When I was in high school I was tall and extremely uncoordinated. Adults who didn’t know me well would ask if I played basketball and encourage me to start when they found out I didn’t. After all, I was tall. I would tell them that I wasn’t very coordinated, so the basketball team probably wouldn’t want me and try to leave the conversation very quickly.
“I’m very uncoordinated” was a message that quite frequently played itself in my head. Run my book bag into something or someone: “Sorry, I’m just uncoordinated.” Drop something: “Oops, uncoordinated!”
At some point I stopped saying this to myself and others on a regular basis, but if it came up I would still have completely agreed with it. The funny thing is, at some point over the last several years something odd started to happen. When I would drop something, or knock something over I was sometimes able to catch it. While I no longer carry a book bag, I generally have a large purse with me and I don’t run it into people. And I can (usually) stand on one foot and put a sock on the other without falling over. All of that and I was still wasn’t coordinated!
Well, that’s what I told myself. I’ve recently realized that despite what I’ve been telling myself – I am coordinated. I’m not exactly sure when it changed, but I do know that I’ve unintentionally been working on it for a while. How? Well, I’m in better physical shape than I was in high school and much more aware of my surroundings.
When I realized that saying “I’m uncoordinated” was no longer true, I wondered what other facts about me are no longer (if they ever were) true. I’ve found a couple and am keeping my eye out for more.
I also realized that if I had wanted to I could have become more coordinated while in high school with a little bit of work (regardless of my lack of interest in joining the basketball team). So, what facts about me do I want to change now? I’m working on creating that list.
So, what facts about you are no longer true? And what facts do you want to change?
Yesterday I planned today almost completely out. I had a schedule that would take me from when I got up at 6:30 to 6:30pm. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish today and I wanted to make sure I got everything done. Sounds good right?
I went to bed last night with a headache and figured that by the time morning came around it would be gone. Well, I was very wrong. I woke up this morning with a horrible headache. I thought about getting up and starting my morning as planned, but the though literally left me feeling a little sick to my stomach.
I took something for my headache and figured I had two choices: 1) Get up and go about my morning while I waited for the medicine to kick in or 2) go back to bed and let the medicine and sleep do their things. I opted for number 2.
I actually had more than two choices, because the internal dialog we have with ourselves is also a choice. After I picked option 2 my internal dialog started in with “oohh, now I’m not going to get everything I wanted to done! I really have to get those things done today!” I quickly realized that beating myself up over this was not productive. So, I changed my dialog to “It’s more important to take care of myself and recognize when my body needs rest. I’ll get a lot accomplished when I feel better.”
I call the original dialog my “default setting”. A “default setting” is the way you automatically react to something, kind of like settings on your computer or phone. Default settings can be changed, but some are harder to change than others.
I’m working on changing my default settings in situations like this morning. I tend to beat myself up when I can’t meet the high expectations I have for myself. Instead I want to be more loving and caring with myself (I wouldn’t treat a friend that way, why should I treat myself that way!).
The first step to changing your default settings is to recognize when you have one you want to change and then replace it with a new message.
What default settings do you have that you want to change? Tell me about them in the comments!