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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Stuck in a Rut

If you're stuck in a rut - what happens if getting back on track simply required you to go and find a rut, step out of it, and as a result things had shifted enough for progress to now be made? 

How fantastic would that be?  
In a study in 2015 it was revealed that 69% of people feel suck in a rut - ie trapped in the same routine. 

That % feels a little high to me and yet, if you're reading this in the hope of some inspiration, the % doesn't really have any meaning because in your sample of 1 it's currently 100%?

When feeling stuck in a rut the biggest challenge is finding the motivation to break free of what ever is holding us back. There's numerous things we could be doing however, when we're stuck in a rut it's often hard to find the energy to think about what to do, never mind take the necessary action.

When we're feeling like this then using conventional thinking to resolve the situation can often make life harder not easier. Which is where unconventional tools come in. 

As you read the following unconventional suggestions just notice what you notice about how you're feeling and the relationship to that rut that had you wondering if this post may just help.

I shared in a previous post that you may simply need to stand in a real rut and step out of it. You'll also find more here on this Landscaping Your Life (LYL) vlog.


Other suggestions might include:

Playing around with the saying:

Absurdity helps shift our mindset so you may want to think about other twists on the saying:
  • Stuck in a puddle
  • Unstuck in a rut
  • Stuck in a sparking water rut
  • Dancing in a rut
  • Not so stuck in a rut
  • Getting less stuck in a rut
  • and so on 
Or you may want to play around with the words:



You're simply allowing your mind to explore a route from stuck to back on track using the words.

Just the meditative exploration on it's own might enable you to release the internal blocks to making progress in this situation. 

If however, you relate to any of the following sayings more, you may want to follow the links and explore their solutions to getting you back on track: being a stick in the mud, unable to see the wood for the trees, needing to test the waterkeeping your head above the water, stopping going around in circles (my personal favourite and so simple and effective), and needing to expand or step out of our comfort zone.

The solution may of course lie in identifying an antidote saying to tell yourself instead: 
  • On track
  • Back on track
  • Getting back on track  
  • In the flow
  • Flowing 
  • Plan sailing
  • and so on 
Drawing the rut


Anything that might help shift the current state into a more resourceful one, providing you with more energy to take the necessary steps out of here. You may want to use more colours, better pictures, include the surrounding landscape, or even plot a map from where you were to where you want to be. 

What ever comes to mind, that however weird it may feel, may just be a nudge from your subconscious about where the solution can be found.

Make a collage of the rut or track to get back on to

In this collage the rut is no longer something to get stuck in but something to experience and flow through.  

Or perhaps the collage doesn't need to show the rut but what it represents, and the desire not to conform to any stereotypes!
Perhaps a little more unconventional than some ideas, and yet if it works then won't unconventional be worth it? More here on how I use collages in my coaching.

Going for a walk 

Walking in nature with a challenge at the back of your mind can be very insightful. More here from a LYL walk in nature, where flies flocking around a cow pat made for interesting insight!
You might for example see a bridge and realise you need to build or find a bridge to get from one side of the rut to the other! It's then a matter of taking that insight and understanding what that might look like in reality. Perhaps it's a bridge to other people to help you, or daily practices that stop you falling back into negative thinking, or a reminder you have everything you need and are making it more difficult than it needs to be. 

Nature isn't the only place to find inspiration - Street Wisdom uses the same concept applied to high streets, side street and boulevards in towns and cities where ever you live. That is, go for a walk and notice what you notice, and you may just find the solution you're searching for.

Or get even more absurd

Don't ask :-) 

No right or wrong, just ideas that may have already shifted the internal representation you had about the situation, enabling you to find alternative solutions to get you energised and back on track

As you reflect on the original situation what actions come to mind - what step do you need to take in the next 24 hours to enable you to get back on track

Alison Smith
Landscaping Your Life to get back on track 

Other posts written here or over on the Purchasing Coach blog that may also provide more conventional insight to get you back on track include:

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