Get Out Of a Rut
Get Out Of a Rut

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A Truth About Being Stuck In A Rut That Nobody Is Talking About

PART 1: Why Trying That New Blue Latte Won’t Help

What you're about to read here is not a typical blog post. Oh, hell no. It's a mini-course in the format of a long-form text. 

And it's the real truth about being STUCK IN A RUT and TRYING NEW THINGS that I learned from my 100 NEW THINGS TO TRY challenge. 

And by the real truth, I mean all the deep shit that may tick you off. At first. But then it will give you some real AHA MOMENTS (*real as opposed to the superficial ones like "Aha! They can make my coffee blue"). The kinds of epiphany that make you think: "They should teach this in schools!"

It's long. It has 3 parts and 10 lessons. But when you read till the end, you'll see the whole ROADMAP and you collect plenty of ACTIONABLE TIPS for what you really should be doing when you're bored with the same shit. And it's not stuff that most people think of. These are things that till now, I only shared in my paid program. 

Okay, let’s get started.


INTRODUCT​ION


Missing That Fun Kid You Used To Be?

This whole pandemic stuff makes everyone think about life’s big questions and reflect on the happier days in the past. Maybe it got you thinking about the good old days too. The days when you were this fearless, chance-taking, and spontaneous kid. But then life got serious, and one day you just woke up secretly realizing that you’ve become a kinda boring adult. Stuck in a rut of the everyday sameness. You know what I'm talking about, right? 

  • Maybe it started with an innocent thought that you can’t get out of your head “Is this really all there is?”
  • Maybe it's catching yourself disengaged, numb, going through the motions of everyday life like you were half-asleep.
  • Maybe it’s realizing that you actually thought you would have achieved more by now.

Yeah, those moments. Anyway, it all comes down to missing being more of your old self. Happy, playful, curious, enjoying your life, exposing yourself to adventures, having big dreams, bravely making decisions, and sticking to them without worrying what others will think of you. 

And don’t get me wrong. You most likely manage your days like a PRO! You’re doing well at work, getting your workouts done, eating your veggies, your bills get paid on time… you don't efff around. You’re slaying this adult stuff, but none of that makes you feel complete. 

Maybe you're realizing that your current life is like you're on autopilot - the same old shit every day, and it sucks! Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, but without the benefit of not aging a bit. Weeks, months, years - they all look the same. You're just occasionally surprised by big birthdays or how come it's New Year's already! And when you think about it, you see that it’s not really living, it’s passing through life, it’s HIBERNATING.

It's Not You. It's How We Were Raised.

Because let’s be honest, most of us grew up hearing people complaining about the hardship of adult life. With a clear assumption: being a grownup equals being serious, sucking it up and grinding for life that’s "good enough.”

And don’t you dare complain, because there are a whole bunch of people who have it worse. Am I right?

Somehow the idea of being fearless, playful, spontaneous AND an adult at the same time may seem ridiculous. Almost as getting designer clothes for your miniature donkey. Like it’s something celebs, and rich people do.

So we grow into those predictable adults, we put on a serious face to be seen as professional and responsible. Only sporadically looking to the left and right to our colleagues, friends & family to check if this is how we still play this game called adulting. But it doesn't have to be like this. 

Domi Hanc

I would know, because I got sucked into a serious corporate job, waiting for the weekend to live my life. And when the weekend showed up, I was too tired to do anything more exciting than Netflix and laundry. 

Some days, I felt like I'm RELIVING THE SAME WEEK OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Yuck.

I finally went on a well-deserved vacation where I tried amazing things that made me feel alive again, like taking the front seats in the Splash Mountain ride in Disney World, driving the Overseas Highway through the Florida Keys and trying cajun cuisine. 

Don't Wait For ONE DAY

When I was sitting at the airport to fly back home, I said, “I wish we didn’t have to go back! I’m going to quit this one day!”

And then I decided I DIDN'T WANT TO WAIT FOR ONE DAY. 

Instead, I boarded the plane toward the sunrise of my badass life, started my own business, moved to a foreign country, got inspired by all the first-time experiences, challenged myself to try 100 NEW THINGS (including floating pods, polar bear dip, and snow tubing), and it was THE BEST thing I could have done! I started documenting my personal challenge on a blog and social media, and I realized I'm not the only one refusing to become another boring adult. 

100 New Things To Try

Trying new things helped me to change my life, make bold decisions, grow, and have tons of fun.

But…

Let me say this loud and clear:

A floating pod sesh, nice vacation, or a blue latte will not fix the fact that you’re not happy with your life.

“Wait! What? Aren’t you a girl who tells people to try new things?” - come on, that's what you’re thinking right now, huh? 

I told you that I’m going for some real “a-ha” moments, didn’t I? And this is what I’m doing here. So keep reading because I'll be sharing some juicy tips here.


LESSON 1: COUNTERINTUITIVE TRUTH ABOUT GETTING OUT OF A RUT


A Mistake You’re Making Trying to Get Out of a Rut

Trying new things is the intuitive solution to get out of a rut. No doubt about it! You feel bored, and you look for new things to try to change something, to get excited about, to feel something new. So you go and grab that new blue coffee everyone is talking about. It’s fun, it’s new, it gets you out of the habit, and it is a wonderful starting point for so many things. Obvi.

And YES, I strongly recommend trying all kinds of new things to learn more about yourself, and simply have more fun in life. There are seasons in life when you need a bit of fresh inspiration, new creativity, energy, and excitement. In those moments, trying simple and fun new things is great. It helps to be more spontaneous, happier, and less tense. It has many benefits. And I'm here for it!

BUT IT’S NOT ENOUGH. 

Sometimes it's just a cheap substitute for what you really should be doing.

Because IF saying “make me that blue coffee” is really saying “make me feel better,” there’s something more than the need for a caffeine kick happening here. 

What do I mean by that? Sometimes we are searching not for a new thing, but a whole "NEW YOU." Okay, that sounds huge. But I'm sure you know what I mean. New purpose, new opportunity, new role, new adventures... 

It’s important to remember that your coffee can get a makeover, but your problems and the underlying reason won’t. Not all new things will help you grow and challenge yourself. Because the novelty wears off, and nothing changes. And that new trending thing - it's just a band aid. Quick fix. Temporary solution. Been there, done that!


And maybe that new coffee is all you can do for now. Like going somewhere new for vacation was once for me. Perhaps it's a warm-up. Perhaps you don’t know yet how else you could be “fixing” the problem. And, most importantly, you might not even realize you have a problem. 

Wait! So what’s really the problem? That's a really good question. And you are going to love what comes next. 

Let's dig into that.


LESSON 2: HIBERNATION vs. ACTIVATION - THE LIFE-CHANGING DIFFERENCE 


There Are Two Types of People

I asked people following 100 New Things To Try on social about being stuck in a rut stuff and here’s what they said:

  • “I’m stuck in the same old, same old. I know it's not the life I want. I’ve been trying time managing apps, but nothing has changed because I’m still STUCK in my routines.”
  • “I would love to take my family and just go on adventures every single weekend, but I haven’t done any of them because it's kinda INTIMIDATING, and I don’t know WHERE TO START.”
  • “I would love to write a children’s book, I make plans, but then I don’t do it because I’m EXHAUSTED from the workweek, and I’m not a writer anyway.”
  • “I wanted to sign up for a free week of aerial yoga, but I know I’LL NEVER MAKE IT to a class because I don’t want to be criticized, and I’m afraid I’ll look RIDICULOUS.
  • “I always wanted to start my own business, but I gave up because going at it ALONE feels MEH, and everyone is too busy with their own adulting.”

Maybe you see yourself in those scenarios too. 

And here’s what’s really going on here:

I call it the HIBERNATION mode.

Because so many people are going through their lives without really living them. And you know what’s the worst? They don’t even notice that. Yep! The majority of us are in the HIBERNATION mode, so when you look around, and when you add all the “social norms”, expectations, peer pressure, and what the definition of success is, you do the exact same thing other people do. Hibernate. And you tell yourself that it’s okay. That some elements in life need to suck so that other elements can be great. And that belief is what makes people stay stuck. Just because something is a common belief doesn't make it legit.

This is how being in the Hibernation Mode looks like: 

  • Being stuck in a rut, going through life half-asleep,  bored with the same old stuff, AND HATING IT. 
  • Getting whatever's trending and popular right now to ease the pain, but this SHORT-LIVED NOVELTY doesn't help.
  • Feeling like there's SOMETHING OFF, but not being able to put the finger on it.
  • Not knowing you're in a Hibernation because when you look around, EVERYONE ELSE is in this too, so it seems like there's no other way. It’s a freaking Matrix!  
  • Feeling like there must be something wrong with you. Shaming yourself for being ungrateful or spoiled, and devaluating your feelings with the #FirstWorldProblems hashtag. 

People THINK that the problem is feeling bored & stuck in a rut, so they grab that new blue coffee to feel like they try something new.

But the REAL PROBLEM is that there is the stuff that’s HOLDING THEM BACK - making them believe that “good enough” life is all they can have. 

And I want you to understand that it’s NOT TRUE!

After all, you know that the brave, curious & fun kid you used to be is still there!

This is how The Activation Mode looks like: 

The “good enough life” is the traditional default scenario that schools, society, and many companies feed us with. But that’s not all there is! That is not what life is about!

And I know it because there’s yet another group of people who answer my questions like this:

  • “I used to think that I have to work hard to deserve doing what I love. But it just felt miserable, so I’m  NOT putting things off for later anymore. I’m finding ways to do them NOW.”
  • “I’m exposing my children to adventures so they can grow up BRAVE, try many things, and LEARN what they like and what they are good at. I want them to know that they HAVE A CHOICE.”
  • “I jump out of bed and put myself out there because I don’t want to die without checking my ideas out. And I feel more ALIVE than ever.”
  • “I could worry about what other people think, let my ego get in the way, or I can go out there and DO WHAT I THINK IS IMPORTANT. And if it feels awkward, I GIGGLE hard because this is a great story material to share with my friends.”
  • “I was freaking out inside, but I went and confidently applied for that new job anyway. I am always trying to become a better version of myself, and I’m just GETTING STARTED.”

I call this the ACTIVATION mode.

People in this mode feel energized, deeply engaged, alive. That's the best feeling in the world. They don’t wait for clarity, courage, or confidence. They don’t hide. They make a move. Even if at first, it’s just a teeny-tiny first step forward. They don’t hope for the future to magically make them happier. They don’t wait for “someday” because they know that it never seems to come. If they want a different future, they do something to change it NOW. 

People who step into the Activation Mode surprise themselves with what they're capable of. They take bold action in all areas of their life:

  • They go for things like a big promotion or a new job they were dreaming of.
  • They kick off new projects even when they are not feeling particularly brave. 
  • They sign up for that retreat, pound workout, or volunteering group they were dreaming of.
  • They find the courage to start an important conversation, to stand up for themselves, to leave toxic people behind.
  • But they also do things that may not seem like a big deal for anyone else, but they are for them. Like go running alone, learn how to drive, speak up during a meeting, show up their face on social media...

are you In Hibernation or Activation right now?

It’s important to understand the difference between those two types. And check-in with yourself by asking yourself if you’re acting like in the HIBERNATION or ACTIVATION mode. 

Now, can you see this text is in this kind of a blue box? The blue boxes throughout this article series contain action tasks for you. I'm not going to know if you skip over this, but I made those here for a reason. And the reason is getting you out of that freaking rut. 

So now that you know that I'm on your side here, reflect a bit on this question:

  • Am I in the HIBERNATION mode?
  • Is this what I want to be feeling? Doing?
  • Where would I rather be?

Got it? Do you feel like you're not entirely in the Activation Mode? No worries. We all spend some seasons of life in Hibernation. The good news? You can always choose to go from HIBERNATION to ACTIVATION. Just imagine what being there would do to your life.

And keep reading, because I'll show you how to go to Activation Mode in just a second.


LESSON 3: how to move from hibernation to activation


Make The Time For What's Important

Okay, I need to get this one thing out of the way. I know that some people may be thinking:

“All this activation mode seems like fun, but I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR IT. I have a full-time job & I feel guilty for spending too little time with my kids already. Living in the activation mode is not my priority at the moment. I’ll do it one day, but not right now.”

I'm not here to force anything on you. I’m guilty of staying in the job that was literally making me ill because I didn’t know any other way. And when I realized what was happening, I was still scared to leave the job. I totally get it. Staying in hibernation is nice and comfy if you get over to the tiny recurring discomfort of feeling dead inside. Not a biggie when you get used to it. Okay, jokes aside, there is no right or wrong. Some people thrive in this mode. For some people routine is exactly what they need in this season of life. That's okay. And I respect that.

Obviously, there is also nothing wrong with wanting to provide for your family and to spend time with them. But one doesn’t have to exclude the other.

The problem is that we got into the grind withholding “living” for "SOMEDAY" when we'll finally arrive (or maybe retire), so we can get more work done now. ⁣We're serious & deliberate about EVERY-freaking-THING!⁣ We’re OVERDOING the hustling part, lost in the everyday seriousness that grew out of proportion. And it has the opposite effects on our growth & mental well-being. 

⁣And there’s a way of balancing everyday life with doing something exciting: MAKING THE TIME instead of finding the time. And making sure you don’t lose yourself in all the roles that society puts you in. 

Now think about it:

  • What do you need to make time for? 
  • What would make you feel like you’re stepping into the activation mode?
  • What is the thing you’re craving for, but have been putting on your “someday list”?

Do you have something like that? Swim lessons, hiking solo, starting a youtube channel, going back to college, starting that side hustle...

Great, write it down, and we'll come back to it later in this article series.

Don't have anything like that yet? No problem. You'll figure it out. Just leave it. Let your brain work on it in the background. 

So how to move from HIBERNATION to ACTIVATION?

Obviously, there’s that new blue coffee, but by now, you know it is not a solution.

But you were right that to feel different, you have to do things in a new way. So it is about trying new things, after all. But doing random new stuff for the sake of trying new things won’t work in this case. IT'S NOT ENOUGH. 

It needs to be stuff that is making you dare more, grow, and change. It has to be intentional - something that’s important to you (yes, that's why I asked all the Qs in blue box earlier). And I know that that stuff can be a bit intimidating. Maybe you dream of doing things that scare the crap out of you at this point. But no worries! You’ll be ready for it. Like it was scary when you didn’t know how to ride a bike, but then you learned how to balance, pedal, turn - and you were not afraid anymore. Do you have memories like that from childhood? Or perhaps you have kids now, and you can observe it first hand. Not overthinking, not waiting for permission, not worrying what someone else will think. You tried, you had fun, you felt the freaking happiness in YOU, you developed and grew as a person - adventurer, explorer...

Okay, but why do they have to be the big intentional things?

It’s all about showing yourself that you can do more than you think.

BOLD ACTION BUILDS CONFIDENCE, AND CONFIDENCE HELPS TO TAKE BOLD ACTION.

Like when you got on that new bike, and you were not sure if you can do it, but you tried, and at some point, you started riding, got confident that you know what you’re doing, and you knew you could go even faster and have more fun with it. 

See how it works? If you don’t feel confident to go for it, go for it, and you’ll build confidence. It’s somewhat counterintuitive, I know. But that’s how it works.

Trying new big things is not always easy - especially now - with your “adult” responsibilities. 

Planning and dreaming to finally look for another job, or getting all the gear to record that podcast, or signing up for a course to write that book is one thing. But actually doing it is yet another beast.

That’s why so many people stay in the HIBERNATION mode. And I won’t judge you if you want to choose it to stay there too. However, if you’re thinking, “I can’t stand it anymore. Something must change!” If you’d rather be in the ACTIVATION mode instead of the HIBERNATION, get out of a rut, change the things that don’t support you, and finally live your life (again only if you don’t like what you now have), click that button below and keep reading! Because life can be awesome without feeling “meh.” Don’t just pass through life, live it on your own badass terms!

And I have some good tips to help you with that!


In the next part, I'm going to explain why are so many people not able to get into the Activation Mode. I'll show you how to avoid the two biggest blockers, gain confidence, and build courage. There will be counter-intuitive tips, unexpected twists, and bullet-proof solutions. You don't want to miss any of that! Hit that button below to continue reading.

PS. It’s not about big leaps & jumping head first. Going after a big, scary goal doesn’t mean that you need to act recklessly. Just click that button above to learn more!