Have you been feeling stuck in a rut recently?
Or in the last couple of months? (Ehm… I even hear you say, for YEARS!)
OK, first of all, let´s take a deep breath together.
And now one more.
I, personally, hate the feeling of being stuck in a rut. It feels like you´re in an endless cycle of unhealthy habits, wrong circumstances, and shallow relationships.
But I want you to know that we all get stuck in a rut from time to time.
You´re not condemned forever and getting unstuck might be easier than you think, but let´s take it step by step.
The rut itself can teach you a few potent life lessons and these lessons will in the end strengthen your will, character, and purpose.
And, please, do me a favor. Keep breathing deeply the whole time you´re reading this article. Paying attention to the way you breathe is the first step towards training your mind to become more focused, intentional, and relaxed. Sounds good, doesn´t it?
So, I think we´re now ready to get you out of the rut, my friend.
1. Getting Clear on Your WHY or Why on Earth Am I Even Doing This?
Nothing gets you in a rut quicker than a wishy-washy state of mind.
I believe we create and recreate our own lives every day. I really do.
Over the years I´ve learned that our internal world, i.e. our beliefs, emotions, and subsequent actions shape our lives the most.
And even though there´re factors that we´re creating on a collective level, such as laws, education, and other systems, you can still create a life that feels good and is meaningful to YOU. Then by shifting our life on an individual level, society shifts as well.
You´ve probably heard the saying that life experiences shape who you are.
Well, they do. Until you decide to shape your life experience.
How do you do that?
Start by paying attention to why you do the things you do.
I know it sounds too simple and life seems to be too complicated for this tip to work, but I suggest you give it a try.
Over the next week, take five minutes out of your morning routine and get clear on your WHY.
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Go over your to-do-list and add another column to it where you write next to each bullet point the reason behind the activity.
Are you going grocery shopping?
Daa! I have to, you genius!
Ok, so when you´re dealing with the “obvious” tasks. Ask yourself the “WHY?” several times.
Why am I going grocery shopping?
Because I have to.
Why do I have to go grocery shopping?
Because I don´t want to die from undernourishment and hunger.
Why don´t you want to die?
Because I feel I´m not done here yet.
Why are you not done here yet?
Because I want to be around my loved ones and I´m in the midst of creating a fulfilling career and I´d still love to experience so many things. Like the road trip, I´ve been planning for months! Or the movie I haven´t seen yet! And I always wanted to have a puppy… I guess I want to get that damn grocery shopping done so I have enough energy to spend time with my loved ones, and so I can build a wildly amazing career and go on an exciting road trip.
See? It´s possible to be intentional about Every. Single. Thing. we do.
And I bet the next time you go grocery shopping with these intentions in mind, you´ll choose food that actually nourishes your body and mind.
Why would you want to do it any other way? You´re, after all, on a mission now!
2. Use Your WHY as an Anchor
Oftentimes, even though we have the best intentions we tend to fall off track, lose our momentum and it seems like we´ll be stuck in the rut forever.
That´s when you need to come back to your WHY again and again.
I don´t always feel excited to write or work on the content for my community, but I choose to do it anyway because my intentions are clear. I know how it feels to be stuck and disempowered and I know how it feels to be on the other side. And I want to help as many people as possible to get to the other side and take their power back.
So, every time I start feeling off, I remind myself what my ultimate motivation is. This helps me not only to stay on track but also to stay true to my values and integrity.
I started my blog because I was lacking an outlet that´ll help me to connect with like-minded people and to share what I was learning.
I´ve been using writing and inspiring others to create a meaningful life to anchor myself in the new state of being and to live from my intentions, not from the circumstances.
You shape your beliefs and then your beliefs shape you — I find this to be true 100% of the time.
If you feel stuck, make an inventory of your beliefs and intentions. Write your WHYs down.
The worst that can happen is that you´ll find out that you´re doing hundreds of mindless activities per day and you don´t know why.
It´s a great opportunity to teach yourself how to start all over and give your life a clear direction.
And not everyone wants to build a career or go on a road trip.
Maybe you want to spend more time gardening or hiking or reading books.
Just get clear on what it is that brings you joy. Then use it as an anchor for everything you do. Create your schedule around the things that are important to you and get rid of everything that you´re doing out of guilt, to people-please and because you think you should do it, but where the WHY is not aligned with your integrity.
I have to warn you.
When you start crossing things off your to-do list, a lot of guilt will come to the surface.
Especially, if you´re a woman. Remind yourself that you´re letting go of years of programming that told you to sacrifice your needs for the needs of those around you. But keep going! Over time you´ll get better at letting the guilt go.
Once you see that even though you finally didn´t attend your friend´s boring dinner party out of obligation as you usually would but the Earth kept spinning around its orbit anyway, it´ll be easier to stop feeling guilty.
3. If You Don´t Speak Your Truth You Deny Someone Else’s Prayers to Be Answered through You
Do you really want to know what a rut is?
When you find yourself in a rut it means that somewhere along the way you stopped paying attention to what is important to you and you bought into the agendas of other people and social groups.
I know that it´s a hard pill to swallow and sometimes a painful one, but I´m choosing the honest cut-right-through-the-BS approach because I know from the experience that being stuck in a rut is thousand times more painful.
Believe me when I say that you do deserve better. Much more better. Always.
If you´re not at peace, you´re not living according to your own wisdom.
And as I´ve once heard someone say, “You´re denying someone else’s prayers to be answered through you”.
When you decide to start digging out of the rut, you´ll need courage. A lot of courage.
Suddenly, you´ll have to question everything you´ve been up to and see it with critical eyes: Is this serving me? Or is it not? Is it supporting who I want to become? Or is it not?
If you need an extra courage think about this — you´re always planting seeds for others.
You never know who needs to see you stand in your worth so they´ll know that it is possible for them, too.
You never know who needs to hear what you´ve had on your mind and heart for the last couple of days.
You never know who needs to witness that you can be a kind human being, but at the same time honor your own path, value, and time.
The last thing I´d like to mention is that we were never meant to strive for perfection.
Everything is supposed to be a practice. We practice staying anchored in our intentions and we practice following through with our actions.
We ´ve never been a lost case or broken goods. We just forgot how it feels to live authentically and we can get out of the rut anytime we decide to.
The choice is now yours. Will you choose to live intentionally?