We’ve all been there: spinning our wheels, chewing our cud, going over the same thing, over and over (and over!) again….
Last week, Andrew and I were doing some behind-the-scenes work on the business and we fell into one of those well-worn grooves, the pattern we can’t escape, the rut.
Our mentor said, gently, “Seems like you’ve been over this a couple times before.”
In my mind, I added “And how much energy have we wasted spinning our wheels here?”
I had never before thought of it in terms of energy conserved or wasted. Energy used to expand or to contract.
Instead I had thought of it as a question that must be answered, a roadblock that must be broken through.
So I pushed and pushed and pushed. And dug the rut deeper and deeper and deeper. And, essentially, put energy toward deepening the rut instead of getting out of the rut.
Have you ever gotten your car stuck in an icy snowbank? The more you hit the gas, the deeper you dig the ruts.
That’s pretty much where I was. Icy road, deep snow, no cell phone.
And then I rememberer my best trick for getting out of a snowbank — change the terrain.
When I lived in New York State, I kept a really big piece of corrugated cardboard in my trunk so that when I got stuck on the ice, I could shove the cardboard under my tires and get a bit of traction.
I changed the problem at ground level; changed the terrain.
Essentially, instead of trying to get out of the snow by continuing to drive on the snow, I chose something else to drive on. There are a limited number of solutions that a car has when it’s stuck… so I changed the problem.
How can this work in your everyday life?
When you are feeling stuck, with your health, your ability to find joy, your relationship with those close to you, check-in and see if you are hammering away at it from the same angle over and over again.
Can you step back and change the question? Is there a place down near the root of the problem where you can change the terrain?
I’ll give you an example from the wellness world:
When my clients are having digestive issues, the first thing I do is suggest changing the terrain by adding fermented foods or probiotics. This literally changes the “ground” that food is entering, and often changes everything.
P.S. Andrew and I found a new question, and a new way of thinking, about our core issue. And just like that the rut disappeared.