"Changing Thoughts....Changes Feelings...Changes Your Life!"
People are funny about wanting routine in their life. How many of you get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom without turning on a light? I do. This is because I know the path to the bathroom and I can do it half asleep. Plus I don't want to wake up too much so it's easy to fall back asleep quickly. Routines keep us on moving without having to think. For some of us there is a small amount of their life is routine and for others most of their day/week is the same because routine feels like a security blanket. And when we live in a world where constant change is happening with no end in sight about "normal" coming back this can feel unsettling for those who cherish routine. I call this routine going into auto pilot mode.
Auto pilot is an amazing thing to keep us from having to interpret everything we do and making decisions. It is common for many of us to love automation when it comes to: getting dressed, how to drive our car, walking, going to the bathroom, making or eating food, breathing, swallowing, etc. In fact, I am extremely thankful for the automatic functions in ALL of my body. Can you imagine having to think about every breath we take or how to walk? These functions are happening without thought and not only is it really necessary but also it would be so time consuming if we had to tell your bodies to do everything.
In fact we need the auto pilot mode to survive because our organs are necessary part of staying alive. Let's not forget about our 60,000 thoughts we have everyday which also goes into auto pilot mode. 80% of our thoughts each day are the same thoughts and 90% are negative! Yikes! Most of these thoughts are never spoken but greatly influence us. If most of our thoughts are automatically happening rather than consciously choosing them, then we want to make sure those thoughts line up with who we want to be and what we want to do. So if you are not getting the results you WANT in your life then it's time to look at what is your auto pilot mode and line it up with your TRUE WHO.
Why I Know This?
I specialize in behavior modification which means I help people define who they are and how to stay in alignment with their TRUE WHO (morals, values and beliefs) for almost 30 years. I teach my clients how easy it is to create awareness around their destructive patterns by making conscious choices! Right now we are experiencing some “crazy" times where our normal or routines in life are changing daily. This is a true test of our ability to be flexible but for those who struggle with having their routine messed with this can be challenging.
I love change and I have been struggling with how many changes to my daily routines lately. The way I have been doing business has completely changed in a matter of one month. This got me thinking about people like my husband who thrives with consistency and keeping routine. Since part of my job is to read peoples body language I have noticed these changes have not only cause stress on my husband but also many of my clients. The purpose of this article was to give some tools to those who need assistance in figuring how to function in a world where the normal is constant change. Let's start with understanding auto pilot mode and how it affects us.
What Is Auto Pilot?
It is when setup your routines to be the same so you don't have to think constantly about what you are doing. Auto pilot mode keeps us doing the same daily routines including when we get up, what we eat, places we go, what we do, people we see, how we travel, even our job, etc.... We are able to function efficiently and predictably by staying in auto pilot mode which is why I called it a security blanket for many people.
When our life is the same all the time we get stuck in a rut which for some is deliberate because it brings comfort. But what happens when this routine includes unhealthy habits? This is when you want to make changes but keep doing the same destructive habit. When life just happens to you we feel like we lose control and we don’t understand why you keep doing things you don't want to do. T
We do have a choice. When it FEELS like our destructive habits just happen to us is a lie we tell ourselves. We have to get out of auto pilot mode and shake up our routine so we make conscious choices. This can put us in a vulnerable state and FEELS UNCOMFORTABLE most of the time! Who wants to be vulnerable all the time? Most of us protect ourselves so we stay in the comfort zone (doing the same routines daily even if they don't serve us). This comfort zone ends up being a prison because it keeps us stuck! A prison most of us settle for because we don’t know any other way.
Why Is Auto Pilot Important?
We want control over our life. It's not easy to go to uncomfortable and vulnerable place but it gives us our power back. Getting consciously aware gives us choices rather than life just happening to us. When we create awareness for ourselves it is really easy to stop the cycle of destructive habits.
Not all routines are bad. If we know the routines we setup lead us to doing healthy habits....great!! Keep those! When we decide to tune out and routines driving us into destructive habits than that's when you have to tune back in! Decide to create habits and thoughts that create better outcomes. This puts YOU back in the driving seat rather than keeping you stuck. Then change is easy!!!
(5) Steps To Take To Get Out Of Auto Pilot Mode?
1. First take time to reflect on your routines and if they are in alignment with who you want to be and what you want to do. If not then create new meaningful routines. Journaling is a great way to do this. Journaling gives you an opportunity to understand what you are doing or saying because this is always easy to see. I also have a FREE worksheet to help you understand your destructive thoughts and how to turn them. HERE
2. Be present in the moment. Take time everyday to just be. This can be called many things like: meditation, prayer or other. Giving ourselves the time to cancel out all the demands and stress of the world opens the door for us to be grateful. Gratitude is a link to your happiness. So the real question is how grateful are you everyday?
3. Put yourself into the uncomfortable zone. Routine has a purpose but so does the uncomfortable zone. When we are in the uncomfortable zone we are crystal clear on what is happening around us and how we feel. Alot of times we don't like the way it feels so we labeled uncomfortable as bad and avoid it. This is such a blessing because it gets us out of auto pilot mode. This opportunity gives us a chance to decide what we really want. Really look at what is happening and make a choice to respond so it lines up with what you want or who you want to be. Giving yourself many uncomfortable zones on a regular basis helps you create awareness in your life! And awareness is the first step to making lasting healthy changes.
4. Find the "gift" in everything including events that are very painful! Learning how to enjoy the "curve balls" in life is a beautiful way to teach ourselves and our thoughts to be flexible. Plus when we interpret and describe what is happening around us so it supports us, we get the added bonus of feeling less stress.
5. Opportunity of a RESET. We all need a reset button. Life is busy and when "busy" sets in we all can only do "busy" for so long before we get worn out. But all of us can reset anytime we like. I call it the power of the pause. By pausing we get to decide if we want to continue in the "busy" world or reset and take a break.
Take some time today to set yourself up to succeed! Auto pilot mode can be your friend but it also can be what's keeping you stuck in destructive patterns. Go thru those (5) steps to give yourself a pause and lines it up with who you want to be and what you want to do. If you are struggling to understand your thoughts use this FREE worksheet to help you. For more information: www.cldcoaching.com
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