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Stuck in a Rut?

stuck in a rut

7 Tips to overcome professional and personal ruts

Most of us have been in this situation: driving down a dirt road one tire finds itself in a rut and we find ourselves being pulled off the road. Just like driving, we must keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and initiate a demanding course correction. The nature of life is repetition, patterns, and routine; all of which can easily lead us to personal or professional ruts. What are the symptoms? Feeling stuck, helpless, and constantly frustrated. The question is how do we get out?

Here are 7 ways to escape your own personal rut:

1. Accept the reality. Embrace the fact that you are in fact stuck. Helplessness leads us to often say “What might have been done?” Rather than fixating on regret, we can ask a more important question, “When x happens again I will do Y”. This leads us to acceptance of what has happened and resolves to act differently in the future.

2. Look for negative comfort zones. It may sound strange but for some the ‘norm‘ is unhealthy. Each of us comes from varying backgrounds, somewhere stress and discomfort were common. We should evaluate what we routinely accept in our lives as daily happenstance. Perhaps being stressed out to the max is not normal after all. What feels familiar is not always healthy.

3. Listen to your gut. Too often we ignore or rationalize away what our gut instinct tells us. Our intuition is one of our best allies in helping us not only recognize where we are but what we should do to change the situation.

4. You have the key. No one can better determine what you need than yourself. Identify the negative cycle and break it. Yes, the Eagles were correct when they sang “so oftentimes it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key” in their hit Already Gone.

5. What’s the worst that can happen? Fear blocks us from making positive change. Ask yourself the question “What is the worst that can happen?” You may be surprised to find that the consequences of taking bold action pale in comparison to the rut you find yourself in.

6. Replace it. Now that you’ve faced and identified your rut replace it. Our lives are a vacuum, when we remove something another will take its place. With this in mind conscientiously replace what was broken with something new. Perhaps it’s limiting your accessibility to email, scheduling phone calls, or consolidating endless meetings.

7. Enlist help. Going solo isn’t always possible or advisable. Find a mentor, friend, or professional coach to encourage, motivate and hold you accountable if needed.

-Shannon Hicks


Editor in Chief:
As a prominent commentator and Editor in Chief at, Shannon Hicks has played a pivotal role in reshaping the conversation around reverse mortgages. His unique perspectives and deep understanding of the industry have not only educated countless readers but has also contributed to introducing practical strategies utilizing housing wealth with a reverse mortgage.
Shannon’s journey into the world of reverse mortgages began in 2002 as an originator and his prior work in the financial services industry. Shannon has been covering reverse mortgage news stories since 2008 when he launched the podcast HECMWorld Weekly. Later, in 2010 he began producing the weekly video series The Industry Leader Update and Friday’s Food for Thought.
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  1. A well stated course of action my friend! Best. Ed

    • Ed,

      Are you still in the business??

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