By Minou Hexspoor – The Nomad Coach
I saw this quote on the Instagram account of a fellow coach. Yet another sentence trying to tell us something about something. I often have semi-allergic reactions to all those quotes telling us what to do, and being a coach myself, I try to really be selective in what I adopt into my practice and why.
So why this one? This one because the message behind it is about power. So let’s unpack this one for a moment and see what it is really all about, and more importantly, what is in it for you.
What Upsets You?
Did you ever write down what situations and conversations keep upsetting you?
Creating an inventory of all the upsetting moments you encounter in daily life, can be an interesting endeavor to discover the lessons that are here for you to learn and, more importantly, what life could be like if you learn them.
Being human, we are all familiar with those returning situations, whether they are related to certain frustrations at work, something your partner does or says, or that one thing your children do that just makes you boil inside.
Our most common responses to being triggered are often one of two: we blame ourselves or we blame someone else. And with that blame, we often experience feeling angry, guilty, frustrated, incompetent, misunderstood, etc.
So why is that and what does it do to you?
When something upsets us, it often triggers our fight/flight mode, a state of mind that is connected to our neurological system responding when it thinks we are being attacked or threatened.
This response is often typically related to the feelings described above and because of it, our normal view of ourselves and others is instantly dwarfed to a very limited one. Think about the blinkers often times used on horses: they limit the wide view that would normally be available to them and the many things they would normally see, understand and respond to.
The same happens when we are triggered or stressed. We instantly check out of our ability to see things as wide and diverse as we normally do, and we resort to a poor set of emotions and thoughts, that often lead to outbursts of anger, resignation from taking responsibility, etc. because we feel unable to change the situation, or at best we adopt a rational approach that helps us tolerate or get through the situation.
But is that really what we desire our lives to be directed by when things get rough? What would change if you would be able to stay clear from those feelings and responses so you can create a more fulfilling and guilt-free approach? How would your relations change if you were able to remove those stressors and create different outcomes versus having to deal with unwanted consequences like having yet another fight, feeling alone or being misunderstood?
So, now what?
Going back to the quote that started this conversation, let’s look at the first part:
“The more something upsets you, the more something is meant for you…”
Understanding that that what upsets us, is here to teach us a lesson about ourselves, what can you do to start breaking the cycle of subconscious responses that bring us into fight/flight mode, and instead develop a more fulfilling and anger-free response?
The key here is, to find out what is really is we are to learn about ourselves when we are being triggered into those feelings of guilt, anger, frustration, etc. And finding out, often starts with a few simple but honest questions to ask yourself:
What does it tell me about myself that this upsets me?
What am I tolerating in my life?
What is this experience trying to teach me?
Once you have explored the above questions with honesty towards yourself and without judgment, you can start creating a space for a whole new set of considerations that can help you change the way you normally respond. To help you do that, think about some of the following questions:
What would be different if you had learned that lesson and you would no longer get upset by this situation?
How would you respond to the situation from a place of love for yourself and others?
How would you ideally want to respond to this situation so it leads to the most beneficial outcome for all?
Now, let’s look at the second part of the quote:
“When it no longer upsets you, it is no longer needed because the lesson is complete.”
Once you start understanding what you can learn about yourself away from blaming and judging yourself and others, you allow yourself to step into the infinite possibilities that come with creating conscious change. And once you create that change, you have removed the trigger from your life and rid yourself of the stress coming with it.
Making it stick. Because you can.
As human beings we are experts in seeing the big mountain in front of us: all the things that we think should change, that we wish for, etc. And then we look up to that mountain and often feel totally overwhelmed with the massiveness of it all and give up before we even try.
So let’s forget about that mountain for a second. Because honestly, that mountain is just us allowing yet another trigger to keep us away from change. Looking at your daily life, and the things that upset or stress you, what would be one thing you would want to start with so it doesn’t stress or trigger you any longer? What can you choose today to have a closer look at and ask yourself those questions mentioned above?
That mountain is not as big as it seems, and change is not so compolicated as we think it is. All it takes to start the process of true change, is to take that one step… get off that roundabout you’ve been on for way too long…. take that exit you’re contemplating for a while now…. Why? Because once you break the cycle and you start seeing, everything else changes too, because you simply can’t un-see.
Curious to learn how you can do this faster and most efficient? Wondering how to move your personal & professional life towards being trigger free? You can book a free introduction session by clicking here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org