By Dr. Samantha Rodman, Clinical Psychologist
So many times, we feel like we are stuck in a rut with no clear direction forward. This can happen in a range of areas, including relationships, friendships, work, self-development, or education.
Often, when you have been traveling down the same path for months or even years, it starts to feel like there is only one way to do things. Even if that path makes you unhappy, it feels to you like there is no other option. Here are some examples that may seem familiar.
What all of these people have in common is that they don’t truly believe in their capacity to cause change in their lives. They are waiting for an external variable to change, because they feel such minimal agency in their own lives. This is called an external locus of control, and it means that you attribute events to external variables, rather than variables that you can control.
To get yourself out of a rut, you need to change your locus of control to an internal one. People with an internal locus of control feel like they have the power to change their environment. They feel like they have agency in their own lives, and are making things happen versus waiting for them to happen. Here is how that would look in each of our examples:
Notice that in order to feel more in control of your own life, paradoxically, you may need to reach out to others and open yourself up to accepting support and feedback. Also, introspection is necessary to figure out why you feel so paralyzed. Often, when you feel completely stuck and paralyzed in one sphere of your life, it is because childhood issues are being triggered.
Working with a therapist is one excellent way to explore why you feel stuck in a rut, but reading, introspection, and discussion with others can help you move forward and life the live that you want.
Originally published at Talkspace.com
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