10 Ways To Stop Being “Stuck”

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

We’ve all fallen victim at some point or another to the mental anguish and flat out frustration known as a “rut”. The dictionary defines a rut as “a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change”. A rut is nothing more than a mental block that can develop from a myriad of reasons including: anxiety, being overwhelmed, fear, or even a lack of a fresh outlook. A psychological barricade at its finest, a rut must first be acknowledged before any true progress can be made to get past it. Below are a few tips on ways to climb out.

Cut Out The Chatter Of Outside Noise

Sometimes in an effort to gain direction we look in a thousand different directions, which can overload us and complicate simple steps by making them too complex with ideas. Keep things simple by avoiding outside opinions, online “how-to” browsing (which can cause a rabbit hole effect), and the “how we did it” stories of other people. Simply put your head down and listen to your own voice. Which leads us to the next point…

Gain Clarity

Knowing exactly what you want to achieve is key in driving your plans forward. When you’re on the fence with a goal or unsure about how to go about it, this lack of clarity will manifest itself in your activities. This can mean activities that never take place, or ones that simply aren’t generative of anything significant relating to your goal. Be clear about your goals and why they’re important.

Don’t Try To Do Too Much

We’re all guilty of biting off more than we can chew from time to time, for reasons varying from pressure from bosses at work, or our own self-induced pressures stemming for instant gratification. Learn to recognize your bandwidth, and remember that a good work/life balance is essential to both your physical and mental health. (This is one that I personally have to work on-a lot.)

Go Off-Course

NEVER be afraid to think outside of the box. We’re living in an age where millennials are leading the pack by defying conventions and creating new ways of doing things. And while this concept of Lateral Thinking really isn’t new at all, our shift as a culture has definitely become one that embraces innovation, encourages, and undoubtedly fosters it.

Fear Nothing

Fear the most toxic and debilitating of all human emotions. Its ability to place a locked grip on our psyche is unlike any other. When we truly fear something, be it to our physical self or to our emotional self (our psyche), we can lose creativity and cognitive reasoning ability. This easily sets the stage for an onslaught of limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging traits. In order to realize a goal, you must actually believe that you are capable and competent enough to undertake it. YOU ARE!

Acknowledge When You’re Making Excuses

The worst lie that we can tell is one to ourselves. If you find that there’s always a reason why you can’t complete the tasks, take a step back and ask yourself, “am I just procrastinating, if so, why?” Procrastination can mask itself as meaningful “must-do’s”, which are just time-wasting activities in actuality. Tedious activities, or ones that require deep focus or long periods of concentration usually provoke the best forms of procrastination. Be sure to recognize the difference between a true setback, and an elaborate excuse.

Stop Repeating What Isn’t Working

As the popular saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.” Don’t be afraid to change course if you find that something isn’t going as you expected. Planning in itself is forecasting. You can make predictions based on what you already know and past circumstances, but until you’re actually in the thick of it you may just not know. Try making a small list of new ways to approach your plans in order to gain the breakthrough that you’re looking for. Also, consider stepping away from it in order to gain some prospective-a weekend trip with some friends perhaps, or a simple bike ride to help with brainstorming new approaches.

Being stuck doesn’t have to be your reality, and often times it’s not. Once you recognize that you’re not moving forward, begin taking small steps to unravel what’s holding you back, and before you know it you’ll be off to the races!

Remember, you CAN do this!

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