RECOGNIZE YOUR TRIGGER POINTS
Triggers are people or situations that cause you to react negatively either psychologically or physically or both. Here is an example of one of my personal triggers and its resulting negative behaviors: When I was a child I learned that watching out for others and going out of my way to please them was the right thing to do. I came to this conclusion based on my own interpretation of my parent’s rule to respect my elders. When I felt someone older than me was judging me, chaos and internal upset happened. Being judged by someone older than me was my trigger.
My pattern was instant belief that I was not working hard enough and was falling short of my skills and abilities. The negative behavior that resulted from this trigger and pattern was for me to try harder at all costs. I wanted to be noticed and validated for my effort and my “good” work by those elders. The damage to myself in the process of improving my efforts was penance for not getting the particular task right the first time. I know now that situation was created entirely by me. Nobody ever asked me to do better at all costs, without any regard to myself. I certainly did find attention in being known for things like the hardest worker, the smartest girl, the politest and the sweetest, for example. What people didn’t know was the damage I was doing to myself by putting everyone else first and allowing them to dictate my worthiness. You have your own trigger points, patterns and behaviors that happen as a result of living. It is completely normal.
Trigger points can also be positive. I am a highly competitive person and when put in a competitive environment I will excel at my task. The trigger is the competition, the pattern is excitement, the desire to be the best, and the behavior is hard work and excellent results. This is an excellent trait and not something I wish to dismiss.
The triggers, patterns and behaviors I want to get rid of are those negative ones that do nothing except tear down my confidence and make me feel inferior. If I didn’t do something to break the cycle of my triggers, patterns and behaviors that weren’t serving me in a healthy way, nothing would change. I had to face those triggers and let them go or I would remain in a place of frustration, disappointment, anger and even rage.
Trigger points are sneaky disrupters that lie in wait deep within all of us. In a state of uncertainty, there is no telling when they will bubble up. Sometimes they spill over in tears and sometimes they erupt like a volcano.
As soon as I started to recognize my triggers, was the moment I chose to stop the decline and start living my life with more intention. I chose to give my focus and attention to those things that truly supported my growth and happiness instead of feeding and giving into the negative.
(an excerpt from my newest book: Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything 2016 Motivational Press)