How to Get out of a Rut...and Start a Cycle of Positivity
Are you in a rut? Do you feel like you just keep repeating the same day over and over again? Well, I totally get it. I've been there!
But the good news is that you're reading this post so that means that on some level you're ready for change. So take a minute and congratulate yourself. Few people take this step.
Let's get started.....
The first thing to understand is that a rut is a cycle in itself. For example if you hate your job like I used to. You get up in the morning with a sense of dread. This dread grows as you get closer to work. I can remember having to literally stop outside of the door to my work and take a few deep breathes before I could even walk through the door. The only reason I didn't turn around and run for the hills is because I felt like I had no way out. I had become so beat down by the toxic environment of my job that my sense of self worth had eroded...to the point where I didn't even think that any healthy organization would want to hire me. So instead of looking for another job when I got home I would just go home fix a nice meal and zone out through television or projects around my house....and then get up the next morning and start all over again. I felt like zombie.
It took being betrayed by a co-worker for me to have a wake-up call....and for me to realize that the situation had nothing to do with me except that I was buying into it. I can clearly remember sitting in my boss's boss's office and listening to my co-worker just stab me in the back. I walked out of that office so angry and indignant that the Voice (you know the one that tells you the truth) said, "You're better than this...you're better than these people."
So How do you Stop Buying into the Rut?
Well, you start by making small changes that change your cycle of thought from one of hopelessness to one of positive thinking and an expectation of positive outcomes...and I recommend starting with a fabulous test...
The Do I Give a Shit Test
One of the first things that I started doing after my break through was to regularly put things in my everyday life through the "Do I give a Shit?" test. For example, I remember a co-worker asking me if I wanted to participate in the annual company Christmas skit show...I remember pausing and asking myself, "Do I give a Shit about this Skit Show?" and the answer was ..."No, I don't give a Shit. In fact, I think its a drain on my energy and I'd rather do pretty much anything else." So I said aloud, "No. I have a deadline." In fact, I ended up having a cold the day of the show anyway....I think my body was telling me how much I really didn't want to be at the show. So next time you feel that knot in your chest before you're going to do something ask yourself, "Do I really give a Shit about this?" If the answer is no then don't do it...and if you can't get out of it visualize yourself doing something you love when you are at the event in those down moments. Those visualizations will start to work into your subconscious and give you sparks of hope.
On the other hand, when the answer is yes...you have something positive to focus on...or to work on improving.
Start Using Basic Affirmations
If you've poked around in the personal growth arena even just a little bit I'm sure you've run into multiple posts about affirmations. Now I know from experience that when you're in the darkest places of a rut your reaction might very well be "F*^#% Affirmations! Those are for people whose lives like look like Disney Moments." How do I know this...well, because that was my reaction. The thought that my life could change from chanting a bunch of words in the morning sounded as far fetched as Tinkerbell coming into my room, sprinkling fairy dust on me, and magically making my life change. So if you're in this camp here's what I recommend. Start by telling yourself throughout the day that "my life can be different." Because you may be like I was....you're so far in the rut that you have no idea what you want...you just know that you want out. So tell yourself "my life can be different" and I swear little by little you'll start to come out of the fog.
For those of you a little further along in the process I recommend one of Michael Bernard Beckwith's favorite ones...and now one of my favorites..."I am open to more good than I have ever experienced before in my life."
Change the Music you Listen to
Music can have a huge effect on our mood. We might think of it as more of a cultural experience sometimes but its really very primal. So put away your Linkin Park or Nine Inch Nails...and find something more positive. Now, I'm not saying that you have to put on show tunes or cheesy pop music....don't put on something that feels fake. Just start being aware of how your music makes you feel and what the lyrics are saying. Do you feel moved after you listen to it? Do you feel hopeful? Does it allow you to picture yourself in a more positive place? Does it make me want to sing along...or even better yet smile?
Listen to Thoughtful Podcasts
I love podcasts. They're not for everyone, but I definitely recommend downloading some and listening to them on your commute or while you go about your day. They've certainly been a huge influence in my own transition from a huge life rut to a cycle of positivity. Here's some that I recommend:
Change up your Surroundings
You may not be able to make major changes in your life right away...for example change jobs or fully disentangle yourself from a toxic relationship, but you can change what you look at everyday. What we look at has a huge impact on our subconscious and there are certain walls or views that are in our line of vision for the majority of the day. For most of us this is the area around our work station, our line of vision from our couch and the wall that we look at before we turn out the lights and go to sleep.
First, download my worksheet, Feed a Cycle of Positivity Worksheet.....even if the title seems a little peppy to you right now:). Work the steps. Start with closing your eyes and slowly breathing in and out three times. Make sure that your lungs fill up completely before you exhale. Once you feel calmer, open your eyes and think list five emotions that you want to feel when you are in each of the three above places. Then work through the steps doing one room at a time.
I recommend scheduling about 3 hours every weekend for the rooms in your home and going into work about an hour when its quiet to make the changes to your office (unless you have a home office of course). If you need some ideas or recommendations during the process, check out my room designs.
For office spaces you may run into regulations that prevent you from putting up too many things in your space or you simply may not want your colleagues to see your changes and think something is up. I totally get it. If this is you, think about some crafty ways to bring some positivity to your space. For example, placing an affirming quote inside a draw on your desk so you see it every time you open it. I did this before I left my old job. It helped a lot and gave me some much needed strength as I went about my day.
Once you are done. Give yourself a couple of weeks and let the changes soak in.
Anytime that you feel yourself backsliding ground yourself in one of the above activities or a visual queue (aka positive anchor) in your home or office to get back into a cycle of positivity.
If you're looking for one on one support in the process of transforming your home or office I love working with people like you. So if you're ready to take the next step then contact me and set up a virtual or in-person appointment. Click here to learn more about the process.