You’re sitting somewhere – work, school, home, outside – when you are overwhelmed with emotions and have no idea why. You were just thinking of something benign like just processing a thought, organizing a task, or remembering next steps on a project. When suddenly, you feel an intense emotion like sadness, regret, anger, or frustration. Your heart starts racing, you perspire, perhaps tears start to form. How on earth did a little daily brain function cause such a strong emotional and physical impact?
These are the hidden triggers of our minds, emotions or forgotten memories that creep into our lives unexpected. Some of these triggers can be so intense that we need therapy to uncover the why. Other folks can bury them quite successfully. Certain people could choose to project those emotions onto others as a defense mechanism or a way to create commiseration. How we process these triggers gives us insight into our emotional intelligence, insights that can guide us into how we manage ourselves from the core.
In my coaching and leadership journey, continuous growth has been a necessity. You are never too old, too experienced, too educated, too credentialed to overlook the opportunity to seek out more knowledge. Purposefully, increasing awareness of oneself aids in understanding who you are today versus who you were once told you were by others. I think back to who I was just 10 years ago, when I was already well established, educated, and credentialed (not as old), and the growth I have experienced has been exponential compared to the first decade of my career. What’s been key…self-growth, self-reflection, self-love.
Has a little thing taken you down a rabbit hole of discovery? If you’ve gone down this journey before as well or you are on it right now, you know what I’m talking about. The deeper you go into yourself, the deeper uncovering of the unconscious programming that has occurred in your life, and the deeper triggers that bubble to the surface and trip you up, there can be greater trauma, greater epiphanies, and greater revelations. These awakenings bring amazing intuition and perceptions of surroundings and people like never before. It can be a scary, daunting journey with its highs and lows. How can we see it as a gift of riches?
By embracing the progress, that’s how! Progress is all the reasons – development, evolution, movement, improvement. With a growth mindset, we start with ourselves and then we learn to give the gift to others. Shared experiences encourage us to become more aware, more mindful of ourselves and our feelings. Basically, practice what you are learning yourself to further embed the new thoughts and beliefs you are discovering. It’s feedforward, mentoring, sponsorship, championing, and coaching others to learn more about themselves.
Listen to the little things that come your way. Take a moment to ponder and wonder about what’s making you feel this way. Be courageous in self-discovery and work with a coach to help you connect the dots. The little things may not be so little after all.
For more about growth mindset, coaching and emotional intelligence, check out these articles.