We live in a paradox: change is what allows us to grow and advance, but at the same time the familiar is what gives us security. Caught between two worlds, we know that we need to make a change, but at the same time we resist taking the necessary steps, sinking into a kind of “labyrinth of passivity.”
When we realize that we are in the middle of that labyrinth, we feel trapped. We know we need to get out of there. We don’t feel particularly comfortable in that lockdown situation. Despite this, we can just wander for a long time without doing anything really meaningful to find the way out. We want something to change, but without making the necessary changes. We want to get out of that place, but instead of moving forward, we fall into the arms of inertia. What happens?
In search of the non-existent magic recipe
When we know that we must change, but at the same time we develop resistance to change, we fall into a vicious cycle. We can devour hundreds of psychological articles and self-help books or consume inspiring stories on social networks, but without daring to take the necessary steps.
When we fall victim to that ambivalence, we run the risk of overpreparing. It is likely that we join in a process of searching for a magic recipe to change without having to try too hard, without having to sacrifice anything, without having to give up important things…
Obviously, preparation is essential, especially when we must make an important life change. But we must ensure that this phase of analysis is followed by a stage of decision and action. Otherwise, it will only be an excuse to stay in our comfort zone.
Caught in the daily routine
Many people who are aware that they need to change, but are left spinning in the labyrinth of passivity and inertia, share a problem: they feel trapped in a torrent of tasks, obligations and unforeseen events that drag them down and leave them no time for doing nothing.
They also feel permanently stressed or overwhelmed, so their performance plummets and this forces them to allocate even more time and effort to tasks that, not only are not significant for their life plan, but also take them away from achieving them.
They may even feel trapped in the life they have built. They try hard, but get nowhere. And, in fact, they are not moving forward. They say they want to change, but in reality they circle around in a labyrinth of insignificant activities in which one leads to the next, indefinitely, so that they absorb all their time and energy.
The fear of the unknown
Finding your way out of the maze can be as exciting as it is scary. After all, if we have spent many years in a space, we will know practically every nook and cranny. They may not all be pleasant, but at least they are familiar to us. We know what we’re going to find around the corner, and that’s often enough to make us feel safe.
The exit from the labyrinth is a space open to the unknown. And uncertainty can generate a lot of fear. If we don’t know what we are going to find when we cross its threshold, fear can paralyze us, causing us to invent excuses to stay within the limits of what we know, even if we don’t feel completely comfortable.
That is usually the hidden reason that keeps us going around in the labyrinth of passivity, causing us to fill our days with obligations that do not contribute anything to us or occupying our time looking for tools for change that we do not apply. However, we must be aware that, in the long term, this inertia will only lead us to a state of dissatisfaction and frustration.
It is not enough to want to change, you have to act
Reflecting on what happens to us allows us to better understand where we are on the path. Reading about how we can get out of that labyrinth allows us to make plans. All of that helps, but it will be of no use if we don’t get to work.
As Rita Mae Brown said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” There is a time to think and a time to act. There is a time when we must stop dwelling on things and simply dare to take the first step. That step will not take us to the place where we want to be, but at least it will allow us to start moving.
All change requires decisions, effort and sometimes also resignation and sacrifice. But above all, it requires the courage to get moving.