History Repeating Itself? 3 Questions to Ask When You’re Stuck In A Rut

Sometimes, the same situation just keeps coming back to bite us on the butt. Different people, slightly different circumstances, but ultimately it’s the same roadblock you keep running into. It could be in the form of crappy relationships, giving up on a new exercise routine or just eating bad food when you swore not to.

When you hit a block like this, it’s easy to ask the same questions over and over. Why do I keep doing this? What’s wrong with me? When will I learn? The problem is, those questions don’t have answers – and even if they did, they wouldn’t help you to move forwards anyway.

If you find yourself getting deja vu, ask yourself these three questions (inspired by Tony Robbins).

What gives me pleasure in this situation?

This may sound odd because you don’t necessarily want to be in this position, but there’s clearly something making you feel good or you wouldn’t tolerate staying in it. Pleasure may not mean you’re jumping for joy, but could come from feeling safe from the unknown, avoiding failure, a sugar hit – the list goes on. What is making you want to stick around in your current scenario?

What gives me pain in this situation?

Thinking about what hurts it the worst part of this process, but you need to identify and accept what’s bothering you in order to move on. Don’t dwell too much on why it’s painful, just be aware of what’s getting you down. What’s the worst possible outcome of continuing to allow this pain? Once you know, you’re going to be a lot more proactive about changing things.

What can I learn from this situation?

Every cloud has a silver lining and every tough situation has a lesson hidden within. It could be something as simple as realising that eating high sugar foods makes you crabby. Or it could be a revelation that you’re not willing to tolerate disrespect from others any more. Whatever the lesson, carry it with you and continue to grow.

Use adversity to stimulate growth. Check out Rabbi Twerski’s wise words in a lobster analogy that hits the nail on the head. 

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