3 Key Strategies to get out of Your Rut

When I was younger I had this dream to grow a mustache.  Not sure why this was so important to me, but as a young man I kept thinking about growing a mustache until one day I just stopped shaving and eventually had something that resembled a mustache.  I quickly realized that this mustache thing was not that big of a deal, but the important thing I learned is that in order to do something different, change is essential. (For those of you expecting to see me with a mustache, today is not the day I will share that :))

in-a-rut-(1).jpgMany, if not all of us, get into ruts.  I don't mean this physically, like driving off into a ditch,  but we get into personal or mental ruts that keep us from being the most effective version of ourselves that we can be.  My goal for today is to describe 3 key strategies for keeping yourself out of a rut.  I cannot promise that these are foolproof, but I can promise that they have all be used by me at one point or another in my life.

   Here are the strategies:

  1. Know that you are better than you think you are:  I tend to find that I downplay my strengths and I often underestimate what I am capable of.  As a result, I mentally put myself in a box where I underachieve and don't push to maximize what I might accomplish.  After years of assessment I have come to understand that much of this is "hard wired" into me, but I have also learned how to change my wiring in order to realize I can be more and do more than I once thought.  We are all created in the image of God, and I continue to remind myself that His stamp of approval is the best validation I can have.
  2. We all have specific talents and internal visions that need to be discovered and used: I mentioned the use of assessment in strategy 1 and some of my most recent personal development has revolved around the book "LifeKeys" by Stark, Kise and Hirsh.  This book has taken many things I already knew and put them into a framework that has really helped me learn more about how to use my God-given talents better.  The more I read the book, the better the framework has formed for me and I see this book and the tools enclosed as being regulars in my current and future development.  There is nothing better to get yourself out of a rut than to learn something new or a new way of using something you already know.
  3. Prayer is essential:  Just when we think we have things all figured out, we don't.  None of us can work through this journey on our own and we need community; family, friends, spouses to help us navigate and extract ourselves from the muck we get sucked into.  Prayer is the most fundamental, and powerful, admission that we need assistance and each prayer goes directly to the one who can best offer and direct the help we need.  Some of you may discount this step, but before you reject it completely, just try a few moments of silence where you clear your mind from the clutter of your daily life.  Speak and He will listen, even if you speak silently.

I often read about the types of books that end up on best seller lists and often there are a number of self-help books on these lists.  The three strategies above have all worked for me when I needed to get help getting out of a rut.

I encourage you to ask for help in getting out of your rut.  Don't be afraid to ask-many are more than willing to help.

Lastly, don't be afraid to ask the Him for help through your prayer.  You will not be disappointed. 

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