Design Your Dream Life with Natalie Bacon | What Is Default Thinking?

However you are showing up in the world, whatever actions you are taking and whatever results you have, it is all because of how you are thinking and feeling. Of course, there are circumstances beyond your control, but for everything else, you have control over the way you think and feel. Most people don’t realize this; they operate throughout their life with their default thinking.

Default thinking is what your brain chooses to think without any effort. It is automatic, and it can be sneaky, and it can creep up on you without you even realizing. When your default thinking helps you create the life you want, it isn’t a problem. But when it is creating a life you don’t want and results that don’t serve you, it could be time to assess, acknowledge, and change it.

Listen in this week as I’m teaching you about default thinking and showing you how to start noticing the thoughts you are thinking on default. Hear some examples of default thoughts that don’t serve you, and learn how to change your default thinking and start the path towards purposeful, supportive thinking.

If you’re a mom, you’re in the right place. This is a space for you to do the inner work and become more mindful. I can help you unbusy your time, reduce anxiety and overwhelm, and live every day a little more soulfully and purpose driven. And, if you want to take this work deeper, doors are open for my Grow You virtual life coaching program. Click here to learn more and join us. 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
  • Why it can be so difficult to notice your default thinking.
  • How to tell the difference between a thought and a fact.
  • Why stopping to look at how you are thinking and feeling is so important.
  • How to clean up your thinking and become the person you want to show up as in the world.
  • Why not all default thinking is bad.
  • The problem with identifying default thoughts.
Listen to the Full Episode:

 

Show Resources:
 
Full Episode Transcript:

Hi there. Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. My name is Natalie Bacon, and I’m an advanced certified mindfulness life coach as well as a wife and mom. If you’re here to do the inner work and grow, I can help. Let’s get started.

Hey friend. Thank you so much for being here today. I want to say thank you also for writing reviews. I know that it takes effort on your part, but it means so much to me. I read every single one of them. They really help me have that other side of the relationship. So sometimes, I don’t feel like it’s just one sided. I can read what you are loving and appreciating about the podcast. It helps me to know if I’m on the right track, and how it is making a difference in your life. Also, it helps get this work out to so many more women and moms.

So if you have not left a review before on iTunes in the Apple Podcast app, it would mean so much to me if you left one for this podcast. I do know that it will take a little bit of extra time and effort. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but it really makes such a big difference for me and my business. I want to keep doing this podcast and keep getting it out to more and more women and moms so this work can change as many lives as possible. I know that the more reviews that iTunes sees on a podcast, the more it will show the podcast to other people.

So thank you so much for those of you who have left a review. If you haven’t, I would so appreciate it and love it if you left one for me. I will read it, and you’ll be helping out this entire community. There’s so many women who haven’t even yet heard the podcast.

Today, I want to talk with you about default thinking. I say things like your brain on default or your default mindset or you have those default thoughts, but I noticed I haven’t really taken the time to explain to you yet what I mean by that. That’s what we’re going to do today. I’m also going to start off by talking with you about why it even matters.

So why does it matter that your brain operates in a particular way automatically? Well, it matters because your mindset creates your entire interpretation of the world. So it’s really the most important thing that you take care of, and it’s why I think that every single person needs a coach. I am not the coach for every single person, but I do believe that if you are an otherwise healthy person, you need to have a coach. It’s just too hard to see your own brain, optimize your mindset, create the life that you want and that you’ve always dreamed of without having a coach.

So if you are looking for a coach and you think that I might be a good coach for you, check out Grow You over at nataliebacon.com/coaching just so you can take a look and see if it’s a good fit for you. I think that even if you tried it for one month, you would see real changes in your life. I believe in it that much.

What a good coach will do is they will show you that your thoughts create your feelings. Your thoughts and feelings together create who you are being. So that’s why I talk a lot about the inner work. I’m talking about what’s happening inside you. It’s your mental health, your emotional health, your spiritual health. All of that combined makes up who you are being in the world. Meaning the actions you take, the decisions you make, the results that you create for yourself, they all come from your thoughts and your feelings.

So, for example, if you are someone who likes to produce at a high rate and you are an achiever and you get a lot of things done, that is because of what you are thinking and how you are feeling. Or if you’re someone who always waits till the last minute. It’s because of what you’re thinking and feeling. If you struggle saying no and you think of yourself as somewhat of a people pleaser, it’s because of what you’re thinking and feeling. If you are worried about your kids and have a lot of mom guilt, it’s because of what you are thinking and feeling.

However you are showing up in the world, whatever you’re doing, whatever actions you’re taking, whatever results you have, it’s because of how you are thinking and feeling. Now there are circumstances that happen that are totally out of your control. Right? There is a pandemic. There is an earthquake. There’s the diagnosis. There are things that happen, but for everything else, we have so much control over from the way that we think and how we feel.

So if you think of yourself as someone who just doesn’t follow through and can’t finish out anything, that is because of how you’re thinking and feeling. So there is so much in your life that you have control over by taking a look and changing what you were thinking and how you are feeling. Basically, who you are being because your thoughts and your feelings combined create who you are being.

Because your feelings are created by how you’re thinking, I decided to specifically focus for this episode on your default thinking. You also have default feelings, but those are feelings that are created from your thoughts. So if we take care of the default thinking, the rest sort of takes care of itself. Your thoughts create your feelings, and your feelings create your actions.

But notice that just as regular humans out in the world, we tend to notice first what we’re doing or not doing, so the action, and then we notice how we’re feeling and then we notice what we were thinking. But the actual way that it happens is we have a thought, then we have a feeling, and then we take action.

I love giving the example here of my office. My office didn’t just happen. I didn’t just walk into it and it was there. I first had the idea of how I wanted to decorate it. I brainstormed different furniture to have and the color palette and energy. I had lots of thoughts about it. I decided how I wanted to feel about it and feel in it. Then I took action and went out and bought the furniture and returned some and created the entire office. But the point is to see that the office first existed in my mind before it existed in real life.

That is true for everything. So everything that exists. I look down and I see my Ember coffee mug that stays heated. That was someone’s idea in their mind before it came to be. So the most important thing that you can do is to pay attention and clean up your thinking. From there, you will feel better.

So your thoughts and feelings will change who you are being in the world and how you’re showing up and how you’re making decisions and how you’re relating to other people. All of the things that we think are problems in and of themselves are actually problems stemming from our thoughts and our feelings. So taking a look at how you are thinking and how you are feeling is so important.

Coming back to the topic of today’s podcast, default thinking. That is your automatic thoughts. Default thinking is what your brain chooses to think about without any effort. It’s automatic. It’s like buying a new iMac or MacBook Pro, and it comes with the original hardware. You didn’t have to do anything to get it to turn on. You didn’t have to do anything to have those initial programs on the computer. It just came installed with the computer.

The same is true for your brain and the automatic thoughts that it has. It came installed with those. You probably picked them up from your parents, from your social circles, from school, from your friends, from the technology input, from the news, from whatever. It doesn’t really matter. The point is that where you are right now in your life, your brain has some automatic thinking. It has thoughts that it thinks on default that you haven’t consciously chose to install.

So if you go back to the computer analogy, I think of making upgrades to my iMac or to my MacBook Pro and installing different programs. Like, I don’t know, Zoom or Evernote or Spotify. I think of all of the fancy different software programs that I’ve been able to add to the computer to make it perform at such a higher level. I use Microsoft programs. I use Google programs.

I use so many different programs, and my computer functions at such a higher level. What’s possible with my computer is so much greater than if I had just accepted the default hardware without adding any of those fancy programs.

I want you to think of your brain like this. It comes with the automatic thinking that you picked up from the life that you’ve had thus far. Now you can make upgrades to it by creating intentional thinking. This is how you create the life you want instead of going with what your brain offers on default, i.e. what your brain offers automatically without much effort.

The thing with default thinking that I want to point out to you is that it’s a little bit sneaky. I think, for most of us, we’re not waking up looking in the mirror and saying, “Gosh, I hate you, and I hate my body.” We don’t have this sort of abrasive self-talk that is so obvious. What we have instead are subtle, low grade, default thoughts that actually do hurt us, but we don’t even realize them.

That’s why I’m so passionate about doing the inner work and becoming more mindful and being a part of a program like Grow You. Because it’s a lot harder than it sounds to notice your default thinking unless you have something like a Grow You in your life where you regularly can go into and have that sort of input and help from a coach.

So here are some examples of default thoughts that don’t serve you. I wish my stomach didn’t look like this. I wish those lines on my face were gone. These seem like subtle little thoughts. Yet, they have a low vibration. Meaning your thoughts create your feelings, and a feeling is a vibration in your body. So do this with me right now.

Repeat the thought, “I wish my,” fill in the blank, “looked,” fill in the blank, right? I wish my stomach didn’t look like this. I wish those lines on my face were gone. I wish I was fill in the blank about your body looking different. It doesn’t feel good. It has a low energy to it.

What happens is from that place of feeling bad about yourself even though it’s almost subconscious. Like we do this so fast in the mirror. You end up looking for more of what’s wrong, and you end up living from a lower feeling state. It makes the day to day experience worse because you end up feeling bad. Going into frustration, going into worry, going into those feelings that we really don’t want to be feeling about stuff like this.

So a few other examples of thoughts that are sneaky that don’t serve you and are probably from your default thinking. My husband is quieter at home than at work. This was one that I coached on Instagram. I want to point it out here because a lot of people thought that this was a fact.

When someone says, “My husband is quieter at home than at work.” That is a thought. How do we know? Because there’s no way to prove it. There’s no quieter than test. The way that this woman was using this thought was to feel bad about her intimacy and connection and relationship with her husband.

So instead, what I showed her was that this was a thought. That she could keep it, but it is a thought. It’s the thought that her brain is going to automatically when looking at how her husband acts at work and at home. Because it’s creating a lower vibration where she is feeling disconnected from her spouse, it’s not really serving her.

So let’s come up with purposeful thinking that’s supportive. It doesn’t mean we’re going to go to my husband is more chatty with me at home than at work. We’re not going to go to the opposite because her brain is smart. Like all of our brains are really smart, and your brains not going to believe the opposite.

But what if we told a better, more supportive story on purpose. Like, my husband is the most comfortable at home around his family. So I get the most genuine version of him, and I’m so grateful for that. So we don’t focus on comparing his behavior, but instead we focus on thoughts that feel good to us that are also true for us.

But the way that you change your thoughts and you create a more abundant supportive story is by first noticing the default thinking. For her and for most of the people who voted, I’ve asked them the community on Instagram, “Hey, do you think this is a thought or a fact?” Most people had difficulty pointing out that this was actually a thought. My husband is quieter at home than at work. That is because our brains think so quickly.

That’s a good thing, right? It’s a really good thing. When we are driving different places, we don’t have to get out our Google Maps because we know how to get to the grocery store. We do things automatically really efficiently. Again, this is good. We don’t have to remember how to start the washing machine or load the dishwasher or turn on our computer. We are in the habit of doing these things. So there’s the flip side of the default thinking that’s really amazing. Right.

We also have default thinking that can be really supportive. So on default, one of the thoughts that I have in my life is, I think that I can do anything. So anything I truly desire to do, I’m pretty confident that I can do it. I got this from my dad who repeatedly told me growing up that I didn’t have to be the smartest. I didn’t have to be the top person in my class. I just had to keep going and keep trying. So that’s a default story that I want to keep.

So not all default thinking is bad. When your default thinking helps you create the life that you want, then I want you to keep it. But when it creates a life that you don’t want, like disconnection in your marriage or this low grade body bashing where you disconnect from yourself, that’s when you want to change it.

A lot of times the problem with identifying those default automatic thoughts is that we do think that they are facts, not thoughts. For example, if you think the thought, I just want it to be done right, or I just want them to have the best parenting. Those thoughts seem really supportive but check in with yourself and see how they feel. Most likely, they won’t feel good.

The reason is because they don’t leave any room for mistakes. What we’re really saying is we have to be perfect parents. We have to do everything right. Anything short of that is bad. That’s a standard that comes from perfectionist tendencies that will actually leave you kind of in a state of feeling bad about how you are doing as a woman, wife, and mom.

So for this upcoming week, start to notice the thoughts that you are thinking on default. Slow it down. After you talk, play back what you just said, and think is that true? Is that actually the story that I want to tell? How does it feel? When you start to pay attention to how you are changing, you really set yourself up for creating a life that is so much more fulfilling because you realize and actualize so much of the untapped potential that you would otherwise not.

Most people go about their lives on default and automatically. They don’t know that their thoughts create their feelings, and that creates who they are being in the world and the action that they’re taking and the habits that they’re in. You have such a gift because you care about this work. You’re listening to a mindfulness for moms podcast. You care about changing your thoughts. I want you to use it and optimize and actualize your potential to the extent that you want to.

This can be done from a place of fun, from a place of loving yourself, from a place of curiosity. We don’t have to beat ourselves up for our default thoughts. We are thinking these thoughts because we pick them up along the way. That’s okay. We just realize now that what got us here and this automatic thinking isn’t going to get us to that next place of feeling fulfilled in the way that we want to.

If you do it from a place of fun, love, and acceptance then there is no end to it in a really good way. I like to think of it like showering. You’re never done showering. You don’t shower every day for a month and then say “Oh, I’m so glad I did this this last month and now I’m done.” Right? Because for the next month you will start to wake up and smell bad, and you’ll need to hop in the shower.

The same is true with your mind. As long as you are a healthy, functioning human being, your brain will get messy. Just like you’ll get some BO if you don’t shower. It’s not a problem. It’s just part of the human experience because we have a brain that thinks automatically on default.

So if you practice mindfulness, if you listen to a podcast like this, if you join a program like Grow You and take time, just like you take the time to shower. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. I think if you just did the one hour class, every single month inside Grow You for a year, you will change your life because you’ll have a different perspective. Your inner being will shift. Just like when you shower every day, you maintain your physical health.

So I say that because a lot of times we can take a look at our default thinking, our automatic thoughts, and realize that they are not supportive. They are not helpful. They’re not going to be what take us to that next version of ourselves.

I say that that’s where self-compassion and gentleness come in. When you can be kind to yourself and gentle and have compassion for that version of you who got you to where you are today. From there, love yourself into that next version of you. Then you never want to stop doing this. It’s like then you enjoy getting up and showering every day or getting ready every day. Because you’re having fun with it. You’re playing. You’re lighthearted about it.

You’re not making it mean that there’s something wrong with you. There’s not something wrong with you. You’re not damaged or broken. You just have a mind that is in the habit of thinking thoughts that don’t support the life that you want to create in your future. Through these mindfulness practices, you can 100% change that. That’s the best news that I have for you.

So pay attention to what your default thinking is for this next week and see if you notice a change as you hold space for yourself. Just sort of watch those thoughts and stop taking them to mean that they are fact and how they have to be going forward. Because they’re just thoughts. If you want to change them, you want to 100% can. It’s totally available to you. That’s what I have for you today my friend. I love you so much. Thank you for being here. I will talk with you next week.

If you loved this podcast, I invite you to check out Grow You, my mindfulness community for moms where we do the inner work together. Head on over to nataliebacon.com/coaching to learn more.

 
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