What does autopilot

On autopilot: How to live more consciously again

Day in, day out, we have many obligations that we fulfill. We go to work, do our chores, run the house, run errands and take care of other everyday things. We run into it Autopilot and usually no longer consciously think about our actions. Things take care of themselves on autopilot. Like so many things, this has its good and bad sides. Because life cannot be planned and foreseen in all areas. Needs, expectations and goals fall by the wayside in the autopilot. However, if these are no longer perceived or consciously negated, problems arise. Why it is better to turn off the autopilot from time to time and how you can do it ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Definition: what is the autopilot in life?

The term autopilot is mainly known for aircraft. If the autopilot is switched on, the aircraft virtually flies to the specified destination on its own. The human pilot does not have to intervene during this time, but primarily takes on a controlling and corrective function.

The word autopilot is composed of the same pilot and the French term automat. This describes something that moves on its own. An autopilot is therefore something that without any active personal involvement how it is controlled by itself and executes certain processes.

The term autopilot is mainly associated with the aviation industry, but is used in many areas. For example in space travel, seafaring and wherever it is a matter of To relieve peopleby automatically controlling vehicles.

In the examples above, the autopilot is a machine control system. A comparable control system we have often built into ourselves, even though it is not about electronics, but about certain behaviors.

This means all the things that happen automatically in everyday life. You don't have to worry about countless decisions and behaviors, you act completely unconsciously. There are routines and automatisms that run automatically and are repeated over and over again.

Benefit: The meaning and functionality of our autopilot

That people switch to autopilot and certain things, so to speak do it without thinkingis nothing unusual. We are in this mode wherever a certain routine has started:

  • We have the same morning routine, so get up, shower and get dressed, have breakfast, go.
  • We drive the same route to work every day.
  • The work steps are often the same: We read and answer the emails, have customer appointments, in between phone calls, meetings and the like.

This is the autopilot not bad per se: Like a navigation device, it guides us through the activities that have to be done every day. He offers…

  • Work relief, because you don't always have to familiarize yourself with new topics,
  • Efficiency, since standardized work steps, patterns of action and behavior along with defined processes form the basis of successful companies and not least
  • security, because we know what to expect and thus things can be planned.

Without such an autopilot, there would be a lack of energy and time in many situations. We cannot think about every single step and make conscious decisions, but have to rely on our inner autopilot working and taking over tasks.

The autopilot also helps in difficult and critical phases - for example in an important exam situation or in the final phase of a project. Then the body starts the primeval survival program and the adrenaline rush means that all forces are mobilized one last time.

However, this does not work permanently and should be reserved for exceptional situations. After all, humans are not machines and should not run on autopilot around the clock.

This is why you should turn off the autopilot

Even without stress, a constant autopilot is unfavorable. We live in a time in which we are subject to constant and very rapid change. That requires a certain Flexibility of people. However, not all of them manage to adapt to the various changes.

This is partly due to the autopilot: because it makes the daily routine easier, but at the same time ensures that changes are overlooked. Instead of reacting to it, carry on as before.

Possibly with unpleasant consequences: You may not notice that the requirements and expectations in the job are changing. Your boss and customers will be dissatisfied and instead of remaining successful, the autopilot has you straight into one professional impasse brought. Something similar threatens relationships if you only run on autopilot and no longer give your partner the attention that he wants.

The autopilot also becomes problematic if you ignore your own needs. Those who always work quickly exceed their own limits. The autopilot lacks the necessary breaks to recharge your batteries.

The negative sides of the autopilot can also be seen in entrenched mindsets. Firmly anchored views and behavior that are never critically questioned or changed. This can lead you to cling to incorrect information or to behave incorrectly over and over again in certain situations.

It is therefore important to switch the autopilot off and readjust it from time to time. That enables a more conscious life instead of just functioning.

Tips: This is how you can turn off your autopilot

The inner autopilot must not specifically switched on but takes over the command automatically in different situations. On the one hand this is useful, of course, but it also makes it much more difficult to switch off your own autopilot every now and then.

In order to move from the autopilot to more mindfulness, you need self-reflection. In this way we can become aware of ourselves and of other people. The regular reflection helps to understand, question and, if necessary, change one's own behavior.

Before turning off the autopilot, you must recognize how this was programmed. The decisive factors are your individual personality, your personal experience and also the environment in which you find yourself. All of these factors shape one's own behavior and specify values, norms and behaviors that the autopilot is based on.

Also means: by knowing and influencing these adjusting screws, you can recognize and change automatic thought and behavior patterns. But that is precisely what is easier said than done. The autopilot is a help and a habit that is difficult to get rid of. Still there is some tips and ways, with which it can work:

  • Ask yourself difficult questions

    I'm happy? or How is my self-perception compared to the perception of others? Dealing seriously and honestly with difficult questions like this is a good way to turn the autopilot off for a period of time. You force yourself to consciously confront important issues and decisions.

    Here you cannot fall back on automatisms or ready-made ways of thinking, but really have to ask yourself the questions. A difficult step because we may not even want to hear the answers.

  • Break the routine

    Probably the most important tip for switching off the autopilot and consciously taking control: break into the same routine and just do things differently.

    At first this feels strange, especially when it comes to processes that have been running automatically for a long time. But this helps to decide without autopilot and possibly to establish completely new and better habits.

  • Question your behavior

    When was the last time you asked yourself: Why am I acting exactly like that? or Why do I think of a subject this way? Too often the answer to that is: Because I've always done it this way ... Not a good foundation and a clear sign that you've been on autopilot for too long in this area.

    Take one behavior and an established way of thinking in front of you and question them critically. You don't have to do everything badly and change it at any cost. Patterns of behavior can turn out to be sensible and well thought out - it is crucial that you are aware of this.

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