We all have triggers. Things that have been ingrained in us for years…mostly by ourselves, though we tend to put that blame on others or the world around us. Triggers are things that almost physically hurt to see or hear; they are things that others do seemingly innocently, but can enrage us all the same.
When these triggers are pulled, it is painful and sends us into a defensive position or lashing out in emotion. In turn, we project our insecurities and misinterpretations onto those around us. Suddenly, we find ourselves surrounded by pain and discomfort. Our reality becomes one of hurt and feeling like a victim.
…and what most people fail to realize is that they themselves manifested all of that negative crap.
Triggers often come from our own fears and insecurities. We are afraid that wrong or “bad thing” someone is saying might be true. We don’t want it to be true, but we fear or worry -deep down inside- about the very thing that has set us off. “What if they are right? Am I missing something here? Do they see something about me or my choice that I don’t?” These aren’t conscious thoughts, but rather deeply seeded things we have stuffed down from our pasts.
Let me give you an example.
When I started my network marketing business, a big trigger for me was when people said things like “Did you join a pyramid scheme? That isn’t a real job. Only stay at home moms do stuff like that. It’s not a real career. You’ll fizzle out in a couple months.” These were triggers for me because deep down inside, I was terrified that might be true. Had I joined a pyramid scheme? Was this really just for stay at home moms who were bored? Was I even capable of success? Had I been duped and just didn’t see it yet?
I had all of those fears and more. And every time that trigger was pulled and a tough question was asked, I reacted. I either cried, ran from the conversation or got defensive and almost always ran from my business for at least a day or two. All of these negative things that put a strain on the relationship with that person and made me feel terrible about my business. And yet, they were legitimate questions asked by my friends and family who simply didn’t have the facts about what I was doing.
2 things changed helped me identify and relax when triggers popped up.
First, the more I got into the meat of my business the more I realized how completely unfounded all of those fears were. I became more confident. I realized with time and success that my business was legitimate and a solid opportunity for anyone looking to diversify their income portfolio. I knew the earning potential was incredible, the market a growing one and the products unbeatable and consumable. It turned out, I actually had a gold mind on my hands. Focusing on sharing those aspects -instead of focusing on convincing people of anything- turned the tide. Education and experience brought confidence.
Second, I identified exactly what my triggers are. I journaled like crazy and specifically targeted what was triggering me and why. It’s like acupuncture. Once you pinpoint the problem, releasing it feels so good!
Now, when I am asked questions that normally would have triggered me, I am able to answer with confidence and offer education, information and a pleasant attitude to the person asking. In fact, I am grateful when they ask because it gives me a chance to educate…not defend. I may still feel that old-faithful twinge of worry or anxiety, but I am able to recognize it as a trigger address it and move on calmly.
The thing is, I had to work to get here. I had to be honest with myself. I journaled pages and pages, asked myself tough questions and put myself in hard situations to really grow through the pain I was causing myself.
Here are 7 things you can ask yourself. Find some time alone and a quiet place and really think about the answers. Writing it out will lead you to identifying those triggers.
- What was the last thing someone said to you that made you mad/sad/anxious/etc?
- Why did it make you feel that way?
- Why are they wrong in saying what they said?
- Why was your reaction to that anger?
- Do you fear they could possibly be right in their assumption or accusation?
- Was there something that happened in your past or a belief you held growing up that revolves around this issue?
- Next time you are in that situation, how can you empower yourself to have a better outcome for yourself (ie: not getting worked up and letting it ruin your day)?
This exercise takes repetition and practice, but being open to yourself will really help you to change not only your mindset, but also really up your business game (if you are an entrepreneur, you likely don’t even realize the ways these triggers are holding you back and harming you! But that’s a whole other post for another day).
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