Routines that suffocate, fears that imprison

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Robert Maurer
@robertmaurer
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Routines that suffocate, fears that imprison

Last update: May 17, 2016

Routines protect us to such an extent that, at times, they can turn into real prisons. We set them so that we don't have to make hundreds of decisions every day, choices we would have to face if we couldn't rely on a set of fixed habits. But routines also take root in our way of doing things: they become a pattern of thoughts and feelings that do not change.



The price of the routine can be very high. Yes, they are necessary: ​​they are a practical way of managing everyday life. But at the same time, imperceptibly, they can be transformed into a lifestyle in which we take refuge, fearful of any change.

 "It is not the violent evils that mark us, but the deaf, persistent, tolerable evils that are part of our daily routine and undermine us with the same conscientiousness with which time undermines us."

-Emil Cioran-

It is normal to meet people who are completely absorbed in their routine, even if without ever admitting it. They sigh, take their heads in their hands and say they are bored because their life is always the same. Yet they feel they don't even have the strength to say "enough".

A good dose of courage therefore becomes necessary to defeat the dictates of routine. Furthermore, strong motivation and sufficient self-confidence are essential to break the mold, entering unknown paths.

The deafening effect of routines

The worst part of establishing and maintaining a routine is that, without intending it, you lose sensitivity. We don't stop feeling, we simply end up rigidly classifying our feelings. One begins to feel that anything unfamiliar is dangerous. New, different things almost become a threat.



The routine becomes a supporting structure composed of many pieces, of which the rhythm of our typical day is a part, as well as the very conception we have of the world. We end up believing that we can only feel, think and act in one way. By now we know the whole reality and no more questions are needed.

Routine weakens curiosity, reduces the ability to be surprised. But above all it makes us deaf and blind to our potential. We end up convincing ourselves that we are acting to the best of our abilities, that we could not behave or live differently.

As a result, we enter a certain state of dozing. Routine leads us to live according to order, with no room for evolution or happiness. And what's worse, we begin to consider routine as a goal achieved, fearing anything that might alter it.

The fear of change: opposing changes

Living life with passion is a real gift that many cannot, or do not want, make their own. It means feeling a genuine interest in your work, a genuine love for the people you relate to, real enthusiasm for plans for the future and for everything to come.

Why, then, so many people stand still and watch life go by, intent on "killing time" rather than living intensely? The answer can only be one: it is fear is the culprit of imprisoning people in routines that act as armor, preventing them from facing the new, the unknown, what implies a challenge.


Change is this: a challenge. Against conventionality, habits, the sense of security that comes from always doing the same things without having to try too hard to think. Even when the routine is made up of unpleasant situations, many tolerate it because they are overwhelmed by a fear of change that would force them to leave their comfort zone, to have to sharpen their skills in order to face unknown situations.


How to overcome the fear of abandoning the routines?

Everyone should do what they love in the way they prefer, with who they want and where they want. Nobody should resign themselves to work or live in opposition to their wishes only for fear of change.


Of course, you can't screw everything up overnight. The truth is that it would be possible, but most of us need a much longer and quieter time to do it. In reality, it is not always convenient to cut all the bridges: it would be enough to carve out some space for yourself. Where to start? What to do to get out of a routine that imprisons?

  • Take some time for yourself. However demanding or important your job is, it must never surpass yourself on a scale of importance. Part of your time must be devoted to your care, fragments of life to devote exclusively to what you love to do: sleep, eat, dance, whatever. The important thing is to be aware that you are acting exactly according to your wishes.
  • Play. The game should never go away. When it is intended as fun, it is a moment of freedom par excellence. In the game we re-create ourselves, we discover new meanings for ourselves. Play cards, play basketball, play whatever, but play. Warning: don't just watch others play. You have to be the players.
  • Do not lose contact with nature. Nature has an extremely positive effect on emotions and thoughts; for this reason it is important to stay in touch with the green of the plants and with the bizarre ways of interacting typical of animals. Nature helps us to connect with ourselves and this, in turn, allows us to recognize the changes to be implemented.
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