Disarming Your Hot Buttons
• Are you able to keep the safety on your triggers and your hot buttons or are they open and ready to be pushed all the time?
• Hi, this is Grant Herbert, International Influencer and Sustainable Performance Coach, and today, I want to continue our conversation around Emotional Intelligence and our Behavioural Self-Control by learning to identify our triggers and our hot buttons.
• We all have things that set us off. We all have things that trigger our poor behaviour. We all have things that set us on a path of going down that emotional reaction, rather than staying in the logic and behaving the way that we want to behave.
• Have you ever asked yourself the question, "Why am I behaving like this?" "Why am I doing what I'm doing here when I know that it's not good behaviour? It's not good for me, it's not good for others, and it's definitely not good for the greater good". It's because you're human. It's because you're an emotional being. It's because this critical set of skills around Emotional Intelligence that we've been talking about need to be learned.
• Today I want to share to you the 8 steps that will help you recognise and regulate your hot buttons and your triggers.
• So, the first step is to identify what are the things that trigger you.
• The second step that you need to do is is to look at how that trigger makes you feel.
• The third step it to identify, in those moments, what's your self -talk doing?
• So, step four in this process is to look at what reaction is.
• The fifth step of this process is to then identify how do you feel just after that half an hour later, an hour later, later on in the day.
• Step six is to ask yourself the question, "When I go through this process, what's the damage that's done?”
• The seventh step here is what would be a better response. So, you get the idea. What can I do differently next time?
• Step eight in this process is to go, "How will I feel then when I respond that way, as opposed to how I felt when I reacted?" So, step eight is to look at how is that going to make you feel.
• Read on/ watch this vlog to learn and get more insight on this process.
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Are you able to keep the safety on your triggers and your hot buttons or are they open and ready to be pushed all the time? Hi, this is Grant Herbert, International Influencer and Sustainable Performance Coach, and today, I want to continue our conversation around Emotional Intelligence and our Behavioural Self-Control by learning to identify our triggers and our hot buttons.
We all have things that set us off. We all have things that trigger our poor behaviour. We all have things that set us on a path of going down that emotional reaction, rather than staying in the logic and behaving the way that we want to behave. Have you ever asked yourself the question, "Why am I behaving like this?" Why am I doing what I'm doing here when I know that it's not good behaviour? It's not good for me, it's not good for others, and it's definitely not good for the greater good. It's because you're human. It's because you're an emotional being. It's because this critical set of skills around Emotional Intelligence that we've been talking about need to be learned.
So, the first thing I want you to do today is cut yourself some slack. Give yourself some space to incrementally change and grow in these competencies we've been talking about.
Today, as I said, I want to talk about your triggers. I want to talk about you being able to identify patterns of behaviour that you currently have so that you then can employ the strategies we taught last week before the unresourceful behaviour happens, before that trigger is pulled and you go down that path of reacting. So, here we go.
For me, traffic is one of the major challenges that I have in being able to control and manage my emotional behaviour. For some reason, I can go from being mild-mannered Eric Bana to the Incredible Hulk just by getting stuck in traffic. I do a lot of travel around the world and in some countries, the traffic is an absolute nightmare. And indeed, when I went to India for the first few times, I never complained about Sydney traffic again. We've got that element of people honking their horns and people just going everywhere and not looking at the signs and doing all those things. And you can see, and I'm not really doing this on purpose. It's part of what's ingrained in me. I'm reacting to that, even now.
So, what I had to do was learn to use what I'm going to teach you now so that I could enjoy being in traffic and get to the destination that I wanted to go to without being all flustered and totally disengaged because I was emotionally drained.
So, the first thing we need to do is we need to identify, you need to identify, what are the things that trigger you.
Some of the things that my clients talk about, people not telling the truth or people not doing what they say they're going to do, for me, it's being in traffic, people raising their voice at me, people not listening to me, whatever it is. So, those things that might happen, those situations you might find yourself in that would trigger you going down the path of your self-talk and your thoughts, and then your behaviour, your reaction.
So, what I'd love you to do is pause this, or you can do it at the end, just sit down and identify the triggers that normally happen before you lose control of your emotions. So, the first step is to identify the triggers.
Now that we've identified the triggers, the second step is to look at how that makes us feel. So, remember: Emotional Intelligence is our ability to be able to know, in the moment, what the emotion is that we're going through. So, we want to be able to know how we feel. So, we want to be able to know how we feel physically. So, keeping my example going, the trigger traffic, the feeling in my body is that I would tense up on the steering wheel and I would feel my body tensing up. So, whatever the trigger is for you, what does it make you feel like physically.
The third thing that we want to identify is, in those moments, what's your self -talk doing? What are you saying to yourself? What inner dialogue is going on in that moment? For me, if I keep going with the traffic, I'm in the traffic, I sit there for a moment and the trigger's there and I tense up and I go, "Why did you bring the car today? Why didn't you go on the train? What are these people doing? What are they thinking? Don't they know how to drive? Where did you get your license from? Out of a cornflakes packet?" Whatever it is. So, these are the things that are going on in my internal dialogue and that internal dialogue is creating more and more emotion. So, what started as being, "Oh, no. I'm stuck in traffic", is now, "Oh, no. I'm in traffic and I'm surrounded by lunatics who cannot drive!"
Now, by the way, just so you know, one of my strategies is I don't drive in traffic anymore. I take an Uber or I go on the train and I stay out of the traffic because avoidance is a great strategy as well. Mind you, the times when I do travel in my car, I'm able to recognise the trigger and the self-talk and snuff it out there and have a little bit of a conversation to myself. And I'll take you through the rest of the process so that you can do that as well.
So, we've identified the trigger. We've identified how it's making us feel physically. We've identified what we're thinking and what our self-talk is. Now, we want to look at what it is that you would normally do.
So, step four in this process is to look at what is my reaction. So, I'm in the car, I've got this self-talk going on, the trigger is definitely being pulled, and this is where I'm in a car that's totally closed up. Nobody can hear me. And what I'll do is I'll either toot the horn to let them know clearly what it is that they're doing wrong or if they're sitting at the lights and they're on their phone and the light changes to green, I might say something really intelligent like, "Haven't we got a color you like?"
Now, the crazy thing about that is that they can't hear me, but I can hear me. So, all it's doing is making me more upset. So, whatever it is for you, when that trigger is pulled, when you stop thinking that way, when you stop feeling that way, what is it that you normally do?
The fifth part of this process is to then identify how do you feel just after that half an hour later, an hour later, later on in the day. How does that make you feel that you have reacted in that way? For me, I was very good at being able to have a stern, talking to myself and going, "Oh, Grant. You idiot. You did it again. You've reacted something that was totally outside your control. You've allowed that to get your goat. You've allowed that to push your buttons." So, instead of feeling better about myself, I was actually feeling worse.
If it's a situation where I have spoken a certain way to someone who's dear to me, I might feel like I've let myself down there. I've let them down or I feel like, as we've talked about in the Performance Trap, I feel like even though this is what I did, this is who I am. So, I yelled at my child, therefore I am a bad father. So, how do you feel after you've behaved that way?
Now, that we know how we feel, we want to do an audit on what's the damage that's done. So, step six is to ask ourselves the question, "When I go through this process, what's the damage that's done?" And as I just explained to you, the damage for me is around my identity, how I feel about myself. If I come back to the traffic, the damage is that when I get to my destination, because I was worried about being late, that's why I was concerned about being in the traffic, I'm not my best version anyway. So, whoever I was going to see would probably rather that I was a lot later. So, what's the damage that you've done to yourself, to your relationship, whatever it is.
Now, that we've got all that and we're doing this out of the logical brain, and we're doing this in retrospect, and we're doing an inventory of that process, what was the trigger? What did I feel in my body? What did I start saying to myself? What did I do? How did that make me feel? What was the damage that was done? Now, we can have a look at how can I do it differently going forward. So, the seventh step here is what would be a better response. So, you get the idea. What can I do differently next time?
So, as an example, I'm in the traffic and somebody is in my field of view and I can see that they're on their phone instead of moving out of the traffic or out of the lights and letting us get going, I could do something totally different like turn the radio up a little bit, put on a podcast, do something that's going to distract me from even seeing that person.
Or I could say to myself, "Hey, 10 seconds. Isn't going to make any difference." And I could get back into the logical brain. So, what could be a better response? A better response in my situation would be to just let it be, just let it go. We'll move off in a minute. So, whatever it is for you, whatever that trigger was, is you take it through the process to look at what is a better response. Even the word "better", we can massage that a little bit because "better" has a tendency just like "should" of being judgmental. So, what we could do is we could say, "What would be a different response that would get me a different result?"
And step eight in this process is to go, "How will I feel then when I respond that way, as opposed to how I felt when I reacted?" So, step eight is to look at how is that going to make me feel. And then we can ask ourselves the question, "Is that an empowering feeling or a disempowering one?" Because the brain wants us to feel good. The brain wants to have the dopamine and serotonin circuits in our body working, that pleasure circuit going. So, if it's a good feeling, one that we want to experience, it's going to help us to change to that new strategy.
So, what we've talked about today is being able to recognise and regulate our hot buttons, our triggers. Change our thinking around them, change our behaviour around them and therefore, get a better result and feel much better as well. Now, we can take what we've learned here and use what we learned last week in that five step process to be able to, as we're going through this on a daily basis, change the strategy to get the result that we want.