How to identify what brings out your default
I recently read a meme that said “being mature is knowing you have toxic traits.” It’s not always everyone else that is to blame for your misfortune. Most of the time, it’s actually no one else to blame. I’ve said several times that you cannot change people, you can only change your reaction to them and the things they do. I was reminded by a coworker and a friend of this very thing.
It is very hard to change habits. My goals are to recovery financially, spiritually, and physically from the mistakes I’ve made, but my default wants to spend money, sleep when I should be engaged in my relationship with God, eat whatever I want, and not workout. These things make my default feel good, comfortable.
But guess what happens when future recovered me looks at our progress? She’s disgusted. We let default win and got no closer to our goals. We haven’t learned the lesson God is teaching us in this season in order to move forward. That’s the worse part. No progress is deafening.
Distractions are sneaky little things that cause you to default back to your norm. That take your eye off the prize. They are triggers that allow you to lose focus and stall your growth. Notice how not once did I mention the other person(s) involved? IT’S. NOT. ABOUT. THEM.
Don’t feel too bad. We all have been victims of our triggers. However, it’s time to recovery.
Identify your triggers
I’ll go first. I hate when people talk to me like I’m a child. I hate when people repeat things an unnecessary amount of times. I hate traffic. I hate when I can no longer fit clothes that I love. I hate when I can’t put words together that form the thought in my head. I hate when I feel disconnected from God. I hate when people ask me what’s wrong when they are the problem. That’s probably enough for now. I’m sure I’ll think of more things.
Triggers are any event or situation that causes a negative reaction from you. Identify the things that make your skin hot. The things that make your roll your eyes are groan in annoyance. The things that cause you to shut down. These are triggers.
Identify the root cause
I’ll be honest here, only with you guys, that the above triggers all have an underlying root cause. I don’t like unnecessary repetition because I don’t like when people think I’m stupid. I wish to work for myself and make my own hours, so I hate traffic. I hate when I can’t fit clothes because that means I haven’t taken my health seriously. I hate writer’s block because it makes me second guess my gift. I hate feeling disconnected from God because that means I’ve let worldly things clog our connection.
My triggers are things I cannot control, but each one of their root causes is my personal issue. All things I have control over it. All things that God gave me dominion over. So who’s fault is it that my negative attitude has been triggered? Default me.
Create a contingency plan
Now, since I’m always honest with you guys…default me does not handle these triggers well. Default me loves to throw a fit. She loves to yell and snap in traffic. She loves to pout, roll her eyes, shut down, and ignore common sense. Default me is definitely a brat and those closest to me will probably have an awesome time agreeing with me right now. That’s cool…go ahead, friends….
But default me can’t go where future recovered me goes. I’ve tried to take her with me several times. She’s a security blanket, really. But not really, really. There will be a time, if I don’t divorce her soon, that she will ruin certain things for future recovered me. Then she won’t be a security blanket anymore…she’ll be a liability.
Habits are hard to break, but we have to challenge ourselves to get to the things we really want. I’ve started listening to podcasts and motivational messages during rush hour, to keep my mind focus on my goals instead of thinking about how much I don’t want to go to corporate America. This also helps me stay focused with working on my brand and the goals I have for it, to eventually get out of corporate America.
When I’m triggered by others, I have to remember to not take it personally. There issue isn’t really with me, even if we both think it is. Maybe there’s a misunderstanding that I can clear up, maybe I’m supposed to pray for this person, who knows? However, defaulting to an attitude and an argument isn’t helping anything get resolved. I cannot be mad at no progress when I haven’t done anything to progress. It’s just that simple. We have to be obsessed with growth. Down to looking at a small piece of candy and thinking, “Is this going to help me reach my goals?”
Put it down!
Now, I may have this new found motivation and discipline to push for my goals, but default me is strong. Default me has been around long enough to know when to jump on any weakness in my new plan. It’s true, we are not perfect. Slip ups may happen. Don’t beat yourself up. Just go look at your vision board or motivational quotes, remind yourself of why you are deciding to be better and keep pushing. Don’t dwell on this mistake, because you’ll end up staying there in the name of self-destruction. We don’t have time for that anymore.
Triggers will always be there. We have to learn how to leave the loaded gun alone and not shoot up the place. Protect yourself. Protect your dream.
Happy recovering, friends.