How to know if you are living on cruise control
Let’s face it we all have found ourselves driving down the road on our way to somewhere we go regularly, to work, a friend or family members home, an appt. I’m sure you have a time in mind that you were just driving along minding your own business, listening to the radio or a podcast, day dreaming about some day or clearing your head from all that’s going on in your life and next thing you know, you can’t remember the past 20 minutes of your drive.
It’s because we get so used to the drive that it is almost as if we are on cruise control and don’t even need to think about how to get there. I have done this so many times not only driving, in situations in my life as well. I find that if certain situations continue to happen in my life, I start to react without thinking. I’m not saying that my reaction is wrong every time. I am saying that because it is a reaction, meaning an action performed or a feeling experienced in response to a situation or event.
How often do you have a reaction and then believe, even if you don’t do it, that you need to apologize for your actions or believe that you shouldn’t have done or said what you did? So then what happens? Your reactions start to tell others that this is how you will react in those situations. Reactions are impulsive and not intentional responses.
Living reactively not only shows that we aren’t in control of our actions, it shows that you are letting other people control your choices based on their choices. Ex. If he/she does this then I’m going to ……
I’m sure we have all said that plenty of times in our lives. Living on cruise control is a way to check out from responsibilities people don’t want to deal with; It could be relationships, finances, business, etc.
There is another way. There is a way to lessen the time you spend on cruise control in the areas of your life that matter most. CHOOSE! Yep, it is that simple. You must choose how you want to show up in your life. Are you going to continue to walk through your life and just react to everything happening around you or are you going to step up and take control of how you show up for yourself and others?
Don’t get me wrong, things happen, and we have an emotion reaction to those things. It is in those moments we need to stop, take a silent breath, and decide is this how I want to feel or is this what I need to feel around this situation? If so continue, if not, choose your emotion, choose your action, choose the next best course of action that will lead to the best possible outcome you can contribute to.
Here is the tough part. This means being constantly mentally and emotionally aware of where you are. Yes, constantly. That takes a lot of effort and is extremely exhausting and sometimes you have to find space for yourself to step back and just be. Being with yourself, alone, and learning your emotions is just as important as being aware of where you are.
So how do we go about this? We have families to care for, lives to live, I don’t have time to just be with myself to figure this out, right!?! You do this one thought at a time. Yes, it means you must slow down a bit when it comes to making choices, communicating with other people and going through your day. Take a breath and do something different. Listen to something different on your drive. Let those closest to you know what you are working on and that you would appreciate some patience as you navigate this more intentional way of communicating.
At the end of the day it all comes down to your effort. You will only be able to change where you put forth the effort. The only way to know if you are getting better is to implement this in a moment where you are reactive. You can’t plan for these moments; you can only prepare for them. That means you must be training your mind to be aware of all of your emotions and feelings and reactions throughout your day. Practice in the small things so you can implement them in the more difficult situations.
I encourage you to pay attention to what you are letting into your mind. What you let in and take on as truth for yourself consciously or unconsciously is that comes out in your reactions. Take inventory, keep a log of how things and people and situation in your daily life impact you and make you feel. Write it out and make not if this is what you want to feel and how you want to continue moving forward.
No matter your choices, voluntary or reactive, you are solely responsible.
Declare Your Truth ~ Live With Confidence ~ Dena Adams