Do you feel that you are at the mercy of other people more often than you’d like because you find yourself reacting to their actions or words ALL or most of the time?

If yes, well you don’t have to be.

A few days ago, I received an angry email from someone in my tribe. They were upset with my ‘email’ which had a challenging question aimed at pushing them out of their comfort zone and had responded with ‘How dare you?’, ‘Shame on you’ and ‘Don’t you ever write to me again’.

Now, receiving such vehement emails are not at the top of my favourite to-do tasks in a day but nonetheless, they are great opportunities for reflection and learning. This email provoked some thinking and led to this blog. If you are getting triggered due to other people or events, it is worth considering this:

-’What’ is the real reason that is upsetting you? In times of conflict, this is something really important to consider. Are you upset because someone said something inappropriate or are you upset because they held up a mirror and you didn’t like what you saw?

-It is worth considering that it may not be personal attack on you. Do you know people who see challenging discussions as personal attacks on themselves? I do too. It is neither pleasant or respectful when they do it. In the past, I have also been that person occasionally. But now I know better. How do I now respond? With a firm determination, that I will do everything in my power to not take things personally because it totally sucks when someone else does it to me. 🙂

-If someone said something that didn’t land well with you, how do you choose your response? Do you let yourself get all ruffled up and lash back or even if you don’t lash back, do you continue to resent them for a very long time? Or do you choose a different response where you ‘let-go’ of the resentment after taking an objective view of what caused the upset? Holding on to the resentment may feed your ego but you know what, it does no good to your well-being. It is a simple case of someone else behaves badly and you continue punishing yourself for their behaviour.

When you react to what others say or do, you throw your power away. Therefore, it is important that we stop putting ourselves at the mercy of other people, all the time.

In this particular case, I took the opportunity to practise all these points…I acknowledged their email and reaffirmed it was not a personal attack on them.

The job of a coach is not just to be supportive but also to challenge people so that they can move out of their comfort zones. Too often too many of us spend too much time in our comfort zones, not because it is the best option for us but because it is familiar and easy. Change, on the contrary, can feel intimidating, uncertain and also demands taking ownership.

Triggers provide us a great opportunity to reflect and meet our real selves. Next time when we feel our buttons are being pushed, it will be worthwhile to stop and notice….it may not be ‘them’; it is highly likely that it is ‘us’.

In fact, they may have done us a favour by arranging a rendezvous with ourselves. 🙂

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Need help take greater control of your emotions and life, in general, because you are fed up of being a doormat and not being seen, heard or validated?