Break Free of Your Rut and Thrive

Starting to feel like you’re living the same day over and over again? Being stagnant in your professional or personal life means something is not right. Time to take a moment to re-evaluate the path you’re on and find a way to thrive again!

Signs You’re in a Rut

Lack of motivation

If there is not a goal you are working toward, then chances are your rut is because there is nowhere to go. We all need opportunities that get us out of our comfort zone to reach our potential. 


Working at a job you do not like will definitely be the cause of a rut. Little inconveniences can become major annoyances simply because you’re unhappy. Work does not have to be a dreaded four-letter word. It’s time to take the leap and start on a path to a job you will enjoy.


Swirling questions of what-ifs can make it scary to go for your dreams. Confidence takes time to build, but anyone can do anything they put their mind to if they take the first step. Find out how you can conquer the fear of speaking up!


The same routine every day can become boring. You start to lose interest in things you loved to do and the same food you eat becomes bland. If you’re tired of doing the same thing, then start asking yourself why you are doing it in the first place?


Ruts can come from organizations that underpay and overwork, offer no growth opportunities, and do not value you. The job might be what’s holding you back from thriving instead of surviving. If you’re worried you can’t find a better opportunity with the same salary, then learn how to negotiate your wage here!

Breaking Free

Give love

Ruts can happen to anyone. It’s easy to slip into monotony or dissatisfaction when you’re focused on the negatives. Give yourself some love and affirmations that you are capable of changing and pursuing your dreams. Here are affirmations for your life, career, and business.

Take a break

The simplest way to break free of your rut is to stop doing the same things every day. Go on a short vacation, or take a mental health day. Do something that gets you away from your usual routine. 

Find what your lacking

Ruts can be caused by many different things. Knowing why you are in a rut will help you get out of it. Sit for a few minutes and try journaling, meditating, or talking to a friend to figure it out. Ask questions like: 

  • What are you lacking? 
  • What are you unsatisfied with? 
  • What emotions are you feeling?
  • Are you on a path to achieving your dream?
  • What is stopping you from change?  

Change small things

If you struggle to find the time to make large changes, small shifts in daily habits can help you long term. Change where you pick up groceries, take a new route home, or talk to someone new in the office. 

Get inspired

Inspiration can come from anywhere. Books, magazines, documentaries, speakers, coaches, etc. are a few places to get fresh ideas. Sometimes all you need is a new perspective to get you motivated again.

Do something you’ve put off

Ruts can also come from avoidance. Is there a conversation you need to have to communicate your needs? Are you tired of saying you’ll quit your job, but never deliver your resignation? It’s time to take the leap and do what you’re avoiding.

Talk to a coach or mentor

Coaches can help you define your goals and figure out what the next steps are to achieve them. Talking to them about your rut can help you find actionable steps out of it. Or, if you have a mentor, ask about their experience of breaking free from their rut. What did they do that helped them?

Find goals you’re excited about

If achieving the next quarter’s goals is not exciting to you, then maybe it’s time to think about what you are actually passionate about. What makes you curious? What do you find fun about your job? Are there projects you can take on that align with those interests?

Rely on your community

Your friends, family, and network are there to support you. Getting stuck in a rut is a universal feeling. They are bound to have advice, a shoulder to cry on, or a fun way to break out of routine. Plus, if you decide to take a leap, professional communities like IAW help women find connections and resources to make that major career change. With our expert-led webinars and workshops, you’ll be able to navigate any challenge and chart a path to success. Find out more here.

For more inspiration, IAW member Valerie Ashford Brown wrote a book titled Rise Up: 7 Principles to Release the Fear, Reignite Your Purpose, and Realize Your Dreams. You can purchase a copy of her book here. She has 18 years of experience as an executive coach, consultant, author, speaker, and workshop facilitator. “My life experiences coupled with education have afforded me the opportunity to transform lives as well as restore hope,” said Brown.

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