How do you get out of a life rut that seems to keep repeating itself?
Who do you have to become to live the life you were born to live?
All of these are questions my coaching clients ponder at one point or another. They're questions I ponder almost weekly. When I look at my life, I oftentimes find myself asking, "Am I being bold? Am I giving ALL I have to ALL I do?" Some days I answer an affirmative YES and, other days, not so much. That's the journey called life. Anyone who tells you that every day is a perfect 100 of being bold, stepping out, and living fearlessly is lying. We all have low moments. The key is this: you don't want a low moment to last a season in your life. You don't even want it to last a month. If you've been in a rut for more than two weeks, guess what? It's time to do something different.
Here are 7 ways to do exactly that:
- Choose your attitude as soon as you wake up. I cannot underscore the importance of choosing which type of person you're going to be today. In this world, there are two types of people: 1) those who wake up and say "Good God! Morning!" and 2) those who wake up and say "Good morning God!" Which are you choosing to be 85% of the time? Again, it's a choice. When you first wake up, take your time getting out of bed, say a prayer of thanksgiving, think of three things you're grateful for and then literally say out loud "Good morning God!" Be your best cheerleader and pep your step out of bed. Say to yourself as you get up, "I'm ready for the excitement of today!" or "What a wonderful week this is going to be!" or "I'm getting in the driver's seat today and I'm ready for the ride!" Pick a mantra that fits your personality, one you can hold onto and buy into. And then get up everyday consciously and positively. It makes a huge difference in how the day plays out, especially when not-so-good things happen.
- Get 20 minutes of sun a day. Yes, California people, I'm especially talking to you. Some climates don't allow for ultra sun 365 days a year but certain climates do. No matter what, when you see the sun pop out in the sky, MAKE time to go out and bask in it for at least 20 minutes that day. Remember: the sun is a vitamin and it'll improve any mood you're in. Get your fair share of it.
- Embrace the situation and find the opportunity in it. Here's the thing about undesirable circumstances: within them are opportunities that most people miss. Don't be most people. When you find yourself in a situation that doesn't feel good (like being extremely in debt, not having enough money, being overweight and not wanting to be, illness of any sort, relationship makeup or breakup, loss of a loved one, loss of a friendship, job that you hate, etc.), ask yourself two questions: 1) What am I here to learn? 2) How can I use this to get to where I want to go? Seriously answer those two questions and take your time with it. When you step back from your problems, you're able to see more clearly.
- Find new friends. Oftentimes, we hang out with the people who magnify our current situation. I'm not saying drop friends you've had since the 7th grade. What I am saying is to do a negative energy friend check. If you're going through a period of unemployment, the last thing you need is a friend calling you every day to tell you how bad the stock market is doing, how high the unemployment rate is and how scared she is she might lose her job. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not drag you down. If your inner circle tends to be on the negative side, get a new inner circle.
- Look for stories of peers (those you know and don't know) who are doing what you want to do and remind yourself, "If they can do it, so can I!" BUT you have to go a step further. When you see someone like you doing what you wish you could be doing, you have to back up the feeling of confidence with three powerful steps you can take to get there. Make the steps simple, solid, and your will unshakeable in getting it done. For example, you look on Facebook and you see the story of an old classmate of yours who lost 80 pounds. Instead of feeling jealous, get jazzed. If he can do it, so can you! In that moment, make a decision about what comes next and choose to take three simple, powerful steps right then and there.
- Write the 5 things that would make your life flow. When you're stuck, that's all you think about it. What we focus on grows so if you're feeling stuck, the last thing you want to be thinking about is being stuck. Instead, pull out a sheet of paper and ask yourself: What five things would have to happen in my life for me to feel like I'm flowing with life? Write the answers and then ask yourself "If I had those five things, how would I be feeling about my life? What would I be doing then that I'm not doing now?" And, okay, here's the hard part: start feeling and doing that. The feeling, in this case, is more important than the doing so if owning a yacht is one of your five things and you don't have the cash to go on a yacht or buy a yacht at this moment, figure out what owning that yacht would allow you to feel and start invoking those feelings. Remember: as a man thinketh, so is he.
- Look yourself in the eye and ask, "What payoff do I get for being stuck?" Yes, you have to get real with you. As Albert Einstein put it, "Nothing happens until something moves" and you've got to be the person who moves it. If you've been stuck for years, guess what? There's some payoff in stuckness for you. Otherwise, you wouldn't be there. If you can get real and find out why you're stuck, you'll also be able to figure out how to heal it, feel it, and get on with life.