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Get Out of the Rut: A Groundhog's Day Challenge

Get Out of the Rut: A Groundhog’s Day Challenge

by | Feb 1, 2021 | Authenticity & Transparency, By Karin Hurt, Creativity, Winning Well |

Get Out of the Rut and Consider What Lights You Up

If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, this freaking pandemic might be the perfect time to try something new. You have time to consider what matters most, what lights you up, and how you can add the most value to the world.

So today here is the Let’s Grow Leaders “get out of the rut” challenge.

Get Out of the Rut: Different and Also the Same

It’s weird, right?

In some ways, EVERYTHING is different. And yet if you’re like many leaders we work with—there are some “old news” areas of your life that continue to be stuck.

And, they’re feeling a bit more stucky now that you have more time to think about it.

Are you yearning to get out of the rut?

A Groundhog’s Day Tradition and More

groundhog dayMy parents had a wonderful Groundhog’s Day tradition. That’s when they would celebrate their love with snuggly stuff and romantic gestures. Somehow, early on in their relationship, they preempted Valentine’s Day, and it stuck.

Hey, it was the 60s, who needs Hallmark when you have a groundhog? This rodent continues to inspire. Sadly, my mother has since passed away. But my sister has been making Groundhog’s Day cookies and delivering them to her friends and kids’ teachers for years (but I digress).

Oh, and here’s her Zoom background today for virtual celebration. Just saying.groundhog zoom background

As for me, somehow each Groundhog’s Day, I wake up with a respectful and enthusiastic nod to these groundhog romantics. AND, the curse of contemplation, not of love and romance, but of which areas of my life I have become more like Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray, in the 1993 classic, Groundhog Day.)

Phil is cursed to live the same day over and over, until he finally recognizes the patterns, looks deeply into his own behaviors, and changes his approach.

A curse can become a blessing.

How many times have your heard someone say, “This feels like Groundhog’s Day?”

We all get stuck. We get stuck in patterns, in behaviors, in outdated beliefs about ourselves and others, in jobs.

How to Get Out of the Rut

I recently ran into a guy (no longer so young) who worked on my team MANY years ago.

“What are you doing these days?,” I asked, eager to hear about what he had become and what he was learning.
“Oh, I’m still doing exactly the same thing.”
Wait, what? I was shocked and saddened.

This was a bright kid, full of energy, ideas, a great team player.

Why had he gotten stuck in that job? Why hadn’t anyone continued asking/encouraging (okay pushing) him to accomplish his potential? Who else was left behind in this same organization?

And then. I talked to an old friend. She shared,

“I finally figured out that I keep repeating the same patterns, both in dating and in looking for jobs.
You see, I have this perfect list of what I think I want. Then, I go after him or the job full tilt. I attract the guy, or get the job. Of course, it’s THEN that I realize it’s not really what I want. I break up with the guy. I begin looking for a new job. I’ve got to find a way to interrupt that pattern.”

Another friend’s Christmas card read “Nothing much new has happened for me this year, but I guess that’s the way it is at this age (see It’s Never Too Late to Grow Great)”

Breaking Your Groundhog Day Patterns

So today. Where would you interrupt?

Is it time to smash the alarm clock?

  • What patterns do you keep repeating?
  • What routines do you wish you could change?
  • Where is your team stuck?
  • What processes and rituals no longer serve your vision?
  • What if you interrupted the patterns?

The first step to getting unstuck is recognizing the patterns.

Of course, if you chose February 2 as your day of romance that sounds good too.

A worthy tradition.

Courageous CulturesIf you’re looking for new ideas and to encourage more innovation on your team, you might want to check out our new book, Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates.

You can download a FREE sample chapter and Dr. Amy Edmonson’s foreword on courage and psychological safety here.

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.


  1. Michael Donohue

    Excellent read! This is a great day and a very good year for re-evaluating cyclical patterns! Thanks!

    • Karin Hurt

      Thanks so very much, Michael!


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