Haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like if you were more in charge of your emotions?
Or if you didn’t respond so openly to what other people do or say?
Don’t we all!
But before we simply chuck it aside you have to admit that there is something interesting going on here.
There could be some valuable learning on offer.
Introducing some awareness around these issues and noticing the triggers that set them off could be a game-changer!
For instance, have you ever sat in a meeting running yourself down, accusing yourself of being too quiet?
More than likely your shoulders have become hunched, the corners of your mouth have drooped and you are either sitting with your arms folded or slowly melting into your chair.
The consequence? You have given your game away.
Put another way, others will see that there is a loser at the table and make them feel better about themselves – at your expense.
And to make matters worse, if you haven’t woken up by then, in the discomfort of the moment, you might step in and say something really stupid (or knock your coffee over). And it’s all downhill from there.
So what is going on here?
I am a great follower of the late Doctor Bradford Brown, an accomplished trainer and coach.
He would have explained the above scenario like this:
In the meeting, the person received a ‘life-shock’. This is a specific event that has triggered a past memory. The memory sets off a core belief. This in turn results in automatic behavior driven by must’s, should’s and have-to’s.
These demands result in behaviors that are clearly irritating and annoying.
You disconnect from what’s going on around you and become engrossed in your own negative perceptions (which are usually about you!).
The interesting thing is that most of this is going on in your head and, in actuality, are just not true.
So there you sit playing out a drama based on false information.
A bit silly?
The terrible part is that to others it is so obvious that you are being dramatic. Accordingly they will could find them dismissive and even rude (which only deepens your anxiety).
So how do you manage this process?
Well there are no short cuts but here are a few ideas:
- Start noticing the things that bug you.
- Become aware of your posture and the expression on your face at the time. Normally negative thinking will shrink you by drooping your shoulders and sagging your mouth. Sit up, uncross your arms and look alert. This will help you regain a measure of dignity.
- Write down your negative chatter, focusing on demands, expectations and accusations.
- Pick one that really is the sharpest.
- Look compassionately at the truth – are you really that ‘thing’? (stupid, weak, wrong, failure).
- Make a choice what you want to do and how you want to be.
- Get creative!
This whole process will allow you to use your mind to think of value-add ideas rather than being stuck in self-judgment.
Try it – you might be pleasantly surprised.
About the author:
Clive Kaplan, is a CA(SA) having studied at both Rhodes and UCT. With over 20 years experience as an executive director in both listed and unlisted companies. Clive offers a wealth of wisdom on both the people and business front. He is the CEO of Green Mind Capital. The company focuses on assisting executives, especially emerging young CA’s, maximize their potential and fast-track their careers. Clive has been involved with coaching and self development since 1994. Green Mind Capital is an emerging leader in the field of personal development and self-actualization.