Get Out of the Rut: Stop that Stinkin’ Thinkin’

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.
It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” ~Mark Twain.

More people seem stuck today than ever before. Stuck in a rut that seems more like a grave or, perhaps more aptly, stuck in a belief system that seems more like a prison cell.

If you’re feeling stressed and unfulfilled or if you regularly wonder what else is “out there”, you may be stuck. It’s a common place to be that requires uncommon thinking to leave. Here are a few things that may indicate you are stuck:

  • You don’t get excited about going to work, to school or the day ahead.
  • You get things done (check off that list), but it seems like you’re going nowhere.
  • Complaining is becoming a habit and seems easier than enjoying life.
  • You blame others for where you are in life.
  • You feel like a failure and don’t see any way out.
  • Getting away is always a dream, but you never get there.
  • You dwell on the past and what might have been.
  • No matter how hard you work on your health, money or relationships, you still feel like you’re in a downward spiral.
  • You are exhausted spiritually, mentally and physically.
  • You never seem to be able to catch up.
  • You feel hopeless, worthless and afraid.

If that’s you, you may need an overhaul or makeover. Certainly, a review of your routine is in order because, as you know, if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same result. And we all know that’s simply the definition of insanity.

If you’ve become content with familiar territory and comfortable with your four walls of complacency, this may not be for you. But if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired and you’re ready to climb out of the rut, here are a few places to start.

Stop believing the lies. The voices in your head are keeping you down. You know the voices: The ones that say you aren’t good enough, you’ll never have friends, you’ll never get out of debt, you’ll never amount to anything, you don’t deserve that, you’re the only one that has this problem, nobody cares. Yeah, those voices, those lies. Just stop believing them. It’s a choice, and the choice is yours.

Get rid of stinkin’ thinkin’. Let go of old beliefs. They’re the ones that got you into this problem in the first place. Think about it. What’s holding you back? It’s probably all in your head! Stop trying to put the square peg in the round hole.

  • “I don’t have time.”
  • “It’s too late to change.”
  • “I wouldn’t know where to start.”
  • “I don’t have the money or resources.”
  • “I’m just not ready.” Or, “I don’t have the education or training.”
  • “I’ll start after _____________.”

What if you made time? What if it’s not too late? What if you start with the first step? What if you didn’t need money to start? What if you start before ___________?

Stop getting ready to get ready and start doing today!

Talk to people who know something. Yes, it’s comfortable to surround yourself with people who think like you do or people who look up to you. If you want to challenge yourself, though, surround yourself with people you look up to and who can speak wisdom and insight into your life. Yes, they are all around you, but you have to look outside your rut to find them because they climbed out long ago.

Let go of the bags that are weighing you down. Similar to your belief system, other things can hold you back. Past relationships, guilt, fear, regret, circumstances, upbringing. You can’t hold onto the past and reach for the future at the same time. Here’s a question to consider. Has that baggage served you well in the past? Why do you hang on to it? What would change if you let that piece of baggage go right now?

Try something new. You’ve already learned that if you do the same ol’ thing, you’ll get the same ol’ results. Try something new. Drive a different way to work, read a book or listen to a podcast, turn off the TV or step away from Facebook, call an old friend, try your coffee black or add cheese to your hamburger. Do something different that will help you get off the schneid or get on the scoreboard.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ~John Maxwell.

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