Years ago, the argument for my inertia was strong: I had a secure job, decent pay, good health insurance, five weeks of vacation, the best friends I’d ever had. On top of all of that, I got to live in glorious Colorado. My argument for change was rather short: I was in a rut and was unhappy at work.
Someone wanted to hire me in Florida. The job looked good, the pay looked fine and I’d be near my family. But, I couldn’t seem to take the leap.
One of my mentors told me: “Don’t let security be your dangerous anchor.” And then, she said it again. “If you aren’t doing something,” she said, “you’re doing nothing.”
I took the job and never looked back as I created a new life of challenge and adventure, quickly learning that change is nothing to fear.
Ruts are comfortable and comforting. We know what to expect of our outside world, but there isn’t much cause to challenge ourselves. Our measurement of what we accomplish tomorrow is too often based on old goals that have lost their significance.
How often do you celebrate the goals you have reached, then take a moment to dream a little larger? Don’t measure yourself against the expectations of others, and don’t focus on competing against your peers. What do you want for your life? More money, more time, more freedom, more wisdom, more credentials, more perks, more love, more adventure? Know yourself, and measure yourself against your own dreams. Don’t fear change – seek it out. Don’t let security be your dangerous anchor.
The Ten Tell Tale Signs that you are in a Rut
1. You aren’t having fun
2. You aren’t challenged
3. You enjoy your job less and less
4. You don’t feel like talking about your work with your friends and family
5. You are smarter than your bosses
6. You keep reminding yourself of the good attributes of your job, and they all have to do with “golden handcuffs” – good pay, benefits and time off
7. You can predict your future and it looks exactly like your present
8. People say, “Are you still working there?”
9. You are jealous whenever someone “climbs over the wall” and quits
10. You feel stuck
Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.