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Trapped in Your Life: 5 Ways to Escape Feeling Like a Prisoner and Break Out of Your Rut

"You don't have to settle for things as they are now. That can change. Dramatically. If you're ready, life is prepared to give you a breakthrough experience. You can jump to a higher orbit of achievement…live the dream…enjoy a completely different plane of success." –Price Pritchett

Be Honest With Yourself:

First, start by being brutally honest with yourself. You are not trapped. Price Pritchett tells a story in his book, You2, about watching a fly make a "futile attempt to fly through the glass of the windowpane….This fly is doomed. It will die there on the windowsill. Across the room, ten steps away, the door is open.

Ten seconds of flying time, and this small creature could reach the outside world it seeks. With only a fraction of the effort now being wasted, it could be free of this self-imposed trap. The breakthrough possibility is there. It would be so easy."

Why doesn't the little fella fly in another direction? It is not that different from us. It gets stuck in a pattern and refuses to look at any other option. Are you acting like the fly?

Are you working incredibly hard doing the same things single-mindedly to improve your life? Do you increase your efforts at the same things? Can you see how this is futile?

I was the same. We had blended a family and were dealing with the fall-out of that, trying to make sure the kids were ok, my partner's needs were met, my ageing mom's needs were met, worked at a large corporation that paid very well but whose values and mine didn't always align. My spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, and physical needs were neglected, and I kept putting them off. I felt trapped by the money I was making, by the need to please others, by the desire to be a good mother, friend, partner, daughter, and member of society.

I had no idea who I was or what I needed for myself. I felt as if I was always doing and giving and never getting, and I became resentful and blaming, and it made me sick. Eventually, it became painful enough that I had my motivator for change. I crashed and burned out. Intense pain or intense pleasure are incredible change-makers.

Pain will push you to the bottom. It will break you down and force you to stop what you are doing that has made you so unhappy. Pleasure will pull you along with the promise of what "is to come. Both are fantastic opportunities to become who you want to be and live the life you want to live if you seize them.

For me, there were options along the way. I just hadn't had the eyes to see them. You don't have to wait until pain pushes you to the bottom.

Here are 5 ways to escape feeling like a prisoner and break out of your rut:

1. Appreciate the Life You Have:

Develop an appreciation for your life. Sadhguru has a talk on Insight Timer, and in it, he expresses this beautifully. The mere fact that you are here today and that your loved ones are here is a beautiful gift. My father died suddenly in his thirties. Every day, people who expect a long life have theirs cut short, yet here you and I are. Is complaining about it really making the most of the time you have?

Don't paste a fake smile on your face. Indeed, things need to change if you are unhappy but notice what is already bringing you richness in your life.

Begin a gratitude practice. Journalling is an excellent way to capture and reflect upon what you have to be grateful for each day. Write down a list of at least 5 things, starting with "I'm alive" if you can't think of anything else and go from there. Some people also find it helpful to have a Gratitude Partner and share their list each day with another person. This is an excellent way to keep you both on track and accountable for staying present and positive.

2. Mind Your Business:

"God, grant me the courage to change the things I can,

The serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and

The wisdom to know the difference." –Anonymous

What are the things you can change? Well, you can only change what you can control, and that includes:

  • How you react

  • How you spend your time

  • What you focus on

  • Your habits

  • Who you spend your time with

  • Boundaries you set

  • When and if you forgive

What are the things beyond your control?

  • How others behave

  • The past

  • Other people's mistakes

  • How other people feel or react to you

  • Other people's opinions of you

Knowing this is freedom!

You don't have to waste your time or energy focusing on things beyond your control. What other people think or feel about you is none of your business.

Your work is to get to know yourself and then be true to who you are.

3. Know Your Worth:

Understand that old belief and shame might be lingering from childhood wounds. These can be isolating you from others and from yourself. You might feel like you aren't good enough, or there's something wrong with you. This is a lie, plain and simple. And it is keeping you feeling trapped.

You aren't alone. A lot of people have similar thoughts and experience the sense of not deserving anything better.

Remember that, and reach out anyway.

Speak out loud to yourself and say, "I might feel like this now, and so do others, and it's ok because it is temporary."

You are unique and worthy of love and acceptance. You have your own perspective and inner truth, regardless of what anyone else's opinions and views might be. You have a voice that matters and are beautiful exactly as you are.

You are worthy.

4. Be Patient:

Much of what you are living with now in your present existence is manifesting from your subconscious. If you are thinking, "I want to be happy, I want to be successful, I want to eat better, I want to be in a good relationship, I want to …" but it isn't happening, and you are frustrated that is understandable. However, you can't change just by thinking your way out of it.

Just like that little fly at the beginning of this blog, you can't change just by trying harder, either. Sometimes the harder you try, the worse you feel.

It is time to be patient. It is time to do things differently. Use meditation to clear a space for self-reflection and inspiration and use affirmations and positive action to replace old thoughts and behaviours.

  • Where once you jumped in to fix everyone else's problems, now you pause. You wait. You allow them the privilege of being responsible for themselves.

  • You used to stay and work all hours and be exhausted and resentful. Now you ask for their top priorities and set a boundary for the hours of work – the rest is family time.

  • Each of you has your own account, joint expenses are shared. You are in control of your own finances.

  • Walking 10,000 steps a day is a goal that you look forward to. You feel energized and alive.

  • You love making love to your husband. It is the best part of your day.

5. Re-Calibrate:

Everything you need you already have; you just have to be willing to find it and re-calibrate. Are you ready to open to your gifts?

Successful people know they are gifted; they know they have unique abilities and talents and are worth money.

Take a look at yourself with fresh eyes. What are you good at? Crocheting, knitting, sewing, painting, organizing events, refinishing furniture, recycling items and making them into something beautiful or valuable are all skills that have been monetized. Are you good with numbers or a fantastic people person? Do you know all about wine? Are you the person that has all the answers? Do people come to you for advice?

What are you currently giving away for free to friends and family? Is this a new career? What energizes you or is a hobby that makes your heart sing?

Feed the flame of your passion and let it drive you into another chapter of your life. You don't have to abandon everything to explore this new avenue. Just start somewhere. Make it a side hustle and build up a nest egg of at least 6 months savings before you dive headlong into it as your full-time gig.

You are in control of yourself.

If you are ready to live authentically then the very first step is to find a coach that you trust and that is a good fit. Click this link for a FREE 30-minute consultation and let's explore the possibilities together.

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