You have probably felt like you were in a deep rut at some point and that it would take the jaws of life to get you out. Here’s the good news. Humans are wired to persist and persevere. You have probably seen those people that get into extreme survival mode in an emergency or call on their superhuman strength to save a life. Maybe you’ve even experienced that. It’s in there. 

So that means that the reason you’re stuck has little to do with your toughness, and more to do with the idea that you may simply be afraid to leave what’s comfortable. The status quo, though it feels rut-like, is safe, and change is not.

Shed That Security Blanket, Linus

A stuck mindset begs the question, “what’s that doing for you?”. There may be some things in your past that have done a number on your self-confidence. As you healed, you created a routine, and now that very routine is what makes you feel safe-that’s what it’s doing for you. To get unstuck, you need to be willing to get uncomfortable. Maybe really uncomfortable. Take small steps to change up that routine you are clinging to for dear life, and persevere like you were made to. 

The Past Is The Past And You Need To Leave It There

Maybe you took the wrong way at the fork in the road and it cost you. Maybe you made some decisions that, looking back, weren’t that smart. Ok, ease up on yourself. No doubt you learned from it, so leave it alone. Only look back when you want to celebrate how far you’ve come. In order to believe in what you are about to change, stay face forward, plan your action steps, commit to making it happen, then do it. No rear view mirror on this trip.

Your Changes Should Match Where You Are

Don’t go buck wild when you’re trying to make changes. In the beginning, set some early goals involving small steps that won’t hurt as much. As you gain confidence, and want to take a little more risk, try a couple of the things that make you a little more uncomfortable. Give yourself a few weeks to adjust to those and let them become your new habit. Know yourself and just take steps in pace with how adaptable you really are. Don’t jump all in and change everything at once. As you become more comfortable with change, you’ll know when you’re ready. 

You May Stumble. Keep Going.

It’s unrealistic to think that your journey of getting out of a rut will go off without a hitch. It’s not easy to completely change your thinking and the routine you have grown to love. You may have a couple of setbacks, so just know that going in. You can get past it. All journeys begin with one step, and that applies at the beginning as well as after each stumble or fall. Shake it off and push on.

Bottom line: A rut is usually just our comfort zone. We get there because change is uncomfortable, so we decide to stay the course. Next thing you know, a deeply entrenched, dark groove that’s about to swallow us up. But, as long as we are willing to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, we can eventually dig ourselves out and see the light.