6 Ways to Get Your Swagger Back
Reboot, reach out ... and wash your hands.
Posted Apr 20, 2015
There are only so many meals you can cook, commutes you can make, meetings you can sit in, bills you can pay before life begins to feel a little mundane—boring even.
You know the feeling when the routine feels drab and uncomfortable. You realize your motivation is flagging and you no longer feel fired up about the work or activities that you used to enjoy. It’s not that you aren’t interested in other things, it’s just that you feel stalled in the same-old.
You are stuck. Been there done that.
It’s not uncommon to hit a point where we feel depleted and worn by the daily routine. But you don’t have to stay stuck in in that overall sense of is-this-all-there-is dissatisfaction.
When you are ready to reset your life experience just a bit and make the routine more bearable and fun again, there are some simple steps you can take to get your swagger back.
6 Swagger-Building Strategies
- Wash your hands. Studies show that washing your hands will actually clean off the cloying psychological residue of past feelings and behaviors and provide a clean start. Plus, I like the ritual of it. Do this deliberately and mindfully. Become present to the moment. Notice the feel of the water, the sounds, the smell of soap. Then, quietly notice your thoughts and allow the stuck feelings to simply wash off and down the drain. Then dry your hands and do something fun or slightly different in the next moment to symbolize your fresh start.
- Get comfortable with discomfort. Getting unstuck requires a willingness to do some things differently. You must shift out of your comfort zone, which can be unsettling. But staying stuck isn’t comfortable anyhow, so move toward something a little more interesting and notice what you are feeling as you do. Our emotions hold clues as to what is working and what isn’t. But, we’ve got to pay attention to our style of discomfort. Exhilaration can sometimes feel like anxiety. Excitement can sometimes come with fear. Feeling a little uncomfortable isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Make peace with it and start exploring the next phase of your life.
- Focus on the next five minutes. Stop worrying about what you’ll be doing five years from now. Focus on the now. Our lives are strung together by scores of little moments. If you do something in the next moment that feels good, engaging, interesting, it will buoy you in the moment after that. You can create an entire big ol’ happy life by paying attention to this moment, then the next. Get up. Make this moment feel good. The future will take care of itself.
- Do something for someone else. Tough to remain stuck when we move outside of ourselves to help another. This is the easiest way to get back in the game of life. Go sweep a neighbor’s porch. Hide love notes around the house for your partner. Make a casserole for the new mom down the street. Go eat lunch with your daughter’s class at school. Drop food off at the local food bank. By making the world better for others, we also reset our own self-focused pattern to something more global, or at least neighborly. Kindness is a quick way to boost your mood and energy and insert meaning back into your life.
- Quit the thing that no longer holds meaning for you. We are always expanding and growing and so it’s likely, expected even, that our desires, needs, and values will change and grow as we do. Yet rarely do we tweak our routine to accommodate this growth. We may want different things, yet we repeat the same behavior patterns. This creates an energy-sucking dynamic where what we do every day is no longer consistent with who we are. Meaning and inspiration are lost.
Time to regroup and reboot. Look at the activities you are spending your time on. Are they essentials—like paying the bills? Are they things that excite, inspire, or energize you? Are they the should do’s—things you do because you have always done them?
Drop the should do’s. You don’t have to organize the staff party just because you did last year. Nor do you have to coach soccer, volunteer at school, or go to church if those things no longer align with your values and desires. Instead, keep up with the essentials and replace the should-do’s with things that fit where you are now. Things that inspire, add meaning, and provide room to grow.
- Create something. We are expansive beings and we feel better when we are expanding and creating. Make something each day. Paint or write on a book. Get out and work in the garden, or try a new recipe. Come up with a new walking route in the neighborhood or a new workout routine.
Stuckness leaves us feeling as though we are tethered to a single path. We are locked into the same route, living the same patterns. Life begins to feel like a copy of the original.
When we create something, we move beyond that rope and we are free to explore our world emotionally, spiritually, and viscerally. This creates energy and excitement. It leads us to new passions and sometimes just reminds us how to laugh and have fun again. This is all hopeful, of course, engaging and satisfying.
And just like that, then, you are no longer stuck.