Closeup of worried Hispanic man sitting at deskHave you ever had one of those days where you just felt that you lost touch with yourself and your behavior?  Before you knew it a series of impulses and actions followed that were not your best and you were not even sure why they happened.  You probably were just triggered.

What are Triggers?  Anything really can be one.  In simple terms, they are any form of stimuli that cause a reaction or behavioral change.  They are not that simple though as environment and personal situation can change the impact of something said or an action from day to day.  Meaning that if you have had a personal recent situation take place you may be more sensitive to something that before did not affect you.  For example, if you recently lost a parent and your emotions are very heightened then a passing comment by someone that said a derogatory comment about their own parents may trigger you to jump in and want to tell them to stop their behavior and act differently and this may lead to a further discussion and soon turn into a verbal conflict.  So why does it all happen and how can we be better prepared?

We move through a few phases when we look at the root cause behind a behavior.  If you looked at the flow of the events you probably have:

  1. The trigger – whatever it was that stirred the reaction and got things moving.
  2. Impulse – this is the “what should I do with…”  stage.
  3. Understanding – Why am I interested in the outcome.
  4. Decision – the choice to do something. And finally,
  5. The Behavior – the action we take as a result of steps 1-4.

Looking at that information flow how do we change our behavior.  The most impactful thing we can do is develop great self-awareness.  The ability to be in touch with and know our self and the interaction we can anticipate based on environment and other factors. We choose to be in control and do not choose to be a victim of the circumstances that unfold.  We have the accountability to our actions and understand that if we allow a poor situation to happen based on our inability to control our self when the trigger hits it is on us.  So, the next time you feel that emotions and impulse building inside of you ask yourself if you can control your outcome or not.  Choose self-awareness, make the right call and don’t allow yourself to be the victim of the trigger.  Until next time when we take a bit deeper look at Emotional intelligence.

Wishing you success and growth!

Tim

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