One of the many reasons clients employ my services is that they’re faced with a situation or event which sets them off, makes their blood boil, is the straw that broke the camel’s back, [insert your own choice of idiom] – and they certainly don’t want to react like the manager pictured above. Whether on a personal or professional level, they need help getting a different perspective on this situation and/or event. Imagine driving with a manual gearbox always stuck in second gear, and not knowing that you have other gears available which are better suited to the terrain and/or weather you’re experiencing. So, how does one change perspective, you might ask? It takes a bit of work at first – but just like riding a bicycle, it gets easier over time.

The situations I’m often asked to assist with are usually similar in nature. A typical scenario involves someone accidentally pushing my client’s buttons and, like a chemical reaction, this stimulus triggers an emotional response to which my client reacts (or overreacts) – which then, can trigger the initial “transgressor”… and it escalates from there.

You will probably ask yourself: Where do my outbursts come from? Well, it goes something like this… and I’m sure some of you have heard this analogy before. A snowflake falls at the top of a mountain, gathering others to it as it slowly rolls towards the bottom —so that by the time it gets there, said snowflake is now the size of a house. Emotional reactions work similarly. If left unchecked after the first (perceived) transgression, nothing noticeable happens. But over time, when a similar triggering situation re-occurs, that initial sense of annoyance (or envy, or disgust, or some other unpleasant emotion) increases in intensity and becomes unmanageable. As most of us aren’t taught how to deal with uncomfortable emotions, this eventually leads to outbursts.

Viktor Frankl once said that “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” So, your initial step to gaining power over your response is to notice when you get triggered. Awareness is KEY! Don’t worry if, at first, your reaction occurs even before you realize it. We’re talking nanoseconds here. Just take a deep breath and, with practice, you’ll eventually get to a point where you’ll catch yourself as it happens and before it has a chance to spill over. As Tony Robbins so eloquently put it, “Practice is the mother of all skills.” Over time, you’ll develop and fine tune this new ability and you’ll get to a point where you’ll feel it rise within you. Once you get to this point, take a step back and ask yourself: What is it about this situation that my body wants to bring awareness to?

Some of the strategies that I have in my toolkit allow me to question the automatic response and assist clients to determine what lies beneath the stimulus that triggers it. These questions can in turn help create the space needed for us to realize that we have other options at our disposal. Once a client understands what is being triggered, it’s typically easier, over time, to reduce and diminish the intensity of the reaction, and begin to understand WHY it’s being triggered in the first place.

As I mentioned in my previous post, if YOUR behaviour is YOUR solution, what is your brain trying to protect you from, have you avoid or bring awareness to?

Click and save the image below for personal use… place it as the backdrop on your phone’s home screen, put a copy on the mirror in your bathroom, on your computer screen… or wherever you feel it would be most useful!

Observe, don't react, take the emotion out of it.

Coaching as a solution

As a personal and professional coach, I will work with you to examine the nature and root cause of limiting beliefs and why you react as you do when processing what you perceive as positive or negative emotions. Then, we’ll investigate and unravel the emotion. Together, we determine what reaction you want to take (that fits with your natural disposition), and we begin the process of reinforcing positive reactions, even in uncomfortable situations.

Let’s solve what’s holding you back

Book a no-obligation, free discovery meeting with me, and let’s discuss how I can help you get to the root of your problem.

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