|Who else loves this movie beyond belief?|
We are going down a serious road today, folks.
Lately, I've been stuck. I'm been trudging through the motions, but with no particular vision or enthusiasm. After a summer filled with intense training (which culminated in my big 6 day race), then immediately sending Sam off to college, I kind of fell into a funk. And life felt like it slowed to a grinding halt.
Nothing was wrong, per se, but each day felt a bit like trudging through quick sand towards no known destination. Okay, perhaps that's a bit dramatic, but my point is - I like to feel great energy and passion for my days, no matter what they hold. For a minute I lost that feeling and I kind of hated it.
So, what did I do? Well, after drinking wine and watching Bachelor in Paradise I got slightly disgusted with myself and took charge.
Here's the thing. I think we all go through times where we question everything. Times where we feel stuck in a rut. It can be in relation to our running, our jobs, our parenting, our relationships, or merely a mingling of all of these things. It's natural to hit these phases. What's important, however, is that we don't stay stuck.
Here's are the steps I used to pull myself out of the quick sand:
1. Shit or get off the pot: When people are in a rut they like to complain. A lot. You know why? Because complaining and bitching are much easier to do than actually tackling the problem.
Personally, one of my claim to fames is that I am a quick pooper. I am in and out of the shitter faster than I can even open a magazine, let alone read the story. So, my issue is not that I can't shit and get off the pot. It's just knowing what to do once I'm off the pot.
|Seriously, ya'll. Can I just get some privacy?|
Which leads me to...
2. Do the opposite. One of the quickest and most sure fire ways to un-stuck yourself in a hurry is to get busy shaking up your routine and habits. This is also most guaranteed to take you way out of your comfort zone, so get ready for the ride.
Doing the opposite entails just that. If you normally run in the morning, run at night. If you run on flat dirt roads, run on steep trails instead. If you only read fiction, experiment with non fiction. If you have sex with women, have sex with men (okay, maybe not the last one?). Anyway, the point is that nothing takes you out of your rut more quickly than spicing things up and doing things differently. It's amazing how just a shift in how we do things can bring us back to life.
3. Screw fear. Research shows that 89.2% of the time we don't do things we want to do because we are afraid (okay, I made up that statistic, but it's got to be at least that high). What are we so afraid of? It's one thing to be legitimately afraid of something that is purely dangerous. In fact, it's mighty swell that living things are granted the internal fight or flight instinct. This keeps us from going up and petting the rattlesnake or trying to make love to the shark we see while we are surfing.
That's not the fear I'm talking about. The fear that holds us down and keeps us from living our best life is perceived fear. Fake fear. When it all boils down to nothingness, we are left with the one big fear that most of us share. FOF.
Fear of Failure
FOF is the main ingredient in our Stuck Recipe. If we take out that fear, what would be capable of doing? Finishing a marathon? Writing a book? Going back to school? Making the perfect apple pie crust?
4. Get Over Yourself. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the reason we have such a FOF is that we are ego maniacs. If we didn't have such egos, we wouldn't be so afraid of failing or being rejected. We just wouldn't care. We'd fall down, brush ourselves off and get back at it. But, that's hard to do. When we "fail" we internalize it and tell ourselves we are not good enough. We get paralyzed.
What we need to realize is that falling down is part of what we do as humans. Progress can't be made without it. When you were a baby, what would have happened if each time you tried to walk and you fell, you just stopped tying to walk? Right now you'd be sitting in your stroller feeling sorry for yourself.
The moral of the story is: Don't get stuck in your stroller. Or, something like that.
Here's what I've done this week to get unstuck:
- Finished my online class to get Heidi registered as a therapy dog
- Started to write an article to pitch to some publications
- Ran in just a sports bra and shorts. Outside. In public. (yep. I'll be 50 in 5 months and I don't care)
- Sold a car
- Dealt with a ridiculously abrasive and aggressive person in my job and came out unscathed and proud of how I handled it.
- Oh, and I ran a lot but you already knew that.
How about you? What small step are you going to take to move forward and get out of your (running or other) rut?