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Are You In A Rut?

By Dr. Linda Sapadin

You're in a groove. You're on track. You're inspired. You're confident.

And then you're not. It's over - at least for now.

You're out of your groove. You're off track. You're discouraged. Your commitment wavers.

What's happening? You've lapsed into a rut. These times may come as part of a general slump in your life or as a response to a challenging situation that's pulling you down.

Whatever the cause, the solution is to view any setback as a temporary one.

Here are some ideas to help you get out of your rut:.

Visualize a hero of yours. Male or female, alive or dead, real or mythical. Imagine your hero cheering you on. What does he say to you? How does he motivate you? What would she advise you to do? What would she do in the same situation? Soak up his words. Marinate in her caring. Feel your hero by your side as you go about your day.

Recall how you behaved when you were in your groove. What good ideas did you have then? What was important to you then? How did you feel about yourself then? See yourself beaming with delight. Remember what it was like when you felt inspired. Stay as long as you like in 'groove-land'. Soon you will be taking up residence there once again.

Remind yourself that you're in it for the long haul. Don't let the first hint of frustration sap your energy or sabotage your goals. Even if your confidence is waning, hang in there. Give yourself a breather. Take time to rest, eat, pray, heal, love. Then when you're ready, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on track.

Monitor your momentum. Don't push yourself to move faster than you can. Quantum leaps are not required. Baby steps are okay, just as long as you're moving forward. If you find yourself falling behind, take an action. Change your scenery. Seek out a friendly face. Clean up a mess. Do something that gets your energy going.

Think - even if you don't feel like thinking. Working out, as I'm sure you know, is the tried and true road to a buff body. True for your mind as well. Utilize your gray matter, even when you don't feel like it. Start with something fun and enjoyable. Play a video game, tackle a crossword puzzle, read a how-to article. Then get back to business with a fresh attitude.

When you're finally back on track, smile. Praise yourself. Reward yourself. And notice what worked for you this time, for there will be a next time. It's the norm, not the exception, to lapse into a rut.

Linda Sapadin, Ph.D. is a psychologist in private practice who specializes in helping people enrich their lives, enhance their relationships and overcome self-defeating patterns of behavior. For more information about her work, contact her at or visit her website at

Visit her newest website which is devoted to understanding and overcoming debilitating procrastination.patterns.

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