We’ve all experienced the feeling of being stuck. Some of us find ourselves in these ruts more often than not. But when you find yourself in a rut, the best thing you can do is look for a way out. The more you wallow, the more likely that you’ll be stuck for a long time. And when it comes to climbing out and feeling motivated, here are a few strategies that others like to implement.

1. Avoid the Sunk Cost Fallacy

Are you familiar with the sunk cost fallacy? In economics, a sunk cost is something that has already been paid for and cannot be recovered. What psychologists and business experts have discovered over the years is that sunk costs make people do stupid things. Even though the cost is already gone and can’t be recovered, it frequently factors into future decision making.

If you’re in a rut, you may be letting the sunk cost fallacy control your decisions. Perhaps you’ve poured five years into your current career path and feel that the time and money investment means you can’t pursue something else. What you need to recognize is that this cost is “sunk” and shouldn’t impact future choices.

2. Surround Yourself With the Right People

People who isolate themselves and try to do everything on their own often find themselves in ruts. That’s because humans have limitations and need the presence of others to improve.

This is something entrepreneur Sam Ovens realized when he moved to New York City to pursue a new career. “New York makes me think bigger,” he explains. “I am poor in New York compared to other people. No matter how hard I work and how much money I make, I feel poor here. That motivates me. That is why I chose this city.”

Are you surrounding yourself with the right people? If you’re in an extended rut, the answer is probably no. Immerse yourself in a new environment and don’t be afraid to switch things up.

3. Stop Using a “Formula” for Happiness

Have you noticed that we often try to read self-help guides when we face problems? We do this because we believe there’s an answer to happiness. But this simply isn’t true.

“The beauty of being human is that each one of us is unique,” Dr. Tracy Thomas notes. “How could anyone be happy following the same formula as everyone else when we are all so very different? If you change the numbers in a math problem, the answer comes out differently. We all have different equations and answers to the question — what will make me happy as an individual? Find your own formula and follow it.”

4. Set Some Goals

You may be unable to climb your way out of a rut because you don’t have any goals. Or, if you do have goals, they’re unrealistic. The key to getting out of a rut is to make progress. This means setting attainable, short-term goals that provide you with incremental motivation.

5. Do Something Different

Let’s say you work a 9-to-5 job where you sit in a cubicle all day and do the same things over and over again. It’s unlikely that you’re going to escape this rut by continually repeating the process for the next three years. If anything, it’s going to get worse. The best thing you can do is take a day off and do something totally different. Sleep in. Go for a hike. Hang out with new people. Relax by the pool. By switching up your routine for even a short period of time, you can get a new perspective on life.

Stop Making Excuses

Instead of making excuses and complaining about how you’re stuck, take ownership of your life and find a way out of this rut. You’ll learn something about yourself along the way.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Jessica and I am an independent journalist, freelance blogger, and technology junkie with a passion for music, arts, and the outdoors. One of my greatest passions and joy is assisting communities and business owners. My utmost desire is to help people and business owners to succeed and prosper in their personal and business affairs. I share, comment, write and edit popular news stories.