Confused? You Will Be….
In recent weeks we have talked about the importance of having Clarity about who you are and what you want. It’s important because once you have clarity on those 2 important factors, it gives you confidence. And when you have confidence it helps you move ahead, potentially down a different path to the one you were on before (ask me how I know about that one!)
Of course, to go down a different path it does entail change. You can’t expect to continue walking down the same path and reach a different destination, does that make sense? Change, of course, is something that does not come easy in life. To quote Marisa Peer the creator of Rapid Transformation Therapy (which I am blessed to have in my toolbox of ‘go to’ therapies, to help others) your mind is designed to do 3 things:
- Keep you safe
- Do what it thinks you want it to do
- Support the Familiar – it loves what is familiar
Clearly “familiar” and “change” are like chalk and cheese.
So, when it comes to changing something in your life it is easier if you have Connection because connection gives you the support you may need, and also it shortcuts your success as often people have been where you are or they can guide and support you.
Just a side note, just because you have clarity, confidence and good connection in the form of a supportive network or a mentor, that doesn’t mean the job is done. Quite often when you are trying to change your life (or HAVE to change it), would you agree its not a smooth ride? Sometimes you may find yourself feeling right back where you were. And that makes you confused, right? Because you thought you were past that.
Well, what often happens here is that you have been triggered.
What does that mean?
A “trigger” is an event or a scene that causes you to do something and often relates to childhood events. Something happens which creates a coping mechanism in you (back to the mind wanting to keep you safe). You revert to old behavioural patterns which might be anger, compliance, neediness, withdrawal, blame, addictions.
Even when you feel you understand yourself really well, certain things can trigger you and put you right back where you were, without you realising and you’re left confused, wondering what happened.
If you find this happening to you, then take some time out, and really be honest with yourself about issues or situations you found yourself in when you were little. For example, I have a client whose parents were often absent when she was a child. She used to get very upset when she would text her daughter and she wouldn’t reply. One of her triggers was someone important to her being ‘unavailable’.
When this would happen, she would get angry and feel that her daughter was being deliberately mean and uncaring. Once she understood what was triggering her then it was much easier for her to not react in that way. She realised her daughter was just being busy and not being uncaring. she’d confused her daughter’s actions, with her own feelings about and interpretation of her daughter’s actions.
There can be all sorts of childhood experiences which become triggers later in life. Maybe someone rejected you, left you, ignored you, shouted at you, was critical of you, was too busy for you. There are many situations, which at the time may have seemed unimportant to the adults in the situation.
Recently, I noticed that some jealous traits started to rear their ugly head again. I really thought that I had “dealt” with this, after all I know I am frickin’ awesome / I am enough however, the sight of my husband’s wedding ring-less finger created an uncomfortable feeling and even though I managed to calm the desire to ask him in an accusing manner (to match the EastEnders version of a made up drama in my mind) – I could have been triggered into a state of seething. Now at first, you might be thinking well what’s this got to do with a childhood event?
Let’s take a look:
As a child, if you know my story, you will know my mother had to go to work, whilst my father was in the army and so I was left alone at the age of 5. All through my life I logically explain this was why I was independent, which is true. However, the 5-year-old inside me felt “unimportant” and scared that if I said anything I may have lost my mum. So that led to a feeling of being “threatened” and of course if you feel threatened – well you go into the fight, flight or freeze mode…in my case fight = seething.
Match those facts with the seeing no wedding ring = feeling unimportant, threatened and in turn seething, does that make sense?
So how do you change these events?
It’s about finding the right way to change the reaction and becoming aware of the trigger. For me when I feel threatened, I now replace that feeling with saying to myself, “I am brave”, which means instead of allowing the trigger to go to seething, I went to brave and asked my husband a question and explained how I felt. The outcome was a positive one, based on a mutual understanding on how to move forward.
The good news is once you have identified you are being triggered then what you can do before reacting, is just observe. Observe that you have been triggered. Who was there. What was said.
You can’t avoid being triggered and confused about it, until you notice what triggers you.
It can be tricky though to determine what the causes of certain behaviours are.
It is easier to see the pattern in someone else, but often very hard to see it in yourself. If you would like some help with that why not email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or come over and get a copy of our free book “Find Your WHY to become Frickin’ Awesome” (we just ask for a small packing and handling charge)
Meanwhile – remember to live, love and laugh every day!