Step out of the Rut!

Maybe you are stuck in a rut in one or more areas of your life, not knowing how to get out of it? Or you know how to get out, but as soon as you start making a move too many forces are pulling you back to where you were? But imagine yourself getting out of the rut and a whole new world of possibility, growth, abundance and fulfilment opens up to you…

A friend of mine found herself in toxic relationships – both at work and in a personal relationship. The day after our conversation she ended the personal relationship and set boundaries at work. She is now busy exiting her very high and well-paying position. And she is a new person. She decided to to take the painful steps to “let go” in order to “let come” of something better. Between the two there will be a pause for “three r’s”: rest, restoration and rediscovery. And experience has taught me, with the right attitude and guidance she will open a new chapter of her life.

A manager I coached was in a job environment where he did not fit in fully – he knew it, and unknown to him his senior leaders saw it. The problem was not the type of work – he loves it. It was the company culture that did not work for him. But the salary was okay, his family secure and happy living in the area, and he had good friends in the company. Both parties, the company and the manager, were reluctant to call it a day. I had to work wisely to prepare both sides to make a change. Quite recently a senior manager visited him in his workplace, and gracefully but clearly told him he does not fit in and it is time for him to move on. At first he was shocked and taken aback. And then suddenly he woke up, he looked around, send out his CV. Possibilities started to open up, possibilities he did not see or investigate before.

According to Oxford Languages a rut is “a habit or pattern of behaviour that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change”.  The true fact is that we all get stuck in ruts. Call it a comfort zone, a fear zone, or just “being okay but not fulfilled”. It happens in businesses, families, marriages all the time. Someone once said that between a rut and a grave there is one difference: a grave is just a bit deeper. In other words, if you stay in a rut for too long, something will die – your income, your dream, your passion, your love, your joy.

Life is full of options. For example we can exit relationships or we can reinvent them. We can also reinvent ourselves, set boundaries, study, say “yes” to new adventures, take a new route to work, change our routines, and even change our diet or hairstyle. But the point is, if you are not happy with the way you live, if at all possible, change it!

Abraham Maslow, the motivation guru, once said, “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”

Recently, at a Global Leadership Summit, Craig Groeschel said it well: “You can have CONTROL or you can have GROWTH, but you can’t have both”. And then he asked the following questions:

  • What do you need to let go? (Endings)
  • What risk do you need to take? (Courage)
  • What painful (but brave and necessary) decision needs to be made? (Decisiveness)

I often think we stay stuck in ruts because their walls seem too high to step out of. Maybe, it is time for many of us to admit that we are in our ruts, then notice that the walls can be conquered, and that on the other side is new life. This takes courage and sometimes a few sacrifices, but without stepping out of it we are… stuck and die day by day.

May you dare to step out! May you be wise and emotionally intelligent about the way doing it! And, very important: may you then intentionally reach out and embrace the abundance of possibilities waiting to be unlocked!