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Are You Living on Autopilot?



Plane flying towards sun


In an aircraft, the autopilot is a tool to assist the plane to stay on course, allowing the pilot to attend to other things. The autopilot guides the plane based on information it receives from other systems. Unfortunately, those systems aren't perfect and accumulate errors over time, and course corrections will need to be made. The same thing is true of your life.

How many times do you lay your keys or glasses down and then don't remember where they are? Do you ever eat a cookie without remembering doing it, but find crumbs on your hand later? Your mind was on other things while your body acted automatically. What about your relationships? Do you expect they will to continue to grow without tending them?

Before cellphones, I had a boyfriend who put me near the bottom of his list of priorities. Everything in his life came before his agreements with me. If he'd promised to meet me at a restaurant, but a neighbor dropped in for coffee, he'd leave me waiting for hours. He put our relationship on autopilot, and ignored my warnings that it was going off course. Eventually, he flew the relationship into the ground.

If you're not paying attention, or just going through the motions, this can happen in any area of your life. At work, if you aren't making any progress, it may be because you're dealing with what's immediate, and not what's important. All your energy is going into being reactive and not proactive or intentional. You aren't assessing to see if you've gotten off track and how you need to shift your priorities to meet your goals.

You Program Your Autopilot

Habits are a form of autopilot. By repeatedly performing a certain action or thinking a particular thought, it develops into an unconscious routine. It operates below your conscious awareness to fulfill its original purpose. Habits are valuable and useful, until they're not. If you don't notice when they're no longer helpful, they will take your life into a vast wasteland.

You can't live your entire life being aware of every single thought and action. It would use up too much mental and physical energy. That's what your subconscious mind is for. You program it with your thoughts, beliefs, and what's most important to you. And your subconscious works like an autopilot. It helps keep you on the course that you've set by using habits.

Your conscious mind, which is rational, decides on your destination and actions. When it performs its job, it makes decisions that keep you on course. It also makes sure you stay aware of changing conditions in the environment and events. If it notices you're getting off track, it makes adjustments. The key is that it has to periodically check in to assess if you're going in the right direction.

How to Determine If You're on Autopilot

Life gives you signals that you're living on autopilot. You could be dealing with some of these issues:
  • What you're doing isn't taking you where you want to go.
  • Your habits or beliefs are in direct opposition to your goals.
  • You're following someone else's dream or instruction, and it's making you miserable.
  • You say "Yes" to things when you really want to say, "No."
  • You can't remember anything that you've accomplished at the end of the day.
  • Your relationships chronically fall apart.
  • You know you're sabotaging yourself and can feel it in your gut.
If you've experienced any of these, it's time to take a step back, consider the situation and change course. You'll have to make different decisions than the ones you've made and follow through on them. This means you'll have to pay attention to what you're doing so you can change the bad habits that have developed and make new ones.

An autopilot is a tool to help a pilot. But you can't just set it and forget it, any more than you can your subconscious. To stay on course, you need to monitor it and periodically make course corrections. That's when the conscious mind comes into play. It sets your subconscious autopilot so it can take care of more important things. But every so often, your conscious mind needs to check in and see if you're on track. It's better to find out that you're off course sooner than later, because it's easier to change.

Copyright © 2009-2018 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to gain clarity, focus, and get back in control so they're able to accelerate to the next level of their business. Sign up for her FREE guide, "Take Control of Your Day," at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/guide-takecontrol.html.You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.



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Email:  LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com

Linda-Ann Stewart
P.O. Box 1080
Cottonwood, AZ 86326
(928) 600-0452

Copyright © 2009-2018 Linda Ann Stewart
Owned by Heartvision Consulting, LLC
All Rights Reserved