Have you ever felt as though you’re losing control and direction in your life? It’s a common feeling that many of us will experience at least once - and it isn’t the end of the world. So, before you start spiralling and worrying, let’s unpack why many of us fall into the trap of being held hostage by our own lives.
A lot of us follow a pretty similar routine on a weekly basis: work, catch up with friends, exercise, and carry out some life admin or housework. Although there can be variations to this, on the whole, no matter where we are in the world or what we do for work, this type of pattern ends up becoming the norm for a lot of us very quickly.
Routine is great in a lot of ways: it provides stability, enables us to stay organised and ultimately can be a great way to have a good quality of life. But, there is such thing as “too much” routine - and too much of anything can have the opposite effect: boredom and feeling like you can’t break the concrete habits that you’ve now formed, habits that could be considered unhealthy.
Routines can be detrimental to our growth
Take a look at your current routine, does it nurture you and enable you to grow, or do you feel stagnant and stuck? If it’s the latter, you’ve probably adopted a routine that is hindering positivity and opportunity to flow into your life. Let’s take the typical “9-5” Monday to Friday job, we’ve all heard of “living for the weekend” - and this in itself is a form of routine.
Instead of making a change so you’re no longer “living for the weekend”, many of us fall into the trap of allowing this routine to define us. Before you know it, 6, 12, or 18 months of your life have passed you by - and for some, they realise before it’s too late.
But, it isn’t all doom and gloom. Chances are if you’re reading this you probably know that some kind of change needs to happen.
You are the only person in control of your life
Sure, there are nuances to this - depending on what your current situation is. But, generally, you are the only person who can make a change in your life.
What is currently bothering you? What are you unsatisfied with? What change are you going to make to mitigate this? Too often a combination of routine and fear to change what is wrong in our life paralyses us, however, the reality is the only person standing in the way of making a change, is, well… yourself!
Growth mindset vs fixed mindset
A big part of escaping feeling hostage to your own life is by changing your mindset. Let’s break down what a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset is.
A growth mindset is not seeing limitations - the trick is in the name: you’re constantly growing and evolving, and your mindset allows you to see abundance rather than hindrance.
A fixed mindset is being very set in your way of thinking - it’s often difficult to divulge from what you already know or your opinion is hard to change because of potentially limited views.
Sometimes, a fixed mindset can be a blessing - for your morals and certain opinions on the world, for example. But, to grow and evolve as a person, adopting a growth mindset and not seeing limitations to your knowledge or opinions will enable you to break through and make the change that you need to see.
Be the change that you want to see
As previously mentioned, living your life for someone else (or to fit in with a social circle or societal pressures) isn’t authentic, and it isn’t the way to live your life. Being the change that you want to see in yourself is the most empowering thing you can do - and will stop you from being held hostage by your own life.
How can you start to make the change?
Trying to change your whole life overnight (although we always wish we could do this) simply isn’t feasible. Instead, focus on creating goals and working your way backwards from each one. What are the actions you need to take to make it achievable, what are the timescales that are realistic for achieving this and what obstacles could you come up against?
Creating a framework that works for you will enable you to take control of your life, break free from the mundane and create a life that you can be present in, not exist in.