Stuck In 'Default Mode'
Many of us get stuck in a way of looking at life's circumstances. Even though it's not really helping us, we find it really difficult to get out of it. In fact, we tend to use certain ‘stuck' emotions as a kind of a default, almost like an excuse.
Here's an example. Some of us get nervous so often that almost any new circumstance or environment will trigger a nervous response.
Confusion is another really common stuck place in the world of ADHD. I used this one, myself, for most of my life. I'd ask a ton of questions, make sure I got instructions just right. I allowed myself to get lost in the swirl of “I don't understand” so that I could turn to someone else to figure it out for me.
Now, everyone gets nervous sometimes, and we all get confused. But when that becomes our typical way of responding – whether it's anxious, confused, angry, silly, etc. – and it's not working for us, then we're stuck in a point of view.
You have to recognize that you're stuck in the first place. Pay attention and notice what your “default emotion” tends to be. Or, whenever something new comes up in your life, what emotion usually gets triggered? Get to know your stuck place really well. Usually, once you see it clearly, you won't want to stay there very long any more!
Next, start thinking of how you would RATHER approach life. How does your best friend handle things? What about your spiritual leader? Your dog? Your spouse?
The amazing thing about getting unstuck is that we can actually choose to look at things differently. Since we got ourselves stuck in the first place (even though we didn't do it on purpose), we have the power to change it.
Change Your View, Change Your Outcome
So choose another point of view, and get to know it really well. Practice it. Then, when you notice yourself returning to your default – and you will – don't judge yourself. Shift yourself back to the new point of view, and start again.
Here's a story to show how you can use this to help your kids:
- School is starting. My god-daughter wrote me that she is nervous. SOOoooo nervous. That's her default. So I asked her what ELSE she is feeling about starting High School. Well, she is excited, and curious, and eager… you get the point. So I challenged her to choose another place to focus her attention. The nervousness is still there, but when she can also remember to get excited, or be curious, she'll have a much smoother transition to High School.
How you approach any situation in your life influences the outcome. When you start to get unstuck – when you choose how you want to look at life – your outcomes will improve!