Seven Ways to Break Out of a Rut

The deep back roads of Canada have two seasons, winter and summer. Vehicles driving into the backwoods will find a sign that reads, “Drivers, please choose carefully which rut you drive in, because you’ll be in it for the next twenty miles.”

Have you ever felt stuck? Have you ever been in a rut? 

I know there have been several times when I have been in a rut, both professionally and personally. If you find yourself or someone you know in a rut, here are seven tools to breaking out of it:

1. Take a look in the mirror
Identify your “problem” feelings and behaviors, and acknowledge that they are the reasons you are “stuck.”

2. Courage up
I have a coaching client who recently underwent a physical transformation for his health. He related how he had to overcome the fear of failure and rise above self-doubt with raw courage.

3. Make small changes 
On a 3×5 index card (or small piece of paper), document two or three changes you will make within the next 90 days. It may sound simplistic but I’ve found looking at that card daily will train your subconscious mind to drive your conscious behavior to change.

4. Build a repertoire of success statements 
Statements and words have enormous power over our emotions and moods. Build a repertoire of success statements of positive, healthy, and successful change!

5. Be willing to get dirty
Be willing to fight for change. Get dirty, gritty, serious, and remember most people are more comfortable with problems than new solutions. Embrace the fight and battle for change.

6. Be a mentally fit  athlete
You and I are where and who we are because of the dominant thoughts that occupy our minds. Our feelings and energy from our thoughts dictates our behavior. Take pride and your thoughts captive around your desired outcomes as you work towards who you want to become.

7. It takes 21-days to change a habit
According to Jeremy Dean, Author of Making Habits, Breaking Habits, people who resolved to drink a glass of water after breakfast were up to maximum automaticity after about 20 days, while those trying to eat a piece of fruit with lunch took at least twice as long to turn it into a habit. New habits can form anywhere from 21 to 50 days in most cases. Take note of one or two habits that you want to work on changing within the next 90 days.

As a final word of wisdom and encouragement, now is the perfect time to take action and break free from the rut you are in. Small or big, start to make small changes today.

Here’s to NEW habits of health and success!

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.