You have them. Your friends have them. Your loved ones have them. Hell, even your computer has them.
Well, your computer comes with a set of skills, settings and nerdy stuff that makes it suitable for a large audience. Then you buy it and you personalise it by adding a screensaver, a preferred style of this or that and maybe some more nerdy stuff – if you are a nerd that is.
And when your computer is upset or even breaks down, nothing goes right? Nothing except going back to the default settings.
(To all you nerds out there: I am not a nerd okay? So maybe computer default settings are totally not about that. I don’t care. I need to use them in this way to come to the point. Okay? <- = my default reaction to nerdy people…)
Sooo…if you have gotten this far, I am pretty sure you are not a nerd 🙂
Anyway, when my computer at work gets upset to a point of no return, the IT guy comes over and says ‘I need to re-install the program’. Which always makes me roll my eyes, because that means that all my nice little nifty settings will be gone with the wind and I have to spend 1 hour and 34 minutes to try and recover them all. Because MY settings are not default, see? They are special. And the IT person does not provide ‘special’.
But I am drifting away from the point I was trying to make.
Just like computers, we have a tendency to get upset, triggered or even break down. And just like the computer, we (need to) revert to our default settings (and we don’t even need and IT guy for it! Hah!).
What I mean by that is that we all have our personality, our character traits and ways of doing, acting and reacting in this world.
When some of our buttons get pushed, our brains are scanned for a reaction. Like wires in your home’s electrical system, nerve cells make connections with one another in circuits called neural pathways. And these become ‘hard-wired’ or ‘thicker’ the more they are used. A footpath is a road not often taken. A highway is likely to be a default setting.
Get the picture?
Default settings are ‘wired’ into us by genetics but also by our upbringing, education, experiences etc.
Examples of default settings:
Thought patterns, beliefs, thoughts, feelings, overwhelm, complaining, reaching for food when confronted with a difficult situation, surfing the web instead of working,…
It’s where you go when
- you are unconscious,
- you are reacting,
- you have lost present moment awareness
- you are scared
- you are triggered
I have a default setting that I call ‘overwhelm alert’. It happens about once a day…
I attend or run a training, I meet people, I get an idea for a new blog post, I am excited about an upcoming retreat… and then it starts beeping…beep beep beep. Overwhelm alert.
Because my head starts spinning with all sorts of ideas, things that can be done or need to be included, people I need to tell about it, research I need to do, things I need to tell people…
Within minutes, the TO DO list for one simple thing has grown ominously and I feel overwhelmed.
I then have a choice of two things:
- Let overwhelm take over and scatter my actions all over the place, surf the web for hours (which is just procrastinating) and not really do anything useful to get closer to my goal.
- Stop. Breathe. Center myself. Look at my intention. Focus my energy. Empty my brain on a sheet of paper. Start with the very next step.
Who do I think I am?
I have another default setting that I call ‘Who do I think I am’. It happens about once a day as well 🙂
I attend or run a training, I meet people, I get an idea for a new project… and then I stop. And I think ‘Who do I think I am?’ I am no coach, I cannot run a training, I cannot do a Ted talk…
And before I know it, I am this little nobody that wants to hide in bed and eat chocolate.
I then have a choice of two things:
- Let insecurity take over and do nothing (but sit on my bed and eat chocolate).
- Stop. Breathe. Center myself. Look at my intention. Focus my energy. Call my coach. Get some thumbs up. And then just continue with what I was doing.
I know I have these settings. I often react with solution 1 🙂 But the more I am aware of them the better I can stear towards solution 2.
And that is really the secret to default settings: AWARENESS.
Like with a complaining habit: you can’t change or steer what you don’t know.
So, get to know your default settings. Notice them. Accept them. Sit with them.
First, you will notice the dirt come up. And after a while, you get to stop, breathe, center yourself, look at your intention, focus your energy and choose your favorite setting with the pink flowers and the radiant smile!