You're most likely reading this because you're CURRENTLY IN a rut, WERE IN a rut, or know someone IN a rut.
Where can you relate to this story?
Back in 2011, I got a super cool job out of college working in retail merchandising. The high paycheck is what attracted me to it, not the content of the work (no offense to anyone who loves retail - just not my passion). Within the first hour of my first day on October 20th, I knew it was the wrong fit. I tried to rationalize why it was great. But it wasn't.
The second I walked in the doors, my energy instantly drained. I just DIDN'T. WANT. TO. BE. THERE.
I'd call Janiece on I-270 on the way home FURIOUS and sometimes even crying. She couldn't recognize who I was becoming and neither could I.
I was the positive guy with secret deep emotional pain.
I didn't feel like there was anything I could do. I should be living the dream though, right?! "Get a good job and work until retirement in the corporate world!" "Never give up your benefits!". I just felt SO stuck.
Where can you relate to something in your life causing negativity? Are you the super positive person and SOMETHING started sucking your positivity away from you? Maybe you're at a place where you don't quite recognize yourself anymore?
After work, I'd grab a beer, turn on Breaking Bad, and wallow in my sorrows on the couch and just WISH my life would change (even though I couldn't muster up the energy to do anything about it).
4 nights a week, I'd order Vegas Bombs at the bar. Who was I becoming? Who were these people that just wanted to "rage" all the time?
I was just cynical and didn't know what to do. I was stuck. I literally had to convince myself DAILY not to call in sick.
Do you ever see your computer staring at you, BEGGING you to upload your resume or start that business but you just don't have the energy or motivation to do it? You care SO much about your life changing, but you just don't care at all in the moment? Sound familiar?
Below is the strategy I used to overcome those negative voices and get out of my rut!
Important note: YOUR THOUGHTS ARE ALWAYS THE REASON.
Your thoughts are the reason you:
But have you ever learned HOW to change your thinking? Probably not.
So, you start to tell yourself these stories (examples):
If you say that enough times, you start to believe it!
Have you ever been at a party and you tell a story with exaggerated details just to sound cool? Then you get a good response, so you keep saying that story over the years, and now it's 5 years later, and you don't even know what part of the story is real or not?! You've said it SO many times that you actually believe it!
That's what happens with negative self-talk. But instead of it being a fun party topic, it sabotages your life. Believing this inner conflict changes the way you live your ENTIRE LIFE!
Have you ever faced a point in your life where you're trying to convince yourself that you're good enough or deserve something great but you never actually believe it? Like if you write out a big goal on a sheet of paper, it's exciting and would change your life! But you don't ACTUALLY believe you're capable? You have to change that thinking. So what IS thinking?
Bad questions = Bad answers.
Great questions = Great answers.
My problem: Asking, "why does my job suck so bad" isn't an empowering question. So my life didn't change.
Biology note: There's a part of your brain called the "Reticular Activating System," and its job is to fizzle out all the stuff you're NOT looking for.
Have you ever been in the market for a car and the second you decide the type of car you want, you see it EVERYWHERE? Did that car magically appear? Or was it always there and you weren't looking for it? It was ALWAYS there.
So if you look for why life is so bad, why your job sucks, why you're so cynical, THAT'S WHAT YOU'LL FIND! You'll never find the solutions to your problems because you aren't looking for answers. You're looking for problems.
In fact, your NATURAL inclination is to look for what's wrong. Why is that?
So at every moment in time, your brain is looking for what it can protect you from! Thousands of years ago, your fears were primal. You were worried about food, clothing, shelter, and the saber-toothed tiger trying to eat you! Now, those fears aren't real anymore, but we still feel the same amount of anxiety with changing our lives as we used to with a saber-toothed tiger. Does that make sense?
That's why it's natural to look for the DISEMPOWERING questions. You're trying to protect yourself.
"Stand guard at the gates of your mind or weeds will roll automatically." - Jim Rohn.
What does he mean? If you don't change your questions, you will AUTOMATICALLY focus on what's wrong in your life.
Let's do an example. Ask yourself, "Why does my job suck?".
What happens? Listen to all the answers that pour out of you:
How motivated do you feel when you focus on that? NOT AT ALL!
I bet it leads to a lot of pain and procrastination. That's where you find yourself sitting there on the couch looking your life, frustrated with the results you're getting and not believing that you can change it. You feel hopeless. Even when you set goals, you can't make them happen. Btw, what is goal setting?
Goal setting: Trying to create a new reality as opposed to your current reality.
That's it. And the questions you ask yourself will determine if you'll ever bridge the gap between those two places.
Until your questions are consistently empowering, you'll always spin your wheels and feel stuck.
Your brain is like a Google search engine. Whatever you type in, you'll get an answer. So change what type into your mental "Google!" Ask an intelligent question that will lead you to a better and happier life.
There are so many amazing opportunities that stumble across your life every single day, but because you're always focused on what's wrong with the world around you, you don't even notice them.
Try asking an empowering question now: "Why am I already living an amazing life?" What happens?!
YOU STILL LOOK FOR AN ANSWER! You start to focus on why today is actually pretty amazing.
Try this one: "Why is it so easy to get a great job?" All you have to do is apply to a couple jobs a week, right!? Pretty simple. Because you look for an answer to an EMPOWERING question instead of a DISEMPOWERING question.
Every problem you face is simply an empowering question you haven't asked yet.
1.) Write down all negative, disempowering questions you ask yourself on a regular basis (Examples: Why does my job suck? Why is life so hard?).
2.) Flip them into the empowering alternative (Examples: Why am I so grateful to have my job? Why is this life a blessing?).
3.) Condition it into your subconscious mind. Take post-it notes and write your empowering questions all over your house/ office/ etc.
Example: If you had the words, "Why is it so easy to make my kids feel loved?" written on your car dashboard and that was the last thing you read before walking in the door, how would their life change?
Example: If you had the words, "Why is it so easy to hit my health and fitness goals?" written IN the fridge, would you reach for the Nutella or the spinach?
THIS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE IF YOU DO IT!
Ask yourself an empowering question that guides you toward the life you want! This is what changed my entire life and lead me down a path of growth. Now, my life is INCREDIBLE. It's because I learned how to improve my thoughts! You can do this too!
You are NOT stuck. You are NOT broken. Nobody needs to fix you. You simply need to ask yourself more empowering questions. That's it!
By the way, this isn't the only thing you can do to change your thoughts! Make sure you check out "How To Get Out Of Your Rut When You're Feeling Stuck - PART 2!" where you'll evaluate your life and eliminate some toxic habits preventing your success. I hope today's post made an impact!
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