Feeling like you’re stuck in a rut can happen at any stage of life. You could be a new graduate feeling left behind on the job search, while all your friends seem to have settled into their working lives. You could be in your late twenties/early thirties, seeing countless engagement, wedding and new baby photos flooding your newsfeed. You could be mid-fifties, in a large corporation, counting down the years left to retirement because you feel weighed down by bureaucracy instead of making the difference you always imagined you would.
If you’re feeling stuck in your life, whether personally or professionally, here are 7 things you should remember:
1. Sometimes, feeling stuck can mean you need to change something.
Changing up your routine can give you a new perspective, and a new lease of life. If you feel stuck, this simply means that something isn’t working for you anymore. Whether it’s your job, your relationship, where you live, your friends or your hobbies, if you are not excited about them anymore, it’s probably time to change it.
2. A step is a step, no matter how small.
You may feel overwhelmed at the thought of making big life changes but you don’t need to. Focus on small steps – the seemingly trivial things count because they’ll contribute to the bigger picture. Stop waiting for the perfect moment and start now. Life starts at the end of your comfort zone!
3. You don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step.
Sometimes, feeling stuck in a rut makes you feel helpless. You know you need to change something to improve your situation, but you don’t know where to start. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see the end result yet, just start moving. Meet new people, buy a new item of clothing, take a different journey home, choose an apple over a biscuit. Simple changes can help you figure out what you want and how to get there.
4. If nothing changes then nothing will change.
You make your own luck in life. If you’re waiting around for things to land in your lap, you’ll be waiting a very long time! This feeling of being stuck in a rut will be temporary, but only if you take action. You are the agent in your life; if you don’t make a change then don’t expect change to happen.
5. Endings are new beginnings.
Sometimes you won’t see opportunities coming. They might be disguised as situations that make you feel sad and disappointed. Think of these endings as new beginnings – one door closes, another door opens.
6. It’s YOUR life.
Don’t make your life decisions according to other people’s standards. It’s easy to fall into the trap of scrolling through pictures of everyone’s apparently idyllic lives on social media, and wondering why you aren’t in the same boat. Live your life according to what YOU want to do, not what you think someone else wants you to do. At the end of the day, it’s you that has to live with your choices, not them.
7. Things happen for a reason.
I always find it helpful to reflect on what my situation might be trying to teach me if I am ever feeling unhappy. You need to stay open-minded about how your life changes happen. If you make one change and it doesn’t work, try something else. Perhaps you’re meant to learn from these moments –life has a funny habit of throwing a few curveballs your way. Just ride the rollercoaster, and enjoy the journey. Sometimes, you just have to accept that things happen in a different order to what you had planned!
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Charlotte Robinson, Administrator