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Stuck In a Rut?

Author: Andrew Pek   |   March 22nd, 2010

Over a cup of tea in Dublin, our client, David confessed to us that he had run out of creative juice, was unable to come up with fresh, new ideas, and was feeling stuck in a rut.

Lacking the passion, energy and zest necessary to help him lead his team toward success, he was feeling zombie-like…going through the motions day-to-day, showing up but not really being there, doing what he had to do but not doing it with joy and passion and getting by but not getting inspired.

Let’s face it, when you are feeling like David, it’s hard to be excited or look forward to anything.  When we don’t have much left in our creative tank eventually we will simply innovationrun out of gas.  We imagine that you can relate to David and his feelings of being stuck.

At some point in our lives most of us have felt overwhelmed, unmotivated and stuck. Of course, during those times, it’s hard to feel creative, come up with new ideas, and meet the challenges of our work and lives with a feeling of possibility and passion.  With the pace of change and the demands of our organizations in today’s world, creativity isn’t a luxury – it’s a survival skill. So, in order to survive, then, we need to get unstuck and out of the rut.

According to a rut is “a settled or established habit or course of action, especially a boring one.”  As we know, habits can be hard to break.  The trick is, of course, replacing the old, boring, rut-inducing habits with fresh, new, exciting habits that stick and give you energy.

But exactly how, you might ask, do I do that?

Well, simply put, you need to get stimulated! When we say getting stimulated, likely a lot of different ideas or images come to mind (some of you might even be blushing!). But what we mean is finding, nurturing and experiencing stimuli of all kinds as a part of your daily routine in order to keep things fresh and keep you engaged.  This is the secret to getting unstuck.

If we become aware of and conscious of how we seek and use stimulus, we will flourish and create new, exciting habits that become a part of who we are and how we see the world.  Possibilities oriented…Playful…Imaginative…Excited…Alive… Now, who doesn’t want all that?!

Some helpful tips to get stimulated and out of a rut right now:

Shake it Up
Routines and predictability make us feel safe.  When we’re in a rut, however, these safe routines keep us stuck.  So, what is something you can do right now –
differently – to change a routine?  Might you drive to work a different way or pick up a magazine that normally you wouldn’t read?

How about packing up your laptop and heading to the local café to catch the vibe there? Even small changes can give you a little lift and help wipe the cobwebs from your psyche.

Be Playful
This doesn’t mean not taking what you are doing seriously or that your work and life aren’t important.  We know these things are important.  However, it’s about not taking yourself so seriously.  Lighten up…Smile…Engage with others.  Bring some life to the party – even at work.  Think about the things that give you a lift and see how you might be able to bring that to the work you do and the people you work with.  You’ll be amazed at what might happen…

Change the Way You Look at Things
According to Wayne Dyer, if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.  It’s a matter of perspective.  Make sure you look at challenges or those things keeping you stuck from many different perspectives.  Ask someone to help you see it differently.  Literally look at it from another angle.  Take an opposite view from your normal way.  Go ahead, do it right now!

Oh and remember that guy David from Dublin?  Well, through a combination of his perseverance, our coaching, a lot of good stimulus, he and his team ended up not only
working together more effectively but coming up with two big, bold ideas that brought his company $10 million dollars in revenue in just three months!  How’s that for getting unstuck?!


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One Response to “Stuck In a Rut?”

  1. James Says:

    I really enjoy your articles and I am not saying that to get my post approved 😉 Getting stuck in a rut is the story of my life, every time I made a major change it has to been to my benefit.

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