How to Recognize and Disarm Triggers?

downloadEvery entrepreneur needs to have a trusted confidant. Someone to confide in even when it means revealing something about oneself that is less than attractive. This confidant should be a trusted friend, a mentor, a business coach, or even a life coach. The only requirement is that this person is willing to share openly and honestly when dealing with any defects of character to recognize and disarm triggers. Let’s face it, temper tantrums are a defect of character.

Make a List of Events

Once this confidant is onboard, he or she will help make a list of events surrounding emotional outbursts. List every detail leading up to the event, during the event, and shortly after the event. Identify the stressors that contributed to the outburst.

Use EMB’s Stressor Identification Worksheet to determine what type of stressors you have in your environment.

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EMB Stressor Identification Worksheet-Recognize and Disarm Triggers with

Make this list for every event you can remember. Once you have the list, read it out loud to your confidant. Do you notice a common theme? Do you recognize specific events, people, or words that are common to the outbursts?  Be open to seeing the pattern. These patterns will lead you to recognize and disarm triggers that are destroying relationships. More importantly, be open to seeing a pattern through your mentor’s eyes. Ideally, your mentor is unbiased and willing to speak the truth in the matter with kindness.

Determining the Options for Disarming Triggers

Now that a pattern is starting to emerge it is time to determine the various options to disarm the trigger. Ask the following questions:

  1. Can the trigger be eliminated?
  2. Can the impact of the trigger be lessened?
  3. Can the reaction to the trigger be changed?

Ask these questions for each event and each stressor to the event. If you answer yes to any of the questions, then brainstorm with your mentor possible actions to employ. This phase is still only identification. Once you have listed all the possible actions, decide on one or two to actions to start the change.

For example, perhaps making sure to have enough water throughout the day so that a headache doesn’t develop is a good first step. Without the headache it is less likely an employer will snap at the office assistant when demanding a cup of coffee to wash down the aspirin. In turn, the office assistant is not snapping at the clients when they interrupt the typing now that the assistant is behind in assignments due to getting the coffee. And the cycle would continue through everyone who comes in contact with the office that is spiraling down in negativity. By changing one action, it could change the entire dynamic of that days’ business relationships.

Make a List of Action Steps

Now that there are identifiable action steps, spend time with the mentor making a list of action steps to take and ways to remain accountable. Finding a water intake tracking app for a smartphone would be one logical action step. Setting an alarm to remind the need for water intake may be another. Whatever action is decided on, there must also be a plan of accountability. In this example, the reduction of headaches may be enough accountability to make the change. In most cases though, it is not. Come up with a system of rewards for making a positive change. Know what motivates you and use it to your advantage.

Questions to Ponder for Recognize and Disarm Triggers

What would motivate you to make a change?

Do you have a trusted mentor or coach?

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