of life is passing us by. And to cap it all off, we get to see our friends showing off on social media about how good their lives are….. and that really sucks!
So, how do we escape our ‘stuckness’ so we can begin living the lives we are currently only dreaming of?
Why Am I Stuck In A Rut!
Living the same routine day after day without feeling any progress can completely de-motivate us. The main reason we feel uninspired to do anything is that we are lacking firm direction in our lives. So, the first step out of the rut is to begin imagining how we want to be living our lives- ask “what it is that we do want?” THEN, WE MUST BREAK OUT OF OUR BORING ROUTINES AND SET OFF ON AN INTENTIONAL JOURNEY TO TURN OUR DESIRED FUTURE INTO OUR REALITY.
Why is ‘feeling’ like we are stuck in a rut not good for us?
Feeling like we are stuck in a rut is not productive and not healthy for us. So whatever the reason is, for our sake and the sake of others around us, we need to snap out of it!
As we progress through life, our expectations change and as a result our feelings and ideas also change. And to be fair, we cannot always be expected to be in a super productive, super excited mode. And this means that sometimes, acceptance of feeling stuck is the best action to take.
Being action-orientated or goal-focused all the time has its own associated problems. This can lead to burnout and other mental, physical, and emotional health problems. So maybe a break is the best thing for us once in a while.
And at the other end of the scale, some of us just lack motivation (for some reason) and are unwilling to get off the couch to do anything to make our lives better. Now, these people in contrast to the action takers need to understand that movement in any direction, towards any goal, is going to begin the process of getting them unstuck from a lethargic and boring lifestyle that has become their normal habit.
“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Most of us fall somewhere in between, and wherever we are, there are consequences that come with feeling stuck and being unproductive. And they are not good…… Not because of the perceived lack of forward momentum, but because of the negative way we are thinking and feeling about our situation.
If we are thinking that we are stuck, and trying to figure out how to become unstuck, we can become worried and stressed. And if we begin to identify with this aspect of our lives for too long, it may become part of our personality. We will then complain about it to whoever will listen and use our stuckness as an excuse to not do other things that would benefit us and enhance our lives.
There are many reasons we find ourselves thinking we are stuck in a rut. And the thoughts we will have can lead to feelings of worry, anxiety, stress, depression, fear, and lots of other stuff we don’t wish to be feeling. However, it’s not all bad news, because these are the feelings that can inspire us to change our lives for the better.
Feeling bad lets us know that the things we desire for ourselves are not matching the reality we are currently living. That’s all. And our negative feelings are the best motivation we have to change our lives.
Why are YOU feeling stuck at this time, and what can YOU do about it?
First, we need to work out why we are feeling that we are stuck in a rut? And the answer will provide us with the clues that we need to identify and introduce positive change into our lives so that we can begin the journey to feeling better again.
So, what are some of the reasons we may be feeling stuck and what can we do to get out of our rut?
1) Have you been a high achiever who currently needs a rest? For some of us, a rest may feel like we have lost momentum as we are not observing any daily/weekly progress in our lives. However, our bodies and minds have an innate intelligence of their own, and maybe this intelligence knows that the best thing for us at this time is to take a pause. So, instead of stressing about it, we should relax and enjoy the much-needed rest.
2) Have you set goals based on what other people think you should be doing, instead of setting goals that you are passionate about? These aren’t your goals and therefore you won’t become emotionally invested in achieving them. So of course you won’t throw yourself wholeheartedly into achieving them. You may even find them boring.
And even if you do achieve them, you won’t feel satisfied or fulfilled in the end. You will still feel stuck in a rut because your true desires are still waiting to be discovered and pursued.
If this is the case, you need to take time to contemplate what you want to achieve, what you are passionate about, and what excites you. It’s easy to move forward once these things are known.
“It is the way we react to circumstances that determines our feelings.” – Dale Carnegie
3) Are you someone who has tried a few times in the past and has been talked out of pursuing your goals by others who are happier if you remain down at their level?
Sometimes those closest to us feel threatened if we are growing in directions that they don’t understand or cannot keep up with.
And even though they may say they are happy for us, they actually wish we won’t change. They prefer us the way we are and so may make remarks, offer suggestions, and recommendations that are more in line with keeping the status quo. They secretly hope that they don’t lose the benefits that they are getting from their relationship with us.
4) Do you have low self-esteem and doubt that you can achieve your goals? In this case, many people have given up achieving anything before they even try. They convince themselves that they have never failed…… because they never started. However, it is failing if we are not being true to who we are!
And giving up on what we want will never make us happy. We are alive to participate in our life experience, and this means that to be fulfilled, we need to be progressing or moving.
Participation in our own lives is the meaning of OUR lives…..
therefore, find something that you are interested in and throw yourselves into it. In this way, you will never be bored or stuck in a rut again!
“Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie Ten Boom
5) Are you comparing your life to the lives of others on social media? If so, it’s important to realize that most people only share their ‘highlights.’ These highlights do not include all of the stuff that they are unhappy about or would rather keep hidden.
So, if we are comparing the whole of our lives to their best moments, it is an unfair comparison, and we would be better off remembering that they have their struggles and issues just the same as everyone else does.
We should only ever compare our lives to what they were like previously. In this way, we will see if we have progressed towards achieving our goals and how much our lives have improved, or not. And even if we haven’t progressed as much as we would like, we should never ever beat ourselves up over it! Always, always, always, be kind with your self-talk, because you hear and believe everything you say about yourself….. and our thoughts are creating our reality!
6) Do you have a false sense of what progress is? We are constantly bombarded with advertising and pressure from others that say we need to get a good education, find a good job, meet the right partner, buy a house, settle down, raise a family, etc……… And yes, this is what most people in our modern societies have brought into as being what life is all about.
What if everything we know about life is based on the wrong model?
In this model, economics trumps happiness and wellbeing….. and really the pursuit of monetary gains above all else is counterproductive to the desires of our spirit.
Maybe your feelings of dissatisfaction are telling you that it is a good time to re-evaluate your goals (or set some?) Maybe the rut we are stuck in is a rut we intuitively don’t want to be in at all. Wouldn’t our lives be better if we pursued ideals like happiness, wellness, adventure, excitement, etc…. things that make our hearts resonate with joy?
However, if the 9 to 5 pursuit of money and stuff brings you happiness, go for it and focus on the favorable aspects that do put a smile on your face. Because there is nothing more important than the way we feel!
Feeling stuck is just another one of our feelings, and our feelings change according to our perceptions.
Feels, feelings, feelings….. Our feelings are really, really, really, important because they are the main indicator we have to determine the quality of our lives!
Happy people have happy feelings… and what makes them feel happy?….. its the thoughts they are thinking for the majority of the time. A lot of happy thoughts equates to a happy life.
So, If you are feeling stuck, you are currently (not always, and not forevermore) not having a good quality experience. And luckily, there are many ways you can change your current state of being. And they include:
- Don’t base your identity on this one feeling you have. Instead, focus on the areas in your life where you are not feeling stuck. Remember, all things can and do change.
- Accept responsibility for your feelings. And if you are not happy with the stuckness you are feeling, motivate yourself and move in any direction. Any momentum is better than none, and you will learn that you either like the direction you chose, or you won’t. Re-evaluate, and then move again.
- Give yourself credit for having come this far in life, and know that you have what it takes to get what you want…… but to get it, you have to know what you want and what direction to move in.
- Realize that it is you who are thinking thoughts of being stuck, and this is why you are stuck. You could just as easily change your thoughts to enter into a better state of mind. How do you want to be feeling? Happy? Then start thinking thoughts that make you feel happy more often……
“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.” – Fawn Weaver
- Make sure your body is healthy. Exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet have a positive impact not only on our bodies but on our mental and emotional aspects. Learn to treat yourself with respect at all times!
- Live intentionally…. Become the conscious creator of your life circumstances instead of just reacting to what life is putting in front of you…… become the driver of your life and steer yourself into a better future, because it’s your life and you are responsible for the circumstances of it whether you like it or not. So, again, learn to live with purpose, intention, and passion, and you will have a great life experience!
- Remember that life is a journey, and we are here to learn progressively. If we knew everything, there is no point to being here….. so learn, grow, and develop yourself as much as possible, and have lots of fun along the way….. because it is the journey, the steps along the way that we are here to experience.
I wish you well on your journey, and hope you decide to make your life awesome!