Sometimes, without realizing it, we end up getting used to situations that make us unhappy. We adapt to everyday routines and we are satisfied with relationships that do not make us happy simply because we limit ourselves to move on, driven by habits that determine the pace of our lives.
In practice, it is as if life is running so fast that it does not leave us time to stop, think and realize that we are not going in the right direction, or at least for a path that will allow us to be happier. So we continue working with the autopilot inserted, we forget to live and we just survive how we can.
The search for security is a double-edged sword
When we were young children, our parents made a double knot at the ankle of our shoes so we would not melt and fall. They closed our coat well for us not to get cold. These cures made us feel a bit of pressure, but we accepted them because gave us also a sense of security and protection.
This mechanism does not disappear as we grow up: we endure some pressure because it makes us feel safe. Although we are not always aware of it, in many cases we prefer security to happiness. That is why many people spend their entire lives dreaming about something but they never decide to take the big step, because that would mean giving up the gained security.
The problem arises when that security does not make us happier, but turns us into bitter and frustrated people, always looking toward a future we do not dare to turn into reality. The problem is that we have created such close links that prevent us from breathing.
Adaptation guarantees survival, not happiness
Our ability to adapt is enormous, but the problem is that adaptation is synonymous with survival, not happiness. This means that we can adapt to situations that do not make us happy just because the survival instinct prevails, which is very powerful.
This is one of the reasons why people spend most of their lives doing a job they do not like or keep relationships that do not satisfy them emotionally anymore with people with whom they have nothing in common beyond the habits built up in the course of the years.
We adapt to situations that make us unhappy because they usually settle down gradually. Without realizing it, we submit to a mechanism of systematic desensitization. It often happens with violence: first comes the verbal humiliation, then a shot and eventually violence becomes the daily bread.
However, desensitisation is not limited to violence but extends to all spheres of life. And when the situation is very painful, or causes cognitive dissonance, we put in practice various defense mechanisms that protect us. In moving, for example, we redirect emotions or feelings on a person or object that can’t respond because in this way we can continue to maintain a relationship with the person who really generated that feeling. Obviously, living in this way involves condemning ourselves to unhappiness, it’s like living with the eyes closed, denying the possibility of having something better.
To be happy you have to make decisions
There is a moment for adaptation and a moment for change. There are times when we have to rest in our comfort zone and others where we need to get out. The key is finding the balance and knowing when it’s time to change.
Happiness does not come alone, decisions need to be made. You have to be aware that to go ahead you will have to leave something behind you. If you try to bring everything with you, the weight will not let you go on. There will be a moment in your life where you will not need a double knot on your shoes, but you can dare to walk barefoot. If you really want to. At that point you will have to ask yourself: How much security am I willing to give up to pursue my dreams?