Over the holidays I upgraded my MacBook to the latest OS. We also just purchased several new computers for our company because our trusty old Macs were so old that they couldn’t install the new OS. Part of upgrading to a new OS is to review and adjust the default settings. I was surprised to discover how many defaults had been set years ago and have never been questioned or updated since. They influence what I see and how I experience the world, automatically without me knowing it.
This year, instead of making new year’s resolutions that I will probably abandon by Valentine’s day, I am examining some of my own default settings. I’ve already discovered three default settings that are holding me back from greater happiness, purpose, fulfillment, relationships, and success. I’ll share the first one in this post, the other two in successive posts.
I’m the only one VS. I’m not alone
Do your kids get bored over the holidays? Once the excitement is over but school hasn’t started back up, there’s that gap where we are ready for the routine again. This week my youngest daughter was complaining about having nothing to do. We encouraged her to reach out to her friends who were also on Christmas break. Her default response was, “They all have stuff going on.” I encouraged her to test that assumption, and I realized that I tend to do the same thing.
I tend to think I’m the only one experiencing it. No matter what it is, my default is to believe that nobody’s been through it, nobody would understand, nobody gets it, nobody can help. Without awareness, here’s how it affects my life:
- I don’t share how I’m feeling
- I don’t ask for help
- I get arrogant, thinking I’m the only one who understands it or can solve it
- I get less creative
- I make negative assumptions about other people’s capabilities and intentions
- I put too much pressure on myself
- I feel more alone, more anxious, more stressed
My new year’s decision is to re-set my default to “I’m not alone.” How will I act differently if I automatically assumed I’m not alone.
- I’ll seek out people who care about me
- I’ll share how I’m feeling
- I’ll ask for help
- I’ll get curious instead of make assumptions
How could this change my life for the better?
- I’d receive empathy and support
- I’d get help
- I’d feel more connected and less stressed
- I’d learn something new
- I’d find better solutions
What defaults have you been living with that could be reset for a better new year?