It happens to us all – we fall into physical or mental ruts that feel flat, uncomfortable and sometimes painful.  We wonder why things feel so difficult.  And, we just don’t know where to start.

I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately.  This morning, laying in bed, I asked myself the obvious question: “If my mind and body are so powerful, why don’t I just make the changes I’m looking for?”  I laid there waiting for some inspirational or divine answer.  I heard absolutely nothing.  This forced me to just get out of bed and do that which I’ve been avoiding … I went swimming.

In the pool I thought about my nagging question: How can we get ourselves out of the ruts we find ourselves in from time-to-time?  With a million self-help books/articles, why do we still get stuck?

1. Ditch the happiness formula.

The beauty of being human is that each one of us is unique.  There is no one-size-fits-all formula for happiness.  What makes you happy may not make me happy.  Ignore those magazine articles and follow your own formula – be you.

2. Define your priorities.

I’ve spent a good part of my life being defined by others priorities: my parents, friends, kids and significant others.  But I never really got to know ME.  That’s the first step to getting unstuck.  And, remember that those priorities are dynamic and changing.  Continue to reassess where you are and where you choose to put your energy.

3. Find your purpose.

My son said to me the other day that he wants to have some purpose to his life – some legacy. I reminded him that life isn’t about a dream job or making money – it’s about connecting who you are with the life you want to lead – and then putting it out there for others to benefit from.  That’s a purposeful and joyful life.

4. Examine your relationships.

We have all types of relationships in our lives. And those relationships change over time – so they need to be adjusted too. We all need connection and in many different ways.  But we have to operate in those relationships in a way that’s true to our own internal expectations – not the expectations of others.  If you’re doing the latter – you’re likely stuck.

5. Embrace your fears.

We’re not good at separating out our fears from reality.  When you’re fearful about a change, ask yourself: “How can I experience this change in a way that feels safe to me?”  Maybe its small steps.  Maybe its a huge leap.  Maybe its asking someone to join you.  Fear is something we create, it is familiar and it keeps us stagnant.

Understanding your mindset is the first step to getting out of a rut.  No matter how long you’ve been there you can look through your fear and make a change.  Find your passion.  By doing something – anything – you’ll create the needed momentum to drive yourself out of that rut and full speed into your authentic life.

Have a great weekend!