by Anne Day
Default. Delete. Return.
Why is that certain situations trigger the same response, regardless of whether the circumstances are totally different?
It’s almost as if our brains are in default mode, and we are suspicious of other people’s motives or actions. Our automatic response kicks in before common sense has a chance to speak, rationalize and come up with a different conclusion.
I guess the first step in changing this behaviour, is recognizing that this is how we typically react, but perhaps we could be wrong.
I recently undertook a knowledge test on how I learn and in this case, how I would likely mentor. According to the results, I tend to tap into and draw on past experiences and determine my next steps based on this information.
Interesting. This would certainly explain why the default button is permanently set. The trouble is, as I have come to realize, no situation is exactly the same, so while past experience can inform you, I believe you have to stop, think and reflect before making a final judgement or decision.
Take partnerships. I have been burned in the past and during that honeymoon stage, ignored the red flags that down the road this wasn’t going to work. So I would plough on until we’d reach a blockade and then have to bale. The moral here is to date first before you get married. Find a mutually beneficial project to work on before you get “into bed together.”
So my antenna are up. Not in automatic default, but I check more whether the person or organization shares my values and goals. When you have been taken advantage of, you’re less in a hurry to get back into the ring. It has to be win-win.
And it works both ways. Sometimes the “partner” is not sure of you and your goals. Perhaps they’ve been burned in the past and not sure who to trust. Here it is important to demonstrate and discuss your goals, so you can build trust within the relationship, otherwise it’s not going to work.
My advice – kick your default to the kerb. Yes, draw on your past experiences, but don’t let them hold you back from moving forward.
Anne Day is the editor of One Red Lipstick, a book which shares stores of 24 women entrepreneurs from across North America. The book comes out March 8, International Women’s Day – check www.oneredlipstick.com and is available on www.amazon.ca.