Are you currently stuck in a rut? In a job you despise? Or, are you just generally unmotivated?
Do you remember the commercial where the old lady falls and she proclaims, “help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up?” I think many people are walking around with a similar sentiment except they would be exclaiming, “help I am caught in a rut and I can’t get out.”
You are definitely not alone. I have been there before myself.
I used to work with a woman who appeared to walk around the office everyday in a gloomy state of unfulfilled expectations and sallow malcontent.
During the whole time that I worked with her I sincerely hoped that she would break through her constantly gloomy ways, or maybe even seek professional medical attention.
Her main problems, she hated her job, she was under compensated, and she desperately wanted to leave, and change her life.
Fortunately, I don’t work for the organization anymore but recently it has made me think, how many of us just are not happy with where we are in life in general, or caught in a rut?
More Importantly – How do we remove ourselves from a negative situation or rut?
Well, who better to use as an example than myself? For two very long years I worked in a warehouse packing boxes and loading trucks. It was miserable, mindless work that was better suited to drones.
To this day I can still see the looks of disdain on the faces of the executives and sales staff that used to greet me when I was required to go into the main office for something.
I was not happy and I felt stuck in a major Grand Canyon style rut.
One of the major life lessons that I learned was that when you are stuck in a bad situation no one is going to come along and magically remove you. So, what do you do?
Here are five tips that should help you to begin to deal with the negative situation, and how you can begin the process of removing yourself:
Step 1: Discern whether you are truly in a RUT or if you are in a ‘stepping stone’ situation. I would define ‘being in a rut’ as anytime you feel depressed, suffocated, or miserable with your general existence.
Whereas a ‘stepping stone’ situation would be if you are working a job, or living someplace that is not that great, but it is a means to an ends. For example, you might be fresh out of college working in a mindless job but you know it will not be forever.
At times we must all do jobs, or deal with people that we don’t want to, however, a lot of times it is a temporary circumstance as you prepare for a more fruitful existence.
Step 2: If you discern that you are in a negative situation you must acknowledge that you are actually caught in a rut, and that it is now time to make a change. I know when I have been in a negative situation sometimes you can exist in a zombie like state (for many years) without even realizing it.
Step 3: You have acknowledged the issue at hand, and now you need to create a vision of where you would like to go both literally, and figuratively. This step is imperative because it will determine what you would like to be doing, or where you would like to go.
You can use your vision like a goal, or as something to work towards. The vision step, depending on how long you have been in the rut, usually occurs in incremental steps. No matter how small the steps are you should take joy in your newfound vision/goal every day.
Step 4: Do research – talk to people and network with folks who are doing what you want to be doing. If you want to move overseas get in contact with people who have actually done it.
Or, if you want to be an entrepreneur join a networking group and soak in as much information and enthusiasm as possible. It will help you to maintain your motivation when times get tough and you want to give up.
Step 5: If you begin down your new path and self-pity or loathing set in, I recommend that you volunteer, or help out in the community. Nothing, and I MEAN nothing, will help you remove your own self pity quicker than helping those in need.
Strangely enough, that warehouse job that I mentioned above was quite possibly the worst and greatest thing that ever happened to me. It was the worst because it was an absolutely terrible job and I was MISERABLE.
However, to this day I consider it the greatest situation because it lit a fire under me once I had cognitively made the decision to change.