Free yourself from the hamster wheel and realize your ideas

Reading time 7 minutes
Free yourself from the hamster wheel and realize your ideas

Most people are trapped in the daily grind. The job is monotonous and offers few opportunities for advancement. Our daily routine is characterized by routine. Life can be compared to a hamster wheel. You exert yourself without making any progress. At the end of the day, work is not over yet. At home, the next obligations are already waiting. Basically, it seems to be all about performance. Personal fulfillment falls by the wayside.

Dissatisfaction with the professional and/or personal situation can lead to frustration. Only very few people dare to simply step out of the hamster wheel and take control of their own lives. If you do nothing, the downward spiral cannot be stopped. There are various ways to leave the hamster wheel. You can learn about the most important strategies here.

What is the so-called hamster wheel?

Actually, the hamster wheel is a toy made for small animals. Hamsters use the wheel to live out their urge to move. However, they do not move forward, but always run on the spot. The term "hamster wheel" is meant to illustrate a similar behavior in humans. If you make an effort and expend your energy to achieve goals, but do not succeed, you find yourself in a hamster wheel.

The feeling of being trapped in a daily routine is always subjective. For many people, there is something reassuring about routine that gives them security. However, fixed structures do not allow for change. Individual NeedsOur own ideas and values do not play a role in the hamster wheel of everyday life.

Are there really connections between our lives and a hamster running in place? There are at least some parallels. Similar to the hamster, which does not move forward despite the greatest effort, many people tread water professionally.

Hamster wheel: Free yourself from old routines

In this context, the hamster wheel can be described as a state from which there seems to be no release. We are stuck in our daily routines, unable to change anything and give our lives a different, self-chosen direction.

The hamster wheel is spinning faster and faster without any apparent benefit to us. The modern working world is about performance and competitive pressure and less about self-determination and Satisfaction. Stress and excessive demands have their price. Stress-related physical and psychological symptoms are responsible for a large proportion of sick leave and early retirement.

If stress becomes a permanent burden, this not only has health consequences, but also has a negative impact on career and private life. In a time characterized by far-reaching changes, many people are reluctant to break free from the hamster wheel. Yet our performance depends on whether we feel good.

Learn to set boundaries

From a psychological point of view Job dissatisfaction, constant frustration and stress lead to insomnia, anxiety disorders and depression. The physical and emotional exhaustion known as burnout syndrome is caused by general problems in coping with life. The state of deep emotional, mental and physical exhaustion occurs when a person feels completely overwhelmed and at the mercy of his or her fate.

Those who flounder on the hamster wheel lose a lot of energy that could be used in their professional and private lives. PerfectionismThe will to perform and the desire for recognition obscure our view of reality. Setting boundaries and learning to say "no" are the first steps to freeing oneself from the hamster wheel.

out of the hamster wheel

How to recognize that you are stuck in the hamster wheel

Do you recognize yourself in this description? Are you a hamster wheel person? Is a sense of duty more important to you than an individual approach to life? Do you find it difficult to express wishes, present ideas or make suggestions?

Is your job not your dream job? Did you only take on the job so that you wouldn't be without work? Do the tasks you do every day not correspond to your interests or your education? These are the clues that tell you if you're stuck on the hamster wheel:

  1. You have to get over yourself to go to work
  2. You blossom on vacations and weekends
  3. You can hardly wait for the end of the working day and constantly look at the clock
  4. Financial reasons prevent you from changing jobs
  5. You have the feeling that you are in the wrong place
  6. You find it difficult to address problems
  7. Changes make you Fear
  8. You consider your life as destiny
  9. With your professional situation you have been dissatisfied
  10. You believethat there are no alternatives

Being stuck in the hamster wheel is comparable to a straitjacket. You want to free yourself from an unfavorable situation, but you don't know how? The most important prerequisite is to recognize in the first place that change is necessary.

If going to work every day takes a lot of effort, it may not be the right job. A professional job should match personal skills and offer opportunities for advancement. The longer you stay on the hamster wheel, the greater the hopelessness becomes. Depression and Burnout are the consequences of frustration, coupled with excessive demands and stress.

Shape your future according to your ideas

Do you really thrive on free time, weekends and vacations? This is a clear sign that you don't really feel comfortable at your job. Do you feel like you're in the wrong place? Then consider a career change to realize your ideas and life plan.

Many people get upset about supposedly unfavorable situations and then continue to do the same. Are you one of them? Realize that life is not an unchangeable fate. Hoping for the weekend and avoiding conflicts at work is not a suitable strategy. If you only do what others expect of you, nothing will change. Decide for yourself when you want to get off the hamster wheel and shape your future according to your own ideas.

Why should you leave the hamster wheel?

There is something liberating about breaking out of the hamster wheel and giving life a completely new direction! Changes are important processes that bring us closer to our goals. Out of fear of accepting disadvantages or embarrassing themselves, many people persist in unfavorable situations. If the job doesn't match your skills, there are no opportunities for advancement, and the work climate is negative, there is no reason to stay. If you have to force yourself to work every day, you risk burnout. 

To avoid getting stuck in the hamster wheel in the first place, it is important to choose a vocation that is fun. A field of study chosen solely for financial security can make you sick in the long run. Internships during your studies are one way to test out everyday working life.

Hamster wheel - dissatisfaction and discomfort

Stress and pressure to perform occur in every profession. However, you are not at the mercy of the daily office chaos. You can do a lot yourself to organize your working day according to your wishes. If your expectations are not met, it is advisable to look for another field of activity. Abandoning your own interests and plans usually leads to frustration.

Dissatisfaction and discomfort foster tension in the workplace. Problems build up and the downward spiral continues. You feel like you're stuck in the hamster wheel and can't find a way out. Are you struggling in vain to achieve your goals? Do you react disappointed, demotivated or depressed when you are not allowed to decide anything yourself at work?

The time to get off the hamster wheel is when:

  • Job frustration diminishes your performance
  • Tasks offer no challenge
  • Stress determines the daily routine
  • The working atmosphere is bad

Don't wait until the tiring monotony and the eternally same rut lead to burnout. Motivate yourself, gather your courage and get out of the hamster wheel!

10 steps to get off the hamster wheel

Leaving the hamster wheel is an important decision that requires careful consideration. We have listed the first ten steps that will help you escape the daily routine:

  1. Know your desires
  2. Develop a strategy
  3. Plan your professional future
  4. Create financial reserves
  5. Search Inspirations and mentors
  6. Compare different options
  7. Analyze your ACTUAL state (current situation)
  8. Focus on your skills
  9. Find out what makes you happy
  10. Set concrete goals

Recognizing your own desires is the most important prerequisite for getting off the hamster wheel. If you know where you want your life to take you, you can plan specifically. Develop a strategy. Think about what makes you happy and how you can achieve your goals. You can only get out of job frustration if you have concrete ideas about your future.

Analyze your ACTUAL state and consider your current situation. What can stay the same and what needs to change? Are you satisfied with your career choice, but not with the working conditions? Then a job change is the right option! Find out about potential employers and the conditions at the new workplace before you make a decision.

Proper preparation will determine whether you succeed in getting off the hamster wheel. Detach yourself from unnecessary financial obligations that put a strain on your budget. These can be unnecessary insurance policies, consumer loans or other financial projects. Financing can limit your independence and block future plans.

Build financial reserves

Learn to manage money and use your resources wisely. Build up financial reserves to secure your basic needs and ensure your quality of life. Consider different alternatives.

Seek inspiration if you don't yet know what you want to change. Ask for support from a mentor. Mentoring is an important personnel development tool that is used in many companies as well as for knowledge transfer in personal Relationships is used to support a mentee during training, career planning and personal development.

Talk to confidants and explain your plans to them. Do not compare yourself with others. You are unique. Follow your intuitionGet off the hamster wheel and create your own life!

Conclusion: Hamster wheel or safari?

The hamster wheel for humans is in principle hardly different from the wheel for small animals. Animals and their behaviors form the basis for "The Big Five for Life - What really counts in life", a masterpiece by the successful author John Strelecky. The US bestselling author and speaker is the creator of the Big Five for Life concept. He was inspired by the "Big Five": elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard and lion. These courageous, strong wild animals can be seen with a little luck during a safari in Africa.

Strelecky's core message is that every company and every employee has to understand the Purpose of its existence should recognize and fulfill. The "Big Five for Life" represent the five goals that each person may achieve in life. The book, which is considered an ideal introduction to personal development, is suitable for anyone interested in their personal growth. A quote from the successful author: "Working to make money was yesterday" best describes what it is all about.

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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