Why You Must get Off Autopilot to Live the Life You Want
If you’re serious about going after the life you want, you must get off autopilot. Every single one of us is guilty of living this way without realizing it.
Autopilot starts small
It starts with small habits. You know how you put your shoes and clothes on the same way every day? It’s because you’re on autopilot. You may even get through your whole morning routine without being present.
It’s ok to be on autopilot for some of the things we do. It’s a normal part of getting through our daily routines. It can get dangerous if we’re not paying enough attention to it though.
Autopilot exists because it’s intended for a process to steer itself without a human. But guess what? You are a human! You are here to do more than act as a robot!
You were not made to live your life on autopilot. Those who achieve success do so because they got back in the driver’s seat and took control.
Autopilot and routines
As humans we subconsciously crave routines, which makes it easy to go into autopilot mode. It’s the reason we end up dreading things like waking up early or going into work, etc…
It’s because we create a negative narrative in our head. Once we do this, we convince ourselves the routine is less than satisfying and BAM! We’re on autopilot mode with these reoccurring thoughts.
Don’t get me wrong, routines are an essential part to our living, but not for every part of our lives. Training your brain to undo this isn’t the easiest thing in the world but it will be life changing when you do.
When your mind wanders, it goes into autopilot mode. Once it hits autopilot you can carry on in whatever you’re doing without conscious thought.
Scary, huh? Especially when it’s something like driving. Sure, mundane tasks don’t require switching off autopilot, but the point is to be in the present moment.
How to become consciously aware and get off autopilot
Making change in your life requires a combination of behavioral pattern changes. One of the most important changes is how you use your mind.
Start small and break down one aspect or routine in your day to learn when and where you go into autopilot mode.
My personal experience to get off autopilot
When I did this, I started with my morning routine. I started there because I wanted to intentionally look at each aspect of my day. This involved the second I got out of bed until the moment I started working.
Here is what it looked like for me on autopilot mode…
- Wake up to alarm going off and hit snooze a few times. Roll out of bed while believing that the simple act of rolling out of bed was torture.
- Aimlessly walk downstairs in zombie mode to make coffee and grab water. Look out to anything in my path on my way.
- Next, take orders from small children about what they needed after getting out of bed. If it was a school day, I’d keep the train moving by asking the same questions. Then tell them to do the same things about five different times without realizing it.
- Attempt to get to work right away. I’d multi-task while also reading email and doing other various tasks. I grew frustrated because I didn’t feel productive and could not understand why.
It’s funny how we believe multi-tasking is so good for us.
Here’s how my morning routine looks now…
- Wake up to an alarm at least an hour earlier without hitting the snooze button.
- Get out of bed looking forward to starting my day with purpose, intention and self-care. Aka me time before the rest of the house is up.
- Make coffee and grab lemon water while cozying up in my reading room with a good book. Usually it’s a book about personal development or self-help. Always something inspirational and motivational, while offering the ability to learn something new.
- Journal my thoughts.
- Meditate for 15 – 20 minutes.
If I don’t meditate every single day I still stick to quiet time and reflection.
After I finish my morning routine, daylight begins to creep in my windows. I revel at the glory of nature that God provides us. If I’m lucky, I’ll see a few deer taking their morning walk through the yard and I quietly say “hi, babies!” as if they’re my own (haha.)
I love having these moments in to take in the quiet and still of nature right in front of me. The colors remind me that we are so blessed with many colors in our own lives.
After I’ve completed my morning routine the children are starting to wake up. I am ready to show up as my whole self with encouragement and positivity to start their days right.
The rest of the day
My morning is one of many parts of my day that I’ve chosen to get off autopilot. Throughout the day I pause and take breathing breaks. This allows me to check in with myself. By doing this I understand where I’m going through the motions vs being intentional in what I’m doing.
I find a quiet space and inhale to the count of four, hold for four and exhale for four. I do this two or three times.
Once you start with one, it’ll be easier to change the rest and you will start looking for ways to change.
Summary – Getting off autopilot
Getting off autopilot allows us to be more purposeful and intentional in our lives. Life will start happening for us and not to us.
Start purposely looking at everything you do in your day. Can you tie it back to your goals? If so, decide what steps should you take next.
What are you going to do to get off autopilot in your life?
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