Breaking out of the doldrums

All of us get into a rut.  I can think of many times in my life when I have had this occur to me and it is not intentional, but it sometimes just happens.  How do people get into ruts?  Here are a few ways I know that I get there:

  • I become too focused on the task at hand and forget to look back or to look forward
  • I hesitate to try a new solution and stick to the methods I have always employed
  • The external environment seems to be in a state of flux and I think it is better to stay the course versus innovating
  • I become fearful and afraid of change

All of the items listed above are present to some degree in my life at any time, but when the four become the guidelines I use to operate and make decisions, I get stuck in the rut.

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Getting out of the rut is not easy, but the more important factor is understanding when you are in the rut.  The four statements above help me diagnose my own situations.

How does one "get out of the rut"?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Try something new; the old methods may be great, but a little creativity might be just the boost you were looking for
  • Stop and reflect for a few moments; working hard is important, but having a sense of direction is just as important and knowing how you got where you are today can help you avoid a repeat in the future
  • Consider what changes are going on in the external environment and find a way to leverage the changes to your advantage
  • Pray hard; if you don't have a prayer life, find people who will support you and encourage you; at the very least, find someone to talk with to sound out the situation

Nobody likes the feeling of being stuck in the rut.  Realizing you are stuck is the first step.  Once you have come to the conclusion that you are stuck, take action after considering how you can innovate.  Better yet, stop for a moment for reflection, even prayer, and find a support group to help you analyze and diagnose a method for change and improvement.

We work with individuals and organizations who get stuck in the rut.  Contact me and let's see how we can help one another.