A friend and I were talking about growth and change recently. I was recalling the discomfort of the limbo state I was in before deciding to move to California. It was a difficult time for me. The pull to move forward clashed with the fear of the unknown. When I got overwhelmed I often I shifted into default mode, relying on the old tried and true to slide along.
Default is defined as the failure to act, inaction, or neglect.
There’s no shortage of clichés to lean into when you want to operate in default mode:
The devil you know is better than the one you don’t.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Go along to get along.
All of these sayings allude to the uncertainty of change. When you avoid making that decision – you know the one you’ve been flirting with for oh so long- yeah that one; or putting off until next week, next month, next year taking the time to really look at the cause of your discontent; or ignoring that idea that keeps popping into your head begging for attention, these are all ways of living by default.
Somehow we convince ourselves to play small; that what we have is ‘good enough’, it’s too hard, or it’s selfish to reach for the best version of who we are.
I remember at one point questioning my decision to leave my marriage because he had a good heart, he didn’t hit me, and he didn’t cheat. That was actually a really big wake up wake up call for me, my expectations of life had shrunk so small that my needs and desires weren’t even anywhere in the equation.
As humans we are wired for connection, growth, and expansion. The way in which we go about doing that is highly individual. The story we tell ourselves through our beliefs, self talk, and expectation of what we ‘should’ do shapes how we experience life.
Choosing where you want to go, how you want to feel, and what you want to experience is a critical step in actually getting there. If you don’t claim what you’re wanting it’s easy to slip into living by default. The illusion with this is that you’re in control when in reality the outside world and outdated beliefs are in the drivers seat. My bet is that that is not the way you intended to live your life.
If you got into your car and just started driving until you ran out of gas on some random road in the middle of no where would you wonder how you got there? Choosing a destination and getting a map is a much more efficient way of getting where you want to go.
We all have times when where we are going is as clear as mud. It is actually at that point when everything is at it’s murkiest that it’s most important to focus on how you want to feel. Then do things to support feeling that way.
It’s the small shifts that build a strong foundation to support the bigger changes.
If you want to feel more peaceful try skipping the evening news and opting for some soothing music or inspirational reading.
If you’re yearning for deeper purpose maybe it’s time to look at your values and strengths to begin weaving them into everyday life.
If you want to feel happier do one small thing that brings a smile to your face.
Today is the perfect day to start.
What is one small thing you can do to shift out of default?
Share your one small thing below