Stuck In A Rut? 3 Ways To Move Forward

Life can be full of uncertainty and a lot of the times we don’t know where we’re heading. Whether it’s in our work, relationships, personal life or career; it can become a struggle to see our future of what we want to work towards and where we end up. We all focus on wanting to be happy, but a lot of the times our happiness is through instant gratification and short term fixes, rather than understanding what it is that makes us fulfilled. We can get to a stage where we don’t know what to do with our lives, which causes us to get stuck in a rut, which involves the same routine and cycle that doesn’t help us grow. It limits our productivity and creates self-doubt.

Fortunately, there are certain things we can focus on to recognise that it is possible to think ahead understand what we truly want.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash


3 Ways To Help Us Move Forward When In A Rut


1) Focus On Our Values


The choices we make, influence us. It’s so easy to choose a path according to the circumstances we are in, and when the circumstances change, we become dissatisfied. Our situation changes, but our values and principles do not. For example, I know someone who became so career-focused from a young age in the world of business. It was driven by the financial gain of earning decent money when they were younger. As this person got older, their needs changed and quality time with others became more of a priority. There was no adjustment and although the money was great, there was a lack of satisfaction in themselves because they were still working those long hours but missing out on the value of quality time with their family and loved ones. Long story short, this caused unhappiness and a lack of motivation.

If you ever feel this way, you can change your situation. You can improve your job satisfaction by making choices which are aligned with your life principles. This guarantees almost unlimited productivity. High productivity comes from measuring your time by only doing the most important things to you. When you feel like you don’t know what to do, ask yourself “What are my principles and what do I value”, then adjust accordingly. 


‘Try not to become a person of success, but rather a person of value’ – Albert Einstein


2) Change How We Think Of Stress


Professor Alia Crum showed that viewing stress as a helpful part of life, rather than harmful, is linked with better health and productivity in our daily lives– even during our most pressured times. This matters because it changes how we respond. Viewing stress as something detrimental leads us to coping mechanisms that harm us long term. With the goal of ‘avoiding stress’, We can procrastinate, or think of the worst-case scenarios which increase our risk of depression, health and lifestyle balance. 

when we view stress more positively, it encourages us to cope in ways that help us thrive, whether it’s understanding the source of stress, seeking social support or finding meaning in it. 

After we have a strong stress response, the brain is rewiring itself to remember and learn from the experience. Stress leaves a mark on our brain that prepares us to handle similar situations the next time we encounter it. When we are unsure of what to do, embracing stress and understanding it will bring clarity to live in the moment and get things done. 


3) Find Inspiration In What We Love


When you’re unsure with your direction, think of the things you love. It could be writing, exercise, art, or any hobbies that you may have given up on in the past. Self-inspiration and motivations are a sure-fire way to enhance your daily productivity. We always feel at some point that we need to find inspiration to get things done. Here are a couple of ways I try to find inspiration in the things I love.

  • Make plans and schedules. Schedules help with your mental strength and keep your mind on track 


  • Develop a growth mindset. Seek opportunities around you and embrace them. Having your mind focus on expansion serves as a driver to get things done. 


  • Master your emotions. It’s all about working hard to achieve things. We need to stop to understand how we feel the way we feel and why we do this. It’s important not to suppress them as it causes distractions when trying to be productive.


  • It’s important to not wait for the inspiration. You must go out and seek it. Be aware of when you’re stuck on what to do and start doing the things you love.


Take Action


When you don’t take action, that is an action in itself. Humans make decisions each day without even realising it. Before we take action, it’s important to know how to act. Once we understand how to act through our values, stress and inspiration- our life becomes a lot less complicated. It becomes a lot more productive and we stop seeing our future as constant road bumps and start seeing it more as an open canvas to thrive on.


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