How to Get Out of a Rut

by Oudraa S

Have you ever been stuck in a rut?

Let’s start with the basic definition of a rut:

“A habit or pattern of behaviour that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change”.

If you have ever felt stuck in a rut, you know how challenging it can be to pull yourself out of one. Some instances are easier than others but when it’s hard, it’s really hard. People define being stuck in a rut in a variety of ways. Some believe that the beginnings of feeling stuck in a rut occur when you are constantly feeling unmotivated, uninspired, and unchallenged. Others identify the feeling with a belief that their hard work is leading them nowhere. It can feel like no matter how hard they try, they end up in the same spot or worse.

It's important to remember that these feelings are normal. It may begin to become an issue when this feeling becomes persistent and lasts for extended periods of time without reprieve. The day-to-day responsibilities of life can get overwhelming, so tumbling into or feeling stuck in a rut is a feeling that will likely appear at least a few times in your life.

Black Girl Thinking

As an established or aspiring entrepreneur, you have likely been in a rut before or are in one right now! Sometimes your ideas don’t manifest the way you’ve intended them to, or your business hasn’t taken off the way you expected it to after years of hard work and consistency. Remember to give yourself grace if and when you get stuck in a rut. Doing your best during times like these can go a very long way.  

How to Get Out of a Rut

There are many different ways and strategies to use in order to get out of a rut so it’s important to find what works best for you. In that same vein, you won’t know what’s best for you unless you try a few different methods. Don’t be discouraged if one or two tips don’t work for you at a certain time!

We often find ourselves in a rut when we get too comfortable with our routines. We start to lose the excitement and motivation that we once had for our work. The key is to find something that will make you feel alive again, something that will give you a sense of purpose. Once people find themselves in a rut, their next obstacle seems to present itself in the way of not knowing what to do next. This is where getting out of your comfort zone and going after something new is critical.

Hand Holding Lightbulb

Recognizing You Are in a Rut

It may be hard to recognize when you are stuck in a rut. Certain thoughts and feelings may arise after a certain experience or scenario, so it may blur the realization. For example, you may always feel uninspired or tired during work but minimize it to just being a regular day because you and all of your friends hate their jobs anyway. Pay attention to when you feel a certain way and try to understand why. This may help to begin the process of realizing you’re stuck in a rut.

Some thoughts or feelings that may indicate you’re stuck in a rut include:

  • Always exhausted
  • Unmotivated
  • Uninspired
  • Unchallenged
  • No identifiable progress being made over a long period of time
  • Repeatedly doing the same things over again without thought or feeling attached to it
  • Not remembering the last time you were happy while doing a certain activity (i.e while working, writing, day-to-day responsibilities)
  • Constantly dreading a specific responsibility you have to fulfill

As previously mentioned, although these noted scenarios and characteristics may be clues that you are stuck rut, if they persist for extended periods of time without relief even after trying multiple tips, it may be time to seek professional assistance.

Escape the Ordinary

Tips for Getting Out of a Rut

The first step is to make a plan and decide how you are going to get out of the rut. What are your goals? What are your next steps? And most importantly, what are you willing to do? After making a plan, it's time for action! You need to take that first step and start moving. It might feel scary at first, but every journey starts with just one step.

  • Take a break and recharge
  • Find new ways to do the same tasks that you have been doing
  • Create a list of your strengths and weakness
  • Seek help from others (friends, colleagues, partner) when you need it
  • Seek help from a professional (counsellor, therapist)
  • Try one new thing each day
  • Explore your interests
  • Set new goals for yourself and take small steps towards achieving them
  • Find ways to be more productive by doing less, and by doing less better
  • Change your environment; Get a new job, move to a new city, change your commute route to work
  • Go for a walk or do another form of exercise
  • Learn a new skill
  • Practice mindfulness or meditate
  • Cook your favourite meal
  • Volunteer
  • Read a book

These are just some tips on how to get out of a rut. This list isn’t mutually exhaustive, and you are free to try all or none of these tips! The tricky thing about being stuck in a rut is that you don’t know what is going to work on one day versus another. What’s important here is to try. If you give yourself a chance to experience something new or simply get out of your comfort zone, you may gain an enlightened new perspective with a refreshed boost of energy.

Colorful Ice Cream Cone

Why Are Entrepreneurs More Susceptible to Being Stuck in a Rut?

As an entrepreneur, you are likely regularly focused on how you can establish and grow your business. You’re always looking for new ideas and strategies to implement to help take your business to the next level. However, because you’re always on the go, it’s easy to get caught up and almost go into auto-pilot mode. As such, when you finally come up for air and your business hasn’t taken off the way you expected it to, your confidence and motivation may be shot.

Sometimes, you may feel like you’ve tried every single thing with no success. Trying new tips and tricks never seem to stick and this only sends you further into feeling like you’re in a rut that you can’t escape. Being an entrepreneur can be mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing. You have to muster up courage, innovation, creativity, strategy, and more on a daily basis to give your business the best chance at survival. And even then, it still may not succeed.

This is exactly why feeling stuck in a rut is not a foreign feeling to an entrepreneur. Even as an entrepreneur, remember to take a break! Although you’re probably the biggest supporter of your business, even you need to take a step back sometimes and breathe. Those moments may bring clarity that you never anticipated. Because the nature of business is so unpredictable, you never know when your next big break will come. If you are implementing strategies that have worked in the past, of course consistency is key here.

However, if you are trying certain strategies that are yielding minimal to no results and you don’t feel inspired to continue with them, don’t! Try something else. There is nothing wrong with pivoting if something is not working for you. The beauty of trying multiple strategies is that you can always revisit ones that did not work in the past and see if you’ll get a different outcome. Shaking things up can really help with creativity and inspiration.

There are many things that can inspire us to become better in life. The most important thing is to find something that you are passionate about. If that’s too much pressure, just try to find something you enjoy or something that makes you happy! There are no rules to this thing called life. Being stuck in a rut is not a great feeling but rest assured, you can pull yourself out of it.

As an entrepreneur, don’t be discouraged. There will always be good and bad days. Believe in yourself, trust in your abilities, and keep an open mind. You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll be able to navigate being in and getting out of a rut when you are properly equipped.

Have you ever been stuck in a rut? What do you do to get out of it? Comment below!

Inspired Man

Check out some of our merch below:

Trust the Journey Mug



Shine, Queen Mug

Wake Up Schedule Mug


Original Barcode Hat

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published