Our mind can be quite sneaky sometimes. Especially when it deals with comfort, habits, addiction, and the experiencing of pleasure.
As we move through life, it is nearly impossible not to develop habits, whether bad or good. This is just the way the mind and the brain works.
It gives us a structure, certainty and a way of moving through our lives with stability and consistency. However our habits, if left unchecked can ultimately be our downfall; especially when they deal with COMFORT.
Our comfort level is quite a curious thing.
We spend so much of our energy - both physical and mental - working towards building our comfort level. We want to be comfortable at work, in our homes, in our skin, with money.
More than just comfort level, we want to be able to experience convenience and pleasure as a norm, rather than as an occasional treat. I can’t tell you how many people I know that have completely trapped themselves in a rut because of their own comfort level and the habits that revolve around it.
Maybe you can relate to what I mean when I say “a rut”.
- Do you ever feel stuck, like you’ve stopped moving forward in your career, relationship, or spiritual life?
- Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you try, you can’t get to where you want to be?
- Do you feel a lack of motivation to take action to improve your circumstances or change your life for the better?
- Or perhaps you even do feel motivated, but feel like no matter what you do it isn’t making a difference?
- Have you found yourself feeling unhappy or depressed on a regular basis?
- Are you dreading getting out of bed in the morning?
- Do you seem to have a lot of things to be grateful for, yet you still feel unhappy, empty, or unfulfilled?
The most important thing to remember about feeling stuck in life is that we are completely in charge of the whole situation. The first step is to admit that we are there because we put ourselves there, and that we are also fully capable of getting ourselves out of it too.
If you are feeling this way now (believe I have in my life more than once) I’d urge you to give the following tips some consideration, and especially number two
. This is your life we are talking about here, and it’s your right, and within your power to actually live it.
Pull Yourself Out of a Rut With These 8 Steps.
1. Accept Responsibility.
You are not stuck right now because of external forces that have put you there.
- You DO have the power to change things.
- You DO have the ability to get out of this phase, and no thing or person is going to magically drag you out of this but you.
It’s all on you.
2. Rebel Against Your Comfort Zones.
Comfort is your worst enemy in this game.
In fact, it was probably comfort that got you here in the first place.
- You could have signed up for that public speaking course 6 months ago, run through it and been in a whole different place right now, but it was much more comfortable to instead spend your Thursday nights watching a movie and cooking with your boyfriend or girlfriend.
- You could practice meditation, yoga, or begin an exercise program daily, but it’s just so much easier to sit around, hang out with friends, or do whatever else you are used to doing.
Understand that it is you acquiescence to your comfort levels that has put you in this rut! You took the comfortable route so many times that it turned into a habit.
Now it’s just normal and all the adventures, skills, opportunities, and excitement that you crave and need to be truly satisfied with your life are sitting outside of a thick bubble that you’ve created by being too comfortable.
Commit to stepping outside of your comfort zone regularly. No matter what it is.
- It could be putting yourself in a difficult social situation, or going somewhere you don’t usually go.
- It could be doing that thing you’ve had in your mind to do for a while now, that you haven’t done because you’re afraid or anxious to.
- It could be NOT doing things too, like not watching T.V., not sleeping in too late, not eating that comfort food you know isn’t good for you.
When you can step outside of your comfort zone regularly enough that this becomes a habit, you will be outside of your slump and into a more exciting and adventurous life.
And the great thing about this? You get instant results! There is an incredible feeling of exhilaration any time we step into new territory and show ourselves that we can do things we don’t usually do.
This is a pathway to excitement and self-fulfillment all in itself.
3. Take a Fresh Look at Your Day to Day Habits.
It’s time to take stock of everything that you do from the moment you get out of bed until the time you go to sleep.
You can probably think of a few things that have become habits right off of the bat, but there are also a few other little sneaky habits that have crept up on you; this is how we trick ourselves into leading mediocre lives.
We say “oh well it won’t hurt that much this time”, then we say it again, then again, then again, and next thing we know we’ve developed a lazy or lame habit that doesn’t serve us.
This plays into addiction as well, and keep in mind that addiction isn’t just to drugs, substances, or unhealthy acts. You can be addicted to more subtle things like a certain food, a routine, a way of thinking, etc. Usually addictions happen because we did something once or a few times and got a good amount of pleasure from it.
But it’s time for you to take a second look at these habits and ask yourself:
- “Does this really make me happy anymore?”
- “Does this feel as good as it used to, or am I clinging to an ideal that doesn’t really exist anymore?”
I’d challenge you, if you really want to make a positive change in your life, to watch yourself all day for at least a week, and take notes.
Message form Guided Mind: Use our meditation mp3s and CDs to actually ENJOY the process of making a positive changes in your life.
Write down or type into the notepad on your phone all the little things you do, say, think, and feel throughout the day, then really question which of these are serving you, and which ones could be replaced with something new.
4. Do Something Randomly New.
There is nothing like learning something completely new.
In each person’s life there are whole worlds that have yet to be experienced. I don’t mean that if you are a spiritual guy/gal to learn a new spiritual practice. I mean get out of that altogether.
- Learn how to ballroom dance if you’ve never danced before.
- Try a food from a nationality you’ve never tried before.
- Go hiking if you’re the type to stay inside, or go to a big social gathering if you tend to be withdrawn.
You don’t have to keep this up for long amounts of time, but find something, just one thing to get into that is completely outside of what your normal lifestyle is. Stick with it long enough to learn about it and get a thorough experience.
Doing this will remind you that your life is not as boxed in as you think it is, and that there are open horizons to be explored.
5. Make the Big Changes if Necessary.
Usually if you have a big change that you need to make, you already know it.
By “big” I mean like a relationship, or your job, or maybe your living situation. These changes are scary for anyone to make, they can literally pull the ground out from beneath your feet.
But they also open the door for opportunities, no matter what happens. Any of these things will expose you to new people, new places, new routines, new knowledge.
But more than that, if you are in a situation that is not making you happy, you’ve got to finally have a moment lucid enough to realize that the pain of change, or taking the plunge is not going to be greater than the little pain you are enduring each day of your life from watching your soul and passion slowly die.
You know what I mean, don’t you?
Don’t EVER allow yourself to settle for a comfort in the pain that you’re used to.
Which leads us to the next tip...
6. Realize that You Have Become Comfortable in Your Despair.
This is such a human thing. And this is the number one reason why comfort levels can get many intelligent, ambitious, and otherwise passionate individuals to fall into patterns of stagnation, laziness, lack of fulfillment, or depression.
Anything in the entire universe that is in motion desires to stay in motion. And anything in the entire universe that is NOT in motion, desires to stay that way.
You can even become comfortable in your discomfort, in your pain.
There are thousands of people out there that will allow themselves to become so used to being unhappy and unfulfilled that they grow comfortable in their pain, and would rather choose that comfort of what they are used to over the unknown (even if the unknown is an unknown adventure, success, or joy.)
There is a time to think positively, and there is also a time to say “NO I am NOT happy! I deserve better and I do not accept this aspect of my life!”
7. Find an Accountability Buddy.
Sometimes there is value in not telling people about your goals and aspirations. But in the event of you pulling yourself out of a rut, there is great value in letting as many people as you can know what you intend to do, so that if you don’t, you’ll have to face the discomfort of telling all of them that you gave up.
Tell a lot of people what you plan to do, and DO IT! When you don’t, be honest with those that you told and let yourself feel that feeling of not following through.
Most importantly, find at least one friend that you can rely on to check with you, call you out, and regularly remember to follow up with you in your endeavors. You may find it worthwhile to hire a coach for a period of time.
Also read: How to Harden Up and Learn Not to Quit.
8. Ruthlessly Eliminate Stagnant and Old “Junk”.
I mean this on both the physical and mental level. Go through your whole house, yard, and garage and get rid of anything that’s just been sitting there for no reason.
Take those things you are holding on to - even though you know you’re never going to use them - and throw them away, or give them to someone who may use them.
Do the same with your habits, with relationships that aren’t serving you, and with thought patterns that are bogging your down.
Encompassing energy work, meditation, or other spiritual practices into this step will help tremendously.
Life was meant to be an adventure!
- This could mean things like travelling the world, bungee jumping, extreme sport, and time travel.
- Or it could just mean that each day you wake up with a sense of wonder, of excitement in not knowing exactly what new challenge, experience, or joy you are going to encounter in your life.
I firmly believe that we were not meant to live so entrenched in our own comfort level that we can lazily predict how our day is going to go from start to finish, and that we are not meant to control our lives and environments to the point that there is no room for newness.
If you are not finding a sense of joy, passion, or excitement in your life TAKE ACTION! Nobody but you can make this happen, and you have it completely within your power to make it how you want it to be.
Live on the crest of unknowing, and you will be in awe at what shows up in your life!
Ashton Aiden is a certified life coach, a brainwave entrainment geek, a lover of dogs, and a passionate advocate of the human potential. He spends most of his time working through his website, brainwavelove.com, to educate the public on the powerful benefits of brainwave entrainment technology.
When not doing this, he enjoys coaching people on the art of manifestation, providing spiritual commentary, and exploring the outdoors in his home state with his dog, Biff, and his girlfriend Dechen. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on facebook.com/brainwavelove