Stuck in a rut? Being stuck in a rut can be crazy. One minute you’re making a whole plan for your life and you’re excited about the new things you want to do, and the next day, you wake up and you don’t want to do anything.
You feel tired and uninspired.
Everything you plan to do seems unnecessary.
You wonder why you ever planned to do all that at first.
And then all your past failures and regrets start flooding your mind.
You start questioning everything you’ve ever wanted.
You start wondering if your dreams are viable and if you can be better than who you currently are.
I know all about being stuck in a rut so well because it is a common occurrence for everyone.
And before we get into how to get out of a rut, here are some things you need to know:
What does it mean to be stuck in a rut?
When you’re stuck in a rut, you’re basically feeling tired and unexcited about the state of your life or about a particular area of your life.
This is when suddenly you’re not excited about your goals and you feel indifferent towards something you used to be passionate about.
Many of us get this feeling sometimes in our lives and this is why I have written this article to let you know that you’re not alone and there are tons of other people who feel a sudden indifference towards things they used to have strong feelings for.
What type of rut can you get stuck in?
Given the definition of being stuck in a rut, it is easier to assume that being stuck in a rut is limited to some areas of our lives but this is not the case.
Getting stuck in a rut has no limitations.
You can be stuck in a:
- Career rut
- Business rut
- Goal rut
- Relationship rut
- Spiritual rut
- Self-development rut
- General rut
From the above-listed ruts, I’m sure you get the point I’m trying to make.
Being stuck in a rut can affect any area of your life or just a part of your life.
And when this happens you will know.
How do you know when you’re stuck in a rut?
Here are 4 signs you’re stuck in a rut:
- You don’t look forward to anything: You just go about your day doing the usual. You don’t expect anything to happen and you don’t plan on doing anything new. The day just passes like every other day.
- You find it hard to do things that used to be easy: You struggle with things you used to find easy to do and you can’t seem to get yourself back on track.
- You don’t feel anything: This is an interesting stuck-in-a-rut feeling because it could be somewhere between being stuck in a rut and feeling depressed.
This is when you seek pain or anything to make you feel because you want to feel something but you feel numb.
This can come as a result of feeling hopeless or feeling like a failure.
But ensure it’s not a symptom of depression.
- You prefer to dream than to act: Sometimes, a sign that you’re stuck in a rut might be if you prefer day-dreaming, wishing, or imagining the life you want to live or the life you once had instead of doing something to get you out of the unfavorable situation you are currently in.
Now that we have seen the signs, let’s see some of the causes of being stuck in a rut.
What causes someone to get stuck in a rut?
You expected or planned something big and your heart was set on getting it, but it eventually didn’t work out.
The disappointment can cause you to go through a series of emotions, one of which is being stuck in a rut.
This causes you to wonder if your life could have been better. It leads to regrets and you might start beating yourself up.
You will also start thinking of what you could have done better or what you did wrong and this can cause you to become stuck in a rut.
Stagnancy or Delay.
Stagnancy or delay in your career, achievements, or in any area of your life can be a major reason for being stuck in a rut.
If you feel like you’re not moving forward or if you feel like everyone else is doing better than you, this might cause you to fall into a rut.
Detesting where you’re at.
If you don’t like where you currently are or if there’s a place you’d like to be and you’re not there yet, it’s possible that you start feeling unhappy about everything around you and you start losing excitement for everything else.
This will also cause you to prefer dreaming to taking action. Because you are not sure doing anything will change where you’re at.
Routine is another big cause of being stuck in a rut.
It’s great to have a routine but if you’re so stuck in your routine that there’s basically nothing new happening in your life, you might start falling into a rut without realizing it.
If you constantly compare yourself or where you are in your life to your friends’ life or the lives of people you see on social media, this can cause you to get stuck in a rut.
Because you will never be enough for yourself and you will always think you’re doing worse than everyone else.
If all of these resonate with you and one way or the other you find yourself feeling stuck in a rut, here are 10 ways to get out of a rut and feel better about yourself once again.
I promise to make it fun.
10 ways to get out of a rut when you’re stuck in a rut.
Take a pause and breathe.
I know this is not the first thing you’re expecting but why not?
Humans get stuck in a rut because they are too worried about a lot of (sometimes) inconsequential things.
So, instead of crowding your mind with what ifs and whens, take a pause, breathe, and let yourself off the hook.
Stop blaming yourself for what went wrong and stop badgering yourself about what could have gone right.
Take a pause and breath.
Do it again if you find yourself worrying again.
Stay true to yourself.
One of the common reasons I get stuck in a rut is when I get worried about who I am.
It’s one thing to have crazy ideas like ‘I want to change the world,’ but it’s another to have uncommon and unpopular ideas.
When you find people taking a jab at who you are and making you feel wrong for what you believe, you might find yourself questioning if your choices are right all over again and this can cause a lot of feelings.
But one piece of advice I will reiterate is that you should stay true to yourself.
If anyone will ever convince you to be a different person than who you are or who you want to be, let it be that you made that choice out of your own free will.
If you stay true to yourself, you will live happier than someone who changes who they are at every slightest opposition just to please others.
Have realistic expectations.
It’s okay to have expectations but remember that it’s possible for these expectations to not be met.
So, before you get your heart broken, prepare yourself for ‘what if things don’t go as planned?’
This will help you minimize the effect on your feelings when things don’t go as planned.
This should also reflect in your relationship with others; your spouse, your family, and your friends.
Don’t expect from them what they cannot give to you.
Try something new.
Do something you never thought you could do.
Travel out of your city, state, or country.
Learn a new skill.
Make a dance video and upload it online. Start a Youtube channel, a blog, or open a new social media platform for your pet or hobby.
The excitement of doing something new and different might just be what you need to get out of the rut.
Change up your routine.
You might be feeling stuck in a rut because you have the same old routine.
One way to get out of this rut is by changing up your routine.
Wake up earlier or later. Take a walk instead of brewing coffee.
Call a friend before taking your bath.
Read a book or listen to music before going to bed.
These changes might not seem like much but they are great factors in alleviating your feelings.
Stop the comparison.
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.2 Corr 10:12KJV
No one is doing better than you. No one has it better than you.
The person you’re comparing yourself to is also comparing themself to another person.
The person you think their life is perfect probably has a bigger problem than you do.
Take a pause and breathe. Look around you and start counting your blessings.
Start noticing the beautiful things you own and what you’re thankful for.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to who you used to be some months or years ago and you will see how much you’ve evolved.
Change the plan but not the goal.
I saw this somewhere on social media while I was scrolling through and it resonated with me.
I hope it does for you too.
The meaning I got from this phrase is that when your goal seems hard to reach and you feel like giving up, it might be because the plan is not functional or the plan is not working.
So, instead of giving up on your goal or quitting altogether, just change your plans.
And if you still don’t achieve your goal, change the plan again till you do.
Don’t give up.
Write down how you’re feeling.
Journaling has a huge benefit on our feelings as humans.
And one of them is that it makes us feel better.
If you feel stuck in a rut, it’s probably time to bring out your journal and write down how you feel.
Related post: 5 Powerful Benefits of Writing Things Down
When you do, you will discover emotions you never knew you had. You will probably also find out the cause of your rut and what you have to do to get out of it.
Find a motivator.
One time when I was stuck in a rut, all it took to get me out was reading words I had written to myself in the past or words I had written while in church, or words God told me while I was praying.
Going back to these write-ups or screenshots, or saved affirmations might be the reminder you need that you’re on the right track.
It could also remind you of why you started in the first place and why you should keep going.
Music, nature, good friends, and encouraging family members can also be great motivators.
You can find motivation anywhere but ensure you’re looking.
Recommended post: 10 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Get Things Done
Enjoy the moment.
There’s so much to enjoy in each moment but if you are not intentional, you will never find anything to enjoy.
So, right now! At this moment! Today!
Look around you!
Take a pause…
If you also think your rut is taking longer than expected and it might be depression, then please ensure to get help.
Sometimes feeling stuck in a rut results from having too much to do and so little time to do it.
Sometimes it’s because you feel like a failure, you feel overwhelmed by all you want to achieve but you don’t have all the motivation you need to start.
Other times, you feel ready to take the world by a storm but you don’t know the first thing to do.
I am a Productivity Coach.
And I can help you with that!
As a productivity coach, I have helped my clients achieve their goals, held them accountable to get their tasks done, and helped them plan and actualize a more flexible, yet productive life.
I have helped several creatives who battle anxiety as a result of numerous unfinished tasks and feelings of inadequacy to go from underachiever to high-achiever.
Let me help you too!
Reach out to me today to take my coaching sessions.
The first session is free! Schedule a free call now!
This call helps me understand what you’re struggling with and what aspect of productivity coaching you need.
In 30 mins, I will give you quick problem-solving tips to implement for a more productive life.
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