Break Out of Your Rut by Becoming a Serial Beginner

If you're stuck in a rut, then you're probably not challenging yourself to try new things.


If you have ever found yourself mired in a rut, then you know that you can't feel energized and rutbound at the same time. So what do you do about it?

One great way of blasting yourself free of the rut (and making sure you don't fall in again in the future) is creating more opportunities to be a beginner. Maybe you take on a stretch project in your current job. Maybe you pick up a new and completely unfamiliar hobby or skill. Whatever it is, it should take you out of your comfort zone.

Staying 100 percent in your comfort zone is a recipe for stagnation. Instead of continuing to do more of the same, commit to being a serial beginner. Dedicate a certain percentage of your focus to pursuing something that will take you beyond the ease of your expertise and turn you into a beginner.

Try for an 80-20 split, with 80 percent of your time spent on the solid, stable footing of your expertise and 20 percent spent pursuing something new that challenges you and puts you in the beginner zone. Or maybe you want to get more aggressively new, with a 50-50 split.

However you do it, stay new, stay fresh, and stay passionate.

Try this: Make a "beginner menu." Brainstorm ways you can stretch yourself and introduce that beginner space into the picture. Do you have ideas for work projects? Hobbies you're interested in? Languages you want to learn? New ideas you want to explore?

Ask yourself regularly, "Do I have enough of the beginner in my life?" If the answer is no, pick something from your menu and jump in.

After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker, explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.


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