Sometimes in life we get a little stuck.
Feeling stuck sneaks up on us, often taking us completely by surprise. One minute we’re diligently keeping busy, filling our lives and our to do lists with so many important things, and the next we’re drowning in our own boredom. Life feels like it’s on repeat, a less entertaining and more stressful version of Groundhog Day.
How on earth can we be bored when we’re so busy? We don’t have time to be bored, do we?
The thing is, bored and busy aren’t mutually exclusive. It is entirely possible to be both insanely busy and interminably bored at the very same time. Trust me, I know.
I recently caught up with an old flame, someone I met when I was at the beginning of my previous career, someone I’ve always admired for his ability to be himself and live a happy life. The older and wiser I get, the greater my admiration.
As we got to catching up about our lives I was struck not only by how different my life is to his but also how different my life feels now compared to when we met, how different I feel. Back then life was full of movement and excitement. I was full of energy, full of drive, progressing in my career, fitter than I’d ever been and enjoying the frisson of a long distance romance. Now…well, life feels less vibrant somehow, stagnant even.
How could this be, I asked myself? What’s changed? What’s so different now compared to then?
Excitement. Passion. Magic. Movement.
Somehow, even in the midst of changing my life and creating a business, I don’t have enough excitement, passion, magic and movement in my life. How had I missed this? How, when I coach people for a living, had I lost sight of the fact that these are some of my core desired feelings, things I need to feel on a daily basis not just once in a while? How did I think that life would flow without excitement, passion, magic and movement?
By not thinking that’s how, or at least by not paying close enough attention. By being too busy to notice and getting caught up in “supposed to”, that’s how. After many years spent following other people’s rules, abiding by societal supposed tos and suffering the almost inevitable consequences of burnout and misery, I thought I knew better by now. Old habits die hard it seems. In spite of investing many hours and much energy getting back in touch with who I am and how I want to live, I’d put everything I’d learned to one side, classifying it as indulgent. I’d moved ahead with building a business and a life the way you’re “supposed to”, the “sensible” way.
Well, sensible doesn’t float my boat. Sensible doesn’t make me feel alive.
Perhaps it’s something different for you. Perhaps it’s love or joy or freedom that really lights you up. Perhaps you don’t know what it is, you just know something’s not right, something has to change.
So, what can we do about this? How do we get out of our rut? Here are a few ideas that may just help you to reignite your life.
- Know what lights you up: Easier said than done, I know, especially when you’re feeling like you’ve lost your va va voom. The best way I’ve found to do this is to think back to times when you’ve felt really lit up and to find the common denominating factor. It could be a certain period in your life when things were flying, it could be a moment when you felt that rush of joy, excitement, passion, love. Find five or six key moments when you remember feeling truly alive.
- Know how you want to feel: How do you want to feel on a daily basis? Not once in a while, but every day. Use the information from the previous question to help you figure this out. What’s the feeling that lights you up? For me it’s passion and excitement, for you it could be something different.
- What makes you feel how you want to feel?: What in your life makes you feel how you want to feel? How are you cultivating those things? Is how you’re living in alignment with how you want to feel? Are your actions enabling you to cultivate those feelings? If you’ve got this far in the article I’m guessing not. Draw on your previous experiences and trust that if life has felt good before it can feel good again, but only if you decide to consciously make it so.
- It starts with you: There’s no white knight coming to save you. I know, sorry, but somebody had to tell you. Waiting for somebody else to come along and rescue you is a recipe for continued dissatisfaction. Anytime in the past when life was going well, you were the creator of that, nobody else. OK, so maybe opportunities were presented to you, but only because you’d put yourself in the right place and were showing up with the right energy to see and seize the opportunities.
- Take things up a gear: You may be doing all the right things but holding something back. Stop that. If you feel that whatever you’re doing is the right thing but you’re afraid it won’t work so you’re holding back, there’s your answer. Holding back does not lead to fulfilment. You’re sending mixed messages. On the one hand you’re saying you want something, on the other you’re saying you’re not sure, maybe in a bit, when you’re ready and you’ve had time to clear your to do list. Trust that when you go all in your to do list will naturally clear itself of anything that’s not aligned with how you want to live. Take things up a gear. Increase your devotion.
- Get moving: Humans are meant to move. When we feel stagnant and stuck in a rut movement is the answer. Only you know what that means for you. Maybe there’s something you used to do that you haven’t done for a long time, maybe it’s doing more of something you’re already doing. Whatever it is, don’t feel guilty for moving more. Somehow when we grow up we seem to minimise the importance of movement, like it’s indulgent and a waste of time. I’m telling you it isn’t. It’s a vital part of you living a vibrant life.
- Your fears hold the key: Your fears are a clue to your fulfilment. Fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin. The likelihood is that whatever you’re afraid of is where the gold (literally and metaphorically) lies. Instead of hiding from your fears, have a chat with them and see whether they might just hold the keys to the castle.
- Your desires are not random: The things you desire are not random, they were given to you for a reason. I bet many of the things you desire are things you’re afraid to pursue (see point 5!) Pursue them, indulge them, follow them in whatever way you can and stay open to a little magic happening along the way.
- Do something different: What you’re doing right now clearly isn’t working so carrying on the same way and expecting a different result is, well, madness. No matter how small, do something different. It might even mean stopping something that’s not aligned with how you want your life to be. Whatever it is, do something differently.
I hope there’s at least one thing amongst everything I’ve said that rings true for you. I’d love to hear what you decide to do differently.
And, if this has really struck a chord and you’re ready to finally get your life moving again, let’s talk. I’d love to chat about how we can work together to get you out of your rut. Just send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or via my contact form and I’ll be in touch to organise a time for us to talk.
With love and devotion. Xx