7 Ways To Get Unstuck

March 4, 2014 — 14 Comments

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck?

You keep doing the same things over and over again.  You get up, you go to work, you come home, and you go to bed.  The next day you repeat the cycle.  Over and over again, the cycle repeats.  It’s as if you are stuck on the merry-go-round of life.  Will it ever stop?  Will the horse you are riding on ever dislodge from the carousel allowing you to explore new territory?  Will you ever get out of the rut you’re in?

We’ve all faced this feeling at one time or another.  While routine is good, I don’t think we were meant to feel stuck.  I believe we are meant to feel excitement for life.  If you feel like your stuck in a rut, here are some ideas to help you break free.

7 Ways To Get Unstuck

  1. Change up your routine.  This may sound crazy coming from a guy who thrives on routine.  But here’s the reality.  When we feel stuck in a rut, it can be helpful to do things differently.  If you’re struggling to get things done, try getting up 15 minutes earlier than normal.  On the other hand, if you’re really tired, give yourself permission to sleep in an extra 15 or 30 minutes.  Drive a different way to work.  Eat lunch in a different spot.  You get the idea.  Sometimes you need to change your routine just a little bit in order to break out of the feeling of being stuck.
  2. Take time to breath.  When we feel stuck, it’s often because we haven’t given ourselves time to rest.  Most of the time, I wolf down my lunch and get back to work at my desk.  Yesterday, I did something different.  After I ate my lunch, I grabbed a book and walked out to my car where I read for 15 to 20 minutes.  I came back into the office feeling refreshed and ready to face the afternoon of work.
  3. Lean into other people.  When we isolate ourselves from others, it can become more and more challenging to get out of the stuck feeling.  We need people in our lives who can bring new perspectives to us – who can be a sounding board when we’re facing the monotony of life.  Who are the few people who know the true condition of your heart and mind?  You and I need people in our lives who can speak truth and can lift us up when we’re down.
  4. Try something new.  This doesn’t have to be anything extravagant.  Maybe you need to sign up for your first 5K.  Maybe you need to write your first blog post.  Maybe you need to try out a new restaurant or a new recipe.  Trying new things can inspire us to break free from the ruts of life.
  5. Count your blessings.  Take time to list out all the great things about your life.  When we list out our blessings, we can begin to see how great it is to be right where we are.  It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the grass is greener on the other side.  The reality is we actually have it pretty good most of the time – even when we feel like we’re stuck.
  6. Change directions completely.  I don’t necessarily recommend this to everyone; however, there may be times where we need to completely switch it up.  Maybe you need a new job.  Maybe you need a new location.  You’ll have to put some effort into this.  You might have to send out your resume, or you might have to move across the country.
  7. Trust in God.  Regardless of your situation, you must put your trust in God.  Proverbs 3:5-6 is my go to verse for times when I feel stuck or worried about life.  It says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  I love The Message translation of this passage:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
    Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
    your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
    give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
    your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
    don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
    a father’s delight is behind all this.

Proverbs 3:5-12 (The Message)

Are you stuck?  What helps you get unstuck?  What suggestion(s) would you add to the list above?

Jon Stolpe

Posts

Christ-follower, husband, dad, engineer, manager, runner, blogger, sax player, group life fan, freelance writer, and the list goes on...
  • Steve Y

    Love #7 and the verse you used. Going to prayer seems like it gives me a better focus and clarity. When we are stuck on the rut, we at times lose that purposeful and intention thinking, but God will provide if we ask. One more thing, when we are in a rut, do we realize we are in a rut?

    • Good question, Steve. This is one of the great reasons to have people around you who can help you realize you are in a rut.

  • David Stolpe

    Lean into other people. Learn to ask for help and accept it.

    • Yep. I’m so thankful for the people around me.

  • Shave the opposite way. You will cut your face, but your day will be so screwed up, it can’t be routine.

    • Funny…that is something I legitimately suggest people do.

      Start shaving on the other side of your face.

      Eat and brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand.

      Change the channel if you listen to radio.

    • Great advice, Larry. I am so patterned. I wonder if I could really shave the opposite way. I’ll have to give it a try tomorrow.

  • Love the pic Jon. It’s in a coffee table book we have 🙂

    I was helping a friend with a similar problem recently and my answer was to PLAN time off. Not TAKE, but PLAN.

    The mere act of planning gives us something to look forward to. The pleasure centers in the brain light up even more thinking about it than they do actually taking the time off. Then, of course, you will TAKE the time off.

    • Good advice, Matt. I need to PLAN some time off in the next few weeks.

  • Great tips.
    For me, counting my blessings helps me to trust God and make changes when fear tries to cripple me.

    • Thanks, TC! I consider readers like you to be on my blessing list.

  • And I would add, “go outside and get some exercise!” That always helps me.

    • Caleb, this is great advice. My feeling of “stuckness” definitely amplifies when I don’t get regular exercise.

  • Thanks! Have a blessed week.