Default settings

28 Jul

The other day I was chatting with my husband when he told me a particular thing had happened, I said that I knew,  I had gotten an email. He said he never gets an email, to which I replied he should check his settings.  

Then I looked at him and said, I gotta blog about that. Because that does seem to be so often what the problem is, we gotta check our settings, and I’m not talking about technology anymore.  
You, me, the kid down the street, we’ve all got default settings. I was recently reading some research about the development of the brain and the feelings about the world that we recieve long before we are able to cognitively remember things. The situations and environment teach us that the world is to be trusted and safe, that it’s lonely and cold, or a constant fight for your life. I will post the article when I find it again. But this was not the first time I’d heard this and it makes a lot of sense to me and the people around me.  So as babies our brains learn to be open, fearful, etc.

Then we learn more default settings as we grow up in a family system and learn our ‘place’ the leader, peacemaker, hero, clown, or screwup. These are great ways to cope with and survive our life, but they don’t always serve us when we move beyond the family.  

So what’s a person to do? Surely that isn’t the final answer? No, I say, it certainly is not.  

But first we must reconize what that default setting is. Is it to immediately say no to every request or idea that comes your way, worried of a challenge to the status quo (and your safety)? Do you always assume the best (or worst) and stick with it even in the face of overwhelming evidence otherwise? Do you say you’re to dumb, not good at, unskilled, uncoordinated, when you haven’t given yourself a chance to succeed since someone told you that you couldn’t years ago? Maybe you hear yourself in these examples, maybe it’s something else.  

Here’s the thing about default settings: YOU CAN CHANGE THEM! Yes I’m shouting! It’s a big deal.

And no, it probably doesn’t happen overnight, though the conscious decision to change does. Some things may take years of awareness and help from trusted friends, some you may be able to do a personal butt kicking and get on with it.  

Let’s take the example of being uncoordinated. I heard someone telling a story recently about how she is learning to drum. She said first she had to learn the difference between the up beat and the downbeat before anyone would let her play with them. Now she’s starting to feel the connection between all the musicians and her place in it all. But she had to be willing, to learn something, to make mistakes, to keep trying. And before all that she had to be open to the possibility that she could be something other than uncoordinated.    

I have heard so many times arguments to keep a limitation. But I say, is it really true??? It may feel true, you (and possibly other people) have been saying it’s true. But is it really really true? How do you know, have you tested it recently?  

Can you retrain yourself to ask more questions instead of saying no? Can you trust yourself and your senses and do what’s best when information changes? Can you say that you are smart and have unlimited potential to acomplish what you desire?  

I think you gotta change your settings.


One Response to “Default settings”

  1. terryfae July 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Nice – thank you.

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