Stuck in a Rut? Shift Your Focus.

Time To Read: 2 mins


Stuck? Feet glued to the floor? Unable to move forward? There are some things for some of us that are just tough to get started on.

Let’s say you’ve been stuck in your current job for a while now and you haven’t had much positive momentum. Your performance reviews haven’t been awful—more lackluster in quality. You see your colleagues starting new positions, leading new projects, and thriving.

You haven’t exactly made your wishes known to your supervisor or manager that you are interested in earning more or taking on more responsibility because you know you haven’t followed her advice in the past to do what in her eyes needs to get done like publish more, form more valuable strategic relationships, lead a few committees, or the like.

You feel both resistant to these suggestions and a bit of self-loathing for not taking the initiative to make the case that you deserve a promotion or to be considered for a plum position.

You’re stuck and in a rut.

Pivot. One proven way to get out of a rut is to shift your focus. Pivot, I say. Set your sights on a different challenge to rev up your courage and your performance muscles, and not tackle your resistance head on.

Find some quiet time and inquire of yourself what other kinds of challenges have you left on the table.

For me, I was tired of saying I was no good at doing crossword puzzles that appear daily in my local newspaper. I kept thinking that somehow I lacked that gene that can read a clue and just get it. I saw others who could whip through these puzzles one clue at a time and couldn’t see how I would ever be able to complete an entire puzzle on my own.

Well, I couldn’t. Not until I committed to working on my crossword puzzling muscles. Six years and counting, I’m able to get through three-quarters before I recruit my spouse for help, and have completed a few on my own. I continue to blitz every few weeks to make sure my puzzling muscles, and my confidence, are in working condition.

And, I take a moment to celebrate.

What about these puzzling muscles? Turns out, strengthening puzzling muscles led to tackling other stickier challenges.

I want to keep moving forward. I want to face what’s in front of me and move past it. And, I wish that for you.

What are you not facing? Can you pivot? What new muscles can you build?


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