Are you stuck in a rut, or is a rut stuck in you? This may seem like a silly question… but you CAN get a rut stuck in you. This is not like a fish bone in your throat or strawberry seed in your teeth. The difference between the two is the source.
When you’re stuck in a rut, you’re in some kind of negative groove you must struggle to get out of. It may be a mood, an attitude, a sense of helplessness, or constant and continued mediocrity on your part. It could be brought on by depression, anxiety, fear, or any type of catalyst holding you back. It could be mental, emotional, or physical. Being stuck in a rut may or may not not be something the stuckee typically chooses, but it is something you can climb out of – even if it’s one of those giant ruts left in the mud by a monster truck. The deeper the rut, the bigger the challenge!
When you have a rut stuck in you, this is definitely not of your own choosing. At Southwestern Advantage, we have a saying that’s spanned generations: “Control the controllables.” This means placing your focus on the things within your control. There’s no need to worry about the things outside of your control because it’s like King Solomon says, it’s like “chasing the wind.” Therefore, having a rut stuck in you is like having an annoying splinter that you can only get half-way out. You do what you can, but it’s still deep in your flesh. Once you’ve exhausted your control, it’s there to stay until it works it’s way out.
Either way, when a rut is involved, you need to do anything and everything you can to break free. A lot of it has to do with self-accountability. Here are four questions to consider when a rut has engulfed you:
1. What is the reality of your situation? Ask yourself this question and write down the answers. Be honest with yourself. If you’re not honest, you will be fooling yourself and seek solutions that won’t be helpful. Sometimes you have to look at the problem to see the solution. A problem is simply an opportunity to change either a situation or yourself.
2. Why are you resistance to change? Is there something holding you back or blocking you from scaling the walls of your mental cage? Make a list of the things that would have to change or you would like to see changed in order to find yourself in a different situation. Then make a sub-list of the things to do in order for each of the things on your first list to happen. When you determine the reason for your resistance, you will be half-way to your desired result.
3. Is there a refusal to make a change? Do you relish misery? Is there a reason you are in the state you are in or why you have dug the hole? There could certainly be something deeper here that may require some outside perspective and help. For any situation, you have to WANT to make a change. Many of us refuse to do this because we get comfortable in our discomfort. This happens all too often.
4. Can I pray my way out of this? This is a question you can ask each time you find yourself in a rut, but the answer will always be the same. YES! Prayer is a two-way, open communication, or conversation, if you will, between you and God. He always hears our prayers but He does not always answer them as we would like. Whether it’s not our preferred timing or a solid “no,” prayers are an important process in working our way out. How can we expect answers if we are not asking questions and seeking resolutions? Act and you shall be moved, speak and you shall be heard.
In the New Testament letter from Paul and Timothy to the Philippians, they alluded to the many ruts they found themselves in as messengers of the Good News.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
– Philippians 4:12-13
You too can do all through Him who gives you strength!