5 Ways to Get Out of a Rut and Enter a State of Flow

1414100476-navigating-rough-watersImage credit: Kris Williams | Flickr

More than likely, all of us at some point will feel like we are in some type of rut or struggle with getting back on our feet after getting knocked down so hard from sort of failure or hardship in life or in business.

Here are five ways to help you get out of a rut and enter a state of flow.

1. Solitude is king — find your special place.

What – who – do you want to become? You won’t know if you don’t pause and listen to yourself. We all have to do this more often. We have to listen to the silence. As Thomas Edison once said, “The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst thinking has been done in turmoil.” We need regular time away from our everyday hectic lives and schedule specific time to just sit and think. Some of the greatest achievers to ever step a foot on this earth all spent time in solitude every day.

It can be very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. So often, we think that if we’re sitting in silence not doing anything, that we’re missing out on something important or not being productive. But that’s the farthest thing from the truth. When failure, disappointment or challenging times present themselves, as they will, what we need most is silence. One of the major reasons why so many get caught in a rut and can’t seem to move past failure is because all of their thinking and decision-making is being made in turmoil.

One of the hardest things to do when we are upset or mad is to go sit in silence, but this also has the potential to be one of the most rewarding things we can do. The great thinkers of this world all have a special place where they can go sit in complete silence and just think.

2. Take baby steps to get to where you want to go — but move!

It’s quite difficult to get into a state of flow and get your feet back on the ground, raring and ready to go after failure hits if you don’t take immediate action. Do not wallow in self pity and misery. Change your attitude to one of positive — and move! Maybe it’s only a baby step, but it’s a step. After failing or experiencing a rut that has you stuck, you might question everything in your life — your relationships, your career. A surefire way to stay exactly where you are is to do nothing, which is what a great majority of the population does.

The risk takers, the dreamers, the men and women who go on to create everlasting masterpieces get moving even while some of the most difficult times in their lives are right in front of them. There is a magical magnetic power that follows the person who is willing to take massive action even when times are not the best.

3. Exercise is king.

Especially after being in a major rut or failing tremendously, everyone needs an emotional lift. A way to blow off steam and frustration. Exercise offers many benefits. Many people experience being in the flow when they exercise. If you’re not accustomed to a daily exercise routine, I encourage you to start one now. A workout at the gym or even a brisk 30-minute walk can help.

Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals including endorphins that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

4. Write a ‘count your blessings’ list.

When you count your blessings regularly — and I recommend that you do this daily — you will feel significantly better and happier after each time. When you measure how much gratitude you feel in your life, you’re going to shift your mind and body much faster into a state of happiness and success. The more gratitude you feel, the faster your life will begin to change.

As you continue to count your blessings and to be grateful, you will begin to notice a bigger difference in the way you feel and your blessings, and gifts will multiply. What’s easy to do when we are in a rut or going through a painful time in life is to analyze and look at what’s going wrong. Shifting your focus on all of the good in your life instead can without a doubt redirect your direction.

Here are some sample ideas to get you started:

A: I am grateful and blessed for all of the tough times in my life, because they are teaching me to be strong, persistent and more motivated than ever to go after my true calling in life. If I never try, I’ll never know if I can achieve something, so I’m grateful that I can keep on trying.

B: I am grateful to have my health, energy, mobility, intelligence and the ability to earn a good living.

C: I am grateful and blessed to have a wonderful loving family and friends.

D: I am grateful and blessed to have a warm, comfortable home.

5. Discover the incredible benefits of meditation.

In my own personal experience, especially when the going gets tough, or I seem to be in a rut that I just can’t get out of, meditation has been one of the best ways to discover how to shift my body and mind to happiness and success. Numerous specialists and spiritualists provide online podcasts and classes on meditation and contemplation exercises. You can also find these in your community if you search online.

For example, Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra announced the launch of an all-new meditation experience called “Finding Your Flow.” They also offer “Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience,” co-produced by Harpo Studios and The Chopra Center. Other programs include “Creating Abundance,” “Perfect Health,” “Miraculous Relationships,” and “Desire and Destiny.” All of their workshops are designed to help you achieve flow. Go to www.Oprah.com/meditateand sign up for a free 21-day meditation experience.

These ideas have helped my life enormously, and I hope they will serve as a powerful and energizing inner guide for transforming your life when the down times of life get the best of you or a rut that you are in begins to seem never ending.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Don’t Let Your Circumstances Paralyze You

Sadly enough, one of the biggest dream killers in the world is tough circumstances. It’s very easy for people to put the blame on current circumstances and use them as an excuse for why they can’t do something or haven’t achieved a particular goal or dream.

I have fallen victim to my circumstances many times. I’d bore you if I began to list them all, so I’ll just share one example.

When I decided to not continue pursuing professional football after sustaining an injury with the Chicago Bears, I let my circumstances define my target market as a professional speaker.

I’d be invited to speak to corporate audiences but would make excuses such as “What can a 26-year-old possibly teach a successful businessman?” I continually drilled that into my head over and over again — so much so that it began to become my reality.

I became a victim of my circumstances. Over time, I caught myself and pulled myself out of this funk.

Tough circumstances are preventing individuals all over the world from reaching their full potential in life and from achieving their biggest goals and dreams. Don’t let this happen to you.

Where you are right now has nothing to do with where you can be five years from now.  

Here are three ways to avoid becoming a victim of your circumstances:

1. Create a dream or vision board. 

One reason why it can be so easy for circumstances to paralyze someone from taking action is because that person is blinded by where he or she is currently at in life.

Creating a dream or vision board can help tremendously with expanding your vision. Pick up a copy of your favorite magazine or search the Internet for images aligned with your goals and dreams.

Pictures can have a phenomenal effect on the mind and motivation. Every morning and night, glance at these pictures and spend five to 10 minutes imagining these images becoming part of your reality.

It will only be a matter of time before your current circumstances become just a stepping stone to something much greater.

2. Develop positive inner conversations.

Instead of telling yourself that this is where you’re supposed to be or that you just have to live with your current circumstances, empower yourself by telling yourself how great you are — that this is just an interlude for what’s to come.

Your current circumstances will always get the best of you if your inner conversation isn’t positive and empowering you to do something about them.

3. Hang around people who are doing better than you.

If you want to create new possibilities in your life, hang around people who are constantly working and searching for ways to maximize their potential. Association is everything, you’ll hear me say all the time.

The same goes for when you’re striving to not let your circumstances stop you from moving forward in life. Think about it this way: You can either surround yourself with people who inspire you to become better or those who help you stay average. Which do you want? It’s up to you to decide the category you fall in.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com