Are You in a Rut?

Do you feel you are not getting anywhere fast? Do you feel that you are in a rut and can’t seem to find your way out?

We might use the analogies of being “In a rut,” “Stuck in the muck,” or “Not getting off the treadmill.” Whatever the analogy, it’s difficult and frustrating when you feel you aren’t getting anywhere, proceeding as planned, or reaching your goal.

First, you need to ask yourself why are you in a rut? It is important to honestly figure out the reasons for why you are in this predicament and stuck on that never-ending treadmill. To answer this question, you may need to ask yourself another; how important is this to me? If it’s not a priority to you, then, perhaps, it is not where you need to be focusing your time or energy. Author Maria Popova suggests that if you are attempting to do things out of guilt or prestige then you probably should not be doing them at all. In other words, if you are not doing it for yourself nor have the passion for it, then it’s probably not a priority for you. Your values and desires need to be truly aligned with your actions to move forward and succeed.

Now, assuming that that the project is important to you, it’s time to use some questions to kick-start or restart the process. What’s holding you back? Sometimes the overall scope of a project is daunting and causing you to feel over-whelmed. Other times it’s the fear of failure or the unknown. The “rut” is known and may feel comfortable. The thought of change can be intimidating. Can you identify what the barriers are to moving forward?

Once you have answered these questions, it’s time to ask questions which will help you move the project forward. What are some ways to break the project down into small manageable tasks? In other words, what are the little steps you can take towards your goal and feel a sense of fulfillment and success? What can you do each day to move forward? Accomplishing bits and pieces of the ultimate goal is critical to making progress and not feeling overwhelmed.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Two further questions may be useful in helping you get out of the rut. They involve the “who” in your life. Who can help me with this? What would [insert role model/mentor name here] do in this situation?

Answering questions about your predicament is a key to getting to your goal in a timely fashion.

This was first published in my Motivated Coaching eMagazine in November 2016.