Stagnation trope: “Are you green and growing or ripe and rotten?” I love this quote. It’s the perfect metaphor for being stagnant and it’s such an easy trap to fall into.

We go through life wanting to see the things we want to accomplish become a reality, but fall short because you fall in a rut another word for stagnation. What’s more, you’re not sure how to get out of it.

In order to identify stagnation and if you are experiencing it, you first need a definitive idea of what it is. In actuality, identifying stagnation isn’t hard. You probably just have a different definition of what it is you are feeling when everything and everyone seems mundane. Just think of that feeling of not wanting to deal with people, of not feeling like tackling that project, or daily task. You just want to sit in front of a tv, or stay in bed.

I’m going to mention this again, but it’s important to not confuse being stagnant with being depressed. Can a person who feels as if his or her life is in a stagnant state fall into depression? Yes, but this episode is not about the latent stage of stagnation that turns into depression. It’s about the beginning stage, when you realize your every day task and goals are becoming redundant, or getting to where you just don’t feel like doing them.

Here is the second time I am mentioning it. If you fall into a depressive state, then please seek professional help. It’s the best solution for dealing with depression of any kind.

All of this being said, let’s get back to stagnation. Without a doubt, there are definitive signs of stagnation you can look out for that I’m about to share.

How do you Identify Stagnation?

Recognizing that you are in a rut takes effort. With Inactivity, or lacking the ability to actually get things done, it can easily be mistaken for depression. While depression is a serious matter and shouldn’t be taken lightly, with care you can recognize the difference between feeling stagnant or depressed, and take steps to end it.

The first clue to recognizing stagnation is your answer to this one question: Do you feel as if you’re on automatic pilot? You know the scenario, you wake up, go to work, come home, watch a little tv, go to bed. The next day, repeat.

You see, that’s why it’s hard to notice, because you are doing the things you are used to, day in and out. Unless you’re introspective, chances are you may never notice the redundancies. 

So let’s identify four cues that show you are in a stagnant state instead of depression.

  1. Constant procrastination or avoidance 
  2. You know you can do more or better
  3. You lack the energy or will to try
  4. You can’t pinpoint your last accomplishment

How To Overcome Stagnation

Stagnation can result from unresolved issues you may have experienced. To get beyond it, you must be willing to take steps to overcome uncertainty and to resolve issues standing in your way. With effort, you can take more energetic steps towards your daily activities.

The first step: Don’t punish yourself or blame yourself for the affliction. Giving yourself a break can be beneficial when trying to be less dormant. Consider these other steps for pulling yourself out of the doldrums.

Attempt to go out of your comfort zone

Taking on the challenge of doing more than you think you are capable of by being willing to shake up your daily routines. When you reach beyond what you are comfortable with, you can pinpoint the reason for feeling lacklustre and overcome end stagnation.

Change your routines

If you have a set routine you follow every day, consider changing it. Whatever your typical routine may be, consider doing something different. By changing your routine, you may learn more about your capabilities and your ability to accept and adjust to change. In the end, you may discover the reason for feeling dormant.

Take small steps

If the idea of drastically changing your routines seems extreme, then consider taking small steps towards changing your mindset or routines. For instance, let’s say you find yourself watching three hours of t.v. each day as a part of your mindless routine. Then make a conscious effort to reduce that time by thirty minutes, then an hour. The time you saved, do something you normally wouldn’t do.

Most People Experience Stagnation But Don’t Label It

The reality is most of us experience this issue because we don’t have the motivational factors that are constantly there to keep us from faltering. We all need sustained motivation. We can usually find it in the people that’s in our lives standing by our side, telling us they believe in us and giving us a reason to keep moving towards what we want to achieve.

When we don’t have someone standing by our side cheering us on, it’s up to us to find that impetus to keep going, to not give up, to not feel an eventual inertia because we aren’t seeing the results we want, because there was a setback and so many other reason we would suddenly fall into this state of what I like to call lifelessness.

To recap, the key to getting beyond stagnation is to first recognize it. Then remember that it’s only temporary. Also remember, nothing lasts forever. Watch tv if that’s what you feel like doing, sleep in if it makes you feel better. When you are ready, slowly get back into the groove of managing your tasks and goals.

Episode Highlights

  • Deal with stagnation because it can affect how you live your life.
  • You need a definitive idea of what stagnation is.
  • If you fall into a depressive state get professional help.
  • Once you are aware of what it is, audit your life and actions to recognize your moments.
  • What does it mean if you feel as if you are on automatic pilot.
  • Stagnation can result from unresolved issues.
  • Get out of your comfort zone.
  • Take small steps.

Episode at a glance

  • 1:43 – A Definitive Idea Of Stagnation
  • 2:10 – Not Confusing Stagnation And Depression
  • 3:30 – The Clues of Stagnation
  • 5:57 – Getting Beyond Stagnation
  • 6:18 – Steps To Take to Overcome
  • 9:05 – The Motivation You Need
  • 9:56 – It’s Temporary
  • 10:45 – Patience, Kindness & Understanding

Resources & Action

Learn more about the free resource raffle, sign up to share your story and access the give-away registration here
Register for SD Toolbox live notification here.
Review and comment on Evolving Life podcast here. Follow the instructions below if you use Apple Podcast to listen.

Your Thoughts & Support

If you enjoy this episode or find it helpful, please share the podcast with family and friends and leave us a review on which ever medium you are using to listen to your podcasts.

Also, if you have a topic you want to hear about on Evolving Life? contact me.

Share your Apple Podcast review here. To access the review page, click on the link listen on Apple Podcast. Once Apple Podcast opens, click on Evolving Life under shows. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see the option to write a review.

Episode Reflection

 Things live  by moving and gain strength as they do.- Bruce Lee