Everyone has heard the phrase: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” However, for some reason, we remain trapped in the same cycles for months, years, even decades. We stay in bad relationships, engage in bad habits, maintain bad friendships, and work in bad environments.
We cling onto the hope that things will magically get better at some undeterminable point in the future. We tell ourselves it won’t always be like this while doing absolutely nothing to change what’s wrong. Sometimes, we don’t even sit with our thoughts long enough to determine what exactly is wrong.
We know we’re unsatisfied. We know we’re itching for more. We know we don’t want to keep living life like this. But we can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that’s been bothering us because we’re constantly distracting ourselves with work or television or mindless scrolling through social media in the hopes of a few minutes spared from pain.
Besides, those feelings are uncomfortable. Why would we want to dwell in them? Why would we want to examine them? We want to push them deep down our chest, completely ignoring them until they come exploding out of us in anger when we accidentally spill water on ourselves or have trouble connecting to the internet.
Sometimes, all you need to do is keep chugging along in order to make it through a rough time in your life. All you need to do is keep going and going because there’s an endpoint in sight. But most of the time, you need to play an active role in the change. Most of the time, you need to do more than gripe about how unhappy you are. You need to take action. You need to figure out what steps you can take to make your life better. You need to figure out whether you’re really up for a change or whether you would rather continue this cycle for the foreseeable future.
If you want to grow, you need to commit to change. You need to take risks. You need to say goodbye to the life you’re currently living — which is scary. Even if you’re unhappy, you’re probably comfortable in one way or another. You know what each day will hold. You know what to expect. You know what is going to stress you out and how you’re going to respond. Even the most uncomfortable pieces of your current existence are predictable — and unpredictability is scary.
Even though making a change could lead to a much happier life, there are no guarantees. You could end up just as unhappy. You could end up struggling more than you think. You could realize the risk was all a huge mistake.
Unfortunately, you’re never going to rid yourself of those doubts. There are no promises a change is going to fix whatever is wrong with your current life. But you need to ask yourself, are you happy now? Are you content to keep living like this? Even if the change is hard, won’t it be worth it?
Things will get better — but not on their own. You need to put in the effort. You need to make the choice to actively change, or years down the line, everything is going to look exactly the same.