It’s so easy to get into a rut yet difficult to get out. A rut is a regular habit, pattern, or expectation. There is a certain degree of comfort associated with being in a rut. It is consistent, familiar, and safe. We can fall into a rut unintentionally without realizing it.
Although dwelling in a rut can induce feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction, not all people are unhappy being in one. There are those who are happy and satisfied with a regular, dependable pattern. If you are happy with your circumstances – great. But if you want to break out of a routine, this article is for you.
Any aspect of your life has the potential to fall into a rut. If it does, you have the power to pull yourself out. Ruts are an insidious trap because it’s easier to stay in familiar territory than to venture out into the unknown.
How do you know if you’re in a rut? An unending routine, a job without any perceivable chance of change, or a situation that appears to have no potential for change are all situations that qualify.
Pay attention to your feelings, they can identify a rut. Are you bored, frustrated, or apathetic? Do you feel a lack of excitement or challenge? Is it tough getting started each day? Do you lack motivation? Some or all of these emotions may be indicative of a rut.
You can get used to being in a rut and accept it as an inevitable part of life. Once this happens, your drive and ambition begin to wane. Getting out of a rut can then seem unattainable. The good news is that a rut doesn’t have to be permanent and you possess the ability to get yourself out. The key to extricating yourself is being proactive and taking initiative.
You can’t get out of a rut by waiting for things to change. A rut will only become deeper with the passage of time. Only you can change your situation. To do so you need to recognize that you are in a rut, have a desire to get out, and be willing to put in the effort necessary to do so.
Once you have decided to get out you are ready to begin. You can’t just jump out of a rut; you have to climb out one step at a time. It took time to get in and it will take time to get out. Unrealistic expectations create frustration and may cause you to abandon your efforts altogether.
Climbing out necessitates changing engrained habits. You want to take small successful steps that will motivate you to keep going. So, pick something that is relatively easy to alter and not overwhelming. Some ideas: take a different route to work, do something different during lunch, vary your daily schedule, or change your evening routine. No aspect is too insignificant.
The goal is to build confidence in your ability to successfully make changes. With each successful alteration you make, you will be building strength to tackle bigger challenges. It’s the same process as getting into shape physically. You start out with easy exercises and make them more challenging as you get stronger.
As your confidence builds you can tackle bigger ruts. Every aspect of your life has the potential for adjustment. If you believe you are stuck in a rut and can’t get out, you are right. If you believe you can get out of any rut, you are also right. The choice is yours, get started today.
Bryan Golden is the author of “Dare to Live Without Limits.” Opinions expressed are those of the author. Contact him at Bryan@columnist.com or visit www.DareToLiveWithoutLimits.com.