19 August 2010

how-to get out of a rut

by Tori Rosin Szekeres from visforvictory.wordpress.com

Ruts are the ninjas of human experience. You’re living out your day-to-day duties when suddenly, you feel like you’re performing them while walking through quicksand. Life becomes boring. You feel like you’re sinking slowly into an abyss where you don’t exist anymore. I’ve been there before. Most likely, so have you. Here are a few tips I’ve used to get out of ruts in the past.

1. Do Not Panic: Chances are, this is not the first rut you’ve experienced. Just because you feel like you’re in a bad way right now doesn’t mean that it will be this way for the rest of your natural life. When I believed that I couldn’t change my life, I fell into a depression. If you think a rut is hard to escape from, try recovering from the blues. Depression is a much more vicious beast.

2. Trust Your Gut: Ask yourself how you could improve your life. Once you have the answer, what’s the next action you need to take? Maybe you’re working too many hours and need to cut back. Maybe a key relationship in your life is suffering and the two of you need to seek counseling. Maybe it’s a matter of getting more sleep. Maybe you need to remember your creative spirit. The possibilities are endless. Only you know what you can do to make your life better.

3. Say Yes: Opportunities to go beyond your comfort zone are all around you. All you have to do is say yes to them. For example: when I say yes to party invitations, which put this introvert on high alert, I never regret attending the event.

So if you don’t normally sing karaoke, ride roller coasters, play golf or accept dinner invitations, why don’t you start doing so? Sure, there’s an amount of risk involved with many activities, but there’s an equal amount of reward found within them.

4. Reach Out: To paraphrase English poet John Donne, no one is an island. Everyone needs assistance, be it a listening ear, a hand to hold or some work done around the house.

If you’re in a rut, you need to help others. Reach out to friends and family and listen to how they’re doing. Volunteer through your church, a social services agency or an organization tied to one of your interests. You’ll go to sleep at the end of the day knowing you helped someone else improve their life or feel secure in knowing you have advanced your knowledge in learning how to improve your own.

5. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: Doing this in the past has poisoned my soul. It’s beyond easy to compare yourself to nearly anyone and fall short. When you’re in the process of getting out of a rut, examine everything so that you get the full picture. Sure, you may admire a certain blogger or author, but keep in mind the thousands of hours they put into their work to achieve their level of success.

Remember your strengths during this process; you have many of them! Keep in mind that you bring a lot to the world, and that while you may not be expert at Skill A, you can help someone with that skill with your knowledge in Skill C. Be kind to yourself and others and you’ll find that you’ll be much more productive.

6. The Only Way Out is Through: Ruts are unique to the people inside of them. I can’t promise that these tips are a cure-all for every rut. You have to actively work to make your life better and only you know what needs help. If you are working hard to help yourself and still feel like you’re stuck in the mud, your rut may be a case of depression. If you feel that you’re depressed, please go to your doctor or a therapist for further assistance. See you on the other side!

image via katie oak

the how-to series was created to encourage confidence in the creativity and skills we each have to offer. i am excited to showcase your talents and unique ideas. if you have a specialty (and i know you do), please submit your how-to guest post by emailing me: marta at martawrites dot com. i will be delighted to feature your how-to in the future.

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." - John Wooden


jeanette from everton terrace said...

I think saying yes is a really powerful thing. Nice post.

Tamry said...

I LOVE this post. I am definitely stuck in a rut and this is just what I needed. Thanks!

ag. said...

this could not have come at a more perfect time. i am so stuck in a rut right now and want to make some changes but i'm too scared. thanks for the how-to!

Junelle Jacobsen said...

Perfect reminders! I love the say yes...for me I need to always be reminded to "just show up" or "just take the next step...".

I will keep this on file!

leni said...

for me, getting out of a rut also includes rearranging the furniture of either my living room or bedroom, or both (if it's a really bad rut!)

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone... thanks for liking my post. It means a lot to this neophyte.

Leni- I'm going through that with my husband right now. It ends up looking so great in the end.

Travelin'Oma said...

Getting out of a rut is sometimes bumpy. Your suggestions are perfect!

SewSara said...

such wise advice .... loved this.

Ann Purdy said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I was feeling down in the dumps today and I really needed your words of wisdom.

The Smith Family said...

I love this post. Thank you. I will be re-posting on my blog with a link to yours. Is that ok? Everyone should read this...it is so easy to fall into a rut and it's nice to know that we are not the only ones.

Thanks again and I love your blog :)

Anonymous said...

The Smith Family- You can post anything of mine you want to your blog with a link back to mine. Thanks for the sweet words! :)

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