11/04/2013 08:11 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Real Reason You're Stuck in a Rut


I've finally cracked the code. The why you're stuck in a rut code. You know what I'm talking about -- that ongoing "blah" feeling where your fizz and your juju have taken a permanent hiatus. The reason for feeling this way is not what you may think -- it's not your dead-end job or your caffeine addiction or even those extra 10 pounds. What it really comes down to is this: how you are living right now is not in alignment with your true self. It's not authentic to you. And being someone else is exhausting and unsustainable. That's the reason why you've been worn down into full-blown rut status.

In today's world, we get non-stop chatter from every possible angle: TV screens, billboards, radio, magazines, celebrities, the Internet (and let's not forget our parents, partners and friends). All these different voices are constantly chewing our ear off about how we should look, feel, live, dress, eat, move and play. We are bombarded with messages about how we're supposed to have our life together, work a respectable job, and settle down behind a picket fence with 2.3 children and a labradoodle.

This chatter may be well-meaning (when it comes from people we love) or it may be motivated purely by money, power and status (as in the case of advertising and media). But regardless of the intention behind it, all these voices are too much. They drown out our own voice -- that quiet innate whisper from within. The more we listen to others' voices, the less we know the sound and feeling of our own voice.

And it's when you can't hear your own voice than you become paralyzed. Stuck in your rut. Confused and lost and turning to other voices to guide you through life.

The problem is that we think the answers to those burning questions like "What am I supposed to do?" and "Who am I?" can be found externally. Thus the search outward begins. But this is misguided -- ultimately, the answers lie within us. We just need to be quiet enough to be able to listen to what we're saying. Not them. In order to step into your big, beautiful life it is essential to be completely, 100-percent you. Your needs. Your truth. Your voice.

Once you begin to completely accept yourself -- in all your guts and glory -- you'll be able to come back to yourself and reclaim your truth. To do this, you need to silence the chatter. The only way you're going to learn what your own voice sounds like is to detach from every other voice out there.

Here are my top four ways to silence the chatter:

1. Meditate
Meditation is a funny thing. It's a love/hate relationship for most -- we know we need to do it, but it's usually accompanied by a mental tantrum. Hint: the more you're cracking it about actually stopping and sitting still for 10 minutes, the more you need it!

2. Journal
You need to get all those voices out of your head and onto paper to see what's really going on. When the voices are just a swirling vortex of thoughts, it's very difficult to get to the underlying truth. But by pouring that stream of consciousness into actual words on real-life paper, the one obsessive thought will reveal itself, and with it, your underlying truth. Now you're getting to the real stuff.

3. Have conversations with your heart
I know this sounds a little kooky, but it works. It's as simple as putting your hand on your heart and saying hello. And waiting for a genuine answer. When you hear that voice, you'll know it's your true and genuine self because it makes you relax and fills you with relief. Ask any question and you'll get an honest answer. Sometimes too honest for you to handle. (Hint: that's exactly the time to stay open and keep listening.)

4. Ground yourself
When there's too much chatter going on, it means you're energy is too high in your body. It's all cerebral, stuck in your head, and you start feeling disconnected and flighty. To remove this built-up buzz in your brain, ground yourself. The easiest way is by connecting with your body and with Mama Nature. Take a break and go for a walk, breathe into the base of your spine, exercise, sit outdoors for a while. It's all about bringing your energy back down towards the Earth and feeling that instinctive connection.

Whenever you feel you're stuck in a rut, look within to see where you're not being totally true to yourself. By using these tips, you'll be able to reconnect, find your truth, and get back on track in a way that's peaceful, purposeful and authentic to you.

For more by Elizabeth McKenzie, click here.

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