What to Do When You’re Stuck in a Rut

Do you spend days feeling like you’re stuck in a rut — a deep, muddy, slippery, gooey, stinky rut? Struggling with the day to day stuff?

  • You’re struggling because every day looks the same as the last one. Next week looks like last week. Ho-hum, hum drum.
  • You might be struggling in a job you don’t like all that much (even if it is teaching you a lot, you keep telling yourself.)
  • You’re struggling because you aren’t living your life purpose to be a leader or to help indigenous microbots change the world from the inside out.

And all that may be true.

And it’s painful because what you believe to be true is that you are failing. Failing!!!

That little voice (you know which one) is telling you that you’re not living up to your potential. You feel like a failure. You’ve disappointed your family and friends. You’re a disaster. You don’t matter. You’re not doing any good. Nobody cares.

It’s enough to make a stone cry!

It’s heartbreaking! You had this dream that you believed in with all your heart. You worked for it. You did everything the gurus and leaders told you to do. You bought the courses and — whoa — you even completed them!

But you are still not the

‘Who That You’re Supposed To Be.’

What’s up with that?

Well, don’t give up yet. Remember that every failure is simply a steppingstone in your personal education process.

Imagine this: See yourself standing on a steppingstone, surrounded by other steppingstones of various colors and textures. They may have images or words painted on them. Some of the images and words resonate with you. They’re all right, correct, accurate, appropriate. Why?

Because every steppingstone teaches you something you need to know to get from start to finish — to fulfill your destiny.

When you realize the lesson, the next step is to figure out how not to do it again. That’s your next steppingstone.

I’m sure you’ve had a few ah-ha moments in your life. Take a moment now to close your eyes and remember a time when, like a bolt from the sky, you realized what you did wrong and then you knew you had to do something different, and maybe even got a flash of exactly what to do. Got that? Hold on to that feeling.

Life on Earth isn’t random — it’s school

It’s more like Life School. Some classes are mandatory. Some are elective and you get to choose the interesting ones.

Sigh, even the interesting ones have required course material and pop quizzes.

So what can you do to keep yourself from falling into the trap of thinking like a failure?

It’s all in how creatively you look at it

Think about the light bulb. How many tries did it take to get one that lit up for more than a second or two? And nowadays we have seemingly magical LED and solar lights, so you know it’s do-able.

Life is ever changing.

  • Remember back when you were a teenager and it felt like every moment was filled with drama? One year you wanted to be a popular actor. Another year, you wanted to be a doctor or veterinarian. Or a teacher because of the teacher you loved. Or you wanted to be the one running with the ball. Life was so interesting that it was hard to pin it down to being this or that for the rest of your life. Then you went to college and they made you pin it down to a major. Groan! (Or you may be the one who has always known exactly what you were going to be when you grew up.)
  • You may have left a job that you held for what felt like eons. You were the one people asked about this or that. That was your title, The One Who Knows. Many of them didn’t care that you had a name because you were just a font for information. Who are you now? Big question, right?
  • If you have grown children, you know that for a long phase of your life, you were ‘A Parent.’ That was your title. Sometimes you didn’t even have a name, because you were just little Ali’s mom or dad. Now who are you? Big question, right?

Think of those life phases as grade school. What’s next?

Who do you want to be when you grow up (some more)?

Again — Life is ever changing. Now that you’ve been what you wanted to be, or thought you wanted to be, you may not know what you want to be when you grow up some more. Or life may be happening in such a way that you can’t get a job where you use that expensive college degree.

And the good thing is that you don’t have to know.

All you have to do is take one day at a time.

I know how easy it is to struggle with who and what, especially when you had a firm grip on who and what you thought you’re supposed to be. In my own case, I am who and what I am supposed to be, it just doesn’t look like I thought it should. It caused me quite a bit of struggle (lots of crying, some temper tantrums — you know what I mean?), but in the process, I learned more. Let’s just call that phase the Graduate School of Life.

  • What not to do: Don’t make the mistake of thinking that since you took this course or class, got that vocational certificate or college degree, that the certificate or diploma defines who you are.

For example, consider something as basic as “I’m a healer” and you’ll see how many variations and directions that can go. Doctor, nurse, dentist, massage therapist, herbalist, pharmacist, etc.

“Healer” can be a definition, like doctor or massage therapist.

Here’s where the variation comes into play, the one that gives you choices about what you want to be when you grow up.

So let’s take a page from my good friend’s playbook and make a short list.

What else did you learn?

In your doctor or other schooling, did you take other courses?

My physical therapist, Bethany, bless her all the way down to her pinky toes, kept going after her doctorate and earned a further certification in orthopedic manipulation, which makes her knowledgeable and wise for working on people with issues similar to my own.

What else do you like to do?

If you’re a massage therapist, what modalities do you especially like? Do you specialize in working on frozen shoulders or neck injuries? So instead of saying that you’re a massage therapist (generic), you could say you are a specialist skilled in working with neck injuries.

Do you see where I’m going with this? What you learned at school, whatever your certificate or degree states, doesn’t define you.

It’s ok for you to step out of that box.

You define you. Your interests and talents are better definitions than saying something like Bookkeeper or Head Honcho. And now that you’ve been what you’ve been, you can certainly say that you’ve learned a lot and gotten a lot of practical experience. You might even be somewhat of an expert, right?

Your imagination knows the answer

Well after that bit of rambling, let me pull it together for you. You may be wondering how your life is changing and what to do next, feeling confused because you have so many skills, and sigh, while you love some of them, you may not even like others.

Get ready with some paper and pen or pencil because I’m going to ask you to jot something down. Or you can turn on your recording app.

Close your eyes, breathe a few times while you focus on the feeling of your chest expanding and letting go. Can you hear your breath brushing past your lips? Let your thoughts wander across the horizon of your mind while you bring your focus back to your chest.

You’ll probably be thinking about all the stuff you need to get done, like the laundry or groceries, or problems at work.

But whatever you do, don’t think about what else your life could look like!

(LOL, isn’t that a great technique to get you thinking about something else?)

So, just for the moment, smile really big and imagine that you can have or do anything else. I want you to only think about the next one to three months or so.

Now let your mind wander with that thought, and then let that thought expand forward in time starting now and going through the next three months. What happens when you let your imagination run free?

Smile. Big deep breath. Open your eyes.

I hope your smile and happiness grew. Please take a moment to jot down your imaginations or record your thoughts.

Here’s what to do if it wasn’t clear

Ack! I saw that! It was like a bunch of jumping monkeys all yammering “I want this! I want that!”

Here’s what to do: Set your imagination to ponder one thought, such as what you do for work or which of your many hobbies you should focus on because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. You might even try something as simple as, “What will be the most naturally satisfying for me?” That simple question covers a lot of ground.

Sometimes your imagination will steer you in a direction that doesn’t seem to make sense. That can be frustrating in a big way. All I can say is to let it happen and see how it grows. It might lead you down the yellow brick road. You just never know, but it’s a good idea to let it roll.

And if the Big Question is too big, think about a smaller one and let that one develop. Sometimes the Big Questions are solved in the little answers.

Let it roll and gather momentum

Set an intention to let this “stuck in a rut” question roll around in the back of your mind, and then every morning, when you wake and before you do anything else, bring it up and let your imagination roam. At bedtime, bring your Question to the top of your mind when you get sleepy and let it roll around in your subconscious all night. Do this when you’re kind of sleepy and not really awake.

You’ll find that your imagination keeps adding colorful bits and pieces, interesting elements of a life that suits you well and fits like a glove. Keep track. Jot it down or record your thoughts. It’s going to start making sense soon. Cool, huh?

The more often you do this, the more colorful and creative your imagination will grow. Sooner or later, your imagination will show you the path to feeling happy and fulfilled.

Or Do It the Easy Way with Hypnosis / Life Coaching

If you want

  • clarity to
  • live a life you love,
  • getting paid to do work that feeds your soul,
  • with a home life you love to go home to,

then I can help you do just that because I see the real you, and hypnosis combined with life coaching is the easiest and quickest way I know of to make those deep changes you crave.

Contact me for more information.

Life is ever changing and what you do now counts

It’s what you do in the present moment that really counts, because it’s a steppingstone to what’s next. This is how you get out of the rut and move with some idea of where to put your energy going forward.

If you do this simple imaginative meditation, then you’ll get glimpses that’re more and more clear about what direction to go in next. What a relief!

Today is when you plant the seed that sprouts tomorrow and all the rest of your days.

Remember this: You don’t need to have a fully laid out plan to take a few steps and get out of the rut.

You can plant a magical new seed every day for the rest of your life. A seed for fun, a seed for career, a seed for love — you get the idea? Plus, the Big Questions can often be solved with little answers.

The most important thing now is to take a step, because a step in any direction is better than being at a standstill in a deep rut tomorrow.

What I have found in my silver years is that life is the little stuff. I can put in hours at the boring job so long as I can look forward to creating some art or making some music. The “job” isn’t everything there is, and it may not be satisfying in every way, so I rely on the other stuff of life to fill in the gaps. I’m much less stressed and anxious even though everything looks the same.

Life is a journey. The destination is simply the endpoint. It’s what’s between here and there that matters. Make it count.

Photo by Manasvita S on Unsplash

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