Are You In A Groove Or A Rut?

Ruts: the routines in our work and lives that have become uninteresting and bothersome.

Everyone has a favorite rut or two. They are comfortable, familiar and undemanding. If you stay in them long enough you begin to equate them with who you are and buy in to the belief that remaining steadfastly in them is all you can expect out of life.

Ruts are furrows, gullies, creases and (dare I say) wrinkles where we tend to live life cheerfully and without much thought. We find one way of doing something, and continue the pattern. It does not matter whether it is the best or logical way, we keep on doing things in a certain manner, like taking the same route to work, or going to the same restaurant for lunch and ordering the same identical meal every time.

Just in case you do not think this applies to your situation, here are a few ways to tell if you are in a rut:

  1. Stuck in Routines: Ruts are places where you get stuck. You do things routinely even if they do not work any more. While routines are important, they can become ineffective and unmanageable when taken to the extreme.

  2. Ruled by Assumptions: Like all human beings, we have a tendency to take some things for granted. These are called assumptions and they powerfully affect what we see, how we behave, and the kind of impact we have on the world around us. Our assumptions can be both positive and negative. They can expand our thoughts and actions or limit them.

  3. Going Through The Motions: Sometimes we put our behavior and actions on auto-pilot. We just cruise through our careers and lives without giving any thought to what we are trying to achieve. We frown at setting goals and criticize others who wish to get more out of work and life. Anyone who rocks the boat is to be shunned and despised.

  4. Protected Comfort Zones: We all have things that are comfortable to us. When we permanently settle in, these very same comfort zones become ruts. Comfort zones are created when we are successful at something